Random Selections

30 randomly selected articles from Amdall Gallery’s archives. Enjoy!

Advertisements on Amdall Gallery (12/3/2018)- I've been thinking about the advertisements on this site quite a bit lately. The purpose of Amdall Gallery has morphed slightly over time, but it's mostly been about sharing my love of data analysis and my (I hope) improvement over time as an amateur artist. I introduced ads partially because I enjoy experimenting with the website, but also to see if I could pay for a portion of the hosting costs through ad revenue. Well, after about a year of advertising...I've made about $30 total. So, I've been asking myself; is $2-3 per month worth having weird random images next… Read More
Milestone Statistics, Unnecessarily Detailed Data (4/8/2018)- Welcome to part two of three in a series of posts thanking readers, and taking a step back to review Amdall Gallery's status as we approach a subscriber milestone. In the first, I dropped a poll asking what sort of giveaway subscribers might be interested in, and shared a few cool artists I've come across through working on this website. In this post, we're going to focus on data and statistics! Then, for the final entry to the series, we'll have a giveaway/contest. As part of this thought process related to subscribers, I also wanted to get a better idea… Read More
Fond Memories of Star Trek – Picard, Data, and La Forge (12/10/2017)- When I was a kid, one of my favorite shows was Star Trek the Next Generation. The series landed right in time to entertain a certain nerdy little kid, with new episodes airing between the time I was six to 13 years old. Outside of the Next Generation series, I actually don't really care much about Star Trek. I've never been a huge fan of the first series, although I did enjoy the original cast movies. And I haven't really watched much of any series that followed. But I loved the Next Generation, and still watch it if I come… Read More
Hometown Series, Distinguished Gentlemen Chatting (3/4/2018)- Continuing on with my "hometown series" of sketches, here's part two. In the first drawing, I included a few of the guys I used to play football with. It feels like it wasn't very long ago, but we are closer to measuring that as a decade ago than just a handful of years! Part two features a couple of buddies from the hometown chatting about something sophisticated, if their clothes are any indication. As with the other posts, I won't include actual names, but the guy on the left also lives elsewhere in the country nowadays. You may recognize the… Read More
Back to Basics, Paper Sketch of the Kiddos (6/3/2018)- This weekend, I made my first clumsy attempt at digital art. And over the last couple months, I've been almost exclusively drawing fictional characters from movies, athletes, and performers. That's been a significant change from earlier in the artwork timeline on this site, when I pretty much always sketched my family. I mentioned months ago I needed to diversify my subjects, and I think I've done well to get a variety of people featured. I will continue to mix things up, but I thought this was a good time to get back to the basics (well, my basics anyway). This feels… Read More
Sports Salaries Part 1, Teams & Leagues (9/3/2017)- A co-worker and I were talking about salaries in the various U.S. sports leagues not too long ago. The conversation started by discussing which sports had the highest paid players, probably triggered by some recent signing or related news. Then, we started speculating about which sports or athletes would pay the most adjusted for number of games, since it varies from the NFL's 16 game season to MLB's 162 games. Taking it even farther, the question became; how would that look adjusted for minutes played? Well, fortunately this can be determined without too much difficulty! There are hundreds or maybe… Read More
Drafting Doncic – The Mavericks’ Future is Bright (6/23/2018)- The NBA draft was Thursday night, and I've been obsessing about it for at least a week. The 2018 draft was considered by many to be very talent-rich compared to other years, and the 2019 draft is apparently supposed to be less robust. So, for my rebuilding Dallas Mavericks, it seemed like this is the year to make a splash. They lucked into Dennis Smith Jr. last year, an explosive point guard with a high upside. And this year, I'd been hoping for European phenom Luka Doncic. The Mavericks finished with the 3rd worse record in the NBA last season,… Read More
