Since a couple of folks have asked, the process behind the most recent images has gone something like;
- Super messy sketch in red pencil on watercolor paper (Canson Foundation Series cold press 185g, if anyone’s curious).
- Somewhat neater underdrawing using a brown Copic marker (no particular reason for the color, it’s just the lightest marker I have).
- Grey undertones painted with some kind of generic black watercolor.
- Lines drawn with a fine synthetic brush and india ink (I always used to do the line art first, but I’ve been finding that doing it after I’m finished with the watercolors gives me a darker, crisper line. On the other hand, if I screw anything up at this point the whole thing’s totally buggered).
- Scanned using my much-loved Epson Perfection v330 scanner (this is the first scanner I’ve owned that didn’t bleach the everloving fuck out of my watercolors and I adore it).
- Several zillion layers (set to ‘multiply’) of varying opacity for the colors, added in Photoshop.
… So it’s an absurdly long and convoluted process, and you’d probably be able to achieve a similar effect with far less trouble if you have a tablet and some notion of how to paint properly in Photoshop.
How do you scan your watercolor works into digital? :(
I use an Epson Perfection V600 Photo scanner (it’s super old at this point, it might be time for an upgrade). And I leave all the settings basically at default. I scan things for print at anywhere from 300-600dpi, usually jpgs but sometimes tiffs. I then take it into photoshop and play with the levels, ie making the white of the paper WHITE white. That usually boosts the saturation a little and makes the colors pop, and then I’ll play around with values and clean up smudes, lint, hair, etc. Not super thorough, I know. If I can get around to it, one of these days I’ll do an actual tutorial walk through, but it’s not too involved. :)
how do u manage to scan in ur copic work and keep the quality? I never thought my scanners were bad but I can never seem to get the photoshop editing to match up with the original, it always comes in faded
I had the same problem until I got a good scanner. It’s an old Epson (Epson Perfection 2480 photo) model but it works great for me. Now I don’t have to do much to make my scanned images look decent, usually I just play with saturation and color balance in photoshop until I’m satisfied with the final look of the pic. Here is a comparison between an unedited scan of a copic pic and the final image after I edited it:
If you can’t restore the colors on your scanned image in photoshop, it’s probably your scanner’s fault. But it’s worth mentioning that copics (and watercolor in most cases) always look more impressive in real life, no matter what you do.
In memory of my beloved but recently deceased Epson Perfection scanner, here’s the very last artwork it scanned before giving up the ghost: A rough page from Empowered vol.10, featuring a rather “meta” scene in which a dubious Past-Tense Emp (left) is berated by Present-Tense Emp (right) for being such a “cringing ol’ scaredycat” about the future.
Two things about this page:
A) Panel 1 uses a round, compass-drawn border because, for the life of me, I could not draw Present Emp’s lower legs properly. In desperation, I decided to crop the panel to hide this tricky area, and a circular panel design worked perfectly for that purpose. Problem solved!
B) Those two balloons in panel 6 had way too much dialogue, so I wound up combining them into a single, smaller balloon, which had the added benefit of making room for a profile shot of Past Emp at lower left. Alas, I can’t show you the revised page, thanks to my now-deceased scanner. Sorry ‘bout that, folks.
Hi! I was wondering what scanner you use? Your sketches and paintings always look so beautiful when scanned. I'm on the lookout for a new one, but i know nothing about scanners! I'm sorry if this has already been asked :) thank you!
Hey, no problem! I don’t think this’s been asked for a long time; definitely not since I bought my most recent scanner at least. Right now I’m using an Epson Perfection V600, which I bought for myself as a graduation present as it’s pretty much a baby version of the massive scanners that were available up at college. The quality’s absolutely gorgeous, and although the scanner bed is a bit small, there’s only a tiny bevel between the glass and plastic so it’s very easy to scan larger work in parts.
How do you scan your watercolors? What type of scanner do you use?
Good question! I use an Epson Perfection V600 Photo scanner. It’s a bit out of date - I think I got it about 3 years ago. The scanner bed is about 8.5″x12″ so I have to tile all my pieces in photoshop. I basically use the preset levels and modes on the scanner to scan my watercolors. Often, I’ll have to color correct more in photoshop but this scanner nails the color pretty well.