Subscriber Thanks, Some Artist Site Favorites

Wordpress Reader

To my continued surprise, this website has gained more subscribers than I ever would have expected. When I resurrected Amdall Gallery from the ancient blog burial grounds last August, I assumed I would mostly get traffic from friends and family. As it turns out though, WordPress has a large and supportive community of artists, painters, poets, and authors who interact through the WordPress Reader and subscription features.

I admit, (almost) 300 subscribers is not a huge number, especially compared to other sites that count their subscribers in the thousands. But, as I said, it’s vastly more than I expected. In pondering that milestone, the first thought that crossed my mind was a desire to thank viewers/readers who’ve been checking out these posts. This includes friends and family, but a significant portion consists of artists and owners of other sites. My next thoughts drifted to planning; I decided it would be nice to highlight a few artist sites that I particularly like, and folks who I’ve interacted with often. And then I thought it would be cool to have a giveaway. Nothing too huge, but another way to say thank you.

Update: The Giveaway is live now, and can be found at https://jonamdall.com/2018/04/19/subscriber-appreciation-giveaway/. Good luck to everyone!

As I got into this, I realized it would probably be too long for one post. So, the “subscriber appreciation” topic will be split in three; in this post, I’ll primarily discuss some subscriber sites that I’m a fan of, along with a poll. Next, I’ll post statistics from an unnecessarily detailed spreadsheet I made, then the third post will include a contest/giveaway. I’ve never done a giveaway before, though…so I’ve included a poll below. Some prize ideas, like art supplies, I’m not sure would work, because people may not be comfortable giving a stranger (me) a shipping address.

Now, to the subscriber sites. I’ve mentioned previously, in my opinion there are some amazingly talented artists and writers who share their creations via WordPress sites. I’ve found them (or they’ve found me) mostly through the WordPress Reader. Although I’m only going to list a few here, there are actually tons of sites that I really like. In fact, I’m currently subscribed to 356 of them! Unfortunately, it would be impossible to talk about all 356 of them…so I’m just going to talk about a sampling that have provided some inspiration or lessons to my own drawings.

Also, I’m mostly focused on artists here, since that’s primarily what my site is about, but there are many other fascinating blogs I’ve followed. The topics are quite varied, including things like life hacks from iScriblr, online gaming from Alunaria’s Avenue, observations/writing from Rantings of a Third Kind, finance from Thomas Taylor, and many others. There is some incredible content out there! I highly recommend exploring the WordPress Reader.

Note: This is not a ranking or any such thing, and the list is in no particular order. I’m just giving a shout out to a handful of the many artists that I’ve really enjoyed. Also, I’ve included a small thumbnail example of their art; if you find it interesting, check out their sites which I’ve also hyperlinked. Finally, I am not an art expert…so my descriptions may not be the most eloquent! I’ll just tell you what I see and why I like it.

As much cake as you want, https://asmuchcake.com/

As much cake as you want‘s art has a very unique style; scenes often involve people in the city, with a short story or discussion about the scene. The style is really effective in depicting busy people rushing, and in showing semi-creepy people, or portraying people with quirks. The artist’s style is quite effective at illustrating the feeling of a scene. I could easily see As much cake‘s illustrations in a book, and I enjoy seeing the scenes the artist comes up with. This style also conveys to excellent effect into portraits.

Blu-Art, https://bluebeard-art.com/

Blu creates art on a variety of mediums, including ink, paint, and digital art. The art is extremely elaborate and impressively detailed. The subject matter can be fairly dark, and seems to be packed with hidden meaning. It’s certainly original, and many pieces are quite fascinating. Blu’s art shows exceptional realism blended with dream (and nightmare) environments and subjects. Blu also has a high degree of technical knowledge that is freely shared.

Hilda Rogershttps://hilda5462.wordpress.com/

Hilda is a talented artist with an extremely diverse skillset. From the many images I’ve seen on her site, she’s expertly skilled at similar levels in creating portraits and painting scenery, which is very impressive to me. The ability to tackle realistic human expression just as easily as a beautiful nature backdrop clearly reflects her talent. She is also quite supportive of other artists, and willing to pass along advice and encouragement.

Lemanshotshttps://lemanshots.wordpress.com/

Lemanshots is definitely one of the most unique and thought provoking art sites I’ve come across. The artist creates these imaginative photography and digital art pieces, which show some very surreal imagery.  It’s really an impressive, creative collection. Even though I’ve already viewed most of her art, I find myself going back sometimes just to check out the compelling scenes.

Na Rysunkuhttps://narysunku.wordpress.com/

Na Ry is another site full of unique and interesting creations. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, to be honest. The artist creates small sketches and illustrations that I can only describe as pure products of the imagination. They are fairly abstract, many are unusual, and often cause me to think, “wow, what exactly could this be based on?”

