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!

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
Well, I’m no Albert Einstein (11/7/2018) - This week, I worked on a sketch of legendary hair model Albert Einstein (I hear he also dabbled in some science-related stuff). As I was sketching him, I kept thinking about the phrase "He's no Albert Einstein, but..." The idea of being so universally recognized in society for a specific thing is pretty amazing; you say Einstein, I immediately know you mean "smart." That seems like the pinnacle of notoriety, where you're so well-known that your identity is embedded into the language. I wonder if people 100 years from now will still consider Einstein so identifiable. Probably so, but what… Read More
Improving with the Tablet and Sketchbook App (6/7/2019) - In the previous post, I discussed my purchase of a Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 and decision to try digital artwork again. My first experience with a tablet designed strictly for drawing in conjunction with a computer screen (XP-Pen Deco 01) did not go smoothly, and I pretty quickly abandoned the experiment. This time though, I felt much more comfortable using this Samsung tablet. As I mentioned in the last post, I think this is primarily due to the immediate visual feedback from pen to tablet screen. Since I've already discussed the basics of my impressions on using the new tablet… 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
Drawing Models and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (8/20/2019) - One of my favorite things about browsing the Internet is how easy it is to randomly discover something new. That could involve stumbling upon an informative subreddit, finding a great thread of funny images, or even learning about something cool you'd want to buy. Even better, but a bit more rare, is when finding one cool thing leads you down multiple paths to another completely different awesome thing. This happened to me recently, when I started down a path with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) and ended up looking at pose-able art/sketching models. A couple weeks ago, I happened to… Read More
Ron Swanson, The Simpsons, and New Parents (1/11/2019) - My most recent drawing is sort of a random one. I guess most of them are, but this was a very spur-of-the-moment thing. I was watching TV and saw a commercial or something featuring Nick Offerman. It may have been something about a syndicated rerun of Parks and Recreation. Whatever it was, it got me thinking about how funny that show is, and how absolutely wrong I was about it from my first impressions. Parks and Recreation is basically a show about an Indiana public works department and its second-in-charge bureaucrat, the energetic and optimistic Leslie Knope. Just from seeing… 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
The Challenge of a Close-up Family Scene (2/25/2018) -   This is sort of a part two from my post Friday night about drawing my wife, and the challenges of art involving people you are close to. Basically, the goal I'm striving for is to get some more accurate sketches of my wife, since several I've done in the past didn't quite look like her. The first attempt I think worked out pretty well, and now I'm upping the ante a bit. That sketch definitely looked like her, but she's looking down and it seemed like an "easy mode" attempt. In other words, successful but we could probably place… Read More
Unfinished Art and an Unposed Portrait (9/9/2019) - I had to double check because it didn't seem possible, but it looks like it's been almost a month since my last drawing. Time really flies sometimes. Okay, not sometimes - pretty much all the time. My last post was about using models and figures to help with portraits, which in my case was some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As I mentioned, the Ninja Turtle thing inspired me to research actual human drawing models. I was able to find a good candidate, but I went through eBay...which was a bit of a trial. I have what I hope is a… 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
Holiday Portrait Gift (12/25/2019) - In what is apparently becoming somewhat of a tradition, this post is a delayed one. What I mean is, it was actually written at the beginning of December, but I'm just now publishing it on Christmas. The reason for the massive delay is the same as a similar one from July; the featured artwork is a gift! I don't think any family members are keeping a tight surveillance of my website, especially during this busy time of year. But on the off chance my mom happens by, the artwork here is a gift for her, so I didn't want to… Read More
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
Welcome to Flavortown (4/27/2019) - Is it Flavor Town or Flavortown? I'm actually not sure. Unfortunately, I don't know Guy Fieri, so I can't ask the Mayor of Flavortown about the preferred spelling. Regardless, this is a post about my favorite wild-haired, sandwich-tasting chef on television. For the most part, people know Guy Fieri from one of his shows on the Food Network; the one I occasionally watch is Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. If you haven't seen it, basically Guy travels around the country sampling different town's cult-favorite restaurants. The show has actually been on the air for so long (29 seasons over 12 years),… Read More
Jason Witten’s Retirement – The Secret is in the Dirt (5/5/2018) - "The secret is in the dirt." - Ben Hogan, responding to questions about the secret to his golf swing. He was well-known for his striking ability and for practicing more than his contemporaries. I've discussed my relationship with the Dallas Cowboys a bit in a previous post; they've been my favorite sports team (along with the Dallas Mavericks) since I was a kid, but I am beaten down by two decades of team mediocrity. I'm sure I will always cheer for them simply because I have so much personal history and nostalgic energy tied to them. But, unfortunately team owner… Read More
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
My Attempted Tribute to Emmitt Smith (5/15/2018) - A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about one of my favorite Dallas Cowboys players of all-time, who recently announced his retirement. Jason Witten is one of the greats, and would have been right at home with the great Super Bowl teams from the early nineties. Towards the end of that post, I discussed how I wanted to draw a few more tributes to my favorite Cowboys. I was in my early teens during that last run as a championship contender (how time flies), and became a huge fan of guys like Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, and the… Read More
Serious-Minded Baby Achieving Maximum Cheesiness (11/17/2017) - I've said this before - I have difficulty drawing small babies. This may not be surprising, but I have a long-winded theory as to why. I think most babies look very similar, but parents have some sort of innate biological drive to recognize their infants even with the slightest differences. As a parent, even when my kids were newborns, they seemed very unique looking to me. But, probably to most people, they looked essentially like generic crying infants. Trying to draw an infant busts through all that; you really have to nail the nuanced facial features that make a certain… 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
Drawing Two Scenes at Once, First Sketch of Grandma (3/28/2018) - I'm in an unusual place with this sketching hobby right now. I can see improvement in the results to some degree, and it's making me excited to draw more. But, I'm still not that imaginative in terms of subject matter, and I am sort of running out of ideas. A natural place my brainstorming goes is, "which people/family member combinations have I not drawn yet?" I've featured my immediately family (wife and kiddos) in many, and I've sketched my sister, mom, and granny...but I haven't yet drawn my dad, or most of my wife's family.  Very surprisingly, I also haven't… Read More
Round 2 with Color, Dad and Youngest Daughter (1/7/2018) - Now that I've gotten my first attempt using colored pencils down, I decided to jump right back into the fire and try again. I think I learned a couple of things from the first attempt, so I figured it would be good get right back into it while the lessons are fresh. For round 2, I wanted to start with a completely fresh sketch and keep the graphite pencil portion very basic. The plan was to keep it to no more than the most basic outline, and the rest would be done using color. In my first color attempt, I had… Read More