Stages of drawing ‘I love you Horse’

Right now everything is happening at once – books, awards, jobs, travels… No complaints, but I am scared that my debut as a children’s book illustrator is drowning. So before yapping on about everything else, I want to introduce you to the book Jeg elsker dig hest! – I love you Horse!


It is written by Zenia.

I know her, because I once sent her a christmas card expressing my admiration for her as a writer, and on the same day she sent me a similar card. We had to become friends. She wrote a great story about a horse and a girl, and asked me to illustrate it. Hooray! We only have one review so far, but it is a great one.

I thought it might be fun to show you some stages of finding the right way to illustrate the cute and simple, yet deep and hitting-you-in-the-belly book.

The Girl. 

I don’t remember what her name was in the beginning, but it ended up being Stine. GREAT name.


So in return I wanted her to look a bit like Zenia did as a child – that’s how she started out, but both she and the horse went through a lot of changes as you can see in these sketches.



I needed to do something different – and ended up giving her a pony tail that looked a bit like an onion, because she is a little oniony. Then she was too cute, too pretty, too skinny, too old, too inked, too… this and that. You can see in the last drawing how she and the horse ended up looking.

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Test-detaljer Testi
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How now brown cow-lifornia

“All the leaves are brown…” – I feel like the Mamas and the papas tried to tell us something in the famed song California Dreaming: California is brown. Not just the leaves.



The food is brown. Like, ALL of the food is brown.


Yes, even the desserts.



The wall, the carpet, the baseboard and even the trimming is fluffy and brown.


Chips are brown too. The famed color of cheese.


Fences are brown, a thing that really brightens the mood.

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Actually, entire San Francisco i brown.


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National parks are brown too, but in a cool Star Warsy way.



I too started turning brown after a while. How could I resist?



Heck, even the group raping ducks AND their surroundings have been color coordinated.



Yes, tableware is brown and kitchen too. Classy.



If there is a such thing as a brown mood this is where you find it


The sunglasses are brown.



I guess this color would be Foxy Brown? The fierce drag queen on the left that is, not the asparagus-colored idiot dane on the right.



Even the local animals are brown.

Cartoonist of the year. Who? Me? Wut?

Cartoonist of the Year and recipient of this year’s honorary award of Danish Cartoonists: The Pentel Award / Pentel-prisen was announced today: Stine Spedsbjerg


This was the first news I read when I got off the plane from California. I wanted to call Erik (board member of Danish Cartoonists) and DEMAND that he told me, it was just a joke and admitted that it was not funny and then say sorry. But then Louise made a blog post about it – and Louise does not kid around with cartoons.


I am still too surprised to know what to say, so Louise has graciously lend me her words: 

Stine Spedsbjerg (born 1980) is a young and gorgeous Woody Allen of cartooning, placing herself at the center of her drawings to reflect on what the world is made of and doing so with deceptively simple lines and yet her drawings are dense with tactile linework – dotting, jagging, ticklish and vibrating with sudden openings to another realm of warm furry magic.

Oh, and she is presently chairing the Danish Council of Comics /Dansk Tegneserieråd.

But without further ado let us go to today’s press release, English translation in italics below.


“”Årets bladtegner åbner en ny fløj for vores fag og gør det med kæmpestor gennemslagskraft,” siger formand for Danske Bladtegnere Lars Refn om årets modtager af Danske Bladtegneres hæderspris, Pentel-prisen.
Offentliggørelsen af modtageren af bladtegnernes hæderspris foregik på Danske Bladtegneres generalforsamling onsdag 16. marts.
Prisen går til Stine Spedsbjerg, som står bag de digitale dagbogsblogs StineStregen og StrictlyStine, der begge kan betegnes som er en form for ’illustreret navlebeskuelse’.

