Elli Maanpää

Animated Painter

Elli Maanpää

Third Week Of Postcard Art

Postcard project art

The past week I’ve been on a road again. But that has not affected to the amount of days and postcard artworks done this week. 7 days 7 new postcards. If you have no idea what I’m talking about here is the Postcard Project in a nutshell: For every day in October 2014 I draw a sketch on a postcard and then send it to the person in the order they were reserved.Postcard project art Postcard project art

Two cats in orange atmosphere for Eeva 16.10.2014

Postcard project art

Smiling cockatoo for Niilo 17.10.2014

Postcard project art

Loreal moment for Sini 19.10.2014

Postcard project art elli maanpää

Girl in a black shirt for Heini 19.10.2014

Postcard project art elli maanpää

Flying owl for Annabella. I just couldn’t believe owl’s legs would be like that (like paws) but that is what I saw in the photograph I used as a reference. 20.10.2014

Postcard project art elli maanpää

She looks like singer doesn’t she? For Wilhelmina 21.10.2014

Postcard project art elli maanpää

And the blue haired woman for Päivi 22.10.2014

Postcard project art elli maanpää

It’s been super cool to get pictures from the cards that have already travelled to their destination. I feel such gratitude for the gratitude. Like my friend said: “this is such a feel-good-project“.

Have a feel-good weekend! This weekend I’ll be working on my upcoming art exhibition Lähtöviivalla which has opening next Monday the 24th at 5pm in S-Galleria in Helsinki (Welcome!) and in one acting course in Teak and the christmas card project. Exciting things going on and that’s how I like it. Happy hugs.

Christmas Enthusiast

tonttu, elli, elli maanpaa, joulu,

I must admit. This Monday today I totally forgot it’s Monday. I’m on a holiday. Well. Kind of. I’m far away in a fabulous rent cottage by the lake, where there is sauna, fireplace, BIG kitchen and great company. But I do also have my laptop with me because I’m working full steam with this year’s Christmas Card Illustration -project. You will hear and see more about the cards quite soon. Probably in one week. And I looooove Christmas. I could draw christmas cards all year.
Elli Maanpää, tonttu, joulu, Christmas

Postcard Project Continues

Here I am: the crazy postcard maker making my art. Today I’m going to show you to last weeks postcard sketches of the Postcard Project. Are you ready for 7 more postcards. If yes, roll down.postcardproject_ellimaanpaa_2014_1Lady in Red. I bought a new shade of ink to celebrate the upcoming Christmas. 9.10.2014

postcardproject_sketch_ellimaanpaa_2014_1 Dramatic woman in the shades of violet. I spent most of this day in a film set so that might have to do with the dramatic tone of this postcard. 10.10.2014

postcardproject_sketch_ellimaanpaa_2014_2 Baby owl. I’ve always enjoyed drawing birds but this time I was also inspired by the bird drawing competition @solly_dw introduced in instagram. 12.10.2014

postcardproject_sketch_ellimaanpaa_2014_3 Artistic piece with beret and stripes. This picture doesn’t do justice to the textures of the painting. 12.10.2014

postcardproject_sketch_ellimaanpaa_2014_4 Freckled girl with pink hairpiece. 13.10.2014

postcardproject_sketch_ellimaanpaa_2014_5 More pink and birds. This card was sent to probably to the youngest participant of the postcard project. 14.10.2014

postcardproject_sketch_ellimaanpaa_2014_6 Yesterdays portrait again got some familiar facial features. Unconsciously I keep on adding my own nose etc to my muses. I photographed the piece in the Heya’s bathroom (that’s why it’s a artistic selfie) beacause it’s getting really dark and the place there is most light in the workroom is the toilet. Bright happy toilet it is. 15.10.2014

postcardproject_sketch_ellimaanpaa_2014_7Next week new adventures. Until then: Have a happy weekend! I’m going to traveling in Finland again. Jey!

Hey Handsome 1st

Hey Handsome! He (the intellectual poem boy below) is the first out of two men portraits I painted in August. The two are going to be stars of my upcoming artsy-fartsy short film about relationships. But since it sometimes takes years before I actually finalize the film ideas I have I now thought It would be fun to introduce my lead actors to you / show you the paintings.


I used ink, gouache and acrylic paint on paperboard. I assume painting on the paperboard with water soluble colors was little like painting a mural on a wet clay since the paint and colors just melted into the background. The technique needed layers and layers of paint before I saw something happening on the board. Here below is some of the making of photographs.

handsome_painting_ellimaanpaa_2014_combo1 handsome_painting_ellimaanpaa_2014_combo2 handsome_painting_ellimaanpaa_2014_combo3

Lastly I outlined the most important facial features (like eyes) with black ink and also highlighted them with white acrylic. Here is the completed painting.


He is beautiful isn’t he? But of course he is just a painting which is kinda the idea of the film. I will introduce you his brother (the 2nd painting) later. Have a handsome week!

