Friday, December 9, 2011

Pro tip maybe?

We've discussed the nuances of scanning watercolor paper quite a bit on this blog in the past. Ted observed that turning a watercolor paper 90 degrees helps at times if a scan is not showing up well. I have a trick I'd like to add

To get a "flat" scan on bigger pieces that might have a few visible bumps in your scans just turn the paper art side down on a towel and mist it with water, soak up any small pools with another towel and then repeat until the paper gives in and lays flat. Then just scan it in slightly wet.

Obviously, be careful to not get the art side wet in any way. It should feel dry.



  1. I have had some pretty bumpy watercolor art before and yeah, it was just impossible to get a good scan. I would pile on heavy books but then the scanner started making grinding noises! I will keep your trick in mind. So I guess as long as you don't overdo it with the misting, it won't mess up the art on the front?

    I have tried stretching watercolor paper like they say you're supposed to, but I don't like the way it changes the way the paper takes paint. I just don't like what it does to the paper in general. Just taping the paper down well while painting, and letting it dry that way, works better, I think.

    I envy the way you've stuck with watercolor and mastered it. Now, I can't even imagine you doing just black and white art any more!

    Now, I'm off, to do a bunch of black and white art.

  2. Thanks, Ted.

    I use this technique mostly on bigger pieces and it works quite well. Yes, art is undisturbed on the front as long as you are spraying it on top of a towel which soaks up the excess.

    I too have tried stretching paper, but I've found just soaking the paper in a tub and then placing it on a sheet of acrylic like this

    He suggests to staple it at the end, but I find if I hang it right and it's a thicker paper, it'll dry flat and I can jump in and use it like illustration board again in about a few hours.