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Join the adventure into the world of midsummer magic, wildflowers and fantasy cats. Sandcastle.fi blog follows the path to fascinating art, where dreamy elements are playing with the reality - and illustrations are completed with Finnish wildflowers. Artist Sanna of the Sandcastle takes you into a journey to creativity, art and illustrations.

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day Finland 💙

Above is the floral dress design for Finland´s Independence Day.

This  flower dress was designed to cherish the blue-white colors of Finland.

After first drawing and designing the character, the floral dress was then completed with blue and white flowers.

And then when the night falls on the Independence Day and the candles are lit, the golden details of the character´s dress can finally shimmer, and even the shadows of the flowers seem to join the celebrations at that point...

Below in the close-up pictures the golden details of the character´s dress as well as the miniature bracelet and earring can be seen more clearly. Check out also character´s blue eyes and the make-up that became a combination of blue and brown tones.

Happy Independence Day Finland 💙

Happy Independence Day Finland!

Happy Independence Day Finland 💙

Looking this older picture above and remembering thoughts from earlier years. And feeling grateful when writing these words again: Thank you Finland. Thank you Finnish Veterans, thank you grandparents.

And Finland, thank you for all the inspiration: snowy winters and midsummer wildflowers... For all the ideas and dreams.

Above the Finnish Maiden is celebrating Independence Day.
You can read about more about the Finnish Maiden and her floral dress in here.

Happy Independence Day 💙

Christmas gnome in the snowy forest

This time of a year one might see gnomes in the forest! 🎅

And today the gnomes are so extremely busy with all the presents that are so needed in our world… Gifts that are the most precious ones: love, compassion, positive energy - and happiness. 🎁

And right now the gnome in picture above gives those gifts to you!
Sending you armful of positive energy 💖

And in the pictures below there´s mood of the snowy Christmas evening...

Under the pink and purple sky, there´s time for Christmas sketching.
Time for fairy tales.

Wishing Happy and Joyful Holiday Season to you all 💖

Last days before the snow

Last days before the snow.
A glimpse of green in the dark... That last longing for the verdancy 💚

This time the completed floral dress became like a darker continuation to the first floral dress of the spring. For that reason the colors are also in reversed order compared to that spring themed dress. Below one can see the mentioned two works side by side.

The spring and late autumn themed floral dresses above are a bit like mirror images, like light and darker reflections of the verdancy. Or maybe they are the twins that are never able to meet in the mythic land of four seasons. Because what starts with vivid green during the early spring, ends then in the different toned green in the late autumn. There´s something so familiar, yet something so different in those tones of green and brown.

The autumn themed darker floral dress was inspired by the last lingering dark days before the snow. And because the green was such an important element for this floral dress too, I went to the dark forest to look for the last glimpses of green.

In the days before the snow, when all the autumn colors have faded and all the leaves have lost their colors, there´s still sparks of vivid green here and there.The last green leaves are still strongly resisting the winter.

Also the yellower greens as well as the brown tones became a part of the floral dress.

This time the floral dress was completed not only with those last green leaves but also with dark and brown wilted plant and flower parts, that can be found just before the snow. The ones that will stand tall until the snow.

After finding all the plants and elements for the floral dress, the drawn character was then colored to have dark and green upper part to match with the floral dress. The upper part of the dress was this time designed to have that late autumn look with long sleeves, looking a bit like jacket and having also a touch of Victorian style in it. Green and brown tones were then also adjusted to match with the colors of the finished floral dress.

Because the last days before the snow can sometimes be dark, some color choices for this character were obvious. Like the dark hair and those brown eyes… And after that greenish floral dress was completed, the character had green highlights on the hair and also some green tones to her eye lids.

Also the upper part of the dress was in this design completed with the green leaves. Those leaves formed a vivid green real plant scarf to character´s neck area. Maybe that miniature scarf could even bring light and comfort to her dark days before the snow. One can see the small scarf and other details more clearly in the picture below.

And then, one of those dark days...

The first snow finally arrives and covers even those last green leaves.

Wishing happy December moments to you all!

Fairies of the winter forest

The winter fairy was confused… What was it? Something orange in the snowy forest!
Was it only her reflection or really another fairy?
Or maybe even a twin?!


Do you still remember that hiding winter fairy from the blog post several years ago?

.. Well, this year the bluegreen winter fairy found a friend from her favorite hiding place!

When the coldness is whispering in the forest and everything is covered in snow...
Oh, how lucky it was to find another fairy!

Although every now and then the fairies are both freezing, it is still so much cozier to hide together in the magical forest. And so much more fun, when one can share the adventure! 

... And even search some new hiding places in the winter wonderland!


And there´s so many hiding places to be found in that enchanting winter forest…

So, if you are going into the forest, remember to look a bit closer. Because deep in the snowy fairytale forest you just might find the place, where the fairies hide.


Wishing exciting and creative winter moments to you all ❤️

Diving into snowy forest

Diving into snowy Finnish forest 💙

When you just want to disappear into the woods with the sketchbook  – and with some warm winter drinks...

There is something so enchanting and inspiring in Finnish snowy forests. It feels like entering another magical reality.

And those snowy trees, could they tell stories?

I´m getting lost in that snowy story. Finding comfort in the soft white blanket that covers the whole forest. And the atmosphere is like in a fairy tale.

The magical snowy forest.
And the sketchbook that is fulfilled of ideas - and snow!

In the snowy forest one can find all those hidden stories or even create new fairy tales. Or then just be mesmerized by the silence and amazed by that incredible beauty of the nature...

And enjoy all those captivating details and that pure white snow.

With my sketchbook I could wander around the winter wonderland for eternity ...

But eventually the snowy trees are gently guiding the way home, and welcoming me to visit again.


Wishing you all wonderful winter days and inspiring moments!

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Finnish fox is skiing into the forests of Finland 💙

Congratulations Finland 100 years!

Finland became an independent state on 6th of December 1917.
Freedom and independence… Those great words, and today wordless in front of them.

Thank you Finland. 
Thank you Finnish Veterans, thank you grandparents.

And in your great day, Finland, thank you also for all the inspiration.
Snowy winters - and the midsummer wildflowers...
All the ideas and dreams.

Peaceful Christmas & Creative New Year

Peaceful Christmas & Creative New Year <3
May the New Year bring light and joy to you all!

Vintage skis and snowy dreams

Vintage skis and snowy dreams…
Inspiration for (skiing Finnish fox) illustration.

Where do all the fairies hide during the winter?

Snowy forest treasures all the frozen memories.
But under the snow there´s already a silent promise of the spring.

But have you ever wondered where all the fairies hide during the winter…?

Look a bit closer…

Because deep in the snowy fairytale forest
you just might find the place,
where the fairies hide.

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