Getting distracted

neporadek na stoleFor the last couple of days I’ve been sketching new ideas for a new book with the old character Little Mouse.

I like drawing Little Mouse. I’ve some notes and sketches in my sketchbook and therefore it shouldn’t take long before I come out with… something. That’s what I thought, anyway.

The reality is different. I get easily distracted. For example I looked at the sketch of a horse I mentioned last week in my blog.IMG_3509

Before I knew it I was painting a bigger version of it.JezdecAnything to avoid what I should be doing.

Back to Little Mouse. I thought the story could be about Little Mouse going for an adventure. How about sending her to the woods?bearShe could meet a bear.Hello MooseAnd perhaps she could meet a moose.

Who else lives in the woods…a snake.? Before I knew it I was distracted again.

These time I did a picture of a snake.Five o'clock TeaIt may look a bit spooky, but I like snakes. I named the picture “The Five O’clock Tea”. Can you see the mouse?

mys a kulicka

I’m back sketching Little Mouse. This time I got distracted by emails, but not every email is a nuisance.

One of the emails made me smile. A couple of years ago A new House for Mouse was published in the Czech Republic.A New House for Mouse Unfortunately the Czech version of the book was published without the cut outs, so some people decided to cut the holes in the pages themselves. It works (a kind of IKEA approach- do it yourself)!

One mum and her son Adam, who is 7 years old, used the cut out images  to create this masterpiece! Adam Danek 7letI like the picture and it looks like as if they had fun too. Thanks for sending the it to me!


New Ideas

I went to see my publisher last week. I took three new ideas for picture books with me.

I’ve been doing picture books for some time now and I’ve been working with my editors for a long time too, but I’m always nervous when I’m showing new ideas. I can never guess what the response will be.

One of the stories was about a tadpole.Scan 1The other one was about a girl call Lucy.Scan 11The third book is about a tiger.

Scan 1The last one of the three is the book I would like to do the most, but it’s also the one which is a bit….. edgy. I didn’t have much hope.

The meeting was very good and inspiring. I’m happy to say, that we may do the book about the tiger!

Things are never simple.  I’ll have to work on the story a bit more before we can present it it to more people, but I left with lots of helpful comments and ideas.

The other two stories were also considered, but the tadpole has to go and the other book is also fine, but …it won’t be about Lucy…..anyway, this is how things are and I’m quite use to it now. Simply, I left my publisher with lots of things to think about.

On Wednesday I was at Shrewsbury House School in Surrey with a great Art Department. The school is boys only, so I was a bit worried, but I had a really nice time. The boys did a great job. I was so busy that I forgot to take photos for the blog, but I got lots of nice drawings from the students. Here are some.IMG_3506This is actually me. I was explaining that if you don’t know how to draw something, you can always get around it. This can explain why the boy drew me wearing mittens.IMG_3505We did lots of drawings of animals. The antelope is one of my favourite.IMG_3507And flying elephant.

Now talking about flying elephants …I found another drawing of a flying elephant.

elephant flyingI’ve forgotten who gave me this picture, but I like it so much that I did my own version of it.Flying Eleohant copyO.K. it’s not as good as the original, but it was fun to do it.IMG_3508

In Shrewsbury House School I was also given this drawing of a horse. When I got home I did a quick sketch in my little sketchbook.IMG_3509

That’s it….or may be one more tiger.Carriage copy


Last TigerI did this picture a year ago. I know it was soon after Christmas, because one of the presents I got that year was a monograph of  Cy Twombly. As you can see I was clearly inspired by Twombly’s work and that’s why I did so much texture and scratching in the picture.

I named the picture “The Last Tiger”.

FullSizeRender-2The picture got stuck in my head.  Nine months later I started to write a story about a tiger. Scan 2Now I’m in thearly stages of making a first mock up.

Scan 5Here are some of the new thumbnails.

ScanOne more.Scan 6 It’s the middle of January, but I still find it quite difficult to concentrate on work and get myself easily distracted. Every time I look at the new sketches I want to paint. I did a couple of pictures  just for fun.V Kleci copyHere are two of them.

Utek z Cirkusu copy

Cirkusovy Tygr copy

This is a sketch for the bigger painting.

