How To Make Prints Of Watercolor Paintings

For professional artists, their watercolor paintings are a great source of making income. They get a prestigious earning out of their arts. There is another way to increase their revenue: the digitization of watercolor paintings.

Nowadays, digital artworks are sold at a reasonable price online. You can make several copies of your unique artwork where the original document is only one, and this one can make earning for once. But how to make prints of watercolor paintings?

There is a simple procedure to make artwork prints. You need to know the process to make intricate detailing and create an exact copy of your artwork in digital format. So, let’s learn the process through the step-by-step guide easily.

How To Make Prints Of Watercolor Paintings

Some easy steps like scanning and printing through the printer are involved in digitizing the artwork. You should invest your time and concentrated labor to edit the artwork on the software to confirm that the digital copy is the same.

There are some things you need to collect before starting the process. Know those things and manage them according to your budget.

Necessary Items:

  • Desired watercolor paintings that you want to print
  • Camera or a scanner
  • Photoshop software access

Follow the steps below to digitize your artwork.

Step-1: Select the Artwork

It is possible to digitize all types of watercolor paintings. It takes more effort and labor to print the artwork, which has a more intricate design. If the design has basic shapes and minor detailing, then it prints faster.

How To Make Prints Of Watercolor Paintings
Fine Art America

When it is about printing a watercolor painting, selecting artwork with saturated and defined colors is wise. If the color is of the painting edges is pale and light, prints will not be good on the white paper. A highly expressed contrast color is easy to print and makes an excellent showcase on white background.

Besides, light color on design is hard to clean and reproduce. Digitization of soft colors is a complicated and laborious job to print.

Step-2: Get the Digital Form of Artwork

There are two effective ways to digitize the artwork, one is scanning using a scanner, and the other one is photographing. Many people forget about photographing and searching for the scanner. But photographing can work as a scanner if done correctly.

How to Digitize the Artwork by Photographing

  • First, you have to collect a digital camera that takes high-resolution photos. In recent days, there have been cameras on smartphones. If the resolution of your phone’s camera is high, you can use it to take photos of your artwork. If you can take a high-resolution photo, you will get more control over it. The quality of the image depends on how big you can enlarge the photo.
  • Next, you have to find a location that provides uniform and indirect lighting on your artwork, and you can take a perfect image. You can set your artwork at the side of the window or any door opening. You should take the picture in the daytime when the sunlight does not directly enter the room or place where you have set the painting.
  • Now set the image on a flat surface to take a good picture of the painting. You can place your artwork on the ground or tabletop. Make sure that the surface is evenly balanced.
  • Now you may go and take the shot from above. But it is not a wise angle. It will give the chance to make errors. You should tilt your camera slightly and skew the perspective. Make that the lens of the camera is in a parallel position. You can use a tripod to set the camera right and still.
  • If you can collect extensive white paper or a white poster board, you can set it on the opposite side of the artwork. It will bounce the light on your painting. Another way to get the light exposure the best is to set the artwork parallel to the window glass.
  • As you will work with Adobe Photoshop to edit the digitized form of the painting, you should not over-expose it while taking the picture. If it is too bright, it will be hard to edit and make the correct settings by photoshop.

Digitalization of Artwork

How to Digitize the Artwork by Scanning

Scanning is the easiest way to capture the correct texture of the watercolor paintings in digital form. Scanning can make sure that you get a more vibrant and flat reproduction of the colors of your painting print.

As you will edit your painting in Adobe photoshop after capturing it, you do not have to worry about the settings of the scanners. Just set the resolution and then scan. Scanning in. PDF format is wise. If you are okay with the general setting, you have to set the resolution at 300dpi.

For the high-quality prints, you should set the resolution at 600dpi. To be safe, 600dpi resolution is the better way. It allows you to enlarge the photo to a larger size, and you will have more options to make the edits.

Step-3: Preparation of the Captures Image Before Printing

This step involves the major edits which ensure that your image gets the highest quality. This step is unnecessary if the scanner is powerful enough to capture the image with correct color codes and others.

Crop: First, you have to check the edges of the paper. If there are any blank spaces around the image, you have to crop it. That is why open the photo in your Adobe Photoshop software and then use the crop tool of the application and crop down your image.

Rotate: If you need to rotate the image, tap on the Image option and click on the Image rotation option from the drop-down menu.

Color Correction: If you find that the image you captured is okay with color presentation, you do not have to make corrections. But most of the time, it needs some modification on saturation of colors. Photographed images need more discipline than scanned photos.

Digital photos are dull compared to the original piece. That is why you need to increase the saturation and brighten the image. Some scanners can make over-saturated photos. In that case, you have to set it at an optimum position.

The best setting prefers to make a simple and not too much saturation and Adjustment through Photoshop software. But take your time and one by one correct the necessary points. It should not be over-processed and less processed. Bring the perfection.

