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9076. the silence of a falling star and other juicy quotes

Day Four of the post three drawings for five days challenge. Yes, it's taking longer than five days. Way longer.
Today, I chose these three drawings because they are all linked. Obviously, they are, but I thought I'd expand on how they are linked. And, how I work sometimes. So yes, of course, I've worked with the same palette here. Incidentally, blues and browns are my favourite colour combination. I just think they work so beautifully together. They also work great with the cream Moleskine paper which is the sketchbook I worked in here.
I often have a few sketchbooks on the go. Quite a few in fact. A lot are Moleskine, but not all. These days I'll draw on anything and everything. The top page is from what I call a 'spare sketchbook'. It's the kind of book that doesn't have a specific theme, it's just somewhere where I dump all of my thoughts, play around with images and compositions, practice my handwriting, file all those lovely juicy quotes and lyrics - that I happen upon - for future reference and make lists. Lots of lists. I love these kind of books. Everyone should have this sort of sketchbook. I can guarantee if I look through this book (this one is about seven years old now) I am reminded of and inspired by all sorts of things I'd forgotten.
At one time, when I was going through a drawing funk (they don't happen anymore by the way) and whining about it on my blog I was offered a piece of advice that I've never forgotten. I remember who gave me the advice too. It was Felicity Graces who some of you may know - although she doesn't draw, or at least, post her drawings anywhere near enough these days. Anyway, where as other people had been telling me to look through the work of my favourite artists or contemporaries, Felicity said definitely do not do that but look back through my own back catalogue of work. It was good advice. That's where you reconnect with what you love to do and the things you love to draw and why you love to draw.
So, that's why I recommend having a 'spare sketchbook'. You'll find so much in there too relight your fire. And, so to these drawings. Both of the two (bottom) drawings came about from developing themes I played around with in the top spread. By taking the notes and ideas and pushing and pulling them in all directions.

And, another thing, the envelope spread is what can happen when something goes wrong on a page; collage. The best way to cover all of your mistakes.

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9077. Electronic Music – New one takes slower beat

After seeing how similar my previous two were, I went with something different. Slower beat, and more based on a bass riff. It was very interesting to push my musical habits out of the way conscientiously. It still prevailed in some live mixing and beat selection. . . The more on the fly stuff, but […]

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9078. An early concept #sketch. (at 17th Avenue Studios)

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9079. *charming* little companions....

©the enchanted easel 2015

©the enchanted easel 2015
in progress. :)

{snow white, truly the fairest of them all...coming along nicely.}

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9080. The Daily Sketch - Day 17

In a moment of great tension and stress (while driving I might add), I come over a hill and in the far off distance something bright white catches my attention. They are pigeons taking flight, and their bellies shine brightly of the morning sun. 

I am immediately made aware of my tense and negative attitude, and at the same time made aware that peace is present. 

Today is the day for white doves, and of course white pigeons. We are both, I am both. 

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Sometimes the bright sunlight lures you outdoors.  Today is  one of those days, and hopfully I will attack some of the ice that is covering the walkways and the deck.  I need to get to that before the next snowfall. Snow is much easier to remove and deal with than ice... unless it is two feet of snow.

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9082. Music Monday - Stairway to Heaven

I've been slammed and not getting to the blog of late (warning - it will not get much better over the next month). However, I just showed this performance to my son and was remembering how awesome it was. So, enjoy!

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9083. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Will Win Visual Effects Oscar, According to VFX Predictinator

"Guardians of the Galaxy" is the film to beat this year in the visual effects category, according to the VFX Predictinator.

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9084. Basil of Baker Street, Paul Galdone

Today's vintage children's book is Basil of Baker Street, written by Eve Titus and  illustrated by Paul Galdone. Galdone was a prolific illustrator who collaborated with Titus on several books. Two of their books, Anatole and Anatole and the Cat won Caldecott awards. This book has sentimental value for me as well. My son who is grown, adored the Basil books as a child, reading and re-reading them.

To view a past post of another book illustrated by Paul Galdone, click here.

