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Paper and Scanning

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:09 pm
by bitterknitter
Hi guys! I'm a traditional artist, i.e- use watercolours and brush and pen ink. However, most watercolour papers are too big or your average a4 scanner bed, usually (frustratingly) by an inch or two. If it's a bit too big, it causes this awful shadow and blurring of the scan if you try it anyway! Can anyone give me some advice to this, please?

Re: Paper and Scanning

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:05 pm
by IVstudios
I assume the reason you prefer the larger paper is because it's easier to paint big than small. The best thing I can think to do would be to do a single comic page over several smaller pieces of paper and piece them together in Photoshop. Cut a sheet in half and do the top of a page on one half and the bottom on the other.

Or, if you really want to work on one sheet of paper: scan one half, flip it over and scan the other and line up the two pieces in Photoshop. This can be tricky and you'll have to clean it up a bit to get rid of any lines or color inconsistencies, but isn't too difficult.

Re: Paper and Scanning

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:57 am
by RobboAKAscooby
IVstudios wrote:Or, if you really want to work on one sheet of paper: scan one half, flip it over and scan the other and line up the two pieces in Photoshop. This can be tricky and you'll have to clean it up a bit to get rid of any lines or color inconsistencies, but isn't too difficult.

That's how I do it when I use larger paper.
If it's 9"x12" I only have to scan twice but A3 needs 3 scans to eliminate shadows - it'll just take a little playing around to work out what works for you.

I've got an A3 scanner on my printer but it's useless the colours are way off and it won't let me calibrate it (but I guess that's what I get buying on clearance *sigh*).

IVstudios wrote:I assume the reason you prefer the larger paper is because it's easier to paint big than small.

I've found that certain brands of art paper don't come in standard A4, A3, etc for some reason.

Re: Paper and Scanning

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:24 am
by VeryCuddlyCornpone
Yeah, I usually scan the two halves of the page separately and then merge them. This is easier to do when you're doing work with panels though, if you have a full page spread it gets difficult.


The pricier, but probably worthwhile if it's something you're serious about, option is to look into buying a larger scanner.

Re: Paper and Scanning

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:41 am
by McDuffies
Maybe you can find something like this available for larger formats:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2/177-0049079-3072420?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=sheetfeed+scanner
Thought I understand that there are scanners for larger images available too:
http://www.amazon.com/Mustek-Express-A3-USB-Scanner/dp/B000WKSZ5A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343072360&sr=8-1&keywords=a3+scanner
It's probably take half your desk though.

Re: Paper and Scanning

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:30 pm
by MichaelYakutis
I use the full format Mustek scanner, myself (see McDuffies post above). It works GREAT. Best investment I've ever made, you should really consider getting one if you scan large pages regularly. I think I got mine for about $100 or so and I scan in watercolors all the time. I use that scanner several times per day and it hasn't given me any trouble for the past 2 years I have owned it. You still have to be careful with dark spots on the warped watercolor pages. If the page is really warped, what you can do is press down on the cover a little bit while the page is scanning (or put a few heavy books on top). This will help press the warped areas flat. Not perfectly, but it does help. Also, another thing you can do, is before you start painting, glue the back side of your sheet to a piece of board or heavy cardboard (I use very watered down Elmer's glue and I paint it on with a brush, but the more professional way would be to use gesso). This will help keep the page flat as you paint. You can then scan in the page while it is still glued to the board (if it fits in the scanner) or peel off the paper (if the glue isn't too strong).

Re: Paper and Scanning

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:00 pm
by IVstudios
Back in college we'd tape the edges of the paper to a board using a low tac tape. Less messy than glue, but it reduces your workable area a bit.

Re: Paper and Scanning

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:42 pm
by MichaelYakutis
IVstudios wrote:Back in college we'd tape the edges of the paper to a board using a low tac tape. Less messy than glue, but it reduces your workable area a bit.


Using tape helps the edges stay down, but it doesn't prevent warping. Unless you use tape on every square inch of the back of the page, lol. Taping edges works pretty ok for smaller pages though.

Re: Paper and Scanning

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:57 pm
by IVstudios
Well, it depends a lot on the kind of paper and how much water you use. I used a fairly thick paper and was conservative with my water usage, so If you pull the paper tight it took care of the warping no problem.

There was also one person in the class who had this nifty pad of watercolor paper where each sheet was glued to the one below it. Sort of like a pad of sticky notes but on all the edges instead of just the top. Not sure where they got it but it was quite nice.

Re: Paper and Scanning

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:17 pm
by VeryCuddlyCornpone
My pages get a little warped, so I usually put a stack of about a half an inch or a little less of plain white printer paper behind the piece being scanned and then place a book or other heavy object on top of that if it's causing particular trouble.

Re: Paper and Scanning

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:52 am
by RobboAKAscooby
VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:then place a book or other heavy object on top

Another reason every artist should have a nice big anatomy book :D

Re: Paper and Scanning

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:07 pm
by VeryCuddlyCornpone
RobboAKAscooby wrote:
VeryCuddlyCornpone wrote:then place a book or other heavy object on top

Another reason every artist should have a nice big anatomy book :D

:P

Re: Paper and Scanning

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:44 pm
by MichaelYakutis
IVstudios wrote:There was also one person in the class who had this nifty pad of watercolor paper where each sheet was glued to the one below it. Sort of like a pad of sticky notes but on all the edges instead of just the top. Not sure where they got it but it was quite nice.


Those pads are awesome, but at the same time I kinda hate them. It means you have to work on top of a stack of sheets that are beneath the one you're painting on. Plus they're kinda pricey and you can usually only find them at REAL art supply stores. Or online. But they're still pretty cool. I don't remember what they are called...