Elizabeth Keith was born in Aberdeenshire Scotland, but lived in England for most of her life. In 1915, she traveled to Japan to visit her younger sister and stayed for nine years. During this time, Keith traveled to Korea, China and throughout Japan. In 1919, she exhibited her watercolors of Korea in Tokyo, which caught the attention of the woodblock print publisher Shozaburo Watanabe. The famous Shin Hanga publisher convinced Keith to translate her works from watercolor into the woodblock print medium. Under Watanabe's tutelage, Keith produced over one hundred signed woodblock prints that gained popularity in Japan, Europe and the United States. Upon her return to England in 1924, Keith received acclaim as a watercolorist and printmaker. She became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.