..and one more festival

IMG_9757I visit so many schools these days, that I’ve developed a good skill at guessing pretty much straight away, how my day at the school will be. All I need is to meet a couple of teachers by the door and a couple of children. In 10 minutes I know what to expect.

Last Wednesday I went to a small school Powich Primary School in Worcester. I met nice and friendly teachers there and as soon as I started to paint the board for our workshop, children gathered around me and started lively conversation. Nobody shooed them away in fact the headmaster came around to say hello as well. I knew it would be a good day and so it was.

We painted a big picture, did lots of drawings and talked about books. It was such a busy day, that I forgot to take some photos, but I got lots of drawings from the children though. Here are some.

Scan copy

And one more.


On Friday I traveled to Ilkley Literature Festival. I stayed in a nice hotel in Ben Rhydding. I thought it will be one of those evennings, when one doesn’t talk to anybody, goes to the hotel room and watches friday night telly. I walked to Ilkley, had a coffee and went back for a lonely dinner, but as I went down to the restaurant I met fellow illustrator Robert Crowther. We both publish with Walker Books and we had a lot to talk about. It was a nice evening.

At breakfast I spotted another familiar face – Yasmeen Ismail IMG_9752

Here she is just finished her event which was a great success judging by the happy people queuing to have a book signed.

I was next after Yasmeen. I did a talk and workshop and one more talk later in the afternoon. The children and their parents who came were lovely, but people who go to festivals and who like picture books usually are nice.


Here is a picture which describes the working atmosphere pretty well. IMG_9758

We made nice books.IMG_9765

Here is Little Mouse meeting a ladybird called Lady Ann.


Fellow young illustrator



and one master piece.



I think I can say, that we all had a great day, so thank you to Ilkley Literature Festival for having me.

I’m now off for two weeks. I’m going on my annual trip to Czech woods. I’ll be painting, walking in the woods and I’m hoping to write some new ideas for picture books.IMG_6463_2

I will also stay in Prague for a couple of days and since I publish in the Czech Republic I will do a bit of book talking there too. On Tuesday at six o’clock in the evening I’m going to be in the international book shop AMADITO & FRIENDS.  I’ll do a talk, read from my books and do some drawings.photo 1

The shop is run by Sylvie and Olivia. We met in the summer in their lovely shop. I noticed that Petr Sis did his event there only a couple of weeks before me, so I will have to work hard to match it.

unnamedWell, the shop window is now beautifully decorated. I’d better go and pack my suitcase.



Book festivals and some pictures

Last week I visited Clifton Prep School in Bristol.  I had a great time being well looked after by Jenny, the librarian in the school.


With children we made a big picture for the new library. We all had fun and it all went pretty well.

There are lots of book festivals around at this time of  year. I went to Henley Book Festival where I did a talk and workshop with lots of little children and their even smaller siblings. Luckily I had very good voluntary helpers and it all went smoothly.  Henley looked great and I wished I could stay longer and go to some of the events, but I had to go back and do preparation for one of my favourite book festivals – Cheltenham.



Cheltenham Literary Festival is always very well organised and the audience is always very nice and lively. This was my fourth year doing the so called “Breakfast with Petr Horacek” Children and their parents come in to the “Spiegeltent”. They have a rather good looking breakfast – pancakes and fruit, juice and adults get good coffee too. I read my books and did a bit of drawing. Then we all make little books together. It’s a rather nice, friendly family event. I always enjoying being in Cheltenham.


Apart from the event itself it it’s also a great opportunity for me to catch up with friends and fellow authors and illustrators.


I also met lots of very talented young artists. Here is a picture done by one of them – Emile Rosen age 9. These characters are from a not yet written down book, but looking at these strangely looking guys, you can imagine that the book could be really good.

emile 9

I also had time to do a bit of drawing and painting myself.Scan 2I did three little pictures for charity.
SnailThe pictures had to be the size of a postcard and people are auctioning the artwork in the next month. The auction is anonymous and the people bidding for the pictures don’t know who did them until they buy them. The pictures are signed on the other side. I like the idea. I will mention  the name of the charity auction in the next couple of weeks.

