Digitize Your Watercolor Painting in Adobe Photoshop: A Complete Guide | Altea Alessandroni | Skillshare
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Digitize Your Watercolor Painting in Adobe Photoshop: A Complete Guide

teacher avatar Altea Alessandroni, Artist and Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Welcome

      2:08

    • 2.

      Getting Started

      3:52

    • 3.

      Materials and Tools

      2:08

    • 4.

      Inspiration and Sketching

      8:47

    • 5.

      Color Palette and Warmup

      7:46

    • 6.

      Painting

      17:27

    • 7.

      Scanning

      4:01

    • 8.

      Color Adjustments

      3:12

    • 9.

      Removing the Background

      11:41

    • 10.

      Exporting

      3:11

    • 11.

      Final Project

      11:14

    • 12.

      Thank You

      1:07

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About This Class

Transform your watercolor paintings into exceptional digital assets!

This class is a complete step by step guide to digitize your watercolor artwork in Adobe Photoshop, going from a real-life botanical illustration to a digital asset you can use for endless projects.

Digitizing your artwork can open up a lot of new opportunities, but you might feel some barriers to starting the process.It might be challenging to know how to scan your artwork or how to use image-editing software. In this class, I break down each step, from creating the illustrations to scanning to turning them into digital assets. I’ll also provide you with a workflow that will make the whole process as quick and easy as possible.

In this course you’ll learn how to:

  • create a set of illustrations from sketching to painting
  • scan your artwork
  • adjust the colors
  • remove the background
  • fix painting mistakes and imprecisions
  • decorate a name initial with your watercolor illustrations

Who’s this class for?
While a basic understanding of watercolors and Photoshop might come in handy, this class is designed for students of any level who want to open up their hand-made art to digital projects and opportunities.

Materials you'll need:

  • pencil or pen and a sheet of paper
  • watercolor paints, brushes, and paper
  • mixing palette
  • one or two jars of water
  • paper towel
  • scanner
  • PC or Laptop
  • Adobe Photoshop

A digital tablet can also come in handy if you have one, but it’s not necessary.
I only use the digital tablet when I need to use the eraser tool or the brush tool and make precise adjustments to my paintings but you can still do all of those things using your mouse.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Altea Alessandroni

Artist and Designer

Top Teacher

Through my art journey, I picked up several skills and my curiosity always leads me to explore new ways of expressing myself in a creative way.
I love using traditional media as well as drawing on my Ipad, and I'm excited to share everything I learn here on Skillshare!

My work is inspired by nature and the natural elements as well as experiences such as visiting new places, hiking and meeting like-minded people.
I've always been quiet and pretty introverted and like to see my art as a way of communicating my feelings and my appreciation for the little things in life.

You can see more of my work on my Etsy shop - where I sell collections of graphics and illustrations, and on Canva where you can download various kinds of templates I design.