”Stine Spedsbjerg er en dygtig journalistisk tegner, fordi hun fortæller historier. Hun rapporterer fra virkeligheden – og det er præcis det, der er vores fag,” siger Lars Refn og understreger:
”Et sigte med prisen er at tegne foreningens fremtid. Det er ikke kun en flidspræmie til en dygtig tegner, men også for at markere en retning i en brydningstid for vores fag. Vi har traditionelt været bladtegnere på trykte medier. Nu åbner nye medier sig også for os på de sociale og digitale platforme, og her har Stine Spedsbjerg kæmpestor gennemslagskraft med flere hundredetusinde følgere.”

Erik Petri, der er bladtegner og medlem af bestyrelsen i Danske Bladtegnere, beskriver årets prismodtager som en nyskabende gonzojournalist, fordi hun tegner sig selv ind og derved bliver en del af handlingen.
”Hun er ikke en traditionel tegner, der tegner det, hun ser. Hun tolker og tegner det, hun oplever. Stine Spedsbjerg har en helt speciel evne til at få fat i de små historier og give et billede af helheden med små snapshots. Den journalistiske tilgang hun har til historien, bringer noget nyt til feltet reportagetegning og bringer det til live igen,” siger Erik Petri og tilføjer endnu en kvalitet ved årets hædersprismodtager:
”Hun bruger de sociale medier til at gå i interaktion med sine læsere. I stedet for at sidde og gemme sig som tegner, så bruger hun sig selv aktivt som figur og lukker følgerne ind ved at uploade sine ting og lade dem kommentere og give feedback i processen, og hun svarer dem. Det er et nyt fokus,” forklarer Erik Petri, som håber, at Stine Spedsbjergs arbejdsmetode vil inspirere til nye måder at rapportere fra begivenheder.”

“This year’s cartoonist opens a new road to our profession and does so with a huge impact,” the chairman of the Danish Cartoonists Lars Refn says about this year’s recipient of the Danish cartoonists’ honorary award, the Pentel Prize.
The announcement of the recipient of the cartoonists’ honorary award took place at the Danish cartoonists’ meeting on Wednesday, March 16.
The prize is awarded Stine Spedsbjerg, who is behind the digital diary blogs Stinestregen and StrictlyStine, both of which can be described as a form of “illustrated navel-gazing”.

“Stine Spedsbjerg is an accomplished journalistic cartoonist, because she tells stories. She reports from reality – and that is exactly what is our profession is about, “Lars Refn says and he stresses further:

“One aim of the award is to draw the future of the association. It is not just a prize for diligence to a talented artist, but a prize to mark a direction in a time of change for our profession. Traditionally we have been cartoonists in the printed media. Now the new media open for us too on the social and digital platforms, and Stine Spedsbjerg is hugely successful here ‘with hundreds of thousands of followers”.

Erik Petri, who is a cartoonist and board member of Danish Cartoonists describes the award winner as an innovative gonzo-journalist in that she integrates herself in her drawings thereby becoming part of the action:

“She is not a traditional artist who draws what she sees. She interprets and draws what she is experiencing. Stine Spedsbjerg has a unique ability to grab the little stories and give a picture of the whole with small snapshots. The journalistic approach she has to the story, brings something new to the field of reportage cartooning and brings it back to life, “says Erik Petri and adds on another quality of this year honorary winner:

“She uses social media to interact with her readers. Rather than sit and hide herself as a cartoonist, she uses herself actively as a character and invites in the consequences by uploading her things and letting them comment and provide feedback into the process, and she answers them. It is a new focus”, explains Erik Petri, who is hoping Stine Spedsbjerg’s work will inspire to new ways of reporting from events.”

Kickstarter-related directors cut

The Kickstarter still seems to be going well, guys! Thank you so much! Some have asked about the Director’s Cut category, and I really wanted to elaborate. See, I made too many drawings so we would have something to choose from in the end when we decided on the final flow of the book. I hated to cut them so I am very pleased about this opportunity for them to live on. 

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(this is how they would have looked in the book)

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