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!

Sketches from Final Fantasy, Inspired by Amano’s “The Sky” (10/28/2017)- A few weeks ago, Amazon had a really great deal going; sign up for an Audible (audio book) trial, and get a free hardcover book. After browsing a bit, I found this book called The Sky by Yoshitaka Amano. This is a re-release of a limited edition set, containing three hardcover art books with concept art, character designs, and other illustrations by Amano. For fans of classic video games, he's pretty influential even if you don't know him by name. Amano worked for Square (now known as Square Enix), and was the main character, image, and graphic designer for the Final… 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
A Family Portrait from New Orleans (7/23/2018)- It seems like I haven't posted much lately, which is confirmed when I look at the monthly archive counts on my sidebar. Over the last year, I think I've averaged 9-10 posts per month, with some peaks and valleys. But June and July have been huge valleys, with only six and then three posts! This does make sense though; summer is a really busy time, and it seems like we're always up to something. With the lack of website activity the last two months, it's been a little while since I've done a family portrait. So, I decided to dive… 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
Back in Time Part 1 – High School Sketches (1/23/2018)- I was doing a little website housecleaning, and saw I had uploaded a bunch of old sketches but never made posts about them. They mostly consisted of sketches from when I was in high school and my late teens, before I took a 15 year break (wow, sounds bad when I say it like that) from drawing. The photo image quality on these old sketches was terrible; these were mostly taken ages ago, probably with an ancient iPhone of some sort. I decided to salvage what I could through sharpening and lighting edits, and re-shoot anything that needed it. Then… 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
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
Back in Time Part 3 – Last Batch Before the Long Break (1/24/2018)- Welcome back for part three of the "old sketches from Jon" series. Previously, we looked at my high school drawings and some study aids I used in college. This is the last "old sketch" phase, covering the time after high school until age 20 or 21. Around then, life started giving me more stuff to do and seemingly less time to do it in. I got serious about college (relatively speaking), and became more involved in the usual extracurricular activities of 20-somethings. Eventually, other things like long term relationships, grad school, and career concerns kept me rolling along. Suddenly, I found… Read More
Proposal Drawing (9/5/2017)- Now that I've got my mind on drawing again (here's my first drawing in years), I realized there is something that I haven't uploaded to this site anywhere. It's from way back in 2011, but it's a meaningful one to me. This is sort of corny, but I'll tell the story anyway. When I proposed to my wife, I used a picture I drew of her smiling and wearing a ring. The proposal happened on a normal weekend; I think we had just gotten back to our apartment from eating lunch or something. I had my plan ready to go.… Read More
Another Featuring Dirk Nowitzki (2/8/2018)- Last year, I did a sketch tribute to my favorite basketball player of all time, the king of the one-legged jumper, Dirk Nowitzki. That first drawing was from one of my favorite moments in NBA history, when Dirk led the Dallas Mavericks back on the road to tie the 2011 Finals series against the Miami Heat. The Mavs were down by 15 with like seven minutes to go, and Dirk had an incredible drive to the bucket to win the game. After hitting on some decent video game sketches last week, immediately followed by a couple that weren't very good,… Read More
Buying Shirts, Artwork from Ads (2/9/2018)- What's the most commercial inspiration for art you can think of? Maybe a series on Walmart groceries? The magic of broken shopping carts? Or perhaps drawings about Applebees would fit the bill. I think someone could argue convincingly that the Gap would be a great choice for a generic corporate entity. Well, if suburban commercial-inspired sketches happen to be in your wheelhouse, I've got something for you! Recently, I just happened to come across a deal on Gap Men's Oxford button down shirts, which turned out to be an excellent one. These shirts were on final clearance, and were like… 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
Drafting Doncic – The Mavericks’ Future is Bright (6/23/2018)- The NBA draft was Thursday night, and I've been obsessing about it for at least a week. The 2018 draft was considered by many to be very talent-rich compared to other years, and the 2019 draft is apparently supposed to be less robust. So, for my rebuilding Dallas Mavericks, it seemed like this is the year to make a splash. They lucked into Dennis Smith Jr. last year, an explosive point guard with a high upside. And this year, I'd been hoping for European phenom Luka Doncic. The Mavericks finished with the 3rd worse record in the NBA last season,… Read More
Tiny Art Show Opening at the River Oaks Arts Center (11/18/2017)- Way back in September, someone told me about an art show in Alexandria, Louisiana that featured only "tiny art." All entries for this show had to had to by 5" x 5" x 5" or smaller. It sounded interesting, and I had just gotten back into drawing; I figured I may as well enter something. Tiny art is definitely a unique challenge, and I discussed my experience drawing and going through the "call for entry" process in previous write-ups. Fast forward a bit, and I ended up getting one of my entries accepted for the show! Friday evening was the opening… 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
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
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
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
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
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