How-To Clean Up A Painting Scan
Touch up your original painting to look just as good online as they do in your studio!
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Scan in your painting! If your painting is too large for the scanning area (mine almost always are) then you can scan in all four corners and then piece the 4 scans together in photoshop. I use the “auto align layers” feature in photoshop to do this.
Now that you have your painting scanned in and it is assembled and ready to edit, you are ready to begin cleaning it up. What I like to do first is use the clone stamp tool to get rid of any dirt or dust in the painting. Often I find a painting will look perfectly clean but once I scan it in I can see every tiny imperfection. Don’t spend too much time on this (you could be using this time to make more art!) but do make sure your image looks clean.
Here is where I like to make sure that proportions are correct. I fix minor things like if a leaf looks out of place I will move it using the select tool. I also use this time to make sure facial features are in the correct place.
Colours! This is the most important part of any illustration. Make sure the colour palette you used is to your liking. Also, make sure that you fix the colours to look like your original painting because once a painting is scanned in it often takes to different colours. I use to image>adjustments>hue/saturation to do this. I also like to use image>adjustments>colour balance to make sure colours are what they need to be. Don’t forget to use the shadows/midtones/highlights feature of this tool because they are very important!
Use image>adjustments>levels to make sure that your painting is bright and stands out. The scanner often fades paintings out.
Walk away for a bit! Then come back later and make sure you are happy with the digital image of your original painting. If your heart tells you it is ready, then go ahead and post your new painting on social media and get excited to see people react to your work!