About author

authorI — Vasiliy Zolotov — was born in 1958. As a youngster I drew pictures in a child’s manner. In school I attended a drawing workshop to improve my drawing interest and lead it to professionalism.
In higher grades at school I took an interest in aviation. I started building plastic models from aircraft kits and drawing aircrafts, emulating the style of artist Otto Reich whose drawings were on the box tops of those kits produced by the East German manufacturer VEB Plastikart.
After school I enrolled in the Moscow Aviation Institute. There I continued drawing aircrafts, however my idol at this time was the Czech artist Miroslav Balous working for the Czechoslovacian magazine Létectvi a Kosmonautika (Aviation & Spaceflight). I also admired the work of Mikhail Petrovsky whose colour drawings were published in the Soviet (Russian) magazines Modelist-Konstruktor (Modeller-Designer) and Kryl’ya Rodiny (Wings of the Motherland).
After graduation from the MAI I served at the Soviet Air Force for two years where I worked as a technician of a MiG-25 interceptor. Later I participated in the Buran space shuttle development programme.
In 1992 I established my own aviation history magazine, Mir Aviatsii (Aviation World), and drawing aircrafts became almost my main occupation. The first few hundred drawings were made on drawing paper, using paint, India ink, airbrushes, brushes, crayons and markers.
With the use of computer graphics the technology of making colour artwork has dramatically changed. However, the skills of manually drawn colour paintings became a good basis for computerised graphics.
The part of the colour artwork completion process that I like most is ‘weathering’ to make the drawings look almost like a real aircraft, using original photos of the planes.
My drawings have appeared in many publications in Russia, as well as in Germany, the USA and Great Britain. As an artist and illustrator I participated in the creation of several books, including Pe-8. Der sowjetische Fernbomber, Saturn Aero Engines, Long-Range Aviation. The First 90 Years, Three-quarters of a Century of GosNII GA, Military Transport Aviation in Russia.

I do appreciate paintings of Roy Grinnell, Robert Taylor, Shigeo Koike and Andrey Zhirnov – classics of the aviation theme.