Wall Mural

I don't do these often...mostly painting fun designs or things on my own kid's walls every time we change their bedrooms around (see those pics here). And this is about as detailed as I got, for my boy's cowboy room way back in 2008.

But every once in a while I get a request from someone to do more of a traditional wall mural/painting. So this is what I did this week in a large basement "under the stairs" play area that the owner is turning into a little French Kitchen for her granddaughters to play in.
copyright Julie Olson 2013
It's about 3.5' wide by 4' tall. A little window looking out from the patisserie over a Parisian sunset...complete with Eiffel tower (which took a very long time to paint). However, the whole thing took me about 4.5 hours total. My knees are feeling it today. I should've used one of those foam garden kneeling pads. 

Anyway, It was fun to get out the acrylics and paint HUGE. I haven't done that for a LONG time and nothing really like this, ever. It really does make me want to go back to France. :-(
a picture my talented hubby took while we were in Paris (copyright  2008 Rhett Olson)
Not quite the sunset pictured in the mural but it felt just as romantic.
from the base of the Eiffel Tower (copyright 2008 Rhett Olson)

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Conference for Charity called Writing for Charity

Hope to see you at the WRITING FOR CHARITY conference this Saturday, April 27th!
  • LIVE Manuscript Critiques by published authors! 
  • Writing workshops! 
  • Silent Auction! 
  • Pick an author's brain! 
  • Lunch provided!
All proceeds help put books in the hands of less-fortunate children.

Saturday, April 27, 2013 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Followed by Book Sale and Author Signing
Utah Valley University Sorensen Student Center, Orem, UT
(Park in the yellow student spaces in front of the Language Arts building -
No permit required. See map on the website.)

Register online if possible, or pay at the door.
For more information, visit our website:www.writingforcharity.com
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A possible new venture...Stylized Kid Portraits

So I did this portrait of my kids and decided I may start offering them on a commissioned basis...maybe on Etsy or something. They'd be an 11x14 print, $200 for up to 3 kids, $50 per additional child. What do you think? Worth the price? Worth the venture?

full color digital style
full color final watercolor handpainted
full color final watercolor hand painted

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School Visit Demo

So today I did another school visit...I actually did two in one week. That is not usually what I do, but it just worked out that way. At today's visit, I enlisted the help of a student to video the presentation with my camera and then created this little demo so you get a small idea of what one of my general school visit consists of. This is a presentation for lower elementary grades. 4th-5th grades or Middle school age visits are much more in depth on the writing process and the illustrating process, whichever they choose. I also do presentations on developing character, making dummy books, and more.


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On TV again...Fun Times!

Here's a video of me on our local CBS affiliate's show "Fresh Living" once more...teaching the hosts, Casey and Debbie how to draw a penguin. See more of my how-to-draw lessons and coloring pages under the printables tab above. If you want to become an illustrator yourself, I highly recommend attending Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Conference. www.WIFYR.com

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How to draw: Penguin, Puppy, Pony,...and Mouse

Today I'm appearing on my local news show, KUTV's "Fresh Living," again. (It airs at 1pm MST on channel 2). They wanted me to come back and teach a little "how-to-draw" segment. I've posted a few how-to-draw posts previously, and now I'm adding a few more to those. You can find all of my drawing printouts under the PRINTABLES tab above. Enjoy!


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How to draw a face/head

People always say to me, "Oh I'm no good at drawing. I can barely even draw a stick figure." Well, just so you know, people are the hardest things to draw and if all you are trying to do is get the idea of a person across to communicate, a stick figure does it for our left brains. That's what I use in the game of pictionary just like everybody else.

People are hard to draw because we all know what they SHOULD look like. We see people every day...in the mirror or standing in front of us. Our eyes know the proportions and what goes where. So when someone draws a person incorrectly, we instinctively know.

However, EVERY person is different and has different proportions. That's what makes us all individuals. But there are a few basic rules to follow if you want to draw a general picture that resembles a non-specific person. Here are some images that you can print and use to learn the general rules (for personal use or classroom use only).

instructions on proportions of the face and head
you can print this head map to use as a tracing template when practicing your head drawings

a detailed explanation of drawing a general head

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Now I need to do some Yoga

I've been drawing lots and lots of black and white yoga poses for a book. I'll post a link here when it comes out. After working all day today, I think I need to go do some yoga myself. It's such a great stress reliever. Ahhhhh....

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How to draw a.....

Here are a couple of fun step-by-step, how to draw printable instructions for you or your cute kids this Spring Break. We are having a "stay-cation" this week so my kids quickly were asking me "What can I do?" I gave them these and told them to draw them and come up with their own story. I would love to see yours! Put a link in the comments. (maybe I'll post my kids' versions tomorrow if they'll approve it)

for home or classroom use only

You should be able to click on the image and then right click and save from the pop up. I'll also add them to the Printables tab at the top. Enjoy! and remember, post a link to your efforts in the comments below.
Oh and if you are a grown-up and REALLY want to learn how to draw and illustrate children's books, you should sign up for the illustration class at the Writing and Illustrating for Young Reader's conference (www.WIFYR.com). You'll learn TONS!

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I'm a freelance illustrator working in the children's book industry. I love kids and raising my own 4 children. They are the inspiration and the passion behind all I do in art and in life. See my website at JulieOlsonbooks.com

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