Based in Miass, Russia, Alexandra Zutto is a 27-year-old freelance illustrator. Her subtle, vector-based style walks the line between sinister and cute, which has made her work particularly suited to T-shirts and other garments. She is a featured designer at, and her work has been made into T-shirt designs by Threadless. 

Many works that look complicated are really made from simple elements. In this tutorial, Russian artist Alexandra Zutto shows how to build up complex, beautiful images by patiently layering and building up small, straightforward segments, always varying them to prevent monotony. 

For this piece, which Zutto created for the Blood Sweat Vector exhibition in Berlin, she says: “I tried to reproduce the tundra’s atmosphere, with its pale sun and soft lighting. It required looking closely at a lot of references to understand how I can achieve these kinds of effects.”

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to build up many elements to create a vector image with real depth and richness. Zutto explains: “I spend most of the time picking out colours that match each other to form harmonic colour composition. It takes a lot of time, but it’s worth the effort.” 

Time to complete

2 days 


Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop

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