There is suggested a construction of plane algebraic curves with prescribed singularities, which applies both in the real and complex case. The construction is based on the Viro method of gluing polynomials and on the geometry of equisingular families of plane curves. As application it is proved that
(1) for any nonnegative integers satisfying there exists an irreducible real nodal plane curve of degree with real nodes, isolated points and pairs of imaginary conjugate nodes;
(2) for any nonnegative integers satisfying , there exists an irreducible real plane curve of degree with real ordinary cusps.