House No. 43: Russian Izbaink, colored pencil, and watercolor on paper, digital layout
8.5 in. x 11 in.
Izbas are Russian log cabins built by peasants in the countryside. Many are ornately decorated with painted woodwork. The houses were built without saws or nails because the steel was so expensive. Instead, the logs were notched with a hand axe and fit together. Ornamentation was whittled by knife.
Some izbas, called chicken leg izbas, are built on stilts. These are the inspiration for the magical house lived in by Baba Yaga, the witch of lore from Eastern Europe. I love these stories and the imagery that they conjure up. The tales may find their way into some illustrations quite soon ...