Monday, July 2, 2012

Artist Beth Kommes: Scratchboard and Woodcut Illustrations

Scatchboard illustrations by Beth Kommes for the Caldicott Medal winning book, The House in the Night.

Joan's comments re: her affection for Beth Krommes artwork were the inspiration for this post. (I had used a Beth Krommes woodcut to illustrate my Summer Reading post.)

So since I love Beth Krommes illustrations too (both scratchboard and woodcut), I decided to share more of them.

Beth Krommes woodcuts

The Zen of Ironing


Cottage Garden

To learn more about Beth Kommes and her work please use this link to her website.


  1. These are so charming! I have a great appreciation for scratchboard artists, in fact for anyone who creates images in reverse! It takes a disciplined mind and much patience to work in that medium.

  2. Me too, Mark, me too. It's hard to know how to approach it. I'm assuming she can see things in reverse in her mind. Discipline is right. Patience is assumed. :)

  3. Thank you! I love these and would love to step into any of them! They're so peaceful and structured and they just make me feel good!

  4. You're welcome, Joan. Beth's woodcuts are for sale on her website, by the way. :)

  5. I have no idea what "scratchboard" entails, but this artist's work is beautiful and original - and like stepping into an enchanted world.

  6. I admire the skill and patience that this takes.

  7. Yvette, I didn't know these types of illustrations are called "scratchboard" illustrations. They remind me of some of the illustrations in my English text books back in school. I like every one of them. Thanks for sharing Beth Kommes' work.

  8. Prashant, only the first five illustrations are scratch-board. The others are wood-cuttings. Both are very difficult disciplines.

    They tried teaching me 'scratch-board' work in high school. I just couldn't get the hang of it.

  9. Eve: It is very difficult work, indeed. Wood-cutting is even more daunting, to me. I do love this artist's technique. Very special.
    Enchanted - yes.

  10. Hi, I am going a graduate project on Visual Design using this book. Would you be interested in doing an interview with me?

    1. Why don't you try Beth Kommes' website (I posted the link). The artist herself is the one to talk to. I have nothing to do with the work except that I posted some of it. But thanks for asking. Good luck with your project.


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