See full profile

Level: All Levels

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Transcripts

1. Welcome: Learning how to digitize my work was a fundamental step in my art journey. It gave me the possibility to work on new products, combine traditional media with digital media, and expanded my creative skills. Hi, my name is Althea and I'm an artist, graphic designer, an online educator based in Italy. Today, I'm going to teach you how you can digitize your artwork in Adobe Photoshop, going from a real-life illustration to a digital asset you can use for analysts projects. We'll get started by creating a set of watercolor illustrations from gathering inspiration to painting the wall flowers. With our artwork ready to go, we'll jump right into the digitization process. I break down all the steps you need to scan your artwork and adjust the colors. Digitize pieces can sometimes lose their vibrancy, but I will give you all the tools you need to bring your art back to life. After that, we'll work on removing the background and isolating each element. This part of the class will be packed with simple Photoshop tips and tricks. We'll learn how to deal with watercolors that don't have well-defined edges or fixing painting mistakes and after taking this course, you will see just how simple it is to turn your beautiful paintings into exceptional digital assets. For the final project of this course, you will learn how to combine your botanical elements into an elegant composition. You will create a beautiful initial decorated with all your botanical assets. This project can make a perfect gift, a nice art print, a social media image or anything else you can imagine. Well a basic understanding of watercolors in Photoshop might come in handy. This class is designed for students of any level who want to take their handmade art to a new level. I welcome everyone to start on this journey with me. See you in class. 2. Getting Started: I'm so happy that you're here. Welcome to class. While digitizing your artwork can open up a lot of new opportunities, initially, it can feel daunting. It might be challenging to know how to scan your work or how to use image-editing softwares. When I first started digitizing my artwork in Photoshop, I often felt confused and overwhelmed. It was all new to me and it has so many strange features. In addition, I was noticing that there wasn't just one right way of digitizing my artwork but that every artist had their own way of doing this. This made me unsure how to approach the process of digitization. If you can relate, I'm here to show you that with a little bit of practice and consistency, you will start feeling more confidence, and you will also develop the skills to digitize your artwork. In the first part of the course, we'll be painting botanical elements together, and then I'll show you my workflow for digitizing that painting. Whether you are a beginner to painting, to Photoshop or both, I'll be breaking down both painting and digitization method in detail, so students of all levels are welcome to join. If you already have some artwork ready feel free to bring it along. Otherwise, you can paint with me. I'll be very happy to have you join me for the painting session. We'll get started by finding the botanical elements will paint. I have created a board on Pinterest that's full of photographs of wild flowers that I will share with you to find inspiration, then I like to make rough sketches of the botanical elements that I can refer to while painting. This stuff makes me feel more confident and also speeds up my workflow. The following warm up exercises with watercolors are also great because it will be creating a color palettes and practicing different brushstrokes for painting various parts of the plants. Next, we'll paint around 10 botanical elements. Once they're dry, will scan them and import them into Photoshop. The first step in digitization is going to be color correction, we'll adjust the vibrancy of the colors, making sure that the digitized version is similar to our original painting. Then we'll remove the background and learn how to isolate each element separately. This lesson will be packed with tips and tricks for fixing mistakes, dealing with watercolors where the edges are not well-defined and turning your illustrations into clip art files that are ready to use. My hope for this class is to give you all the tools you need to start digitizing your art, and of course, to present you with a workflow that will make this whole process as easy and quick as possible. In the final project, you will apply the tips and techniques learned throughout the class to create a card with the initial of your name decorated with digitized watercolors. You'll be surprised by the many things you can create by having your watercolor paintings turn into digital assets. Under the projects and resources tab, I've included some resources that you can reference for this class. You will find a file containing my botanical sketches, a checklist of the materials and tools we'll need, a step-by-step guide on how to digitize your artwork, and lastly, a page filled with examples to create your botanical letter. Without further ado, let's jump right into the next lesson where I'll walk you through the materials and tools we'll need for the class. 