Today I’m going to talk to you about how to turn your artwork into prints. If you prefer to see a youtube video of this please check this out :
Buuut back to the blog…. So When I first started selling on etsy I was selling my original paintings and I very quickly realised that once a painting sold that was it – I got paid and there was no further income to come from it and I had to paint another to earn more. So very quickly I came to the conclusion that I wanted to capitalise on my hard work and I wanted to keep making money from it even if I sold the original piece.
So I did some research and worked out I would have to find out how to make prints from each of my paintings and this is the process I will talk you through today.
STEP 1 – DIGITISE YOUR ARTWORK
Initially I tried taking photos of my paintings but I kept getting stuck with the perspective issue – it was incredibly hard to get a photo that was exactly 90 degrees to the painting that wasn’t blurry, was in good lighting and the quality was good enough. And I just didn’t have all the equipment I needed at the time (good lights etc).
If you are interested in photographing your work however then there is a great blog post about it on the Society6 website (link below) :
So I prefer to scan my paintings in to create prints as I find that this produces more accurate results for me – and I am more comfortable with the process.
My scanner is an ancient Epson V370 Perfection which has now been discontinued but I have put a link in below to the newer V39 model which has most of the same features.
To scan a painting in I just place it in the scanner and press the button and ‘Hey Presto’.
When I have a larger piece of art to scan in I flip the lid of my scanner do it in sections; There are times I may have to re-scan an area several times but most of my work isn’t massive so for me this works.
STEP 2 – MERGING YOUR SCANS
I use Adobe Photoshop for this. You can do this manually but actually Photoshop has some great features which will do it for you seamlessly – it works 99% of the time.
To stitch your scans in photoshop you can either action it from Adobe Bridge by going to
- Tools > Photoshop > Photomerge.
To stitch your scans together in Photoshop using photomerge just go to
- File Menu > Automate > Photomerge.
To use this feature just select the images you would like to merge, choose the Auto setting and click OK and Adobe will spend a few minutes doing it’s thing and when it finishes it should show you a pretty accurate depiction of your painting.
STEP 3 – EDIT
Once you have a single image of your painting it is time to edit it.
In this step the first thing I usually do is flatten the image and remove any layers. I do this to make the file size a bit smaller as otherwise the photoshop files are enormous. I then save this version as the original JPEG (yes I do still use JPEGs!)
The next thing you need to do is edit the actual image – remove any blemishes and imperfections, overlapping or miscoloured areas, edges etc.
In this step I also always make sure that my white areas are completely white and that the colours are accurate or how I would like them to display – sometimes I do increase the saturation/vibrancy as I really like colourful prints.
I also blend out the edges of the painting if it is a loose piece like this and I may change the colour profile to Adobe RGB or Working RGB depending on which one looks better.
Once I have finished editing I print a version of it to check if there is anything else I need to do. Sometimes things will show up on paper that don’t easily show up on a screen so I correct them and keep printing until I am happy with the result.
STEP 4 – RESIZING
Then I resize it to my standard 18×24”. Once I have this master version I create smaller versions. I begin with the 16×20” and from that I make the 8×10”; Then I go back to the 18×24” version and create the A3 and A4 versions. So this gives me my initial set of images which I can then use for framing/photography or in mockups.
Anyway I hope you’ve enjoyed this short blog post about how to turn artwork into prints. You may also find my other post useful about artwork specifications.
Let me know if there is a specific topic you would like me to cover in these blog posts!