Getting Back into Art (9/2/2017)- Even though I have always enjoyed it, it's been years since I've actually sat down, got focused, and drawn anything. I've sketched friends, family, self-portraits, and my wife, but never my two little ones. Is it a coincidence that I have a toddler and infant and somehow haven't been able to dedicate a few hours to drawing? Yes, I'm sure it is totally unrelated. Anywho, now that they are getting a little older (relatively speaking), it's getting a little easier to do things other than just laying around. Our toddler enjoys just hanging out with me by the computer desk,… Read More
The Fifth Element – Gary Oldman’s Zorg (5/25/2018)- Welcome to part two of this run of drawings from The Fifth Element. In the first one, I covered some basics from the film and shared a drawing of Leeloo Dallas and her treasured Multipass. In this second drawing, we're going to talk about the main antagonist of the movie (aside from the evil planet), Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg. One fascinating aspect of the film is that Luc Besson, who wrote and directed, was able to get so many high grade actors to do it. At the time, the only big movie he'd directed was Leon The Professional with Jean Reno and… Read More
Cryptocurrency Revisited (3-4 Weeks Later) (9/1/2017)- About three weeks ago, I wrote about my first experience purchasing cryptocurrency, covering the basics about coins, exchanges, and wallets. In short, I purchased 21 different cryptocurrencies of varying base price and circulation, primarily to learn the ins-and-outs. My ulterior motive was to view a few of them as lottery tickets; essentially, buying extremely cheap coins in hope that one of them may grow after a few years like Bitcoin did. Think of it like purchasing penny stocks, except more unpredictable due to its relatively short history. The original article, Cryptocurrency Exploration, can be found here: https://jonamdall.com/2017/08/10/cryptocurrency-exploration/ I've decided to… Read More
Sports Salaries Part 2, Positions & Players (9/4/2017)- Author's Note: This article was originally published with a major data error, skewing salaries in favor of NBA positions. It has been corrected, and should now accurately reflect position comparisons across these leagues. In December 2017, when checking this site's stats, I saw I was getting hits from a podcast website (District Trivia). After listening to the episode, reading this article again, and checking the data, I realized there was a significant mistake in these graphs. NBA positions appeared to be the highest yearly salaries, but some of the lower salaried players did not have a position listed! Many lower salaried… Read More
Excel Basics – Building Data, Using Pivot Tables (10/6/2017)- My family and I recently went to dinner with some friends, and the topic of Excel came up (I know how to party right?). A couple of people mentioned they wish they knew more about Excel; this got me pumped up! Since we don't live in the same city, in lieu of actually helping them in person, I'm going to write about some basics here. I also documented my master list of functions, which I'll link below. Previous Article, Jon's Cheat Sheet/Master List of Excel Functions: https://jonamdall.com/2017/10/04/ms-excel-function-cheat-sheet-jons-personal-archivereference-page/ So, naturally the first step is to begin entering data. Before you get… Read More
Sketch of the Entire Family, No Planning (11/4/2017)- Last night, after putting the kids to bed, I was smacked with an urge to try to draw my entire family. I've drawn my wife and I together, and I've drawn our girls a couple of times, but I haven't done a sketch with all four of us as a group. Usually for something like this, I'd draw a grid to help me with proportions, but this time I wanted to dive right in. I really wasn't sure how that would work out, because it's outside my normal process. As I started, I thought about all the great advice I've… Read More
Twitter Account Analytics (12/17/2017)- A few weeks ago, I was thinking about my two Twitter accounts; one personal and one for this site. I was wondering if there was a tool that would allow me to export or web-scrape my Twitter history into .xls or .csv, so I could crank out some pivot tables. There may be multiple ways to do this, but I happened to come across a great resource called Social Bearing (https://socialbearing.com/). Social Bearing does exactly what I'd hoped; it allowed me to export my Twitter history into a spreadsheet compatible format (.csv). I believe they are limited to 3,200 Tweets,… Read More
New Phone Quest Revisited – Pixel 3 vs Pixel 2 (12/20/2018)- About a year ago, I wrote about my quest for a new smartphone. The general scope of this quest was to satisfy a few parameters; stock/mostly unbloated Android, pocket sized (not a "phablet"), and a good low light camera were the most important considerations. I've also always wanted a battery that actually lasts more than a day, but the realist in me knows there's no phone that will have everything I want. So, I've typically focused on the first three things. I've been through a few brands over the years (Samsung Galaxy, Apple iPhone, Blu Studio), but the closest I've… Read More