Cirkusovy pohreb copyI looked through my little sketchbooks to find more  tigers.244Here are some of them.184Tiger, panda and a zebra.246A talking tiger.IMG_9625.JPGStrange tigers…IMG_9627.JPGand one of them is chasing zebras (I know, it’s quite unrealistic).94

This drawing is old and it’s a sketch for Richard Brautigan’s book “In Watermelon Sugar”. 

The tigers here are looking very scary, but what I did was just copy a child’s drawing.



Blue People

IMG_2993I was in Prague.  I met up with lots of friends and went to see a couple of very good exhibitions.

Two of those were exhibitions of two of my favourite artists - Květa Pacovska and Jiří  Salamoun.

Květa Pacovska is perhaps better known for her beautiful books, but seeing Pacovska’s paintings and installations was a real treat .

I could spend hours in the gallery just getting inspired by the colours and playfulness of Pacovska’s work.IMG_3020

 The other artist was Jiří Salamoun. I’ve been a big admirer of his work for many years. DSC_0005~2
You can imagine how excited I was when I found his monograph (also published in english) under the Christmas tree!salamoun_obalka_propagacni_mala_0
A small exhibition of his drawings and prints in the little gallery of Baobab publisher made my day.
Over the holidays I did a series of sketches and drawings inspired by both of these artists.
Here are some drawings from my little sketchbook.Blba KravaThis one is called “Silly cow”.Modry lidi s palmouThese are “Blue People”Modry lidi doma“Blue People at home”
Pisnicka pro mesic“Singing to the Moon”
I also did some bigger drawings.Holly CowHere is the cow again.
I call it “The Holy Cow”zpevacekOne more singer.
Modry lidi a Mesic“Blue People and the Moon”
Modry lidi“Blue People in your Home”
Modry lidi s ptacky“Blue People and three Birds”

In Prague I did a short interview for the foreign section of Czech radio. Here it is – click.Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 18.47.35
             HAPPY NEW YEAR!


advent calenderThere are only a few windows unopened in our advent calendar!

I’m in Prague at the moment. Czechs celebrate Christmas on the evening of 24th December. I’ll be still there just about to fly back that evening to get ready for turkey and mince pies here in England. This way I’m going to have two Christmases!

I’ll be traveling in the evening on the 24th, so I may even see Father Christmas in the sky (once again)! HO HO HOI already got a first Christmas present the other day. A picture from Bill, age 4. It’s a drawing of mouse. I love the brown fur and with the white background it looks as if the mouse is standing in the snow. Thank you Bill.Bill

Here is another picture which made me happy. My younger daughter Cecilia design this Christmas card. I love it!cecilia

I looked through my folders trying to find some of mine winter pictures and found these very old illustrations.

scan0026A snowman with birds.


Here is one with a kingfisher.scan0027Snowman in conversation with a man.scan0025

Here they are again together.scan0028I’m not quite sure what is happening here, but it’s snowing.IMG_1423This man is happily cycling through the snowy countryside. He is being chased by hares.1Well that is enough pictures for this year. Have a nice ChristmasThe Moon Christmas 2 003..and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

St. Nicholas and Elephants

Last week people in Czech Republic celebrated Saint Nicholas. I love the tradition when St. Nicholas, a Devil and an Angel visit children and bring them sweets. Children are excited and a bit scared at the same time. st.  nicolasI was a couple of times St. Nicholas myself.  Here I am dressed as St. Nicholas with a rather scary devil.

p.horFriend of mine Alex Holy, who is seven years old drew this lovely picture of St. Nicholas.


Last week was also about “Blue Penguin”.Wendy CoolingI had nice reviews in The Independent and The Daily Mail and was also asked to write an article about Blue Penguin for Elizabeth O. Dulemba blog.

It was also the christening of a lovely little boy called Gabriel. I wanted to give him a picture and since I was recently painting elephants, I did one for Gabriel too.Gabriel SlonI showed a couple of sketches of elephants in my previous blog.IMG_2920

There are two elephants with too many legs.IMG_2919

I did two bigger versions of them.5ti nohy slonI know that they do have too many legs.

nohaty SlonChristmas is coming soon, so if you haven’t got all the presents yet, have a look at Children’s Book Illustration. There is so much to choose from! There are also some elephants.