Random Art Posts

20 randomly selected posts about art from Amdall Gallery’s archives. These include normal graphite pencil or soft colored pencil drawings by Jon. Enjoy!

The Laundry Basket Girls (12/7/2018) - I've been all over the place lately with my sketches, jumping around to varied subjects like Ghostbusters, memes, Pinterest, and Einstein. I always come back to my favorite portrait subject though; my family. I haven't done a full accounting of people or types of artwork I've done (which would be a fun spreadsheet to make), but I'm sure my wife and kids have been the most frequently drawn people. A couple days ago, I felt like doing another one featuring the kiddos. It's actually been a while since I last sketched them, so is it possible they've grown/changed a bit… Read More
Current Shading Process, Portrait Flow (3/24/2018) - As I scroll through Amdall Gallery's main page, I can't help but notice how my drawings have changed. Not everyone may agree, but I believe there has been an improvement over time. From August 2017 until now, after about seven months of practice, these sketches seem more confident to me. Especially when it comes to color; skin tones seem more realistic than they did early on, and I'm laying down color in thicker/more complete layers. There's still tons of critiques I have (weak ability to draw straight lines, laziness on backgrounds, unimaginative creation, etc.), but I'm glad to see progress.… Read More
Continuing Through The Backlog (11/13/2019) - It took longer than I thought to finish this write-up, but welcome to part two of a series I started with last week's post about drawing my way through a setback. Without retreading the all the details, basically there is an art show that I found to be inspiring early in my return to art as a hobby a couple years ago. I didn't get selected for the show this time, so I decided to get into some new projects. I'm not really sure if I was being somewhat overly dramatic about the whole thing, so we'll leave all that… Read More
Crowded Restaurant Drawing (3/24/2020) - It's only been about a week and a half or so of social distancing/self-quarantine where we live, but somehow it feels a lot longer. Not that we should be complaining though; we've got shelter, food, and the apparently highly valuable commodity known as toilet paper. We are also fortunate enough to live in a time where technology can bridge some of the social, educational, and entertainment gaps. Still though, in normal situations, work, family, and hobbies keep me from experiencing boredom for the most part. I think we've done a pretty decent job so far of battling against boredom. My… Read More
Reflections on the Dark Tower Series (Spoilers Everywhere) (12/29/2017) - I finished the last mainline book in the Dark Tower series yesterday, and my head is swimming with thoughts and feelings about it. If you haven't read the series and plan to, I recommend abandoning ship on this post! I'm going to talk spoilers from the last book and throughout the series, and some thoughts about the finale. I also did a couple of sketches last night, which I've popped in here as well. The drawings are pretty rough, but I actually like them a bit better than my original Dark Tower drawing a couple months ago. Full discussion, including… 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
Back in Time Part 2 – College Study Aids (1/24/2018) - In part two of this series on art time traveling, I'm going to look at some study materials I put together. Although, I can't remember if I made these for college or graduate school. It really could have been either; I was a Biology major as an undergraduate, and my Master's was in Biomedical Science. I took a bunch of classes in each program related to anatomy and physiology, but I feel like this was more likely for grad school because it was more intensive. Basically, my goal was to sketch anatomy textbook figures in a way that allowed me… Read More
Portrait of a New Nephew (1/10/2020) - This is sort of a belated part two for my last post about holiday portrait gifts. In that write-up, I discussed a colored pencil drawing I gave to my mom as part of her Christmas gift this year. There was a delay in sharing that one because I wanted to wait until after I gave it to her. I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but it's actually not the only gift portrait I was able to finish. Right before we left town, I finished a drawing of my sister's baby. That was just in time to slip it into… Read More
Video Game Sketch Inspired by Kenshi (3/22/2020) - This write-up is going to be about a post-apocalyptic sandbox style video game called Kenshi. But it's also going to be about sharing art that you're not entirely satisfied with; when it doesn't turn into what you imagined. This post, and the game Kenshi itself, actually remind me a lot of what I wrote about Pillars of Eternity in 2019 and to a lesser extent Dragons Dogma in 2018. Art inspired by games, in my experience, often ends up being harder than I initially expect. I think it's because usually a piece requiring some artistic imagination is challenging for me.… Read More
Mother’s Day Portrait (5/11/2020) - A bit of a delay writing this one, but this post is going to be dedicated to Mother's Day and sharing some related artwork. It's naturally been a bit different than previous holidays; I certainly can't remember navigating a pandemic quarantine. Despite that fact, I think we were able to make do the best we could. We all went for a drive and the kiddos had some outside time. My wife and I each called the other mothers in our lives and generally did some solid hanging out. Later, I cooked a huge breakfast-for-dinner feast, with "maximum cheese" scrambled eggs,… Read More
