Beautiful Scratchboard Art

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Starred Review from Kirkus, 2016:
A child yearns for the snow day that will keep her mother, an airplane pilot, home. Krommes’ inimitable scratchboard illustrations play with perspective and point of view as they flesh out Sidman’s short poem, written in the form of an invocation. . . . The pacing is perfect. Careful readers will relish the details and concoct back stories of their own. Overnight, the pilot tiptoes away, just as snowflakes begin to fall. Gradually, park, roads, and cars are covered with snow. Finally she gets to the airport. No planes will fly. Instead, mother returns to a snow-covered world, where all three can breakfast together, toboggan in the park, and celebrate with hot chocolate and cupcakes. A snow day dream! . . .  Like a snow day, a special treat with broad appeal. (more)

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Advice from artist, Beth Krommes:

What is scratchboard?

“Scratchboard, also known as scraperboard, is a black-and-white drawing medium. The board itself is a cardboard or panel with a thin coating of fine, white clay covered by a layer of india ink. The drawing surface starts completely black. One draws by scratching white lines through the ink with a sharp tool, such as a scratchboard nib held in a pen holder. The more lines one draws, the brighter the picture becomes. A scratchboard drawing, often very highly detailed, can resemble a wood engraving but is not a print medium.

I love working in black and white but it is not always suited for every assignment. To add color to my scratchboard illustrations, I photocopy the finished black-and-white scratchboard onto acid-free paper, photo-mount the paper onto an acid-free bristol board, and add color with watercolor. This painting is the original art I deliver to a publisher.

The scratchboard I [Beth Krommes] recommend is “Scratchboard” by Ampersand.”


A delight!


@HMHKids (twitter)


Author site: Joyce Sidman