P.S. Of course my boyfriend is really the best looking guy in my world but that is also because he is an actual person. He would not have liked if I would have painted him. That’s why I had to use male models as my muses instead. 🙂


First Week Of Postcards

October’s Postcard Project had a good start. All the 31 cards were reserved in about 36 hours. Since the beginning of the project I’ve drawn and sent eight self drawn postcards. One every day. And they’ve gone / are going all over the globe.


My plan was to take photograph with my good camera out of every single postcard I send but in the end I’ve only took real pictures out of the first two postcards (above) and the rest have been recorded only with my iPhone in various lighting situations.

The picture below is history documented: I’m leaving the first two cards to the gentle service of the Finnish post office.

This dramatic redhead was the first lady to drawn on a postcard. 1.10.2014


Pink hair and pink clouds. 2.10.2014


Blue is the warmest color (no reference to the movie. That name just popped into my head). 3.10.2014


Dramatic city lady in green. 4.10.2014


She looks little like Mena Suvari doesn’t she? 5.10.2014


The Punakorvabulbuli (Eng. Red Ear Bulbuli) bird. Her name is the best. 6.10.2014


Yellow thoughts for a birthday girl. 7.10.2014


Small bird on a pink cloud. 8.10.2014


But that’s not all. The project continues until the end of this month. So 23/31 to go. See you later alligator!

In Silence

Pohjanmaa_ellimaanpaa_2014I love to travel. Traveling for me does not mean only traveling to exotic new places far far away. It means being in a slightly different place than home. Sometimes even the backyard will do for the urge to move to new landscapes. This weekend I traveled little further than backyard but did not go across the borders of my homeland Finland. Here – in the middle of the forests of Ostrobothnia – I listened the loud silence that only nature can offer. Ruska, lake and hand picked lingonberries. That is what good weekends are made off.

Next Thursday I will tell you how the Postcard Project is going. Hugs and smiles until then.

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I’ve decided to aim to do two blog posts a week. The first one in Monday – cause Monday is always the beginning of a whole new week – and the second one on Thursday – because in Finland we have a saying “Torstai on toivoa täynnä” which means “Thursday is full of hope“. So every week my blog is filled with new beginnings and hope. Sounds good doesn’t it.

Then to todays drawing-painting: Hipster (below). It’s done in the beginning of September as part of the sketch-a-day project. The Hipster name is quite obvious – the young girl is wearing cool retro glasses and a bowler hat – but I could also add that as the reference picture I used an artsy photograph from japanese fashion magazine. Doesn’t get much more hipster than that.hipster_illustration_ellimaanpaa_2014_1

Here is one close up. I used watercolor, pencil and marker in the illustration.


And last but not least the making of photograph I’ve posted before to instagram.


Want a Postcard?

Would you like to receive a self-made…postcard_project_sketch_ellimaanpaa_2014_1



…from me?


Yesterday I got an lovely idea thanks to my mom who asked me to draw a “Thank you” -card for our relatives. There is still couple of months left of my sketch-a-day challenge. For the whole year I’ve been sketching daily – sometimes big and bold paintings and sometimes small little doodles. That has lead to the fact that all my storage room for drawings/paintings is running out. For the next month (meaning October) I’m going to draw my sketches to postcard sized paper and then sent them to you.

Would you like to receive one? If yes comment “I’d love to receive a postcard” to the comment box and send me your postal address by email elli(at)maanpaa.com or direct message in facebookSo since there is 31 days in October there will be 31 postcards in total. The first 31 addresses will receive self-made postcard from me. I’m excited. Hope you’re too!

Greta Garbo

I read a book about Hollywood legend Greta Garbo. The book was called Conversations With Greta Garbo and it was written by journalist Sven Broman.

Biographies of famous actresses and filmmakers are interesting. But sometimes reading a book written by an confident of an star leaves me feeling like a voyeur especially when the book is about someone so private like Garbo. She was one of the biggest stars of her time but she hated being famous. She just wanted to be left alone. Nevertheless it was really interesting to hear how the beautiful Swedish lady studied theatre in Stockholm, worked in a department store and then become ‘found’ by film director Mauritz Stiller who took her with him to Hollywood. Stillers career crumbled in Hollywood but Garbo shined brighter than anyone. She had natural ability to act on film with subtle nuances.

Garbo is said to be one of the most beautiful women in the film industry. They could picture her face from any angle and she would look perfect from every direction. That lead to her nick name: Divine Garbo. My painting below does not do justice to Garbo’s beauty but it’s my attempt to appreciate her nevertheless.

gretagarbo_painting_ellimaanpaa_2014Black and white version of the portrait to honor her era.
gretagarbo_painting_ellimaanpaa_2014_4Close up.gretagarbo_painting_ellimaanpaa_2014_3And the instagram photo.gretagarbo_instagram_2014

Autumn Colors

lapland_autumn_phototgraph_ellimaanpaa_2014I spent this weekend away from Helsinki traveling across my homeland Finland. We attended my great Aunts funeral in Kemijärvi and even though funerals are always a sad celebration it was still so nice to see other relatives and visit the part of this country from where my mom’s mom is originally from. But the trip also meant driving about 1000km there and 1000km back. On the way I had a chance to admire some beautiful sights of Lapland (North Finland) in Autumn colors. Here is one photo from the way. More to come.