How to digitize your artwork to sell prints online | Kelly Witmer | Skillshare

How to digitize your artwork to sell prints online

Kelly Witmer, painter, ceramicist, writer, etc

How to digitize your artwork to sell prints online

Kelly Witmer, painter, ceramicist, writer, etc

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7 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Intro to prepping your artwork to sell prints

    • 2. Scanning demo - super basic!

    • 3. examples and methods for fixing backgrounds

    • 4. how to use Photomerge for larger works

    • 5. more methods to remove paper texture

    • 6. magic tricks to remove spots or mistakes

    • 7. final tips

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About This Class

After I made my first class on making abstract watercolors,  I had some requests to do a class on how to digitally process watercolors to make prints. So here it is!

Below are links to a scanner I recommend, and where to get photoshop. I used a fairly cheap Canon "all-in-one" scanner and printer for a while (until the scanner stopped working - thanks, Canon), something like that will do the trick. However I wouldn't recommend making prints to sell with one of those. I made another class where I discuss having prints made and where to sell them online :

Epson Perfection V19 Color Photo & Document Scanner with scan-to-cloud & 4800 dpi optical resolution

I have the basic Adobe photoshop plan that is $9.99 a month. They have more expensive versions but that's really all you need.

Any questions, just post them in the community section, and I'll do my best to help!

Meet Your Teacher

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Kelly Witmer

painter, ceramicist, writer, etc


I'm a visual artist working in various kinds of media, but I'm best known for my abstract watercolors which you can find on many online print companies and the Anthropologie catalogs. I received my BFA from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, and now I split my time between Los Angeles and Joshua Tree. I published my first Skillshare class during a 6 month stay in Mexico - I love to travel and experience new cultures! Join me on Instagram to see my latest work, or take a look at my website!