Outside Authorityhttps://outsideauthority.wordpress.com/

Outside Authority has to be one of the most productive and adventurous artists I’ve come across. The sheer number of pieces in the artist’s archives is very impressive, and subject matter and stylistic exploration ranges greatly. There are realistic portraits, landscapes, abstraction, line experimentation, and much more. In my view, this is a very bold artist, who seems unafraid to try new things. It’s especially admirable to me, because I am quite the opposite.

Edoardo Dispenzahttps://dispenza.wordpress.com/

Edoardo Dispenza is a very skillful artist, who seems to mostly use pen and watercolor to create scenes. His subjects range from portraits, to scenes with people, and cityscapes. Most of his paintings, to me, are quite beautiful and just generally pleasing to view. I like the look achieved by not filling in all color, causing painted areas emphasized by contrast.

Michael Ehrhardthttps://michaelehrhardt.wordpress.com/

Michael Ehrhardt is a painter who often creates nature scenes, portraits of people, or people in nature scenes. The artist’s scenes are often saturated with color, and look vibrant and full of life. His use of  bright colors gives his art a confident, compelling style.

My Tatty Sketchbookhttps://mytattysketchbook.com/

My Tatty Sketchbook features mostly pencil sketches, many of which have a very interesting subject matter. Often, the subjects are part of his “midweek commuter drawing” series, which I find to be a fun concept that I’ve enjoyed viewing. His style is a rough, looser sketch, which is actually sort of similar to mine in some ways.

Ganga Art Galleryhttps://gangaartgallery.wordpress.com/

Ganga is another very skillful artist, whose subject matter is often animal portraits.  Her pencil sketches of animals are quite realistic, and as an added bonus, some of her post include video of her progression through her artwork. Her site is relatively new compared to some of these artists who’ve been sharing creations for years, but I really look forward to see her continued work.

Drawing Throughhttps://drawingthrough.com/

Drawing Through is another fairly new art site, with a variety of art subjects and mediums used by the creator. She has a unique style that, even before she described the technique and inspiration in a post, seemed to make colored pencil almost seem to blend together as paint. Viewing her progression and style helped me move towards thicker application of colored pencil and more aggressive blending.

Graham McQuade, A Diary of My Painting, https://grahammcquade.wordpress.com/

Graham McQuade is another of these artists with high degrees of technical skill and artistic talent. He paints a lot of city scenes with people walking around, which have impressive balance of shadows and color. He also paints other subjects, but my favorites are the people/city scenes. As I’ve mentioned, I’m no expert or anything, but his paintings seem to have everything I would expect of a piece in an art gallery.

Kingbird Graphicahttps://kingbirdgraphica.wordpress.com/

Kingbird Graphica features a variety of different subjects, but what really blows me away are the bird paintings and sketches. I mean this with no hyperbole; it wouldn’t shock me at all to find out the artist actually did textbook or professional illustrations of birds. The detail, clear species anatomical knowledge, and realism are incredible.

 

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  • First of all congrats for reaching such a number of subscribers. As you say it might not be massive compared to other websites but it is a good amount of people listening to what you have to say!

    Also, this post is a great idea to express how thankfull you are to all of them. Subscribers are equally important to the content of our blogs itself…without anyone listening i dont think there is much scope talking anyway!

    I am looking forward to the next couple of posts which will complete this very kind act of acknowledgement of your followers’ importance! I am really interested in how you will organise your giveaway and see your stats.

    Finally thanks for mentioning these artists and their beautiful work. I already follow some of them and i will definitelycheck the others!

    Have a great day!!

    Jasonas

    • Thanks Jasonas! I really wanted to figure out some way to show my appreciation, not just for being subscribers and checking it out, but also for the comments and interactions. There’s been so much valuable advice that’s come through, it’s hard to really return the favor effectively since I’m not a professional artist. Saying thank you is good, but I thought a small giveaway might also be nice! I’ve never done one before though…so hopefully it goes smoothly

  • Congratulations 🙂 It’s never about the quantity. That’s where I like the blogging community; I think very few follow “just for the sake of it”. They are genuinely interested.

    I really cherish the WordPress Reader – and especially the suggestion field – that’s where I first saw a post from you. I started blogging about World of Warcraft and followed others who do the same, but now I follow so many others unrelated to that – it’s so neat.

    Gosh, color portrait by you – no doubt! Get ready to sketch a Night Elf… 😛

    Thank you for the recommendations on the other blogs – it must have taken quite a while to put together 🙂

    • Much appreciated Alunaria! I absolutely love the WordPress Reader, it’s such an underrated bonus with this blogging ecosystem. I’m the same as you; I follow so many sites that are interesting, and a lot have nothing to do with art. It’s great how you can just randomly come across something fascinating. It’s really become one of my go to goofing-around-on-the-internet tools

      I think I mentioned somewhere, either this post or one of the drafts, you probably have a good chance of winning once I post the giveaway. I’ll bet it gets a dozen or so entries, so that Night Elf portrait might be coming soon!

