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.


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  • Wishing you success with this Jon.

    I’ve posted up a few videos for years under my alter-ego for car related stuff.

    For the art stuff I’ve only done a couple, as you say it’s awkward enough creating the art without the added challenge of doing it around and out the way of a lense.

    What I have intended to do though is keep the video really quite short because I’m aware that most of the viewing public have the attention span of a goldfish and will move on within seconds. However there’s definitely a good few that will sit through something longer, and quite often be better off for it.

    • Is your channel something you’d be okay publicly divulging as a Steve Kidd project? I’d love to check it out and see how you’ve done things. Recording video is still super awkward for me…have you found a workable position? I’m using a pretty basic tripod, but the best position so far is unfortunately right in front of me while drawing. And I still haven’t figured out the lighting situation – I already have difficulty with lighting just trying to photograph things, video is even more noticeable.

      Honestly, I’m a bit worried this YouTube project is becoming an abandoned project…I started off like a tornado with the videos, but I haven’t done one in a few weeks. I need to get back on it next time I draw!

      • I don’t really have a workable position as the only videos I’ve done were completely ad-hoc and unplanned. I don’t have any intention of creating a channel as such, got enough on my plate already 😁

        I think this is the art one, it says No Content but then there’s a few videos under Videos section. I always thought that YouTube was for videos so not sure what content it’s referring to 😕

  • Awesome to watch you work! My two cents on the video format is that both were great (digging the music too, lol), and I think both have a place on YouTube, if you specify the purpose in the title (and/or video description)—so someone seeking out a longer, tutorial-style video to watch would find that one, and others could enjoy the sped-up “look how cool this is, watching a drawing come together” version. I personally would love to see your initial outline-sketching phase, perhaps even in its own video, sort of a different type of tutorial. Hope this helps, good luck with your channel!!

    • This is fantastic feedback, I really appreciate it! Coming up with a good title and description was harder than I thought it would be. I just changed the title and description a bit, hopefully it’s a little more descriptive now.

      Next time, I’ll add the graphite sketch portion too – I wasn’t sure if that was useful, so that’s good to hear it would be interesting to see. Thanks for checking it out, Anna!

  • Nice portrait!

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