Traditional artists! What can we learn together about scanning

  • Hello,

    Anyone out there suffering alone with scanners? I am curious to know how people deal with scanning nightmares. Any tips? Or is it just a question of doing a lot of photoshop afterwards?

    I have been recently scanning my artwork and while most of the illustrations were fine, I had encountered few issues, and I would be very grateful to hear your advice on them:

    1/ How do we scan for printing? As you can see in the picture, the change from RGV to CMYK is huge in this one (see below). Do you know if some colours change more from RGV to CMYK? Sould we avoid some "tricky" color combinations/saturation..etc?

    Capture d’écran 2021-04-28 à 16.11.27.png
    Capture d’écran 2021-04-28 à 16.11.41.png

    2/ Any ways to reduce artifacts? Some of the illustrations have weird colour lines across them, some of them are fine. Why? (I clean the glass equally before scanning).

    If this could be of any help, I learn few little things: avoid rough watercolour paper if possible, pastels also make it difficult, unless it is quite smooth.

    Thank you !

  • I can not help but I am listening in the conversation.
    I recently started doing part of my final art traditionally. I did see similar issues with scanning - especially the weird color lines. It is not a big problem for my current experiment as I paint with black ink only, and color the painting digitally. But I can see the problem down on the road as I want to do more process in traditional media with watercolour, or gauche.

  • Moderator

    I've noticed banding on mine as well, I had found this article awhile back.

    I've yet to try it.

  • @tenmei first of all, love the movement and exuberance you coax out of cut paper! Your style is great!

    Okay ... to address your questions:

    1. Scanners scan using the RGB color profile. However, for print, the artwork needs to be switched over to a CMYK color profile (the art director or printer will be able to tell you what color profile is preferred; there are quite a few). And yes, there can be quite a color shift for some colors when switching from RGB to CMYK! Particularly green blues like aqua or blue-greens (as you see in the above scan). It is possible to manually adjust some colors in Photoshop. What works best for me, though, is just staying away from the colors that I know have a tendency to shift.

    2. To reduce the artifacts and scan lines, make sure that your scanner software is up to date and make sure that you're scanning in high resolution (at least 300 dpi) and that the scanner isn't set to 'quick scan'. That doesn't always work, though. Sometimes it's an issue with the scanner itself; some budget scanners aren't intended for color scanning or artwork. If you've made sure all your settings are correct and scan lines are still showing, you may want to troubleshoot for that particular model on the brand's website. That has helped me in the past. (Haven't had that issue in years, though, so my advice might be outdated. My first printer/scanner had a tendency to do that, but my last two scanners, both all-in-one Epsons, never did that.)

    Wish I could be more helpful, but this has been my experience so far. ❤

  • Moderator

    @Melissa-Bailey-0 @tenmei I second everything that Melissa said. I want to add that what I like to call electric colors also do not transfer well to print, like hot pinks and electric yellows and such. Trying to paint with colors that you know will not need to be color corrected in photoshop would also be my advice. Since you are using a paper cut technique, have you considered using a high res camera and photographing the art? You can set up some lights to reduce the shadows and may get better results than a scan. The characters are so cute but the hard shadowed edges draw the eye away from them.

  • I'm also a traditional collage artist and feel your pain. I'm still figuring all of this out myself.

    Currently, I do a lot of post-production editing in Photoshop while looking at the original to match it as closely as possible. And @burvantill is right about neon colors (which is sad because they're so fun!). Actually photographing the work is probably your best bet in that case, but that would require an investment in some equipment. I plan on doing that myself later down the line.

    Can you elaborate on what you mean by "artifacts/weird colour lines" though? I'm not sure what you mean by that. Maybe you could attach a pic?

  • Thank you so much guys! You are so helpful. You pushed me into the right direction.

    I will be doing a bit more "research" on the topic and gathering more articles (like the one @CLCanadyArts sent, THANK YOU!!) to create a little post in this thread with "resources". This way we can all have them in one place and everybody can look check them out too.

    For me, there is something "magical" about working traditionally and NOT having the "undo" command. Working digitally, I easily run into circles of "self-doubt". I can see how working digitally has many benefits (easier for revisions, file sharing, printing...etc). Maybe in the future, when I will be more experienced it will be better. Meanwhile, my cintiq is still inside the box and I am having a lot more fun with some papers and crayons...We will see.

    @Melissa-Bailey-0 Thank you for your kind words, I checked your insta now, I am a big fan of your art! I am glad I found you and to know that RGV/CMYK transition really depends on diferent colours. Of course, it totally makes sense, but there is not much info on it out there. Also, I will check if my software is up to date (I have no idea!). I will be ready for extra Photoshop sessions for those colours. 🎨

    @cianamacaroni Ohh good to know there is no "magic trick" on scanning then. I will plan for Photoshop "after-production" sessions more. Also, hopefully, after this, we will learn a bit more together! ps. Your work is so beautiful!

    @cianamacaroni @burvantill ... I feel soooo stupid.... I had not thought about photographing the artwork 🤔 😿 THANK YOU! Few years ago, I completely failed. I used a very crappy camera, but my partner has a High-End one. Now that we live in the same part of the ocean, I will give it a try!! I might even try to get some studio lights. Thank you again. I will let you know how it goes.

    @xin-li I look forward seeing your experiments! I hope you enjoy the inking. Sounds fun.


  • ohh @cianamacaroni I had flatted out my "artefacts" in Photoshop, so I do not have any images at the moment, but I will have more soon (I guess..). I will let you know. Cheers!

  • @tenmei 'create a little post in this thread with "resources". This way we can all have them in one place and everybody can look check them out too.'

    What a great idea. Thanks for sharing your what you're learning! I'm following this thread too.

  • Moderator

    @tenmei You don't have to go too high tech. I've been able to get some good product photos with one light or sunlight and some strategically placed reflective car window shades. Easy peasy and low tech! 😃

  • @tenmei you’re so very welcome! Glad that you found that info helpful, and that you found me on Instagram! (I’m following you too!)

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