      • Yes, exactly. 🙂 I do try to follow a few outside of WordPress, but having it all together in the Reader just makes it so convenient – together with the suggestion field.

        Oooh, my, /gets excited and starts to think about certain poses that’d be suitable, hah 😀 You never know 🙂

  • AW, Thank You, Jon! It is an honour to be mentioned here on your blog – you are very kind! I am really glad to have YOU in my blogging community – your boundless enthusiasm and willingness to learn will take you far, I think! Not to mention the support and enthusiasm you have for other artists and their work! Awesome, job, sir!! So many in the art community feel kind of yucked out by the social media side of things, and we all need people such as your good self who work so hard at their art BUT also at COMMUNICATING about it! I might just have to plug YOU a little on my own blog…….Oh and btw, Thanks, too, for the mentions of the other artists….I will be sure to investigate those who I do not already ‘follow’ 🙂

    • Absolutely, Hilda! After all the feedback and supportive words you’ve passed along over the last few months, I was very glad to do it. As I’ve said before, that’s been one of the pleasant surprises from coming back to this site. I had no idea there was a loose interconnection of artists floating around on WordPress sites that helped novices like me learn, and gave advice from their experiences. It’s really awesome, and I just wanted to do something to “pay it forward” in some way.

  • Congrats on your expanding following! The timing of this post is coincidental in that I happen to be linking your blog in tomorrow’s post, which is a pencil sketch of me and my husband. Fingers crossed that it comes out even one third as good as the ones you do! Thanks for the mention; it feels great to know that I may have played some tiny part in inspiring the way you go about using color.

    • Thanks for that Anna! That sounds like a great subject (obviously I’m partial to family sketches), I can’t wait to see how it turned out!

      I tried to mention artists who had some sort of impact on what I was doing, whether that be technique or inspiration. Early in my colored pencil learning process, I realized the results were way too light. I can’t remember exactly when, but I think some time in January I came across your blog. I saw how you were laying down colored pencil much thicker, and I liked that much better! As you described it in that post later on, “colored pencil painting” looks very cool in my opinion.

  • Yes, congratulations on your following! And thanks for including me on this list (which has some of my own favourites, like Outside Authority)! It was a treat to look through them all!

    • Thank you, and of course I had to include the site that encourages me to eat cake! I love your story-based pieces, where you have these expressive subjects with short scene descriptions. They’re so interesting and unique – I’ve definitely enjoyed getting to see them. I’m also excited to check out more portraits, if you decide to do some.

      Isn’t it funny how people come across the same sites in their browsing? It seems like some of these great artists would appear on lots of favorite lists. I’m glad you got a kick out of this list!

      • Thanks so much for the comments, Jon – much appreciated! Yes, I’m starting to notice connections in this corner of the blogging world. I really like being part of this community – find it really inspiring and am learning a lot!

  • I’m blown away by your generous post! It’s lovely to hear how inspirational and informative you find blogging. I sometimes question the time it takes up, but you’ve reminded me just how much inspiration it gives that can’t be replicated elsewhere. On a very grey day here, you have truly brightened my day! I love your description too. It’s interesting to read someone else’s thoughts on what is basically a pile of paper in my loft! There are one or two sites that are new to me that I will hasten to have a look at. Thank you Jon. Have a good day and keep posting.

    • Thanks for saying so – I’m glad that brightened a few days, certainly you folks deserve attention pointed towards your blogs. I know many of you have tons of subscribers already, but if even a few more people can get enjoyment from great art sites, then I’m satisfied. As I’ve said, I have gotten something from many artists even in this short time, and who knows? Maybe someone else will come across an artist that’s new to them and teaches them something! Inspiration can sure come from unexpected places sometimes

  • Aw thanks for the shout-out John!
    You made my day 🙂

    And three-hundred seems like a big number to me, so feel good about that!

    • Also thanks for compiling all these other art-blogs, I love looking through them and getting art-related updates but haven’t found that many on my own, so this is really helpful.

    • Absolutely! You’re definitely one of those people who’s given me so much feedback and so many tips, I had to give a shout-out. Plus, you’re a fantastic artist, and that’s another good thing to share.

      I’m really glad this post seemed to have worked out. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be completely coherent, or accurately pass along my appreciation. It could have been a rambling jumble of nonsense paragraphs! But yeah – much respect to all of you folks

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  • Thank you for your kind words Jon! 😊 I appreciate your encouragement.

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