Printer Recommendations

  • Currently watching the "Loosening Up in Watercolor" video, which is great. He mentions transferring his sketch by printing it on his watercolor paper. I detest having to re-draw my sketches too. Can anyone recommend a printer for this purpose? Thanks!

  • SVS OG

    @Laurel-Aylesworth I don't recall @Lee-White ever mentioning which specific printer he uses for such, but @Jake-Parker will do similar for his inking. On Jake's site at, he lists the Epson R2000 Printer which he says:

    "This is the best printer ever. I use it for making fine art prints that I sell at conventions. The color is stellar. It's a work horse too. Any normal printer problems I've had with it were easily dealt with. I think every serious artist needs one. It's also great for printing on smooth bristol or cardstock. I do my pencils in Photoshop, print them out, then ink over it. Win!"

    I think that these are newer versions of that printer:

    Epson Stylus Photo R2880 Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer (C11CA16201)

    Epson Stylus Pro 3880 Color Inkjet Printer (CA61201-VM)

    Epson's site shows a Stylus Pro 4900

    These all aren't exactly cheap... Also, they may be overkill if you only want to print sketches onto watercolor paper and aren't planning on using it for prints & such. I'm guessing that there are probably less expensive printers that will allow you to get started.

    I think there are a few things that one would need to look for in a printer to do what you want:

    1. Can it handle heavy paper? If it has a feeder, like the Epsons above, then it is likely to handle such.

    2. Can it handle the size of paper you are doing your watercolors at? If you just work at letter-size, then your options are wide, but if you work big, then you'll have to go wide-format like the Epsons above; though, that only gets you up to maybe 13" wide.

    3. Are the printed graphics water resistant? The Epson R2000 that Jake listed says that the inks are, I'm not sure about the other two, but I'm guessing they are too.

    While I don't have personal experience here since most all of my work has been digital for awhile, I hope this all helps. I totally agree that being able to print a light, refined sketch onto the paper being used would be so beneficial.

  • Pro SVS OG

    @QuietYell So awesome incredibly expensive. And also huge! Thanks for listing this - very very useful. I will keep that in my hopeful wish list (aka: I hope one day I will earn enough from illustration that it makes sense to buy something like this....).
    I wanted to add that I use print-shops most of the time (I have a desktop printer but it is a 50-dollar thing and the quality is in agreement with the price). They are able to print on any paper and advise on waterproof ink, etc... The good ones will sit with you to balance colors and make several proofs, if you need it.

  • @QuietYell Thank you! This is most helpful.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @QuietYell I use the epson 4900 and it's been amazing. It can print on board up to 1/4" thick. It can print big and the color and resolution are amazing. Some people complain of print heads clogging up which is typically due to not using it enough. These printers need to run at least every other day, even if you just print something small to keep that from happening.

  • SVS OG

    @Lee-White WOW! 1/4" thick?!! Now that's a machine!! That's a good tip about printing simple things just to keep it clean.

    Do you have any particular papers that you put through it for selling prints? (or any particular inks, settings, etc. if out of the norm) - This is what my interest is in for a printer like this.

  • SVS OG

    @Lee-White btw, it would be great if you ever had time to put together a "tools" page like @Jake-Parker did on his site. I know you listed them (or some of them) in your video, but that written list of Jake's is really quite valuable, and I've referenced it for myself & shared links to it with others multiple times. He also has an Instagram for it - Regardless, thanks for sharing as you have already!

  • Pro SVS OG

    @Lee-White I have a Epson Stylus Photo R2000 but it seems to run out of white quickly. Otherwise, it prints nicely.
    I am so not printer savvy.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @QuietYell I'll see about putting together a tools list. IT's sad to me that Jake's tools page has more followers than I do. Haha!

    I use Epson bright white watercolor paper on roll for my prints that I sell. This is an amazing paper. Better than any other paper I have found.

    They sell this in sheets too...

Log in to reply