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!

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
Drawing from Unsplash Photos (5/10/2019) - My free time has been pretty well monopolized recently, first with writing a book, and then with figuring out the ins-and-outs of independent publishing. Now that the book is out and that's mostly off my plate, I hope to have a little more time for drawing. Because I have been somewhat less active on the artwork front, I've accumulated a larger than usual backlog of ideas. That's sort of a nice feeling since I'm so often unsure what to draw next. Of my inspirational backlog, I've actually got two drawings that I started but never finished. I did an outline… Read More
Starting 2019 with a Portrait Giveaway (1/21/2019) - What better way to start 2019 than with another portrait giveaway? Well, actually there are better ways...winning the lotto comes to mind. But, it would be fun to do another one of these custom drawing giveaways. This will be the fourth giveaway on this site, and the third that is exclusively for artwork. We've seen pretty solid engagement previously, and I've felt pretty good about the resulting portraits (here and here if you're curious). It seems like a fun idea to start the next flip of the calendar! If you participated in previous giveaways, this work basically the same way.… 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
Video Game Art, Pillars of Eternity Group (1/23/2019) - Lately, I've been playing a game called Pillars of Eternity II quite a bit. Even going back to when I was a kid playing our old NES/SNES, I've enjoyed drawing scenes and characters inspired by video games. This is especially true when I become immersed in a game and its world, which really doesn't happen often anymore. Growing up, this immersion occurred more often, as it seems like every Super Nintendo RPG pulled me in and inspired sketches. But I can count on one hand the games that had that effect on me as an adult; Elder Scroll Skyrim, Dragon's… 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
First Attempt at Art with Color (1/6/2018) - This may be a little surprising, but I've never really worked with color. Well, back when I was a kid in school I'm sure I painted something. But, in terms of art as a hobby, I haven't branched out at all from my basic graphite pencil. Exploring other websites via the Wordpress Reader has really opened my mind to it though, because I've seen so many amazing artists sharing paintings, sketches, and other mediums that exist beyond black and white. I really like what I've seen from watercolor artists, but having zero experience with paint, that seemed like a huge… 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
Inspiration from Twitter, Historical Photo Account Part 1 (4/22/2018) - It seems I'm always on the search for art subjects lately. And since I can be somewhat creatively limited when it comes to drawing, the best resources have been people I actually know and famous people (athletes, musicians, etc). I can't help it; I can draw a portrait of a real person, but ask me to create a character out of thin air? It's probably not going to be that great. Anyway, I recently came across a cool Twitter account called "History Lovers Club" (@historylvrsclub). This account basically posts various photos from recent history, many of which seem to be… 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
Updating a Wedding Present Portrait (11/1/2019) - Lately, I've been in a bit of an art re-visitation phase. I have been back into the drawing hobby for over two years at this point, which doesn't seem like a tremendous amount of time on its face, but feels significant to me. The style of artwork and techniques used have changed a lot, and in my view, continue to improve. I think it's natural to look back at the road you traveled sometimes, and I've been doing that with some of this stuff. I don't have much formal training when it comes to art; mostly just some high school… Read More
Another Try at Digital Artwork (6/6/2019) - Just over a year ago, I wrote about my first ever attempt at using a tablet and digital pen to draw. I bought an XP-Pen Deco 01 tablet and downloaded Krita's open source painting software to give it a shot. As I mentioned in last year's post, this was quite a bit more difficult than I thought it would be. Although the pen was pretty responsive with good pressure sensitivity, I had a great deal of trouble coping with the pen not marking directly on my writing surface. This particular tablet doesn't have a screen - captured pen strokes are… Read More
Radio Favorites – Art Bell and his Many Shows (3/31/2018) - Often when I draw, I'm also talking with the family, listening to my oldest make up stories, or absorbing the kids' show-of-the-moment in the background. When those things aren't happening, especially weekends after everyone has gone to bed, I find one of my favorite "old" radio shows to listen to as I sketch. I've got two in the rotation, both of which unfortunately no longer broadcast new shows. I decided to dedicate a post to each show, along with a drawing of the host(s). "From the high desert in the great American Southwest, I bid you all good evening or… 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
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
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
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
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
Messing Up a Guardians of the Galaxy Drawing (4/29/2018) - I'm sure I've said this in many other posts...but sometimes drawings work out, and sometimes they just don't happen the way you want. Unfortunately, I ran face first into the latter scenario this weekend! After a fairly successful Star Trek drawing, I decided to take a crack at the Guardians of the Galaxy crew. I've been trying to get myself caught up on the Marvel movies for Avengers Infinity War, so I watched the second movie a couple days ago. Much like the first Guardians, I really loved this one. I thought it would be cool to capture these great… 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