Sunday, December 31, 2006

Thirsty Sasquatch.

When I scan in Big watercolor pieces (this ones 22" across) I end up battling with the edges. Big pieces in which I've used lots of water warp and buckle. That shows up on the sides in the scan as ugly dark splotches. I've started to actually IRON them and that seems to help. They still are curving when I put them in the scanner, but if the edges are sharp and flat I can put a large book on the scanner and turn off the room lights (important) and get a decent scan.

Also, The foreground is a tiny brush and ink and the back is pencil. A trick I learned from watching Stacy.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Fun pic! Can't wait to find out more about this project.

    I have this same problem with scanning, and it's a pain. I also get the paper grain which is impossible to repair digitally.

    For buckling paper... One method that seems tried and true is to soak the paper in the bathtub for 15 or 20 minutes, and then staple it (while wet) to a board,staples about every 1/2 inch. Let it dry and there you go. It's best to keep the staples in until the art is done and dry.

    And for what it's worth, you can get a Mustek 11 X 17 for around $150. Not big enough for that 22" piece of art, but I've been using the A3-EP for about six years now.

    I'm wondering how well a digital camera would do the job. It would probably warp the image and the lighting would be tough to get right. But stitching is a major pain.

  3. Bravo!
    Sasquatch loves Gatorade....he'll be using that outhouse back there pretty soon!

    Wes, you and I do the same thing (minus the ironing)...I put a stack of heavy books on my scanner lid and turn off the lights. It seems to help.

    I use cold press watercolor paper most of the time and the paper's textured surface clearly shows up. I have been just leaving it because it gives the art an interesting look. Two kid magazine illustrations I did have this texture in it and I was pretty happy with the results once I saw the magazines.

    The two book covers I just finished show the texture of the paper too, I'm curious to see how that turns out. It definitely gave character to the artwork.

    But I also love that slick watercolor look that you can get with hot-pressed paper. For me, I guess it just depends on the project.

    I have the Mustek scanner and try as hard as I can to not do anything bigger than the scanner can scan. But sometimes I resort to piecing a large piece together in Photoshop. A real pain.

    Ted, I've also soaked a piece of paper in the bathtub. I've sometimes soaked it as long as two hours. It's a tedious process, but it works beautifully if you want a tight piece of paper once the artwork is done. But after you staple it wet to the board, you have to give it time to dry...which is also time consuming. Imagine screwing up the drawing and have to start all over again. Soak, staple, dry, etc.


  4. Stretching it with paper tape along all the edges is the classic way. I do that, and use staples just to be sure. It's certainly nice and flat!

    But one can get away with unstretched if you use thicker paper, or don't put on as many washes.