Making of an illustration for a housing complex website

The client asked to picture the housing complex so that the Kremlin could be seen behind it.


What I first need is a view of the Kremlin from the right angle. I find a place on the map where the complex will be situated (its construction is now being planned), grab a camera and take an afternoon walk.

Near the site there is a secure high rise building with a huge glassed attic where the finishing works are being performed.

I hold a long filled with arguments conversation with security staff in the entrance hall of that building trying to prove that I am in no way connected to terrorism, never was and am very unlikely to be. I swear by my family that I will not sell the top-secret shots of the Kremlin roofs to foreign intelligence. The staff hears the voice of reason and here I am right in front of this “stairway to heaven!”

I climb the stairs with brisk steps up to the last floor and decidedly make my way to the window through a crowd of workers excited to see a live photographer.

The windows cannot be opened (and somehow I’m not surprised), so I photograph the “tremendous view” through the glass that is a little dimmed by the “fresh breath” and decorated with smeared drops of putty.

That is just what our client wishes to see: alpine meadows, clear fresh air, unknown birds flying high…

On this “beautiful“ cityscape I find the horizon line and construct a box—the future housing complex.


After performing a time-taking laborious task of finding under the microscope the outlines of the Kremlin wall, I draw them on the image.



I take the building render provided by the client—it is to be the main object in the illustration.


I carefully cut the house out and paste it onto the perspective view of the Kremlin surroundings using the box I previously drew with lines.


I do the undertime restoration work, insert glass windows, whitewash, paint, plaster…


I create some suitable surrounding, fix the reflections in mirror windows, tune the house into the illustration. Then I add clouds and shades, correct air and tone perspective… And the illustration is done. I can now drink my coffee feeling rather satisfied.


Narrated by Andrey Tikhanov




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