Hometown Series, Football Huddle (3/2/2018)- It's been about seven years since I moved from the ol' hometown, where I spent the first three decades of my life. During my 20s, I spent a good chunk of that time hanging out with a great group of people. I had a blast with this crew, and have great memories of all the typical "hey we're finally adults"-type stuff we did. Thinking about these times, I realized I have some good subjects for a series of sketches on friends from my hometown. One fun thing we used to do was play football on the weekends. We didn't do it… Read More
Tribute to Some Good Folks (9/23/2017)- This week, my grandmother on my mother's side (we all call her Granny) had heart surgery. Fortunately, everything seems to have gone very well. She's recovering nicely, and has physically improved quite a bit even after only five days. She's my only grandparent, and my two little ones' only great-grandparent. Granny is a really kind person, and much loved by all of us. This week has naturally led me to think of her husband, my grandfather, who we all called "Paw Paw." He passed away about nine years ago, and was also a greatly loved person who we all miss.… Read More
The Fifth Element – Leeloo Dallas Multipass (5/25/2018)- Last week, I did a sketch from one of my favorite movies, the original Karate Kid. I like how the drawing turned out, but the best byproduct of it may be ideas for more art. I made a list of favorite movies (Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, about a dozen others), and decided to draw something from each one of them. I don't know if I'll ultimately get to all of them, but given how I'm always searching for subjects, I probably will in time. The first movie I decided to tackle is The Fifth Element. As with the others, this is a… Read More
Portrait Giveaway, Round Three (8/14/2018)- Welcome to the third Amdall Gallery custom portrait giveaway! Well, I suppose it's the third...the first giveaway included a choice of $20 or a portrait, so this will actually be the second that is only for a portrait. Anyway, this time the raffle is for a custom portrait (or other artwork) of the winner's choice. I think the last custom portrait giveaway went well and had solid participation - as usual, I've got the motivation to draw but few subject ideas. So it seems like a good time to do another. Everything for the most part is going to proceed… Read More
Dark Tower Drawing – Campfire Outside the City of Lud (10/8/2017)- In my last post, I discussed an idea for a drawing related to Stephen King's Dark Tower series. I wanted to sketch Roland and his crew outside of Lud, probably by a campfire. In the first article, I talked about some of the challenges I anticipated based on my limitations as an artist. My strength, I think, is drawing people from live subjects or photos. My biggest weaknesses are drawing scenery and drawing from imagination. Once I get outside of the main subjects, I think the quality of my sketches degrades. And coming up with a scene that only exists… Read More
Dirk Nowitzki, Basketball Legend (10/12/2017)- To me, no player exemplifies Dallas sports like Dirk Nowitzki. Texas is obviously wild about football, and the Cowboys are the lead dog in terms of area sports teams (despite their amazing run of mediocrity over the last two decades). You could certainly also make an argument that most Dallas-area sports fans gravitate towards baseball and the Texas Rangers a bit quicker than the Dallas Mavericks. But in terms of iconic, legendary DFW athletes, in my mind Dirk is first. If you were presented silhouettes of various sports stars of the past and present, it would be difficult to accurately… Read More
Subscriber Giveaway Winner (5/22/2018)- In April, I did a series of posts expressing my appreciation for visitors, readers, and subscribers to Amdall Gallery, and opened up a giveaway as small gesture of thanks. The prize was small (essentially $20 or custom artwork), but there were far more entries than I expected! I was thinking maybe a dozen or so people would stumble across it and roll the dice, but there were 238 total entries from 79 distinct people! The contest ended today at 12:01am, and I went into the Gleam portal this afternoon to click the "select winner" button. Gleam picked one entry at random (here's… Read More
