How To Digitize Artwork Discover the process of digitizing your artwork with guidance from Nicolette Hamilton, enabling you to convert your paper-based drawings into easily shareable digital files. Mastering the art of digitization provides a remarkable avenue to showcase your creations to the world. Once you’ve crafted a piece that fills you with pride, the natural inclination is to share it with a broader audience. While traditional methods like framing and exhibiting are options, the digital realm offers a captivating platform to display your work.
To present your creations online or produce digital prints, you must first digitize them. Smaller artworks, up to A4 size, can be scanned using high-quality photo scanners. However, if your artistic endeavors exceed the A4 dimensions and are too infrequent to warrant a dedicated A3 scanner purchase, an alternative approach is advisable. The depth and texture of painted surfaces can elude flatbed scanners, making photography the preferred technique. This guide illustrates how to photograph your artworks effectively without necessitating top-tier professional equipment, though a camera is essential.
Capture Your Artistry in Digital Form: Essential Steps
Two fundamental factors play a pivotal role in capturing your artwork at its best: lighting control and meticulous camera setup. Prioritize these aspects to minimize post-processing work, sparing you from navigating complex software. Popular free photo-editing tools suffice for refining your captures.
The Essentials for Artwork Digitization
Most required materials are likely at your disposal, but they can also be easily borrowed. Here’s what you’ll need to digitize your artwork:
- Artist’s easel
- 3mm MDF board
- Thin glass pane
- Digital SLR or mirrorless camera
- Two softbox lights (or floor/desk lamps)
- Black cloth or felt
- Black paper or black sugar paper
- Computer and photo-editing software
A Step-by-Step Guide to Photographing Your Artwork
- Light Control: Ensure minimal external light interference by blocking windows and doors. Use blackout cloth or black paper to cover windows. If required, turn off room lights during the shoot.
- Artwork Organization: Sort artworks by size to streamline the photography process and minimize setup adjustments.
- Easel Setup: Position an artist’s easel with a vertical back. Place MDF board and glass in portrait orientation, securing them with the easel’s clamps. Glass might be unnecessary for canvas/board artworks.
- Lighting Arrangement: Position softbox lights (or lamps) on each side of the easel to ensure even illumination. Reflections can be managed later.
- Camera Placement: Attach your camera to a tripod at a level comparable to the easel and lighting. Adjust the camera’s height once the artwork is in position.
- Artwork Preparation: Clean the glass if used. For artworks needing fixing, ensure it’s dry before placing it behind the glass. Secure glass to the backing board using pegs.
- Alignment: Align the camera’s center with the artwork’s center, avoiding light reflections in the glass. Adjust until satisfied.
- Capture: Set the camera to its highest resolution and start shooting. Aim for three shots per artwork at varying shutter speeds.
- Transfer to Computer: Transfer images to your computer. If using Raw format, convert to a compatible format like TIF.
- Digital Editing: Utilize free software like GIMP or Paint.NET. Select the most accurate color representation from each set of three shots. Crop and save as TIF for printing and JPEG for online sharing.
- Sharing Possibilities: Your digital file opens up numerous avenues. Upload to portfolios, social media, or create prints and greeting cards. Your art is now accessible and shareable.
By following this method
your artwork can seamlessly transition to digital form, broadening its reach and inviting others to appreciate your creative journey.