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!

A Dark Tower Redo, One Year Comparison (2/23/2019) - At the start of 2018, I finished what has become one of my favorite fiction novel series; The Dark Tower by Stephen King. If you're not familiar, the story follows Roland the Gunslinger on his quest to fix a ruined world. He gains some great companions along the way, and has to make difficult choices that will affect his world and all the others connected to it. It's truly an epic tale, and in my opinion The Dark Tower compares very favorably to other lengthy fantasy classics like Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire. The… Read More
Ernie Hudson and The Crow (2/12/2019) - Last fall, I did a sketch of three of the four Ghostbusters. I included Peter Venkman, Ray Stanz, and Egon Spangler...but unfortunately I ran out of room. Due to my poor planning, I couldn't find a place for Winston Zeddemore. This has bothered me since I shared the sketch; first, actor Ernie Hudson is awesome and I was disappointed that I didn't include him. Just as important though, an argument can be made that Winston is most important Ghostbuster. It sounds provocative (I know Venkman has the love story so is probably the main protagonist), but hear me out. I… 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
A New Type of Subject – My Sister’s Cat (5/17/2018) - When we were visiting family Mother's Day weekend, I was talking to my sister about something related to drawing. I asked her if there was anything she was interested in, and she mentioned her cat Biscuit. She probably wasn't entirely joking (like with what happened in my Lord of the Rings sketch), but I don't know if it was exactly a formal request or anything like that. But...as we've seen before, I am always hungry for more art ideas, so anything that even sounds like a request becomes a real one! Biscuit the Cat is a really cool fellow. My… Read More
Profile View Portrait, Large Drawing (10/7/2017) - I spent some time drawing yesterday evening, partially inspired by a desire to clean up an older sketch. This portrait of Julia Roberts isn't new, but it's actually one of the largest drawing I have ever done (around 2' X 1.something'). I think I've actually improved on some of my pencil techniques, so I went back to this one and fixed some areas I viewed as weaknesses in the piece. I know that's a dangerous thing to do with art, and probably not something most artists would recommend. But I figured; why not? It was just sitting around anyway! I… 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
Finished Portraits from the April Giveaway (7/4/2020) - It's taken me quite a while to actually get to the writing portion, but I'm finally sharing the portraits from the most recent giveaway. The original giveaway was back in April, which somehow feels like both an eternity ago and just last week. I guess pandemic life warps time in strange ways. Anyhow, according to the giveaway widget dashboard, this is my sixth real contest on the site (with one test raffle). And this one set a personal record for participation with 1,352 actions by 348 users! Just because I find it interesting, here are the giveaways I've had so… Read More
The Greatness of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (6/11/2018) - One of my favorite shows as a kid was Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K). If you're not familiar with it, MST3K was basically a show about people making fun of terrible movies. There was a rudimentary plot about a janitor (Joel Hodgson and later Mike Nelson) being banished to a space station, then forced by a made scientist to watch the worst movies ever made. To keep their sanity, Joel and Mike were joined by a couple robot pals named Crow and Tom Servo. MST3K ran these bad movies in their entirety, with the crews' silhouettes at the bottom. Their… Read More
More Video Game Characters – Secret of Mana, Original SNES and Remake (2/4/2018) - I mentioned in a post last week that video games sometimes inspire my sketches. I'm not great at drawing from my imagination, but if I get a spark to do so, it often comes from video games (books play their part too). Previously, I've done sketches inspired by Final Fantasy and Warcraft, but another favorite is an old Super NES game called Secret of Mana. There's a remake of this game coming out in a couple of weeks, so I've been thinking about the game quite a bit lately. The original Secret of Mana came out in 1993 in the… Read More
Dancing Dad – Drawing from a Video (11/12/2017) - A couple months ago, we took the family to North Park Mall in Dallas. While we wandered around, we came across a live song-and-dance thing for kids. It was a guy named "David Chicken," who played guitar, sang, and did fun interactive stuff with the kids in the audience. My oldest daughter absolutely loved it, she danced and cheered pretty much the entire time. Now, I'm an outrageously bad dancer, but when he called for volunteers to come dance during a song, I knew she would love it, so up we went. She danced her little heart out, and I...well,… Read More