Two Concurrent Sketches, Dad and the Girls (3/29/2018) - Welcome to part two of this reckless "drawing two things at once" series. Basically, I was so pumped up from feeling like I've actually been improving, I decided to sketch two scenes concurrently. This was not my best idea, as I felt compelled to finish too much too quickly. The smaller sketch suffered in quality partially because of that. The larger drawing, though, I think actually turned out well! As I mentioned in the other post, things started out fine. I appreciated having some variety, and being able to switch back and forth. As I started layering color, I could… 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
Sharing Multiple Drawings – Another Geralt and Ciri (1/8/2022) - My habits when it comes to artwork typically involve sporadic bursts of motivation. I often tackle one drawing at a time, spending a couple of hours on the project before I move on to something fresh. Sometimes though, I become so inspired about a topic that I work on multiple pieces concurrently or in succession. There are quite a few examples of this: The Fifth Element (Leeloo and Zorg), Stranger Things (Steve/Dustin/Robin and Hopper/Joyce), The Princess Bride (Fireswamp and Castle Walls), and even previously on the topic of The Witcher (Geralt/Vesemir, Geralt/Triss, Ciri fighting, and Ciri chatting). Well, once again… Read More
Mark Hearts and Kids at the Dentist (5/18/2019) - In my last post, I discussed using Unsplash images as inspiration for artwork. Although I have a ton of backlogged ideas now, and many of my sketches in the near future will probably be related to Unsplash, I decided to take a brief detour. If you follow this blog already, you are probably aware of how frequently I draw my kids. My family are my favorite subjects, and it's been a few months, so I thought I'd do another kiddo portrait. Also, our oldest just finished her first year of school, so I was extra motivated to get her into… Read More
Mr. Miyagi and Daniel from the Karate Kid (5/19/2018) - I've been home sick for a few days, and felt a bit like drawing...unfortunately, I couldn't think of anything, so I just lounged around instead. Last night I finally had an idea, inspired by my previous sketch of Fezzik and Inigo from the Princess Bride. The Princess Bride is one of those all-time favorites that I watch pretty much any time I see it on TV. There are a ton of movies that I really love, but there is a special group that has that category of "instant watch." I can't think of all of them now, but here's what… Read More
Navigating Subtle Facial Expressions (7/14/2021) - In conversations with acquaintances, colleagues, and other various newly-met people, occasionally my drawing hobby comes up. Although not everyone is particularly interested in art, usually I can expect a follow up question or two; something along the lines of "what do you draw" or "using what?" People are usually somewhat surprised to hear that I consider my comfort zone to be head-and-shoulders portraits of people, while I tend to struggle with most other scenes. Not to say that I'm any kind of brilliant portrait talent, it's just what comes to me easiest and so it's naturally what I gravitate towards.… Read More
Contest Drawing – Tiny Art (9/8/2017) - A co-worker told me recently about an interesting art show coming up; it's called the 2nd Annual 5x5x5 Show Miniature Works at the River Oaks Square Arts Center in Alexandria, Louisiana. This guy makes custom fishing lures, and entered some in last year's show. Even though I've never in my life entered anything into an art show, I suddenly had this wild idea to go for it. I've still got this itch to draw, so why not give it a shot? More information on the River Oaks 5x5x5 Show, check out the Call for Entry: https://www.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=4449 River Oaks is inviting… Read More
Drawing Friends, Another Yearly Comparison (7/22/2019) - I still feel that overall I am improving as an artist, which is nice to realize after two years of becoming re-involved in this hobby. As I've mentioned before, I took a (mostly) ten year break, so it makes me happy that I'm still at it and still learning. It's not a rapid improvement and I don't really experience any huge revelations. But I am seeing a gradual, incremental change in my portraits. I can feel a real difference in comfort and confidence certainly from where I was two years ago, but also even from just a year ago. In… Read More
Another Featuring Dirk Nowitzki (2/8/2018) - Last year, I did a sketch tribute to my favorite basketball player of all time, the king of the one-legged jumper, Dirk Nowitzki. That first drawing was from one of my favorite moments in NBA history, when Dirk led the Dallas Mavericks back on the road to tie the 2011 Finals series against the Miami Heat. The Mavs were down by 15 with like seven minutes to go, and Dirk had an incredible drive to the bucket to win the game. After hitting on some decent video game sketches last week, immediately followed by a couple that weren't very good,… Read More
Family Portrait, Thanksgiving Scene (This One Needs Work) (11/27/2017) - This one seemed simple enough, since I've been doing so many family sketches. I set out to draw a scene from a Thanksgiving dinner out with my mom, sister, brother-in-law, wife, and our two little ones. Unfortunately, not all art is destined to actually work...and this one I think falls into that category of "not this time, Jon." Here's what I have at this point: I started confidently enough, drawing very rough basic outlines from what I viewed as prominent shadows or similar color. It was still going fine as I went from left to right, filling in detail on… Read More