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1. Printable: Change Your World

Change-Your-World-by-Floating-Lemons

 

"Change Your Thoughts and you'll Change Your World" -- Buddha

I've always believed that it's we decide our own futures. Our thoughts dictate our attitudes, choices, interests, and that in turn decides our lives and the paths we choose to take upon our journeys through it. It just makes complete sense to me.

In the last couple of years I've been reading books and watching videos by certain spiritually and/or positively motivated individuals, some of whom have become my mentors as far as this approach to life is concerned. I'm going to share a few of these in case anyone else out there is interested, so just click on the links below ...

Apart from all this refreshing philosophising and thought meandering, I've been at work on my new project whenever I have the time, and will be launching a new blog all about it soon. Meanwhile, have been sketching more elephants, and here they are:

 

Elephants-1-by-Floating-Lemons

Elephants-2-by-Floating-Lemons

 

If you've been following me on my facebook page you'll have seen some of these already, and I'll keep posting more there as soon as they sneak themselves into the sketchbook.

Cheers.

 

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2. Jean Little Library! July 16 at Matheson Memorial Library in Elkhorn, Wisconsin

I first became aware of Jennifer Wharton's brilliant book reviews on the Jean Little Library blog a couple years ago, when she mentioned an Ellie McDoodle book and my awesome friend, children's book author Carrie Pearson alerted me.
It occurred to me, why not look up Jennifer's library and see if my travels would bring me near it sometime? And to my utter shock, I was indeed going to be within sketching distance in just a few months.
I attended my agent's retreat in Lake Geneva, and the Jean Little Library isn't more than a pebble toss away.


We drew penguins, owls, Ellie McDoodle, Ben-Ben, dragons, cats, dogs, ... all sorts of stuff.
Here's Ben-Ben:




I like to draw on a document camera and project it onto the wall so people all over the room can join in easily. We were in a big room, and that crowd really filled it up.
One girl gave me a drawing with an impressive use of spirals:



This is my favorite kind of event: connecting with enthusiastic kids. What a great author life I lead.

Thank you SO much, Jennifer and Jean Little Library!

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3. This is the kind of relaxation I wish I had

Our fat black feline, Moses, spends more time on his back than on his feet.



A few days ago I pondered the possibility that the reason Jim Dear and I feel like the summer has flown by is because through some twist of cat magic Moses actually pulled all the ambient relaxation out of the atmosphere around us. Then he sucked it into his skin and stored it up like a bear stores berries in winter. Therefore we get to spend all summer feeling like we are working hard, chasing kids and yard projects and Moses gets to open one eye and watch us once in a while.

Here's a few slices of work in progress:




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4. July 20: Potterville Benton Twp District Library!

On Tuesday we visited Potterville Benton Township District Library,
We brought an easel and drew bats, dogs, penguins, and my first-ever cat on a bike.
Before our audience arrived I showed off the art from Leopold the Lion.


Pictures from the event:

 We always draw Ben-Ben.

We brainstormed characters, then started a story.


Poor Lex the dog! Cat has swiped his bones and is getting away.

Can Lex's best friend the squirrel help?


Cat skids into a mud puddle. Will Lex stop to help him?
But what about those scary bats?


Librarian LuAnn helps with the easel pages.

Thank you, Potterville Benton Township District Library! 
That's a long name and you are long on hospitality, as always. We had a great time.

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5. Sketches: Elephrump!


Just a doodle. 
Nothing more. 
Elephrump upon the floor!

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6. Sketches: Blue Moose

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7. Sketches: A radiant Pig!


Nearing the end of a new illustration project for Sasquatch Books (more on that when its done!) but after days/months of intense focus on one main thing, its always nice to be playing around on the side. I've been having some fun with a style much looser than the current book and I'll post a few each week just to keep you looking :) Enjoy!

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8. owl, birds, tree, flowers....

turner's initial pantings
©the enchanted easel 2015
oh, and some initials too. ;)

{these three custom paintings are on the easel this week....and,  just about DONE! if you would like something special created for your little one, please contact me through my website and i will surely accommodate you. i "heart" custom work.}

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9. Spring Tulip Fairies


Working to incorporate the patterns I have so much fun drawing into fairy dress design. With spring upon us too, tulips and little weed flowers inspire me.

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New Originals On Etsy

Tomorrow I'm listing these cute original watercolor pixies for sale in my Etsy shop. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to see the exact time they'll be going up!


