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!

Back to Paper for a Coworker Request (6/21/2019) - Following my brief foray into digital artwork, it felt like time to get back to my usual comfortable pencil-and-paper mode. At this point, I've got a pretty substantial computer folder full of ideas, many of which are inspired by Unsplash photos. But before tapping that reservoir, I found myself with a portrait request! Actual subject requests are somewhat rare for me, but rarer still is to have someone I personally know ask to have something drawn. This is probably a mark of an amateur/hobbyist, but I am still quite flattered and humbled when someone requests a portrait. Also, the thought… 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
Big Kid and Her Apple (10/20/2018) - Wow, has it really been another entire month since I've drawn anything? Sort of a surprising realization, because it feels like I was just writing about how I hadn't drawn much lately. But that wasn't last week...it was last month! Once that thought hit me that October was headed towards its Halloween conclusion, it was enough to push me into action. In my last post, I mentioned my intention to continue drawing occasionally to keep myself in the habit. Essentially, I don't want to drift into another long period without art. So, why not keep myself rolling with one of… 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
Getting Some Right Brain Exercise, Sketching Video Game Characters (1/27/2018) - The last handful of posts I made were "back in time" topics (1, 2, 3), sharing some old sketches. An observations from this series was that my drawings were a bit more creative and off-the-wall back then. Many of my recent drawings have been portraits of real people, mostly my family and especially my kids. Don't get me wrong; I love those girls more than anything, and I'm glad to be collecting some sketches that they may appreciate some day. But, in these old drawings, I used to let my imagination off the leash quite a bit more. I think… 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
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
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
Digital Drawing is Really Hard (6/3/2018) - I am generally very interested in tech-related things, and love to waste money on gadgets. I am the type of person who will have a wild idea based on something I read, get really into it for a little while, then abandon it forever after a few weeks. A great example is when I briefly got into messing with Raspberry Pi and made a Recalbox. I built the thing, played some games with it for about a week, then haven't touched it since. Along those lines, I've had in my mind for months now that I wanted to try digital… 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
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
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
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
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
River Oaks Tiny Art Show 2019 (9/28/2019) - I've done a few posts lately somewhat focused on near-term nostalgia, particularly in comparing how my drawings have changed over the last two years. Right about the time I started really getting into this website (September-ish 2017), I happened to hear about an interesting art show from a coworker. I had mentioned that I sketched something for the first time in like a decade, and he told me about the 5 X 5 X 5 Show at a gallery called River Oaks. My coworker was entering some hand-carved fishing lures, and he encouraged me to give it a shot. I… Read More
Cool Ladies at the Coffee Shop (1/20/2018) - As I continue with these sketches, I'm trying to make sure I've got most of the configurations of family portraits covered. Even if some of them were newer and in color versus older black and whites. I've got the full family, me and my wife, our two girls together, me and each girl, me and both girls...one glaring omission is there isn't one of my wife with the two girls! So, that was an easy decision about the next sketch to tackle. I decided to model this one after scenes from a coffee shop visit from a couple weeks ago.… Read More
Almost a Sketch Request, Sam Carrying Frodo (4/20/2018) - In the comments of an Instagram post I made on my last sketch (Fezzik and Inigo from the Princess Bride), one of my longtime friends responded with "Sam and Frodo." This comment was pretty exciting, because I thought it was a request for another sketch! As it turns out, he was joking (which should have been obvious in hindsight), but I already had in my mind to move forward with it. I responded by saying that I would do a sketch featuring the true hero of Lord of the Rings, Samwise, carrying that lazy hobbit Frodo up a volcano. And… Read More
Art from an Internet Meme (11/5/2018) - The Millennial generation is known for many things, including craft beer, skinny jeans, and "destroying" seemingly every industry (if you believe cynical clickbait articles). As someone who straddles that zone between Generation X and Millennial (i.e. "Xennial", "Oregon Trail Generation"), I have traits of both. I really enjoy one development from the first "digital native" generation in particular: Memes. If you aren't very familiar with the concept, the term was originally used by Richard Dawkins to describe the way cultural information spreads. Internet memes have over-taken his original definition, and now "meme" usually just refers to captioned images, obscure sub-culture… Read More
Hometown Series, the Unfinished One (3/25/2018) - At the beginning of this month, I started something I referred to as a "hometown series" of sketches. Basically, I tried to capture some scenes of friends from my hometown, mostly from old (really? 10-15 years is old?) photographs I have. I sketched some of us in a football huddle, a couple guys chatting, and a group shot. One common complaint I shared in those posts is I just don't have that many photos. This was mostly the pre-smartphone era (except for the third in the series), so I didn't have a million sources of inspiration to choose from as… Read More
Group Scene of My Granny, Mom, Sister, and the Girls (11/19/2017) - I've discussed in a post a few weeks ago (or was that longer?) how I wanted to draw my Granny. I've also wanted to get a few more family members to paper, including my mom and sister, but hadn't gotten to them yet either. Well, I finally captured Granny's likeness, and I'm pretty satisfied with her portion! My sister and mom were sort of off-center on this one though, but I'll talk more about that below. Here is the sketch: As I said, I think Granny looks pretty true to life. I struggled a bit accurately portraying my Mom's face,… Read More