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Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 3:43 am
by crgcas
Sorry to ask more of a technical than material question but what successes and failures has everone had with scanning sketches and watercolors? I have a mess of various scanners and cameras here and have had no luck in capturing anything flattering (and my sketches need all the digital flattery they can get!)

Posted: Sat May 05, 2007 6:40 am
by Oliver
I've found scanning watercolors to be tricky; working on ordinary 60 lb sketchbook paper makes for awfully warpy pages that don't take well to my scanner. I use heavy books and mugs to flatten watercolors as they scan, then photoshop out imperfections and ghosts afterwards.

Posted: Mon May 07, 2007 2:17 pm
by ethangeorgi
I have a lot of trouble scanning my watercolors. They come out okay but the colors are always a little off. I think this is just the nature of the scanning something faint.

Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 10:36 pm
by crgcas
Indeed - thanks for the responses. I have played around quite a bit with scanning settings and can improve the colors, etc if I am willing to spend the time (which makes photoshopping easier). When all is said and done my results are still pretty disappointing. Looking at a sketch next to the scan is discouraging. I suppose I should spend more time practicing the sketch rather than the scan though! :wink:

Posted: Thu May 17, 2007 5:01 pm
by donnam
If you have photoshop, try doing a levels adjustment on your watercolors.

Posted: Fri May 18, 2007 11:37 pm
by crgcas
Thanks! I think I can do ok with the colors now (not always worth the time but with the levels curves in PS it comes out ok). I seem to be having the most trouble with the (for lack of a better term) graniness of the image. The scanners I am using seem to do a great job of highlighting the grain of even the smoothest paper and the edges of the paint but a subpar job of picking up details I'd want. Perhaps I am being too picky but am determinied to come up with a process! It shouldn't be this hard right? :lol:

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:16 am
by gustavo
Did you ever come up with a process? A scan or two that show what you were referring to would be great, specially if you managed to overcome the issue, like before (heh maybe those were deleted)/ after.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 1:42 pm
by donnam
I just scanned a watercolor that I did for an illustration. I found that changing my scanner settings to AdobeRGB1998 helped tremendously. The colors came in much truer than with the Canon "recommended" settings. Then just a minor tweak in Photoshop.

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:15 am
by crgcas
seeker & donnam: Thanks for the followup!

figure one

Well, I suppose the big issue is that I need to improve my brushstrokes and cringe when I see my scanner magnifying bad lines and downplaying qualities I like. :wink: Am I just coming to grips with a frustration that everyone else already takes for granted?

For instance, the image above is a watercolor I love on paper but the scan highlights some odd, messy strokes in the branches and subdues details (such as the prickly pears and derelict car) that I am fond of. After spending a lot of time tweaking the scanner and photoshoping it I decided it would be better to focus on honing my watercolors instead (although photoshop is a blast).

donnam: I'll try that scanner setting though, one of my scanners is a Canon as well.