YouTube Channel for Amdall Gallery
As of today, Amdall Gallery’s new YouTube channel is live! Its main purpose is to share some progression videos; if you’re familiar with my typical posts, I often include still frame .gif images to provide a small window into how my portraits come together. Some people find these .gifs useful, but they usually aren’t more than seven or eight images stitched together. For quite a while, I’ve wanted to upgrade that by sharing actual video. Aside from artwork, I also hope provide impressions or reviews on tech or gadgets from time to time.
Although a YouTube channel is something I’ve been considering for a while as a natural improvement from .gif animations, inspiration has come from a few other sources too. Back in 2018, when I started learning how to blend colored pencil, I found this YouTube video by an artist named Luisina Juliete. It was an absolute game-changer for me. Since I’m self-taught, I had no clue how to blend soft wax pencils. I kept going back to her tutorials over and over again as I learned. Anyhow, it seems fitting that I would start a similar thing to pay it forward (if mine actually helps anyone). Also, I know a guy who recently launched two drone video channels (the first, the new one) that are really slick. I was inspired by his very well-produced videos too.
So, I have more to write, but let me share my first two videos before I go on. One is a pretty long walk through (~38 min) of a portrait that took around an hour in real time. The other is a high speed version of that without my commentary (13 min):
I’ve long heard that to get into video editing, the platform of choice for most content creators is Apple/iOS/MacOS. I’ve been exclusively an Android users since probably 2008-2009ish, and a Windows PC user my entire life. Towards the beginning of the coronavirus situation a couple months ago, I actually dropped and severely cracked the screen on my Samsung Galaxy Tab. So, with this YouTube thought brewing and the broken tablet, it seemed like a good time to dive into the iPad Pro world. I also picked up a cheap smartphone tripod stand on Amazon.
I used my Samsung Galaxy S20 to film with the tripod, breaking it up into four segments; intro, part one, part two, and post-drawing discussion. Like I mentioned, the actual drawing took about an hour, so it was a lot to film without a break. Once I was finished, I transferred everything to the iPad and got to editing via iMovie. I see what people mean now about iOS and video editing, even the free iMovie app is absolutely amazing, and better options are even available at cost. I also spliced in some royalty free music from Free Music Archive (thank you again to my Drone Video YouTube friend for that recommendation).
For a first effort, I think the final results are pretty decent. I do already see areas I need to improve on for the next videos though. First, the focus on my Galaxy S20 was jumping around like crazy! It settled down in the second half, but for much of the early drawing video, the paper was somewhat blurry even at 1080p HD. And the lighting needs work because I had some definite color shifting at various points. Also, the audio is a bit quieter than I would have preferred. Anyhow, definitely some things to keep in mind.
Of course, outside of this YouTube excitement, there was also some artwork. Here’s the actual portrait I worked on in the video:
As I hopefully mentioned in the video, this was difficult due to the position of the tripod/camera set up. In fact, I kept smacking the tripod and moving my head into frame, which I had to edit out later. But even outside of my body control issues, it was very challenging to draw around the camera! I didn’t realize how much I want to put my face close to the paper while I’m drawing. Maybe it’s because I’m as blind as a mole? I’m definitely going to explore some alternative camera positions.
I also intentionally tried to do this portrait faster than I’m used to for consumption purposes. I usually take a couple hours for a drawing like this, but I’m not sure anyone is looking to waste that long watch someone draw. Or maybe they would? I still probably don’t fully grasp effective content strategies. The speed was a new wrinkle for sure. I think the portrait turned out pretty well, all things considered. A few things I could have done better for sure, but I’m okay with how this turned out.
And of course…no progression .gif! Feels weird to have this bottom section empty though. Some things still on tap for the website: I’ve still got the finished Witcher drawings waiting for some text to accompany them, and I’ve also got portraits for the winner of the recent giveaway. And for the YouTube channel, I’ve got a few ideas for videos as well.