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!

‘Pencils and Process’ Book is Out Now (4/5/2019) - It feels weird to say this, but I finished writing a book...and it's actually published and available now! The book is called Pencils and Process, and it's available via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It may be coming to some other retailers like Books-a-Million too, but I'm not sure when. For the non-Amazon angle, I'm using Ingram as my distributor and there are lots of possibilities with their network. The eBook version is only on Amazon right now, but paperback and hardcover are everywhere it's sold. Here are some links to where I've confirmed it's available now: Barnes and Noble… 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
Working on More Realism in Family Portraits (2/23/2018) - I have drawn four total sketches of my wife. From what I can see looking at these previous drawings, I don't think I've ever quite captured her accurately. Years ago, I did one of me and her together, and it wasn't bad. I also did a rough sketch I used for my proposal, which looked like her but was no Rembrandt in terms of realism. Then, much more recently, I made one of our family with all four of us. Although it was probably the closest to being accurate of any, I ended up basically ruining it by trying to… Read More
Dak Prescott and Jason Witten Sketch (12/9/2017) - Despite the fact that the Dallas Cowboys have consistently rewarded fan loyalty over the past two decades with a hefty serving of mediocrity, I am a lifelong fan. I grew up watching the Cowboys, and because they were winning Super Bowls when I was young, I sort of thought that would keep happening. Well, I was clearly wrong about that...but maybe my children (grandchildren?) will get to see a Cowboys team win it all. Provided the NFL lasts that long, anyway (see: concussion statistics, over-saturated schedule, political battles, uneven/illogical discipline, and so on). Somewhat surprisingly, I've actually never drawn 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
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
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
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
Star Trek’s Captain Picard, This Time in Color (4/28/2018) - Back in December 2017, before I switched over to color drawings, I sketched a scene with my three favorite characters from Star Trek. It featured Captain Picard, La Forge, and Data in a crazy dream sequence from one of the more bizarre Star Trek the Next Generation episodes. Although I was pretty happy with how it turned out, I've wanted to give another nod to the show - this time in color. In fact, I would really like to circle back around for some color drawings on some of my favorite black and white subjects, like the band Faith No… Read More
More Art from Ads (3/21/2018) - Back in February, I did a couple sketches based on clothing ads I saw online. A couple weeks ago, I was flipping through my daily pile of junk mail and came across a small postcard ad for some local dentist's office. I took a glance and thought, "wow, those might be the happiest people I've ever seen." I guess that's the best way to advertise for a dentist; happy people showing their teeth. Something tells me a group of closed-mouth frowners wouldn't really drive customers in that profession! Anyway, after that brief brain-drift about the happy dental patients, I immediately… 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
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
Dark Tower Drawing – Campfire Outside the City of Lud (10/8/2017) - In my last post, I discussed an idea for a drawing related to Stephen King's Dark Tower series. I wanted to sketch Roland and his crew outside of Lud, probably by a campfire. In the first article, I talked about some of the challenges I anticipated based on my limitations as an artist. My strength, I think, is drawing people from live subjects or photos. My biggest weaknesses are drawing scenery and drawing from imagination. Once I get outside of the main subjects, I think the quality of my sketches degrades. And coming up with a scene that only exists… 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
Ernie Hudson and The Crow (2/12/2019) - Last fall, I did a sketch of three of the four Ghostbusters. I included Peter Venkman, Ray Stanz, and Egon Spangler...but unfortunately I ran out of room. Due to my poor planning, I couldn't find a place for Winston Zeddemore. This has bothered me since I shared the sketch; first, actor Ernie Hudson is awesome and I was disappointed that I didn't include him. Just as important though, an argument can be made that Winston is most important Ghostbuster. It sounds provocative (I know Venkman has the love story so is probably the main protagonist), but hear me out. I… 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
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
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
Book Status, January Giveaway Portrait (3/28/2019) - Although it doesn't feel quite so long, it's been over a month since I've written a post. I have actually been furiously writing away elsewhere though - as I mentioned last month, I am writing a book. It's primarily about my experiences getting back into art after being away from it for over a decade. My hope is that the tips and techniques I have learned over the last year or two might help another amateur artist. In other words, pay forward the last two years' trial and error (and advice from other WordPress folks). I'm still not entirely sure… Read More
Long Term Goals and Sketch Impulsivity (2/6/2019) - At the end of my last post, I mentioned off-hand a few ideas for what I might draw next. I talked about finishing a Dallas Cowboys drawing of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot (which I lost interest in when they were bounced from the playoffs by the Rams). I also tossed around the idea of another Dallas Mavericks sketch, since they just had a huge franchise-altering trade. Or some focused practice on scenery or mouths/teeth (both areas of weakness for me). Over the weekend, another idea hit me from out of nowhere - I should work on something featuring my… Read More