This has caused no small headache. I want a unity of composition to the drawings. Most of them have the motif of the Eurasian Birch that ties each scene together.
Not surprisingly the interior of the Tsar’s Palace is not noticeable for its silver birches. So I have planned two architectural backgrounds that will bookend the story. Starting with the Tsar and his daughter and ending with the Fool and his new wife.
I am relying heavily on photographs here, as I have never seen any of the Russian palaces for real. Also have used photographs of the Russian Royal family for my models. I wanted the contrast of serf and royal in the figures. Not only in the arrogance of the stances but also the freedom versus constraints of duty.