Scan 3

A Fox on The Plate

The Bookshop WigtownThis weekend I was at Wigtown book festival. It’s a long way from Worcester where I live, but it was worth the journey. Beautiful scenery through the window of the train and Wigtown is a lovely little town packed with friendly people.

The festival itself is really well organised and there’s  so much to see. Highly recommended! I had a good time and … lobster for lunch, so thank you Wigtown for having me.

Otherwise I was working on my latest book. Here is the second page of the book. IMG_9725I usually paint each picture at least twice, so I can choose the best one for the book. Painting the picture more than once helps me  relax. I don’t now which one will end up in the book, so I’m not too precious about any of them when I’m working.

IMG_9728Here is the other one. I think I know which one will make it to the book.

Yes, It’s mainly penguins at the moment. I’m also painting the snowy backgrounds and frozen sea. It’s not as easy as it seems I realise.

This photo would describe my recent dreams pretty well.

tucnaciIt is kind of a little nightmare sometimes.

One more thing I wonted to mention. Both my daughters watch”A Great British Bake Off” and it inspires them a big way. Tereza decorated her cake for her friends in the style of Vincent van Gogh. I think Vincent would be proud.

IMG_9719Cecilia, my younger daughter made a delicious cake for our friend who came for lunch today. IMG_9730The cake was so delicious, that I was tempted to lick the plate, but since it would be a rude thing to do, I just drew with my folk on the plate. The result was a rather pretty fox I thought.


Oh yes and I’m at Henley Literay Festival on Friday and Cheltenham Literary festival on Sunday morning – looking forward to them.



Drawing cats

I did my first school visit in the new term. I didn’t need to travel too far. I was in Worcester where I live and went to King’s St. Alban’s Pre-Prep. It was a nice day. The number of children in the classes were small, so we all could have good fun and a proper chat.

I got some presents from the children.


A couple of giraffes and a horse.


A couple of cats.


Talking about cats…I also did some pictures of cats last week.Scan 2

The last time I had an exhibition, I sold cups with images based on some of my books. They were popular and I have none left, so I’m thinking about making more.

IMG_1368Here are some of my new designs.



An elephant who is going to meet a cat.

Scan 1

And one more. Well, this cat is actually a tiger.

One more tiger

Last time I showed a little drawing, done by a child, which inspired me to draw a couple of tigers.IMG_9609I didn’t know when to stop, so I painted this picture.

One mo e tigerI also started to work on the final illustrations for my latest book. This is the very first picture and also first spread in the book. IMG_9638The text will say: “Far away in the south a blue penguin was born.”

I can’t wait to get on with the rest of the book. I’m very excited, although the text is still not quite finalised, but my editors and I are working on it very, very hard.

rekiama 069In the mean time, as I’m waiting, I looked at this old picture I did a long time ago. I still like it. I often take the picture with me to schools and  talk about the cat, who was rather special.  I thought I should perhaps have a go and do one more picture like that.

IMG_9641So I did.



Penguin and Tiger

12. jpeg

Some picture books are relatively easy to do and some take absolutely ages. I’m working on a book about a penguin. Next month it’s going to be a year since I started it. I’ve changed the story so many times that I’ve lost count.

This is definitely one of the more difficult books to write.

Scan 6How many times I’ve thought about leaving it and write something else instead, but few days later I would have another go. The truth is, that I’m really enjoying sketching the pictures. In fact I can’t wait to start working on the final pictures.

I’m going to see my publisher next week. I hope that we will finish the text and I will get approval to start working on the final illustrations then.

IMG_9620But I’ve already started to sketch the main character. IMG_9622IMG_9623


Yes I know, you don’t see a blue penguin every day, but that’s what the story is going to be about.

Last week I wrote about how I get inspiration from drawings done by children.

As a student of Fine Art I learnt a lot from copying paintings done by well known artist. Now I’m trying to learn from copying children’s drawings. This tiger was done by a child in one of the schools I visited last year. IMG_9609
I love the drawing, so I thought I would have a go myself.

IMG_9625 Here are my tigers.

IMG_9627Tiger chasing zebras.

IMG_9629 Two tigers IMG_9630

and one jaguar. I love the idea of the tigers having a greeny blue head. It makes them more scary, don’t you think? Definitely.