Preparation of the Captures Image Before Printing

Brightness: To adjust the image’s Brightness, look for the Image option from the photoshop toolbar. Click on it and get the drop-down menu. In this menu, you have to select Adjustment and then choose Brightness under the Adjustment. From the Brightness option, you have to increase or decrease the Brightness to reach the optimal level. You can edit the Contrast from this menu.

Saturation: Like the Brightness, you will find the Saturation option from the Image tool under Adjustment. Saturation comes in a slider where you have to adjust it by sliding it left or right. This filter adjustment depends much on your judgment power and eye. You should take time and closely check the artwork and then adjust the settings.

Actually, all the corrections and edits depend on your eye seeing power. Try to cross-check by allowing your helping person or friend to know the brightness or color contrast of the image. If you need to make more corrections on other tools of Photoshop, you should invest your time and labor to make the necessary corrections.

Step-4: Cleaning of the Image

There is a problem with the printed copies when you publish the watercolor paintings on white paper. It makes some extra white texture which can change the features of the image. In this step, you clean this point. After cleaning the image using Photoshop, you can use the printout for designing any cards, patterns, art prints, or logos.

Cleaning Image on photoshop

By deleting the background, this extra texture can be reduced or cut out. Another way works great to delete this white texture. Follow the steps below and do the perfect cleaning.

  • First, you have to select the brush size. To adjust the size quickly, you can use the shortcut “W” on your keyboard. Carefully increase or decrease the brush size while selecting it and ensure it fits correctly inside the chosen area.
  • The next part is selecting. Selecting takes a lot of patience to make a perfect edge chosen. When the selected edges are correct, you have to select all the details finely if the artwork has many separate parts. This step is easier for the defined boundaries of the painting.
  • After selecting all the parts, you have to enter the Edit option and then select the Copy option. You will get this option right in the toolbar. You can use the keyboard shortcut that is ‘Ctrl+C.’
  • Now you have to open a new blank document. You can use the keyboard shortcut or enter the file option from the top menu bar and select New. You have to choose a clipboard File to open from the list of different types of file types.  When you use the keyboard shortcut, it will automatically open the clipboard file. This clipboard file is a perfect choice for adjusting the artwork.
  • Now paste the artwork on the new file that you copied before. You can use the keyboard shortcut to paste the copied artwork. The keyboard shortcut is ‘Ctrl+V.’

After making all these transformations, the new copy of the artwork does not have white textured paper. The background is now clean and white.

Step-5: Save and Export the Artwork

After making all the edits and cleaning processes, you can directly print the artwork. But before commanding for the print, you should save your artwork for future printing purposes. It is wise to save the image with a transparent background that allows more options for edits.

Save and Export the Artwork

  • After cleaning the artwork, it includes a separate layer for the background. So, here, first, you have to turn the background layer off. Click on the eye icon by toggling on it. It will close the background layer and make it transparent.
  • Now, go to the File menu and from the drop-down menu, click on the Export option. Here, you have to choose the PNG option as the file type. Then the image will appear with a transparent background. Saving is done.

Now it is ready to print. While printing, you should select the CMYK color code for the printing color preferences. CMYK is the suitable one for the printed copies, and the RGB is for the digital copies.

After saving and exporting the file, you can keep it saved for future use. You can upload it on the website or any other site. You can save this file on different forms. PDF or as a Photoshop file. These files are easier to change or modify.

Now printing output depends much on the type of your printer and paper. If you find that the printed result is not as you desire, you can modify it, make more corrections, and print again. That is why saving is so significant.

Necessary Tips for Photographing Watercolor Paintings

  1. Make sure your art is square to the camera and mount it to an easel or wall using a level.
  2. A tripod should be used to mount your DSLR camera, and the camera angle should be perpendicular to the painting.
  3. Check your art in the viewfinder to ensure it is square and even from all sides.
  4. Take a photo of the artwork in grayscale.
  5. Lights should be angled at 45 degrees so that they bounce evenly into the softboxes.
  6. When photographing your painting in natural daylight, make sure the light is evenly distributed.
  7. If necessary, repeat the process.


Final Words

People make lots of paintings especially, professionals. In this digital time, why are we lagging? It is crucial to make digital copies of the pictures. It is necessary not only for making more printed copies but also for digital copies. Yes, people buy digital images too.

How to make prints of watercolor paintings? It is an easy job. Capturing the image of the artwork and then printing is the primary process. As you read through this article, you know that you have to make some modifications.

It is necessary because the digital form does not appear like the original. To have the similarity, we have to adjust the color and Brightness of the digital paintings. So, with proper modification, you will be able to make a perfect copy of your artwork.


Alice covers platforms, policy and big tech at Printer Reviews. Prior to rejoining here, Alice was Senior Technology Editor of the TechDen. Alice first joined PrinterReviews in 2021. Before joining, he was the Tech Editor of the Daily Dot and a reporter and deputy editor at ReadWeb.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.