Cryptocurrency Experiment, 3 Month Status Update (11/16/2017)- In early August, I wrote about my experiences learning about cryptocurrency, and my first dive in to purchase a few coins. Stemming from my disappointment on missing the boat with Bitcoin's tremendous growth over the last few years, I wanted to buy some other coins and see what happens with them. I purchased 21 different coins, totaling $57 ($65 before fees...I wasn't very efficient with my purchases and transfers). Original article, August 2017: https://jonamdall.com/2017/08/10/cryptocurrency-exploration/ Three week follow up, September 2017: https://jonamdall.com/2017/09/01/cryptocurrency-revisited-3-weeks-later/  It's now been over three months since that purchase, and I thought it would be interesting to check in… Read More
Buying Shirts, Artwork from Ads (2/9/2018)- What's the most commercial inspiration for art you can think of? Maybe a series on Walmart groceries? The magic of broken shopping carts? Or perhaps drawings about Applebees would fit the bill. I think someone could argue convincingly that the Gap would be a great choice for a generic corporate entity. Well, if suburban commercial-inspired sketches happen to be in your wheelhouse, I've got something for you! Recently, I just happened to come across a deal on Gap Men's Oxford button down shirts, which turned out to be an excellent one. These shirts were on final clearance, and were like… Read More
Wedding Present for Some Friends (12/25/2017)- This Christmas, we were excited to attend an additional event beyond the usual family get-togethers. My wife's close friend for the last two decades was getting married, and she was the Matron of Honor. Also, our oldest got to be the flower girl. My wife and her friend met in high school, and they've been like family since. I decided to do a sketch of my wife's friend, her now husband, and her little one: I never know how these drawings are going to turn out, especially the most recent ones. There have been a few that turned out well, and… Read More
A Masterpiece from My Oldest Daughter (5/9/2018)- Naturally, this site is primarily focused on things that I've drawn. That makes sense, it's right there in the name; Amdall (me) Gallery (a collection of art). But, my three year old daughter drew something a couple days ago which I thought was really good for her age. I figured, hey she's an Amdall too, so technically this fits into the site's purpose! Our oldest is headed to preschool in the fall, and we've been on a wait list to get her into a Montessori school. She got off the wait list this week, so we all went to meet… Read More
Planning for a Dark Tower Drawing (10/8/2017)- Lately, I've been really into the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I've always been a big Stephen King fan, and I enjoy fantasy novels, so it's actually really strange that it's taken me so long to start the series. I'm currently on book 4, Wizard and Glass; so I'm right at the half-way point (please, no later-book spoilers in the comments). Actually, speaking of spoilers, there may be some light spoilers in this post from books 1-4; if you haven't read up to Wizard and Glass, and want to be completely spoiler free, you may want to stop reading.… Read More
Quiz time! (7/14/2011)- I just figured out another fun thing I can do (potentially), so let's see if it works. I created a very important quiz, housed in a Google Documents form. In theory, I can actually include this quiz in this blog, and the answers will still be stored properly! Well, let's see if this works. Edit:  It worked! Very cool. Now, fill it out! 7-years-later Edit: Well, they changed Google Forms a bit, but apparently this still works. Very nice. If you're curious about the results, they should show up after you fill the survey out. Or you can just go… Read More
Proposal Drawing (9/5/2017)- Now that I've got my mind on drawing again (here's my first drawing in years), I realized there is something that I haven't uploaded to this site anywhere. It's from way back in 2011, but it's a meaningful one to me. This is sort of corny, but I'll tell the story anyway. When I proposed to my wife, I used a picture I drew of her smiling and wearing a ring. The proposal happened on a normal weekend; I think we had just gotten back to our apartment from eating lunch or something. I had my plan ready to go.… Read More
Quest for a New Phone – Google Pixel 2 vs Pixel 2XL vs Samsung Galaxy (11/3/2017)- A couple months ago, as my Samsung Galaxy S7 really started to show its age via slowdowns and battery degradation, I started surveying the current smartphone landscape to see what was available. My wife and I both use Galaxy S7 phones, and we each decided it was time to upgrade. I have very specific tastes when it comes to my little all-screen personal computer; I am in favor of Android over Apple's iPhone, prefer Google's baseline/stock version, and don't really like huge phones. The last leg of my smartphone stool is the need for a great camera; I've heard it… Read More