Stepan (1932-1999) is a Czech illustrator who escaped from communist czechloslovakia to live in Italy. Later he established one of the biggest centers for children's book illustration in a village around 60 km from Venice, where they have a huge festival every year! (info here: http://www.freewebs.com/evaulian/aboutme.htm & http://www.radio.cz/en/section/books/the-magical-world-of-childrens-book-illustrator-stepan-zavrel )
His work is very lyrical and fantastic watercolors. I think his use of color (especially in the book "They Followed the Stars" ) in narrative, and his shape and design, are really powerful.
(this last is a picture of the town where the big Children's book Festival is held)
here's a review for his book Drogman, which includes more pictures of some of his other work!