Basil of Baker Street
By Eve Titus
Illustrated by Paul Galdone
McGraw Hill Co., 1958

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9085. Dinotopia Podcast, Episode 11

Episode 11 of the Dinotopia Podcast is here. You can listen by clicking on the Soundcloud play button below, or by following this link.

Levka Gambo shows Will a map of the caverns below Dinotopia, where is father is exploring.

Then a sky galley arrives and takes them on a wild ride.

The Podcast Series
This acoustic adventure was produced by Tom Lopez of the ZBS Foundation, with an original music track by composer Tim Clark.

The final episode, #12 arrives in a week. Each 10-minute episode will only be live online for one week, and then it will disappear.

If you'd like to purchase the full two-hour Dinotopia podcast right now and hear all twelve episodes back to back in a feature-length production, check out Dinotopia at ZBS Foundation website for the MP3 download.
You can also order the original book from my web store and I'll sign it for you.  It's a great New Year's gift for the imaginative person in your life. (Ships via Media Mail within 24 hours of your order. US orders only for the book, please). The Dinotopia book is also available from Amazon.
There will be an exhibit of Dinotopia originals at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center in Connecticut from February 14 - May 25, 2015. I'll be giving an illustrated lecture there on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 1:00.

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9086. Remembering Andy today

Two years ago today, my lovely Andy chose to leave this life. Today, I and all his many friends and family remember him with love. It is a bleak, rainy winter's day and the trees are bare, but I have picked all the colour in the garden for him and hold his memory close in my heart. Always.

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9087. Ink with a pedigree

I'm currently trying a new ink (deAtramentis archive ink) and I must say first impressions are really favorable, it dries much faster than Noodlers ink and I have had no clogging issues. The ink is pretty pricey though...

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9088. Workshop alert!

Hey, if you're in the Seattle area (or even if you're not), this week is your last chance to register for the impending Greg Spalenka's amazing Artist As Brand workshop! TLCWorkshops is collaborating with Krab Jab Studio and MythicWorlds to present this incredible workshop that is just rife with extra perks!

You can read more about Greg, this particular workshop and all the amazing benefits here.

And, don't miss out on your chance to register (extra discount given to students and educators): here!

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9089. Coloring Page Tuesday - Sledding Penguins!

     Ping, Pong, Pepe and Pip are taking the sled out for the day. Although Pip can't get his beak out of a book.
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages!
     Sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...
my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET - winner of six literary awards. Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

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A dog on my wall

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9091. Speedpaints, Speedpaints, Speedpaints!

I haven't kept on speedpainting like I should, but that's one of the joys of setting New Years goals.  You get another chance to flub it up!  Hahaha.

Anyway, here are some 30-minute speedpaints from last year ^_^

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9092. The Daily Sketch

Oh no, one got left behind! It's ok, she's been found. :) 

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9093. Rolling the Dice One More Time (Part I)

Its been some time since I’ve blogged, mostly because the fall and holidays had me busier than ever.

I traveled to many book festivals, book fairs and cons to promote my picture book retelling of the original Star Wars trilogy, The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight. At every venue, I enjoyed bonding with my fellow Star Wars nerds. Like many, I am excited for the new film this year. I’ve only watched the trailer and avoided all possible articles/theories/leaks/spoilers in hopes of being surprised, entertained and thrilled once again.


In between touring I managed to work on some new drawings and paintings for the upcoming book, Realms: The Roleplaying Game Art of Tony DiTerlizzi. Though this book collects many favorite images from my years as an artist for RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons, Planescape and Magic: The Gathering, it also showcases unpublished work and new art.

I’ve sketched from the realm that started my career a number of times over the past years. Usually, these minor excursions are warm-up exercises in preparation for big illustration jobs, like illustrating an entire Spiderwick or WondLa book. For Realms, I was finally able to officially add some favorite monsters, wizards and damsels to my drawing schedule.

