Parrots and whales

I’m looking at the calendar and I can’t believe how quickly time goes by.

I wrote the last blog before Christmas. Since then I have painted lots and lots of goats, some trolls, birds and parrots, whales and a lion.

Most of this drawings and paintings were wrong. The goats’ horns are too long, the troll is too scary, I don’t need the most of the birds and I’m not sure if the lion is brave enough.

I’m illustrating “The Three Billy Billy Goats Gruff” and a board book at the same time.4I like working on “The Three Billy Billy Goats Gruff”, but it seems that my idea of how the troll should look is different from the idea of the publisher. I’m doing more sketches and I’m waiting for more feedback. 9

Meanwhile I’m skipping into the world of  board books.

I mentioned it before. Doing a simple picture for a board book doesn’t mean that it’s easy and quick. To be honest it takes me probably as long as a full colour double spread for a picture book. Many things go wrong and I have to change it again and again, but it may be just me.

So here is a photo of how it looks when you are printing lots of birds.IMG_6569

I’ll cut these printed papers into pieces and collaged a couple of birds out of them.

Here is a parrot.IMG_6573parrot

And here is a whale. I like painting whales.IMG_6575IMG_6580

This one was painted for my book “Blue Penguin”, but the picture didn’t make it into the book at the end. IMG_0202.JPGIt’s a shame, I like the picture.

Now talking about nice pictures of a whale. This whale was sent to me by Hugo Booth. He is nine years old and this is his illustration for a beautiful Czech story book “Zahrada” (Garden). Written and illustrated by Jiri Trnka.Hugo BoothI absolutely love the drawing.

I had a look at my sketchbook for more whales and here are some.ano rekl jsemThis is one of my latest sketches.

One more.


And a bird sitting on a chair at the end.


I’m now about to put the board book to one side and have another go with the troll.

Almost Christmas and some sketches!

This is a nice, but also a busy time of the year. Apart from getting ready for Christmas I somehow ended up working on three books at the same time.

I’m working on two board books and one picture book. These books have one thing in common – a deadline for the middle of February.

I’m skipping between these books as I’m waiting for the feedback from publishers. It’s a bit challenging, I must admit. I like working on these titles equally and it’s always hard to leave one book and work on another.4Here is a sleeping fish I’ve been working on this week

bear (1)and a polarbear.

The picture book I mentioned is a classic story “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”. IMG_6292Here is the work in progress.

I’m enjoying illustrating the story very much. The book is for a Korean publisher and I was asked to do the Troll a bit more scary, so this is what I’ve done.

IMG_6295I just hope that it’s not too scary. I’m waiting for feedback as I write.

As I was taking photos for the blog and tiding up my table for Christmas I opened one of my sketchbooks. I got stuck looking at some of the pictures and collages.

I like opening old sketchbooks. Some of the pictures I haven’t seen since I finished them and some of them I haven’t seen for years.


This was a photocopy of my drawing, but water splashed over it and this is what happened. I liked it and put the picture into the sketchbook.

IMG_6328This is also one of my sketches plus some paper samples. It’s a finished picture. “Young Girl, Pig, Cat and UFO”.

IMG_6329One more.

Well, this is it I think. It’s time to leave the work for a bit and start enjoying Christmas!

Petr - Happy Christmas copy




crocodile and the others

I’ve been traveling a bit this week talking about books to children and adults too.

Look at this amazing horse I was given by little Sofia.1

I visited Horton Grange Primary School in Bradford and did a workshop with rather clever children. I went to London to do a talk at the CLPE conference. It’s always nice to visit The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. It’s full of nice people who like books!

The feeling must be mutual, since  ”A First Book of Animals” by Nicola and me has appeared on the CLPE list of the staff’s best books of the year 2016! Thank you! You can download the list here.

Mentioning “A First Book of Animals”, The Federation of Children’s Book Groups published my blog about how I illustrated the book. Thank you!

For the rest of the week I was painting crocodiles. I previously mentioned how challenging  it is for me to simplify the animals for my latest board book.

I illustrated a crocodile quite successfully in the past. Here is one from ”A First Book of Animals”.AFBOA41In fact my Dutch publisher Lemniscaat liked the crocodile so much that they changed the cover and they have the croc on the cover of the book instead of the panda.

Opmaak 1

So it seemed to me that painting a crocodile for my board book couldn’t be easier. I was wrong. I tried to make him simple, but he was too green. Here is my first attempt.crocc 2 copyI had to print him again a couple of times and add a bit more colour. It worked – I think.Crocc 1 copyCan you see the difference?

The next in line was a frog. You can’t see it!IMG_6277Now you can.IMG_6279I started this blog mentioning my school visits. I will finish with one more school. I  received these delightful photos from Ethelbert Road Primary School in FavershamCx0J0VBXgAA1mpL

It seems to me that Blue Penguin is rather popular in the school.Cx0J0VhWIAAIY9UI think the display is amazing!Cx0J0VVWIAAu2R6