3. Materials and Tools: Here are all the materials we'll need for sketching any pencil or pen and sheet of paper will work. I'll be using a sketchbook. I'll be drawing the elements with fine liners. For painting the botanical elements, you'll need watercolor paper, paints, and brushes, along with two jars of water and mixing palette, and some paper towels. I'll be using the Winsor and Newton paint set, which is very affordable and offers a variety of colors to choose from. As for the paper, I'll be using this one from Art-n-Fly. It's 300 gsm cold-pressed. This paper is also very affordable. I find it perfect to use it for warm-up exercises. For the final painting, I'll be using this paper from arches, which is higher in quality. The brushes are from Princeton and both are brown brushes. The advantage of these brushes is that the bristles are in a fine point. This allows me to add detail without switching to another brush. When it comes to painting with watercolors, there are many options in terms of brands and supplies. If you need a little bit more guidance in this, I recommend you watching my class on loose flowers, where you can find a lesson dedicated to the materials I use. Next, to scan the painting you'll need a scanner and a computer with Photoshop installed. If you don't own a scanner, a good alternative can be using a camera or a cell phone that takes high-resolution photos. The digital tablet can also come in handy, but this is not necessary. I only use the digital tablet when I have to use the eraser tool or the brush tool and make precise adjustments to my paintings. But you can do all of those things using your mouse. These are all the materials and tools you need for the class. You can also find a checklist under the projects and resources tab. Now let's blend the elements we'll paint and get inspired. 4. Inspiration and Sketching: Whenever I create graphic collections out of my illustrations, I always like to start with a quick sketch of the elements that I will paint. This allows me to have more control and flexibility over what I'll be creating. I can always go back, erase and make changes before the final painting. To help us sketch the botanical elements, I've created a Pinterest board where I've collected photographs of wild flowers. You can find this collection under the Projects and Resources tab, and here's the link to it. Feel free to also gather inspiration from anywhere else; outdoors, from reading a book or from the Internet. You can also sketch the elements from your own imagination or use some real-life inspiration. I'll just use this photographs as a rough source of inspiration, but my goal here is not to reproduce the whole flower with all its details. The goal of this lesson is to generate ideas so that we can have references when we start painting. Keep in mind that we'll need around 10 botanical elements to create a nice composition for the final product. I would consider sketching 3-4 types of branches, three different types of flowers, and a couple of single elements such as leaves or flower heads. One more tip before we get started is to vary your botanical elements. I would avoid sketching only branches, flowers, or botanical elements very similar to each other. Instead, think about how much variety and distinctive traits you can find in nature. Having a good amount of variety in your illustrations will make your final composition more dynamic. I'll use a fine liner as I sketch so that you can see the outline of my drawings. After [inaudible] the photo gallery, I'll start with a sketch of a branch from my imagination. I'm tracing the main stem first and then I'm touching the smaller ones and filling them with leaves. To give movement to this branch, I'm making short pointed leaves in different directions. The second branch has a simpler structure. I just trace a wavy stem and now I'm drawing the leaves on both the sides in a symmetrical way. As I work my way up, I make the leaves smaller and smaller. You can imagine this branch being contained within an imaginary triangle shape. When sketching, I never put pressure on myself or expect the elements to look perfect. My focus is just on having a general plan for later and getting a preview of what I'll be painting. With this in mind, I really want to remind you to take this part of the class easy, and the whole sketching and painting process should be fun and relaxing. Well, sifting through the photos, I found this interesting plant. It is very different from the usual looking branch and leaves and I think it will help embellish the final botanical composition. I start by drawing the stem first, attaching a second branch to it. At the top, I'm adding small branches and now I'm drawing small and even circles with the ragged edges in clusters. These, to represent the flowers, or just the top part of this plant. Again, this is a very rough sketch and the photo served me just as a guide and inspiration. Another element among all these flowers that caught my attention was this bud. I'm tracing the stem. I'm adding two leaves at the bottom part and more leaves on the upper part of the stem. Lastly, I'm adding the buds on top of the two stems. Now that we have enough sketches of branches and leaves, I will start sketching the flowers. I found this photo of the Cosmos flower, which I think is so simple but yet so beautiful. I started by creating the center of the flower and now I'm slowly drawing the petals one-by-one. For the stem, I decided to go with a simple curved line without adding any leaves. The next flower is going to be a little bit more complex. After sketching the main stem, I added a second branch on the right side and I'm sketching a tiny flower facing to the right onto that branch. To sketch the main flower on top of this stem, I first marked four points that will benchmark the center of the flower and then I just completed it by adding four rounded petals around the benchmarks, this way. I'm adding two more elements just in case we need to fill in certain areas of the composition with something that doesn't have a long stem or there is a full branch. I hope that the sketching lesson was really interesting and helpful in building your set of illustrations. Now, you can go to the next lesson if you're curious to know the color palette that I'll be using and if you want to do some warm-up exercises before starting to paint. 