Three-Quarters of the Ghostbusters (10/23/2018) - Back in May, when I was in the middle of a flurry of sketches, I had an idea to draw characters from some of my favorite movies. I started with the Karate Kid, did a couple from the Fifth Element, then sort of abandoned the idea. There are a few additional movies I wanted to explore, like Caddyshack, Office Space, and Beverly Hills Cop, but for whatever reason I moved to other things. Around the time of that Karate Kid sketch, I actually started another from the top dog on my favorite movies list...Ghosbusters! I've seen Ghostbusters I and II… Read More
Video Game Museum Scenes (10/19/2019) - A few months ago, during one of our periodic Texas visits, the family and I got a chance to check out the National Videogame Museum in Frisco. As I'm sure is obvious by my multiple posts about games, I am generally a big fan of them. In fact, my love for video games goes back to my childhood when my family purchased a NES and we had our first experiences with Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. I tend to gravitate more towards swords-and-sorcery genre RPGs, but I've enjoyed a wide selection of platformers, sports games, and strategy games. For… Read More
The Push and Pull of Artistic Envy (7/16/2019) - I try to be as forthright as possible on this blog about my experiences with art. The site didn't really start with a focused goal in mind, but over time, writing has become as much about sharing the struggles as the victories when it comes to this hobby. I hope it helps someone else to see my learning process along with snags and trip-ups I experience along the way. One that I've been wrestling with lately is my complicated relationship with artistic envy. One of the many purposes that originally drew me to WordPress is simply browsing other artists' work… Read More
Self Portrait, Shadow and Contrast Struggles (12/22/2018) - I came across a really interesting article a few days ago called How to Be an Artist - 33 Rules to Take you from Clueless Amateur to Generational Talent (or at Least Help you Live Life a Little More Creatively). It's a crazy long title, but basically the article has some detailed practical advice for artists from an art critic named Jerry Saltz. As I've written before, I'm no doubt an amateur hobbyist still trying to learn. Because of that, I may not have enough experience to relate to everything in the article. But some of the advice is seems… Read More
The Dark Tower Villain Sketches (1/14/2018) - I've given significant sketching time to the heroes from the Dark Tower, but haven't done anything on the villains. Actually, maybe villain isn't quite the word for all of them. Certainly, the Crimson King is villainous, but Mia is more of a single-minded, selfish antagonist. Anywho, I decided to do a series of drawings for some of these folks working against Roland and his Beam-saving crew. Words of warning: I will discuss a bit on how the story ends for these creeps, so there will be spoilers! Abandon now if you want to remain spoiler-free about the Dark Tower. In… Read More
Initial Sketch Outline Discussion (6/3/2020) - It feels like it's been a while since my last post, but when I looked back, it's actually only been a couple of weeks. Time during a pandemic sure bends in mysterious ways. Anyhow, in the last two weeks or so since my last post, I've actually been pretty busy with Amdall Gallery related stuff. The biggest thing has been trying to get some content onto the new YouTube channel; if any readers like what I share here, perhaps that will translate well to video too. I have always been surprised this blog gained any traction at all, hopefully the… Read More
Gift Sketch of Nana and the Grandkids (7/5/2018) - This post will be a delayed publication; most likely you're reading it in July, but everything here is actually from June. Not that it matters, but that is unusual for me since I can't stand to sit on finished art. It's by necessity though, because these drawings are actually birthday presents, and I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise. When I asked my mom what she wanted for her birthday, she said she wanted a drawing. That's something I am always happy to do - and she left the subject up to me, so off I went into planning/sketch mode. I've… Read More
Preferred Medium, Process, and Frequently Used Colors (5/30/2018) - A few days ago, there was a comment asking about which medium I use. This is a simple question, but a really great one - especially considering I never talk about that! I think from time to time, I may mention the types of pencils I use or answer a question in comments about paper. But, I don't think I've ever discussed preferred mediums and supplies in detail. Time to correct that! Now, many artists have the smarts to include that information in each post, whether that means just mentioning it, or even including photos of pencils/pens/paint. Unfortunately, I have made… 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
By Request, Frozen’s Anna and Elsa (4/9/2020) - Like so many parents, we're doing our best to keep the little ones busy as well as ourselves. In an effort to keep myself busy, I recently wrote, illustrated, and published a children's book called Robot Family Adventures. It's actually free on Kindle right now, so if your kids want a short story to read, this one features robots and dinosaurs. Another thing I've been trying to do to keep myself occupied is continue drawing/sketching. Our youngest has been requesting (or demanding?) a Frozen drawing, which is going to be the subject of this post. So, if you're a parent… Read More