It’s no secret that watercolor paintings are a popular medium for artists. The vibrant colors and unique textures make them a favorite among artists and art collectors alike.
But what do you do if you want to sell your watercolor paintings online or at craft fairs?
How can you make sure they look their best when reproduced in print?
Watercolor artists have a challenging time digitalizing their paintings because of the texture of the paper and the opaqueness of the watercolor paint.
In this blog post, we will walk you through the process of digitizing your watercolor paintings so you can sell prints of them on fine art paper, acrylics, and more with confidence.
Here is a list of the equipment you will need to digitize your watercolor paintings:
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- Camera (DSLR or mirrorless) with a macro lens or extension tubes
- Software for image editing (Photoshop, GIMP, etc.)
- Scanner (optional)
DSLR Camera will give you perfect results when digitizing your original painting. A DSLR camera is a digital camera that uses interchangeable lenses.
An essential feature of this type of camera for our purposes is the ability to control depth of field and focus precisely on specific areas within an image, even if it’s not in front or behind us.
You can use a macro lens or extension tubes to digitize your watercolor paintings with your DSLR camera.
Extension tubes are hollow rings that fit between the end of a lens and the camera’s body, which will allow you to focus closer than average (but at the expense of some light).
A macro lens is what most people think of when they hear “macro photography,” and it’s what we recommend using to digitize your watercolor paintings.
A macro lens is a specially designed piece of glass that allows you to get very close-up shots without losing sharpness or clarity in the image. The most common focal length for these lenses ranges from 50mm to 200mm, so you have many options.
Tips For Photographing Watercolor Paintings
- Use a tripod to keep the camera steady and avoid blurry images.- Set your camera to manual mode and use the lowest possible ISO setting to avoid noise in the photograph.- If you’re using a macro lens or extension tubes, make sure you are close enough to the painting so that it fills the frame.- Set your f/stop as low as possible for better depth of field.
- Test the photographs and adjust the settings as needed.
- Choose a location with even indirect natural light for optimum results when photographing your works of art. For example, next to a huge window or sliding door when the sun is not shining directly into the space.
- For more even lighting, bounce light back onto your art using a piece of white paper or a white poster board.
Related Post: Best Digital Cameras For Photographing Artwork
After photographing your original piece, you can save it as a digital file on your computer.
A tripod is an important piece of equipment for digitizing your watercolor paintings because it will help keep your camera steady while you take pictures. A tripod can also be used to position your camera at different angles. If you don’t have a tripod, try using books instead.
Software For Image Editing
Image editing software is necessary when digitizing your watercolor paintings because it allows you to adjust the colors and resize the digital photos to represent your original painting accurately.
Several different software options are available, but we recommend Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or GIMP. Both programs offer a wide range of features and can be used for basic editing tasks such as cropping, resizing, and adjusting color levels.
If you’re looking for more advanced editing tools, Photoshop is the way to go. However, GIMP is a great free alternative that offers almost everything you need for basic editing tasks.
Tips On How To Crop And Color Correction With Photoshop
- When cropping your image, make sure to leave enough space around the painting to have no empty background surrounding it.
- To correct color levels in Photoshop, click on Image> Adjustments > Levels and drag the black and white triangles towards the center of the histogram until you have a more balanced look.
- You can also use the Curves tool to adjust color levels by clicking on Image> Adjustments > Curves. This will allow you to make more precise adjustments than the Levels tool.
- If your image looks too dark or bright, try using the Brightness/Contrast tool under Image> Adjustments. This will allow you to fine-tune the brightness and contrast of your Image.
- Save your edited photo as a JPEG file to reduce file size. Smaller image sizes will make it easier for you to upload your image online and share it with others via social media or email.
However, if you are going to print the digital painting, it is best to save the image as a PNG. PNG are larger files that will produce better results for printing original artwork.
How To Remove Backgrounds With Photoshop
If your painting has a background that needs removing, use the Magic Wand tool under Select in the toolbar. Click on an area of color close to the edge of your painting, and Photoshop will automatically select it.
Once the entire background is selected, go to Edit > Cut or press Ctrl+X on your keyboard. This will delete the background from your image. The background will have white space that can be cropped.
If there are any areas where the paint has been removed and the background, use the Clone Stamp tool under Tools in the toolbar to clone over the affected areas. This will help the transition between the background and painting seamlessly.
For best results, try to photograph the art as close to the edges of the painting as possible.
How To Add Borders With Photoshop
If you want to add a border around your watercolor painting, there are a few different ways to do it. One way is to create a new layer on top of your image and fill it with a color of your choosing.
Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to create a border around the painting.
Once you have the border drawn, go to Edit > Copy or press Ctrl+C on your keyboard. Then go to Edit > Paste or press Ctrl+V on your keyboard. This will paste the copied layer onto your image, and you can resize it as needed.
Another way to add a border around your painting is by using the “Layer Styles” panel in Photoshop (Window > Layer Style). Click on Stroke and then set the size, color, and position of your stroke.
How To Resize Your Image With Photoshop
If you need to resize your image, use the Crop tool under Tools in the toolbar. Select a preset size from the dropdown menu or enter your desired dimensions manually.
Save your digital image at 300dpi for the best printing results. This file type will be perfect for most printing services.
Dpi is the number of dots per inch in your image. The higher the dpi, the better your print quality will be.
You can digitize your watercolor paintings if you have a scanner instead of taking pictures. This option might be preferable if you have a small painting enough for a scanner. For larger artworks, you will need a digital camera.
To scan your watercolor painting, place it on the scanner and make sure there are no creases or folds in the paper. Then press the “Scan” button and follow any on-screen prompts to save your scanned image as a JPEG file.
Related Post: Best Art Scanner For Graphite Artists
If you want to print your digital watercolor painting at home, make sure you have a printer capable of printing at a high resolution. Most inkjet printers can print at resolutions up to 1200dpi, but you may need to upgrade to a higher-end printer if you want better results.
There are also other ways to make prints of watercolor paintings, like POD or using a local printing service.
Related Post: 6 Best Printers For Printing Fine Art Prints
Fine Art Paper
Choose a high-quality fine art paper to print your watercolor artwork. Look for a paper texture representing the original if you sell limited-edition watercolor prints.
Final Thoughts on Digitalizing Watercolor Paintings
Digitizing your watercolor paintings is a great way to preserve them and share them with others. By following the tips in this post, you can create high-quality digital images that can be printed and sold as prints online or at craft fairs.
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