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10. Spring Headdresses

A page in my sketchbook I'm proud of. There are many times I wished all the pages in my sketchbook were this full. I'm praying this is the light of something new. :)


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11. More Sketches...



www.leglessmermaid.com

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12. Has this naughty elephant met his match? New Book "Rupert the VERY Naughty Elephant" Underway



Pencil sketches are underway for "RUPERT the Very Naughty Elephant" written by Laura Brigger....Yes, he's VERY naughty....but has he met his match? 


 

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13. Christmas Bear Sketches

A very small and sweet story unfolded as I drew these.





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14. Passing along some love ♥

Bunny Love

This pencil sketch was from last Valentine's Day... but it is fun to share again :)

June Goulding

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15. can't talk now I'm sketching a band

Here's another sketching opportunity that came my way recently, I got to go into a studio to sketch band. A local band, including a couple of members I know. I realised that I've never actually been into a studio before. I could have spent hours, days, in there drawing all the equipment.
 I have some larger drawings that I made in my Moleskine sketchbook, but these drawings I made in a cheap little pretend Moleskine that was about a quarter of the price. I'm not somebody who moans about the Moleskine sketchbooks being expensive. I actually don't think they are. Or, at least, for me it's well worth the price for the amount of time, effort and love I put into filling them. But, there is something to be said for these cheaper sketchbooks. You're less precious about them and about wasting the paper which gives you the freedom to make different kind of drawings. More sketchy.

Anyway, here are some sketchy sketches. And, here, if you are interested are the band, Sharma. If nothing else just check out this first track. I think they're good. Really good. You can watch them HERE.

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16. Sweet Doodles & New Painted Flowers

Managed to do a bit of doodling this week in my moleskine journal. Have no idea of why candy emerged from my mind, but, there you go.

 

Sweet-Doodles-1-by-Floating-Lemons

Sweet-Doodles-2-by-Floating-Lemons

 

This doodle below is of a few of the many ideas that popped into a mind obviously looking forward to spring, though admittedly I've actually enjoyed the winter so far. Strangely enough.

 

 

Sweet-Doodles-3-by-Floating-Lemons

 

I've also squeezed in the time to refresh my Painted Flowers from last year (pink and red), and work on a new colour variation (orange and yellow), also pretty and joyful for the coming spring ...

 

Painted-Flowers-red

Painted-Flowers-orange

 

And added a coordinating pattern with just the ferns and the dots, to accompany the collection:

 

Painted-Ferns

 

The Painted Flowers are all being uploaded to my stores these few days, and as soon as that's done I'll post a few of the gifts and cards over at my Floating Lemons Treats blog, so keep an eye out for them!

 

Newsletter News:

I've decided to extend the availability of my 2014 "I Choose" free printables until the next newsletter is posted out to subscribers on Saturday 7th February 2015. So if you'd like to download the whole series or any one of the months from last year, you have another week in which to do so! Just sign up for the newsletter HERE if you haven't already done so, or on the top left of this page.

Have a wonderful & joyful week. Cheers.

 

 

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17. WINTER DEER

A few weeks ago Adam and I were driving on the highway during late afternoon the day after a snowstorm. I always love to scan the trees looking for deer while we drive and thanks to the bright white snow, I had no trouble spotting a large female laying comfortably, enjoying the view of passing cars. I kept it in mind to make a piece inspired by that moment. Here is a quick limited palette color block sketch interpretation.


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18. 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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19. 6 Ideas for Sketchbook Inspiration

6 Ideas for Sketchbook Inspiration

I’ve committed with my friends Shawna and Jen to draw a sketch in my sketchbook everyday this month. I usually draw in my book often but committing to everyday is going to be a bit of a challenge. It’s the fourth day of the month and so far so good…. only not quite, because even though I’ve sketched everyday I’m finding getting the ideas for what I want to draw is being pretty hard. But there are some tricks I like to use.

1

 Idea Generator

In the past I wrote this post about my sketchbook idea generator. It includes a free download so you can make your own. Since I wrote the post there are a few apps I use on my phone that do a similar thing. I use these pretty often. Theyare the Brainstormer App, and Character Design Shuffle by Silver.

2

 Practice, Practice, Practice

Sketchbooks are for Practice is a post I wrote about how I practice things I need to work on in my sketchbook.  You can use your sketchbook to practice pretty much anything: figures, trees, composition, value, expressions, animals, etc. You can draw from life or use photos. Don’t be afraid to draw crapy drawings in your book. My sketchbooks are full of drawings I really hate and a only few that I love. Here’s another post I’ve written about how you can use your sketchbook for making mistakes. It also has some links to see some fun sketchbook inspiration from other artists.

