3) Questions about my art: Lineart, scanner, and printer questions
How do you ink your pictures?
Usually, I “ink” with a pencil (H to B, F is a new favourite).
How do you get such clean lineart on watercolour paper?
Not at all. I do the lineart (often after a looser digital sketch) on drawing board (Hahnemühle “Nostalgie”, 200 gsm), scan it, and print it out on watercolour paper. Smooth paper is far better suited to the detailed line art I love so much, and it can handle a lot more erasing.
For the full process, see here!
How do you print lineart on watercolour paper? Doesn’t it bleed/smudge?
Different printer brands (and even different printers within the same brand) have totally different ink. I’ve been working with copied lineart since 2003. Initially, I had a HP printer which only dissolved ever so slightly, and took paper weights up to 250 gr if coaxed gently. Then I had a Canon, which has no waterproof ink (it went runny all over the place; not a pleasant sight), so I went to a copyshop to have my lineart printed onto watercolour paper there. In peak times, they saw me two to three times a week. They haven’t seen me since the summer of 2010, however, as I’ve owned Epson printers since that time. Many Epson printers work with pigment ink, which is absolutely waterproof, and my printer can handle paper weights of over 300 gr. It truly has revolutionised my workflow! It only works with original Epson ink, of course; the cheaper ones you find vary greatly in quality and water-proofness, and I don’t take chances there. In the end, as my brother says, nothing is as expensive as buying cheap. Right now, I have an Epson Stylus Photo R2880 (A3).
How do you scan your watercolours?
I have a rather cheap and old CanoScan Lide 90, which is great because it picks up everything. One of the tricks in scanning watercolours, I’ve found, is not to change the scanner settings at all. You get what it “sees”, and then you can do any tweaking manually. Some Photoshop knowledge is essential for that, I find – sometimes, it takes me a while to get the scan to look like the original again. I usually adjust the contrast, tweak the colours if necessary, and turn up sharpness just a notch, and just for web viewing.
If I work larger than A4, I scan my watercolours in several parts, and reassemble them again in PS.