Below are some pen & ink illustrations I rendered over a two-week period while on vacation in Florida this past summer. I was resting after the Battle for WondLa tour and found drawing these D&D-inspired scenes quite relaxing. All 15 images were drawn from my imagination, with minimal photographic reference. Most of them started as a thumbnail doodle on the back cover of the bristol board pad that I drew them on.

Vacation sketches

All were sketched with a #2 Ticonderoga pencil and inked with a Pilot Precise V5 micro ball pen on Strathmore vellum bristol board. Here are some favorites that will be included in Realms:


“First Level”, Vacation Drawing No. 3


“Shadow Fiend”, Vacation Drawing No. 4


“Fantastic Fungus”, Vacation Drawing No. 5


“High Dexterity”, Vacation Drawing No. 9. I believe Eva Nine was still on my mind when I drew this elf facing off with a hill giant.

IMG_8787“Player Character of Questionable Alignment”, Vacation Drawing No. 10. I’ve since named this fellow Hans the Loner (after Han Solo).


“Eye of the Beholder”, Vacation Drawing No. 15.

Also, while on vacation. I sketched up several ideas for finished paintings that would make a nice finale to the book. But more on that next time…


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9094. Second Try – Built a new board and then lost file

I built a new board yesterday, spent the time to create a pretty good one. Then I used the option to save it to Google drive.  Unfortunately, it didn’t complete upload completely. I thought I had a chance, when I opened the google drive app on my tablet again, because it queued it. Then, I […]

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9095. The World of Dr. Seuss - behind the scenes

I was first turned onto this fantastic video about Theodore Geisel and his process behind the creation of the works which became Dr. Seuss by Travis Jonker over at 100 Scope Notes. It's worth sharing to make sure it goes viral. You'll see early works and hear stories seldom told about Seuss. Worth your time. Click the image to watch the video.

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9096. December 2014 Sketchbook

Manelle Oliphant Illustration - Illustrator and Writer

At the beginning of December I wrote this post about sketchbook inspiration.  In December I committed to draw a sketch every day, and I sketched with a theme. This is me checking in to tell you how it went.

December Sketchbook Favorites

December Sketchbook Favorites

First of all I have to give a shoutout to my friends Jen and Shawna. They were my accountability partners for this project. We texted or email every day to make sure we were all sketching. This was really helpful for me. I hope it was for them as well. If you take on a project like this I recommend getting some friends involved to keep you on track.

I picked the theme fantasy land creatures and wanted to work on my gestures and expressions. I also ended up making some of my sketches into watercolors. It was a fun way to practice keeping my watercolors loose and free. I goal I also had when I was making my Six Swans illustration. 

Mostly though, I just kept to old fashion sketching. The image above has a few of my favorite sketches from the month.

I put all of my December sketches plus a few bonus images which fit the theme into a downloadable 15 page PDF. It’s $1.99 to download in my store. If you are one of my patrons you can download it for free by following this link. Just a small way for me to say thanks for your support.

December 2014 Sketchbook Cover

Dragon walk and Napping Fawn are some of the watercolors I did during the month. They are available as a prints. If you’d like to hang one on your wall you can order one by clicking on the image.

napping-fawn-print dragon-walk-print

Overall I think the project was a success.


The post December 2014 Sketchbook appeared first on Manelle Oliphant Illustration.

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9097. NEW SEASON - cath kidston

We have been doing a few previews of new Spring Summer 2015 prints and today it is the turn of Cath Kidston. Their new season collections take their inspiration from Cath Kidston's Cotswold home. Featuring aspects of the British countryside and rural life the prints include 'Paradise Flowers' (above) based on the wild flowers found Gloucestershire's Paradise Valley. Crisp white 'Clouds' in

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9098. Year In Review: 2014 Edition Last past year was pretty awesome....