3

 Draw from Photos

This is one idea of how you can practice in your sketchbook. I use photos a lot and over the years I’ve gotten smarter about how I draw from them. Photos are good for getting reference of things your can’t find out your front door and for getting ideas. For more info check out this post about how you can use photos but not be completely tied to them.

4

 Sketchook as a Journal

Sketchbook as Journal

I use my sketchbook as a sort of Journal. It’s fun to draw sketches of what I am doing in my day to day life. I drew the ones above  when I was called in for Jury Duty and the fire alarm went off. Everyone had to sit around outside the building for 20-40 min while they made sure it was safe. It was, and the jury selection continued after we were let back in. It’s a funny story and now it’s recorded in my “journal” for me to remember. As you might be able to tell I also used the moment to practice composition.

5

 Online Sketch Groups

There are lots of fun online sketch and illustration groups  you can participate in. Illustration Friday is an old-y but a good-y where you are given a weekly topic you can draw and share on the Illustration Friday website. @sketch_dailies on twitter is fun for a daily inspiration topic.  And if you keep your eyes peeled you can also participate in yearly events like Jake Parker’s #inktober.

6

 Sketching with a Theme

Chases by Fairies by Manelle Oliphant

Pick a theme for your sketchbook and stick with it for a while. I don’t think I’ve ever done this but I want to. So, for my sketchbook challenge this month I’m going to draw my sketches with a theme. The theme I’ve picked is Fantasy Land Creatures, and I want to make sure to practice gestures and expressions. You can follow my progress on my twitter or instagram and at the end of the month I’ll report back with some of the drawings I’ve done. Here is the sketch I did for this theme yesterday.

 

Here is one last closing thought about how great sketchbooks can be.

 

What tips do you use to help you make your sketchbooks better?

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20. HoHoDooDay 2014

Sometimes at the height of our reveries, when our joy is at its zenith…
when all is most right with the world…
the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us.
Oh, turkey!
turkey dogs
The heavenly aroma still hung heavy in the house. But it was gone.
All gone. No turkey. No turkey sandwiches.
No turkey salad. No turkey gravy, turkey hash, turkey a la king…
or gallons of turkey soup.
Gone.
All gone.
All right.
Everybody upstairs.
Get dressed.
We are going out to eat.

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21. HoHoDooDa 2014

All right.
Everybody upstairs.
Get dressed.
We are going out to eat.
fararara2_Rbaird
No! Not, “ra ra ra ra ra.” “La la la la la.”
Sing like this:
Try again.    Stop!
Sing something else.
No!       Stop!
Kitchen. Bring food. For customers.
Oh, I’m sorry.
It’s a beautiful duck.
It really is.
But you see…
What?
It’s smiling at me.
Okay?
Beautiful!
That Christmas would live in our memories…
as the Christmas when we were introduced to Chinese turkey.

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22. HoHoDooDa 2014

I started this challenge in November with #SKADAMO, a sketch a day challenge. No rules, just a way to get those creative juices flowing. I like to give myself a theme and this year I decided to highlight The fun and totally relatable, A Christmas Story, based on the original work of Jean Shepherd. I’ve come to the end of it now with #HoHoDooDa.  This has been fun. You can see the original illustrations with the text as you scroll through by blog. I just thought it would be fun to see them all together.
ChristmasStory_RBaird1
www.robertabaird.com

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23. HoHoDooDa 2014

Now, it is a fact, that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker on the door, except that it was very large. It is also a fact, that Scrooge had seen it, night and morning, during his whole residence in that place; also that Scrooge had as little of what is called fancy about him as any man in the City of London, even including — which is a bold word — the corporation, aldermen, and livery. Let it also be borne in mind that Scrooge had not bestowed one thought on Marley, since his last mention of his seven-year’s dead partner that afternoon. And then let any man explain to me, if he can, how it happened that Scrooge, having his key in the lock of the door, saw in the knocker, without its undergoing any intermediate process of change: not a knocker, but Marley’s face.
marley_RBaird_FC_small
Marley’s face. It was not in impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard were, but had a dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar. It was not angry or ferocious, but looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look: with ghostly spectacles turned up upon its ghostly forehead. The hair was curiously stirred, as if by breath or hot-air; and, though the eyes were wide open, they were perfectly motionless. That, and its livid colour, made it horrible; but its horror seemed to be in spite of the face and beyond its control, rather than a part of its own expression. ~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
marleprocess_RBaird

