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Commercial illustration

Illustrating a family home for a gift


December 2020


My friend Niina had a lovely idea: make sure their family cottage isn’t being forgotten. Christmas was getting close and we decided to illustrate the house in its full grace for posters that would be gifted to the family members.

During this project, I drew loads of inspiration from the work of Malika Favre and other artists that developed a unique style in working with minimal colour palettes, and use shadows and highlights to build a strong narrative.

finding the balance

Visual narrative might be the hardest to achieve. When creating any illustration, you want an eye to land and travel around by design.

Niina’s family home is a unique place. It’s rather minimalistic all around but has a very detailed, ornamental front surrounded by various plants that Niina’s grandmother used to take care of. It’s a lot to show on a single poster, but I accepted the challenge and experimented with things worth showing and worth hiding.

I developed various sketches: vertical and horizontal layout, plain and axonometric projection.

Ultimately, we decided to continue with the image of the front porch where the staircase rails lead to the centre and green bushes form the surroundings. What a lovely view, indeed!

Once the sketch was agreed on, I moved to do a few days-worth work in Adobe Illustrator.

Version control

It was essential to create an imprint of the happiest moments in that cottage: summer season, blue sky, blooming greens, and the traditional Finnish brick coloured house.

Make the palette too cold, and the house loses its charm. Make it too warm, it might look unrealistic. We aimed for something in between: a fresh and vibrant colour scheme.


Thanks Niina for trusting me with this intimate family project! 

Image credit

Anastasiia Kozina (me)
Photography & sketches

Microlearning experience

View project