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!

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
Portrait Giveaway, Round Three (8/14/2018) - Welcome to the third Amdall Gallery custom portrait giveaway! Well, I suppose it's the third...the first giveaway included a choice of $20 or a portrait, so this will actually be the second that is only for a portrait. Anyway, this time the raffle is for a custom portrait (or other artwork) of the winner's choice. I think the last custom portrait giveaway went well and had solid participation - as usual, I've got the motivation to draw but few subject ideas. So it seems like a good time to do another. Everything for the most part is going to proceed 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
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
Poor Planning Left Off Subjects, Turned Us Into Ghostbusters (3/9/2018) - The next sketch on tap, as I mentioned in the last post, was another "hometown series" sketch. I've done a football huddle scene, and one with some old friends chatting. The next sketch I started with was a close up of a couple of guys, but I realized it once again featured my buddy who was already in the first two. I'll definitely finish it later, but I decided to move to a different one with a new cast for the next post. As I've said, I don't have all that many photographs with scenes to reference. I've considered just Read More
Tribute to Dragon’s Dogma, My Favorite Game (5/27/2018) - There will be some spoilers, so be warned. If you're just here for art, scroll to the end. This is a game mostly about the "ever-turning wheel," and how a hero and a dragon keep the wheel moving. The question at the core of the plot is, what do you want your hero to be? Will you accept the cycle and your place in it? Will you become a cowardly king, a lonely god, a monster, or a memory held by the next hero? It's a deceptively deep story; on its surface it appears simple, but unwinds into something quite 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
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
Tiny Art Show Update, Logistics and Another Drawing (9/16/2017) - This is just a bit of an update to an article from a few days ago. I wrote about my interest in drawing something for the 2nd Annual 5x5x5 Show Miniature Works at the River Oaks Square Arts Center (original article: Contest Drawing - Tiny Art). I finished a 5" x 5" drawing of my little ones, which turned out decently; as I wrote in the original post, I struggled a bit with the small size. With the hypothetical entry complete, I was ready to figure out how to actually submit it. For this art show, the venue is using a handy website called Read More
Subscriber Thanks, Some Artist Site Favorites (4/5/2018) - To my continued surprise, this website has gained more subscribers than I ever would have expected. When I resurrected Amdall Gallery from the ancient blog burial grounds last August, I assumed I would mostly get traffic from friends and family. As it turns out though, Wordpress has a large and supportive community of artists, painters, poets, and authors who interact through the Wordpress Reader and subscription features. I admit, (almost) 300 subscribers is not a huge number, especially compared to other sites that count their subscribers in the thousands. But, as I said, it's vastly more than I expected. In 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
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
Lost Dinosaur Timeline (7/28/2018) - When I was little, I absolutely loved dinosaurs. I know most kids do, but I was sort of obsessed with them. I was all about any book or toy I could get my hands on that featured dinosaurs. During our early elementary grades, my sister and I were in a Montessori school. If you aren't familiar, the Montessori model basically let's students learn in an open classroom, working on projects and assignments on their own or in small groups. Around 1st or 2nd grade, I started drawing dinosaurs. My memory is a little cloudy going back that far, but I 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
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
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
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
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
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
A Tribute to Faith No More, the Greatest Band of All Time (12/16/2017) - Around 1999, as I was finishing high school, some guys I started hanging around with (who would become lifelong friends) introduced me to Faith No More. I had heard the band before; most people are familiar with the song Epic, and at the time a couple singles from their 1997 album were getting radio play. But these guys were major league fans of the band, so I was exposed to the full catalog. This was a breakthrough discovery for me, because I fell into a new world of incredible, genre-bending music that, when viewed as an entire body of work, Read More