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24. you should draw me

I feel like I haven't sat down and actually created a 'proper' drawing, or worked on a project, in ages. Life, and making a living, has got in the way of that.
Not that I've stopped drawing, I've never drawn as much. And, I'm loving drawing in a different, faster way. I do long, though, to just sit for an entire afternoon or weekend, week even, and just work on a big mega drawing. The kind of thing I can get lost in.
 But, I need to capitalise on this time of year. That's the reality, right now. I've finally just begun, after a couple of years of real hardship, to see the wood for the trees and to really start thinking like, and seeing myself as, a professional artist/illustrator. Whatever that is.
 And, now, I've forced myself into a situation where I have to make money from this. Which is a good thing. A scary thing, but a good thing.
Before I was just selling online to top up my wage, now my wage tops up my selling online. The balance has shifted. And, I'm no longer just selling online, recently I've been selling offline too.
All of these drawings were made over two days, and two art fairs, last weekend. I've come to realise that I need to sell myself in lots more ways (not like that), to keep a roof over my head.
It's not easy to see your work in those terms; as a saleable product. Well, at least, I don't find it easy. But that is the reality of it.
It's been a long time coming too. I've been talking about it for way too long; taking steps to turn professional. And, it hasn't been the greatest of timing, on my part, in this recent financial climate. But, there's something about the struggle that makes it even more 'rewarding' (that's not the right word, or not the word I'm looking for, but it's late at night and I'm tired).
So, I've been getting my work out there, and, actually, even if it still feels uncomfortable selling me, I couldn't love sharing and talking about my work more. 
I'm constantly amazed anyone wants to know.
My plan for 2015 is to get better at all that stuff. The presenting of my work, that is. I've had a practice run this year, but I want to make my 'show' bigger and better. I want it to be a visual treat, to compliment my sketchbooks.
I want to make lots more lovely creative products that show off my drawings. And, I want to get out there, further afield, and meet and share them with more people.
And, I want more adventures. So that when I finally get back home,
to sit and draw, I'll bring all that I've learnt and seen back to my work. And make it richer than ever.
Looking forward to the New Year already.
I had no idea where this post was going when I started it. Absolutely none. I'm glad it ended on such a positive note. I think I've inspired myself!

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25. Love thy Studio + The Daily Sketch

A sink full of dirty half rinsed dishes; toys and paper scattered waiting for a foot to stomp on them; cluttered dining room table ranging from a stuffed bunny to a lint roller; laundry decorating our couch and our bedroom dresser; and shoes beckoning to be tripped over at the front door.

This is my house, most every day. It makes me feel squished, with no room to move without knocking something over or stepping onto something. I'm clumsy and that always means I will stub my toe, ram my elbow, slam my hand, or bang my knee. It's crazy how many nicks and bruises I get.

Yet, I look to my right and I see sun light beaming in from the windows in my studio.
An immediate "ahhh" relaxes my mind and all is right again.



If this winter has taught me anything, it's that my studio truly is my place of solitude. 


I used to tell people it was because I think artists are supposed to say that. It's expected of us to love our studio, a place where the creation happens, a place filled with things that inspire. Mine has been in a constant state of change since I moved away from home to college back in 2000.

When we moved into this house I was so excited to have a space I could settle in and not worry for a long time. I didn't expect it to be so cumbersome.

My studio has poor insulation, so during the hot Iowa summers and freezing Iowa winters, it's very uncomfortable at different times of the day. I've had to continuously change my schedule to fit. I've had to move everything constantly so that Brian could get to the windows for more insulation, or to add carpet scraps, or or or. And I know more is coming.

But this week, with all of the sun, regardless of the temp, my studio has been bright, warm, inviting, and mine. No more moving clutter to work on the dining room table, no more stepping on stuff when I get up to grab something I need, none of that. I feel whole.

I will bundle up, buy another mini heater for my toes, I will put a fan on my face and wear ice cubes, whatever it takes. I love my studio!

The icing on the cake? My daughter being able to spend time in the studio with me. That's what I've envisioned for a long time, my hope, my joy today. She makes the studio brighter with her smile, her giggle, and her curiosity. Bringing out the crayola crayons doesn't hurt either.



There is one other place in my entire house that I find peaceful and full of light. The only other place in the house that is always filled with the light rays, and that is our bathroom. It's silly, but when we moved in it was our first project, and it set the tone for the whole house (what we dream). It's full of birds. :)

It's so easy for me to be distracted by all the chores, they pull me away from my work and drain my creativity. Yet, last night, I didn't let it get to me. Here are this week's Daily Sketches and joys, #10, #11, and #12.




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