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1. Intro to prepping your artwork to sell prints: Hi, I'm Kelly. And this class is for people who want to start selling their prints of their artwork online or otherwise. And, um, I don't really know how to use photo shop and get stuff scanned. Um, so what you would need for the classes, a scanner and Photoshopped program, photo shop you can get on adobe dot com. It's 99 a month for the basic, which is a drag because it's one more subscription that adds up. But at least it's not a big investment. So and I have a great little scanner here. They'll have a link Teoh down below. It's like 60 something dollars. It weighs less to my laptop and hooks up straight to it. So, uh, this isn't like the best photo shop class. Hopefully, it's not the worst, but I can also put a link to um, there's some really good sculpture classes that I'll just show you everything about photo shop, but I'm just gonna try and streamline it for somebody just wants to get in there and start selling their prints. I'm just gonna show you how to do that if you and if you are kind of familiar with photo shop. I'm also gonna be showing some tips like I work with water colors, and it's a real problem with the paper. The texture shows up, get kind of shadows of the bumps, and so I kind of figured out some different ways to get rid of that. Must have some tricks about if you have a smudge or a spill or something. How to get rid of that, Also scanning a larger pieces of work like in two different scans and then stitching it together. There's a nisi way to do that. So, yeah, that's pretty much it, so let's get started. 2. Scanning demo - super basic!: Okay. This is just a quick intro on how to scan. Ah, your artwork into Photoshopped. Step one is plug your scanner into your computer, then you open up photo shop. You're gonna do file and import on images from device. Okay. And this? Okay. When I first planted in it did Ah, maybe they're automatically scanned it or just did, uh, on overview, because what it will do a first, like a quick scan just to show you what's in there. And then you can alter this dotted lines normally, but I can't seem to do that. Okay, Well, you picked the resolution. I have 600 which is pretty high. I just you usually three or 400 is good basic, but the more you know, the higher you do it, the bigger it could be printed. So it really depends on your needs. Um, this original is about an eight by 10. So, um, it automatically goes to you can pick where it's going to go. Your pictures or documents. I mean, it's all pretty All pretty basic, but thought I'd show you anyway. I don't even use all this other stuff. Well, it's still scanning because I have it on 600. Oh, another thing. I usually like to press my hand or put a heavy book or two on top of the scanner, especially if it's wrinkle paper like you see this so that you can get a really good connection to the glass. So there we go. All right, I'll show you how to do the rest of it on the following sections. Just want to do a quick overview. This just in case, OK? 3. examples and methods for fixing backgrounds: blue there. Okay, Um, first, I'm just want to talk a little bit about why you want to do this and what you want to avoid by showing you some of my mistakes. These air my prints that I have for sale in artfully walls. And here's some older ones, Uh, and you can see here that see how this has a slight paper texture or different shade to it , whereas this one is all white. Um, click on this. So So you see, with the close up, you can really see the paper texture, which isn't so bad. But, you know, it creates this border where you might not want it when it's printed, and down here, you can see a shadow of the paper. I didn't know any better when I first had put this up for sale, so But now I look at it and cringe, Um and yeah, so another bad old example. That's 12 as like a blue tent. Very bad. Um, this is someone else's work that I just pulled up to show you. You wanna crop out little edges of the artwork like that cause that looks really bad when it gets printed. You won't see it but the person or is it does, and they will be Okay, So I want to get this one ready for printing these air. Two small ones. I'm going to do image, rotate clockwise. Now there's shortcuts for everything. And there's probably a better way of doing that and probably almost anything I do on here, but I'm just going to show you how I do it. Um, So I used this cropping. What is that called Dotted box? Rectangular marquee tool. Um, I cut out where I want to get, and I do image crop. Okay. So again, let's find out the best way to do that. But, you know, works for me. Now, this one, it's gonna be super easy, which is why I'm starting with it. You can see a little bit of paper texture there, and that's what I want to get rid of. But, um, first, what I do, and it's important you do this first, I'm gonna just adjust the image a little bit. I use levels, and, um, gonna take this slider to bring it up. You want it to be up in the this area? Orders for that's too much. But, you know, you go by looks, but that brings up the Dirks. Uh, takes. Then you use this to kind of take your lights back out. You can check the preview. It's not a huge difference, but it just makes it a little more what makes these colors pop out better. Okay, now, one of the ways there's a lot of different ways to take out the background to, and you can make it transparent. Or you could just make it white. I usually just do it white. Um, so one way is to image adjustments and replace color. Okay, So I want to click in this area, and what I'm trying to do is select these this gray stuff that that I want to get rid of. So this will show you this is how much it's including. Okay, so that would And it's what I want to do is light in my selection. So here, here, you see, that just took all that gray out. Now, if the fuzziness it would it start doing it and all these So this. If you have more of the same grey, it makes this very hard or completely ineffective. But this is working perfectly because you see the preview. Wow. I love it when it does that. Okay, So done. So this is the brush tool. What I did was I said it at the default foreground and background, and then switch it so that the white is in front. He had it switched the other way. It would do black. You don't want to do that. Do. And when you want to undo something, you just dio command Z. That's a shortcut. That's very good. There's so many shortcuts, so it's hard to learn all these, but, um, anyway, switch them around, use your the brush to just take out this stuff to on, um, actually like Teoh, zoom in and kind of see if there's anything. I missed me spot smudges. Like I said, that removed color tool worked like a dream this time. And this is one of the easiest fixes I think I've ever done. So that's great. We'll start out easy, and then I'll show you a hard win. Next. Um, so another thing. Uh, if you want to check your size, um, image. Jim used to just doing the shortcut for that, um see, original was five by seven. If you want Teoh crop it a little bit because it's it's good to have a standard size for some of these prints because this is how it's going to be printed. And it can make things complicated, actually. So what I'm gonna do is canvas size, so keep it in the middle. But I'm gonna make that five and choose and make this seven inches. They will say the new campuses smaller, some clipping, proceed. And, um, there you have a standard size ready to print. Um, you're gonna do save as and survive showing all this basic stuff. But again, I want to make it in case you've never done photo shop before. So I apologize. If you know this well, save as pink blobs. Now, this is a photo shop document, PSD You want to make it a J peg? So that gonna put it in my watercolors? It needs to be a J pirate peg toe upload online. Keep it up, Max. And so now I have a file that's already to, um, upload to a printing company. 