Author Archives: Jon Amdall

Poll: How do you digitize your artwork?

Buried at the end of my last post, I posed the question, “How do you digitize your artwork?” I embedded a crowdsignal poll with some options that came to mind, which actually represent things I’ve considered. Since I started back into the art hobby about five years ago, I’ve been taking photos of portraits using my smartphone. As the years

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Underpainting Practice – Andre the Giant

As I discussed in my last post, I’m making an effort to push myself more when it comes to artwork. A huge part of that obviously is trying oil painting for the first time around two months ago. But I am also trying to flex some artistic muscles that I haven’t used much. I described this in some depth already;

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Freehand Painting Goals

A couple of specific things are at the forefront of my mind right now when it comes to painting. The first is that, in a general sense, I need lots of practice. Over the course of around five years and 150ish portraits, my colored pencil drawings improved noticeably. I can see major areas where my painting skills need to develop,

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Holocaust Survivor Portraits, Remembrance Display

Recently, I was approached by a co-worker to ask if I would help out with a display featuring Holocaust survivor portraits for an event called Unity Day. She had heard through the grapevine about my art hobby, and thought it might be good to team up for some portraits and biographies at the table she was planning. I am pretty

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Size Constraints on a Princess Bride Painting

With my 9th painting, I ran into a bit of a conundrum and drove home a good lesson for myself. To this point, I feel like I had shown a pretty steady improvement in my paintings. They certainly weren’t masterpieces, but I was encouraged by the practice showing tangible results. The other side of this coin though is the fact

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One Month of Oil Painting – A Self Portrait

Perhaps this post will trigger a bit of deja vu, as it’s a topic that I’ve already covered somewhat recently. This is all about self portraits, but with the added twist of a medium that is still quite new to me. As you can tell from the barrage of recent posts, I am all about oil painting these days. I

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High Contrast Challenge – Antje Traue Portrait

As I continue on clearing my backlog of paintings that have yet to be shared, now I’ve come to the fourth of five paintings done during a holiday weekend in October. This one in particular was focused on really pushing for a high contrast/heavy shadow challenge. Last year, I did a colored pencil sketch of some characters from the movie

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Bob Ross Style Landscape Painting

This post will be an interesting one, at least from my perspective. If you’ve browsed this site, you can see pretty quickly that I’m all about portraits. Usually head-and-shoulder views of people, but sometimes animals or other scenes featuring a human being in some way. But this writeup is actually about my first fully committed, no-people-at-all, landscape attempt! It’s kind

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Oil Painting Portrait of My Wife

Lately I’ve been discussing my recent journey into the world of oil painting, having shared my first attempt, a portrait of my kids, and an effort to use up excess paint. Now, we come to my 5th painting, in which I attempted to paint a portrait of my wife. I say “attempted” because I did experience some challenges along the

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Painting Without Planning – Using Up Leftovers

One of the many unexpected questions that arose as I started learning to paint was, what do I do with extra paint on my palette when I’m finished? I’m about 10 paintings into it now, and I still don’t have a great sense of how much paint I’ll need. But that was especially true with the first few paintings –

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Amdall Girls Painting – First Solvent Use

A few weeks ago, I finally made the leap to attempt painting for the first time. I’ve long admired the “painterly” look across the different mediums, particularly the textures and qualities produced by oil paints. It’s been a long term goals to learn, but had always seemed like something I’d try some far-off, unspecified day. So, I surprised myself greatly

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Drawing from Stock Photos and Memes

I’ve talked about my affinity for stock photos on many occasions. In previous posts, I’ve written about royalty free images, photo spamming on social media, and my general love of memes (which tend to lean heavily on stock photos). I just find these images to be very appealing from a portrait study perspective. The facial expressions and/or subject positions are

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Dirk Nowitzki Portrait with Trophy

This is going to be yet another piece of artwork dedicated to Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki. Considering this is now the fourth drawing I’ve done of Dirk, I guess it’s safe to say I’ve long been a huge fan of his. I grew up watching the Mavs, and especially remember watching those difficult 1990s seasons with guys like Jamal

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