Lineart, printer, scanner questions

3) Questions about my art: Lineart, scanner, and printer questions 

How do you ink your pictures?

:bulletpurple: Usually, I “ink” with a pencil (H to B, F is a new favourite).

How do you get such clean lineart on watercolour paper?

:bulletpurple: 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?

:bulletpurple: 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?

:bulletpurple: 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.


13 thoughts on “Lineart, printer, scanner questions

  1. Hi Jenny,

    I was just browsing through your site. About your scanner, I have a Mustek a3 scanner, that I would really recommend to you :) it has made my work so much easier. The best part is, that it’s incredibly cheap compared to other scanners in that size. I paid around 130 euros four years ago, and it’s still a wonderful scanner. It does, like most scanners, loose the softest hues if those are among sharper or even primary colours. But overall it’s great.
    Just a tip, really :)

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful work!

    • Interesting – I had just *today* decided to get myself an Epson Perfection soon. They work with CCD technology, meaning they pick up stuff that does not lie flat against the glass – like the inside of a book, or watercolour paper!

      It also comes with software to automatically put together larger paintings scanned in several parts. But I really have to say that I don’t mind scanning the parts and putting them together, tweaking colours… it’s got something meditative about it. Like the final hill you have to climb before a piece is truly complete. ;)

      I’ll look into that one though, that you very much!

      • Really? Seems I haven’t been keeping myself up to date with the latest tech, but I’ll have to check out some of Epson’s new products :)
        Your printer does, by the way, sound absolutely fantastic. However I normally just painting without much sketch-work done beforehand, so it might not apply to my work. But maybe that will change..

        Before I got my a3 scanner I absolutely hated reassembling pictures. Somehow, a dark line would find its way onto my drawings. So I guess I’m not really that much of a climber – went the final brush or pencil stroke is made it is -done-.

        And you’re most welcome!

  2. May i ask what brand of ink are you using exactly? My lineart dissolves with water all the time! As for scanning, i personally use a layer of transparency to reduce glare:-)

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  5. Hey! I went to a local copy shop a while ago to get some prints done but they use Toner in theirs.

    This makes the colors bead up and not layer on top of the toner lines, and I was wondering if the pigments for your really nice printer (which I now have my eye on getting a similar model) do not have this problem and the colors layer naturally as if I had inked the page myself?

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