Aid For Imagination

Has that happened to you that you’d like to draw something from your imagination but when you stare at that blank sheet of paper all the ideas you had just a moment ago, vanishes? It for sure has happened to me. When I’m ready to fall asleep or walking outside my mind is full of images. But when I’m facing a blank white paper my mind becomes as blank and I cannot think anything to draw. In this weeks video on the Elli Maanpää Art channel, I show a way to go around that. How to make the empty paper burst into endless drawing possibilities.

P.S. I’m leaving to another Euranim Video Mapping workshop – this time in Lille, France – on Sunday so I might not be posting much next week. But I’ll film a vlog from the travel so in a way I’m gonna take you with me. You just have to wait and see.


High On Spring

We are approaching the end of the first third of 2017 and it means that Seasons are about to change. It’s hard to talk about proper Spring when there is still snow in the ground here in Turku but as an optimist I’m already all about the Spring. This weeks video is first of it’s kind of the Story Time Art videos where there is a “plot line” hidden in the image I speed paint. I already did these back in the Dood Elli Doo videos but this is the first one in English. How do you like it? I also finally purchased some gouache paints and I loved painting with them.


Handsome Brother

Hello Handsome the 2nd! Here is the brother of the 1st Handsome as promised.


The second Handsome started his life as quite an ugly duckling. I used an card board cover of an old A2 sketchbook. That’s why the canvas was full of black spots.

handsome, portrait, painting, Elli Maanpää,

I made the piece with color pencil, gouache paints, little bit of aclyric and ink. He has piercing blue eyes.

handsome, portrait, painting, Elli Maanpää,

Now he is almost getting over the bad acne and starting to blossom to whole lot of good looks, don’t you think?


And he smiles in his trendy denim shirt.


Prince charming at your service. Have lovely week all!


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. 🙂


Elf Princess


Elf Princess painting © Elli Maanpää 2014 / 65cm x 54 cm

This painting is a commissioned work for my friend Laura. She called me couple of weeks ago and said that she has red frames 65cm of height and 54cm of width and she would like to have  new image/poster/painting inside it that would fit the decoration of her 6-month-old daughter’s room. I got free hands to come up with an artwork that would be suited for the little princess but also enjoyable to the adults of the house.

Below is my initial doodles. First I was thinking about a painting of a princess who’s hair is full of fairy tale animals. But the sketching evolved to another direction and ended up being dominated by an bold beauty with pointy ears and Bambi with heart shaped horns. I sent Laura the sketch on the right and she loved the idea.elfprincess_sketches_ellimaanpaa_2014So then it was time to get into the real painting business.
elf_princess_ellimaanpaa_sketch_2014_2This is one of the biggest watercolor paintings I’ve ever done so I had to resign my whole work desk to be able to work on it. Luckily it wasn’t a rush hour in our workroom this week so I was able to conquer more space.elf_princess_ellimaanpaa_2014_painting

Here is how the painting developed. I used watercolors, gouache, ink and in the finishing pencils and color pencils.elf_princess_ellimaanpaa_painting_2014_stage_1elf_princess_ellimaanpaa_painting_2014_stage_2elf_princess_ellimaanpaa_painting_2014_stage_3You can see the final painting in the beginning of this post. Here is couple more photographs of the details. The beauty is in the details. Love and happy weekend to all!
 elf_princess_ellimaanpaa_2014_detail_2 elf_princess_ellimaanpaa_2014_detail_1


1st Bird Girl

This post is dedicated to the making of the 1st Bird Girl -painting which some of you might have seen already in the facebook pagebirdlady_1_ellimaanpaa_painting_sketch_20147The pencil sketch (above in left) is done in January and the painting version of it I did in March. Here is how the painting evolved. I used again my lovely russian gouache paints (thanks to Anna who cave them to me as Christmas present!).

birdlady_1_ellimaanpaa_painting_2014 birdlady_1_ellimaanpaa_painting_2014_2 birdlady_1_ellimaanpaa_painting_2014_3 birdlady_1_ellimaanpaa_painting_2014_4 birdlady_1_ellimaanpaa_painting_2014_5

As you can see my painting style this time was as sketchy as the pencil sketch. It’s so much fun to paint this freely. Just have fun with the brushes and color. Here (below) is the finalized painting. If you like it like a crazy you can order a print of it from my Society6 shop. How handy is that! Have a happy Wednesday!

Bird Lady 1 - Painting by Elli Maanpää 2014

Bird Lady 1 – Painting by Elli Maanpää 2014