4. how to use Photomerge for larger works: Okay? No. I'm going to show you how you can stitch together two different scans. Um, if you have a piece that's larger, this is an 11 by 14 image that, uh, I scanned in two pieces. I used to avoid doing this for a while because I thought because it was such a pain to try and match it up like this, it seems like it wouldn't be that hard. But you see, when you zoom in, you might get it looking okay with one area, which it doesn't. Right here. Plus, you've got this whole different shade thing going on. Why is that so hard? I don't know, but it doesn't have to be this way. Okay, so you go into automate and open up photo merge. Now, your files have to be saved for this to work. Okay, so I said add opened files right here. Otherwise, you can browse through your save files, okay? And so now it's gonna put those automatically together in a very strange way. And, uh and it's great. What easier. I'm just babbling to take up space while it does it. Do you do OK, here we go. So, um, into the way better job and I could've done. I'm going to rotate the image away. It's because that makes me feel better. Now, these little checks, that means that it's transparent. And, um, in the last one, I showed you how to make your background white. Um, you can also make it transparent. It depends on what you plan on using it for. You might want to overlay it on something, or, um, either way, it can work. But I'm gonna show you why. Um oh, boy. But I can tell to the image before emergencies, so you have to merge these two. Select both the layers. This is your layers panel. You can also access the layers up here. Uh, play a short cut to merge, but I'm gonna do it. Slow way. Merge layers. Okay, so now I can get in there. Just my levels too dark should do it. Okay, um, now I can just go and show you why It's not gonna work on this one to do the last message that I showed you using the replace colors because there's just too many light shades. So you see, it's hard. Okay, that helped, but there's still some areas. Let's see. This is this is lightning this up just a little bit, But that's enough. That's all right. So Okay, I'll do this to try and see how far I can get with it. Now, this isn't too bad. 5. more methods to remove paper texture: Okay, I'm going to show, um, how to use the magic wand to get rid of someone stuff. I just tested some already. Um, you see? Okay, Magic one is right here. Or hit the command w and Okay, so great. It picks all this. And then what I can do is do the bucket and I haven't set toe white and feel it that way. You can also and de select check it. It can really kind of make these rough edges look even rougher. But also, if if you want to do, you can do the same rather than Sorry. Have babbling instead of the bucket you can just hit delete. If you wanted to make that selection transparent, hopefully that makes sense. So I'll go back to the magic wand toe, take another area. So, like, delete would see Now the Czech show you that it's transparent. I'm gonna undo that because I did not to do this trends apparently. Okay, so go back to the bucket. God, this could take forever, and, uh, it But there are faster ways to do this. A little bit of a time saver. See? Hit the select. That area is pretty good. Okay, back to the magic wand. Because you can do, um, multiples. Hold down shift. I believe it is. Yeah, there we go. And then I can It's several, please. Suze on there's Okay. That on each one. Okay, that clears it up so you can see how this gets really tedious. I can keep doing it, but that's pretty much what I'm gonna have to do with all this stuff. Um, and I'm not even sure. So then thes thes areas. I'll use a brush, um, again, set toe white hands on how steady your hand is, but I do. It's small to get close up and then just get that there and make sure you get all the edges . Do you wanna turn this white? But even if you don't do that photo merge and have that just I always like to go around the edges because there might be some black area that I am not seeing because it's up against the background here 6. magic tricks to remove spots or mistakes: Hi again. I just want to show you a really cool little tool. I discovered Teoh. Well, I didn't discover it. It was It was there, um, to fix spots. Now, there isn't anything wrong with this one. Well, in my there's nothing I want to fix, but I'm gonna use this as an example. So this is the it's the healing spot healing brush tool. It's really cool. I haven't tried these other things, but this spot healing is is great. And, um, what you do is you can you can change the size with, um, your brackets. I'm gonna just pretend I want this gone. Um and so you press in an area around it, you press option and click, and then it sort of takes a sample of that surrounding color, and then you go over what you want to get rid of and click it and it's gone is not amazing . And, um, just some of these when you hover over the tool now, it won't do it. But Pillay can also just wipe out a whole area just pretty crazy. So I'm gonna press Command Z to bring it back and, um, and then bring back this other guy. Um, but that's it's a really great little thing. Also, Sometimes I might find, like, a little hair or something, or maybe spilled something. It's just really helpful. Like, even if you know, something like this bothered you, you're gonna go be an option and, well, you get the idea. 7. final tips: Hey, so thanks for watching the whole class. Sorry about all my OEMs. I can't seem to stop it. Um, and my audio, I'm working on it, but I hope it still helped you. And if you have any questions, just put them down below, and I'll try to answer them, though. No expert as you may have gathered, but also what I found works when I Because I'm constantly hitting walls and Photoshopped and I just search online. There's adobe forums. But if you have a problem, even the simplest thing, like, how do I do? You know, you just write it out in photo shop as best you can, and you can usually find an answer through Google. They got for that. So yeah, again. I hope it helped you. And you're going to start selling prints and yeah, have a nice day. Bye.