Year In Review: 2014 Edition

Last past year was pretty awesome. I feel like I’m starting to come into my own rhythm and really develop what my style of work means. Looking at where I was skill-wise last January and where I am today it’s a pretty big leap, and I’m super excited for what 2015 brings. Here are some highlights:

Michelle Can Draw Work: There were a few really big releases for me this year. In 2013 I had worked on product & package design for Spectrum Noir, and those products were released early 2014. It’s pretty exciting to pick up a marker and remember designing the curves and shapes of it! I participated in Moon Animate: Make Up, a fan animated full length episode of Sailor Moon, which anyone who knows me has witnessed this nerdy love of mine. It currently has over 1.4 million views, which is so awesome! In April an illustration of Ellie I had painted (with real paint!) was published in 1,000 Dog Portraits. She’s looking pretty refined in it (above). In June I completed a children’s book, Santa’s New Tradition, the first to come to publication which was released in September. It turned out super cute and I’m really proud of the finished work. The last big highlight was having my work featured in LTD Art Gallery in Seattle- which also ended up being the show poster. (see below). It was so exciting to have my work shown, hopefully 2015 has a gallery show in store for me too! (You can buy a print here!)

Life: Even though work has kept me busy, I still managed a couple trips in this year- first was to Georgia in the spring. I’m still in awe of how the moss grows off of the trees down there, and it was pretty nice to see Savannah and visit SCAD. Chad and I also went on a work & play trip to the west coast- Portland for Icon 8, the best conference I have ever been too. Icon was fantastic- there were so many illustrators there- talented and talkative and excited to share. I came back feeling so inspired and connected- I can’t wait for Icon9. While there we toured around Portland- it was a lot of fun to see and great spending time with friends and family who live out that way. We road tripped our way to Seattle- which was so great too, and we certainly got our exercise walking up those hills, hah. (See my terrible yoga above on Mt. St. Helens)! The last trip was to a SCBWI conference in Northern Michigan. I drove up with super awesome illustrator new friend Kirbi Fagan (check out her amazing paintings here) and really liked some aspects of this conference but I don’t think i’d attend another SCBWI event. I did really enjoy visiting Mackinaw and meeting some nice people. 

Yeah Haus: has had a busy year- we worked with a few existing and several new clients creating some work that was more diverse then 2013. Some of the highlights were working on a children’s app (yet to come out but check out the cute fruit above!), releasing our short film Victor and having that be selected for multiple film fests, and my personal favourite- worked on a super short (5s) animation with a painterly style about a penguin. This has been a creative year for us at Yeah Haus and I couldn’t be prouder!

Other: The Olympics were so much fun to watch, my sister visited during the summer from England and we had a blast, I’ve really gotten into Yoga- and it’s almost healed my bent out of shape back, our 100 year old tree pulled up our somewhat new driveway during a tornado, cut off 13” of hair for children’s Alopecia, started working with ink, finally got our Yeah Haus reel and website up, and I got to work on a lot of personal work. 2014 has been great, but I’m really looking forward to 2015. Chad & I have got a lot of new things happening this year, and I think it might be the best yet!

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9099. FABRICS - melody miller

Also catching my eye for January 2015 is this new fabric collection by Melody Miller for Cotton + Steel. Inspired by games and toys it features such prints as Backgammon, Jacks, Wordfind, Memory, and Bowling. Plus of course one of Melody's signature motifs the Viewfinder, and a co-ordinating floral. As seen online here at Cotton + Steel.

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9100. Artist :: Jonathan Bartlett

Posted by Jeanine






Jonathan Bartlett isn’t just an incredibly talented artist, he’s also a fantastic storyteller. His work has a nostalgic feel reminiscent of Norman Rockwell, but his subject matter is very contemporary and always delivered with a deeply thought-provoking point of view. This juxtaposition of golden-age type imagery and modern day content make his work truly special; It’s as moving & meaningful as it is beautiful, and really what great illustration is all about.

Jonathan’s worked with a long list and wide variety of clients across editorial, advertising & book markets. Most notably was his recent collaboration with Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply to illustrate a full-building exterior mural for their flagship store (shown above) as well as window displays and other assets to promote the brand. His work has been recognized by Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, and the Art Directors Club, among others.

It was hard to choose just a few pieces from his portfolio to share here, so definitely stop by Jonathan’s website to see more!

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