One of the questions that I get asked a lot is how do I transfer my illustrations into digital files, so I decided to (finally) take some time to write a little post about it. Although the process is not really complicated, it does take a bit of patience. Here are some of my personal steps/tips into the process:
1. Paper. One of the first things that I would advise, if you are planning to scan your (future) art, is to use a smooth texture paper. There are many watercolor paper brands, both hot pressed and cold pressed, with a fine texture. This will make your art easier to adjust after scanning and there will be no paper marks on your digital artwork file.
2. Scanning your work. In my opinion, any scanner can work fine, but you might have to play with your scanner’s settings until you get the best results. Your goal is to scan your image as close to the original as possible. Depending on how you want to use your artwork, I would suggest to scan it at 600 dpi, but higher would be even better, if your computer can support a larger file like 1200 dpi. You can always reduce the size of your files, but you won’t be able to make a small scanned image larger without loosing it’s quality.
Note: I used to have an old HP scanner + printer until it broke this year and now I am using a Brother DCP-J105. I am not able to scan images larger than 8,5″x11″, so for my larger illustrations I usually go to a printing place in town to scan.
3. Editing. I am using Adobe Photoshop for all my pictures and scans. Once I have the artwork on my computer, I open it in Photoshop and I “clean” any paper impurities, mistakes, adjust colors (if needed), cut, edit, resize, etc. If you are new to Photoshop, now you can find many free online tutorials for almost anything you want to do.
You can use your artworks online as RGB files or in print as CMYK files.
I realize that there might be so many other things to say, but I hope that these main lines have been a bit helpful. If you have any other questions, please leave them in the comments below and I will try to answer the best I can. :)
Have a beautiful week! Xx