5. Color Palette and Warmup: This lesson is intended for everyone who would like to get comfortable with their paints and brushes before starting to paint the final elements. We're going to start off by creating a color palette, and I'm going to show you the colors I chose for this class. Then we'll warm up a little by painting leaves, stems, and a flower you can use for the next lesson. I'm getting all my watercolor supplies ready. I prepared two jars of water because I'll be using one for the browns and the other jar for lighter colors. This way the colors can stay pretty clean and won't mud each other. Here is a color chart of Winsor and Newton, and these are the colors that I'll be using. Yellow ocher, burnt sienna, light red, burnt umber, van dyck brown. As you can tell, I went for warm colors and I guess I'm still not over the fall season. But anyway, I always encourage my students to use the colors that speak to them and bring their own style to any creation. If you feel that these colors don't vibe with you, just feel free to pick different ones. I will start by laying down color patches for the colors I chose so you can visualize how they look and feel side-by-side. I will first lay down the color burnt sienna. I start by picking a dense amount of paint with my brush, and then I dilute it with water to create a nice smooth gradient. I'm just going to repeat this step for the rest of the colors I chose. Having all the colors laid down on paper, is going to help you get a better view on the color choices you made. This is also a big part of the process when I have to come up with color palettes. To choose this particular color palette for the class, I experimented by laying down different colors on paper and seeing how they look together. Every time there was a color that didn't convince me, I replaced it with another one until I was happy with the result. Our color palette is ready. If you picked different colors from me, I'm very curious to see how the final project will look. Now we can warm up a little. I like to start with thin lines, which are usually the ones that require the most attention and effort. Using the tip of the brush allows me to paint the thin and fine lines, and I'm also only touching the paper very lightly, not pressing down on the brush too much. Since we'll be painting many stems both to create the branches and the flowers, I decided to try out a few of them. To paint a stem, I would normally start from a main line, and after that I would attach smaller sense to it, making sure they point in different directions. Right now I'm painting a few leaves. I start very light, going with the tip of the brush, and then slowly press down with the belly of the brush and release the pressure. This helps to create a single stroke leaf. To complete the leaf and have a white line in the middle, you just have to repeat this step with the other side, making sure that you are leaving a bit of whitespace between the two sides of the leaves. I'm going to add a couple of more elements, and I'm also going to show you a quick and easy method for painting flowers. If you've never painted a flower before, you can easily use this simple technique. If you feel you need more of this practice, I also suggest checking out my watercolor class for beginners. There you'll find lessons to learn how to paint leaves, flowers, and branches, using the loose technique. First, start by picking a color and apply a dense amount of it to your brush. Paint some dots or tiny line to create the center of the flower. Make sure to leave some whitespace within each dot. Now rinse your brush fully and make sure it's pretty loaded with water or just with another color. That's the center of your flower only with the point of your brush, and then apply pressure to create a petal shape. We're ready to start painting the final elements. See you in the next lesson. 6. Painting: I'm going to keep the sketchbook containing the botanical elements close by. I have included these sketches in the class resources just in case you prefer to keep my sketches printed or displayed on your laptop for reference. For the first branch, I'm picking a dark brown and I'm loading the brush with a good amount of this color. Let's start by tracing the main stem first. I'm going in very light and slowly to make the line quite thin. At the bottom, I'm going to add a small branch and fill it with leaves. For the leaves, I want them to look a little bit dry just like the leaves in fall or winter so when I apply pressure to create the leaf shape I try to wiggle the stroke on purpose. Now let's paint one more branch just a little bit above the one we just painted. Our first botanical element is coming to life. Let's add more leaves to the remaining branch. As I get closer to the end of the stem I make the leaves smaller to give this branch the right proportions. For the next branch, I'm using a different brown. I'm diluting the color with a little bit more water as opposed to the paint I used for the first branch. Again, I'm starting by painting a very thin stem first and now I'm going to add the leaves just on one side. As I work my way up I make them smaller. The leaves are simply following the direction of the stem. I'm going in with more color while the paint is still wet to create a nice blurry effect on some of the leaves. I continue painting the leaves and I use the paint that I already have on my brush. Branch number 3, here I'm diluting the brown I just used with more water. I want this element to be very clear. When we combine all these elements together, having the branches painted with different shades is really going to add depth and contrast so I really encourage you to slightly vary your colors and avoid using the same color or intensity of hue consecutively. Just like the leaves in my sketch, I am painting them symmetrically and I'm scaling them down as I reach the top. This botanical element is going to resemble the dry plant that I have next to me. I'm starting by creating the stem that then folds into two different branches With the same brown, I first make it just a few small dots slightly above the tops of the branches. Now I'm picking up a yellow ocher and repeating the steps and adding more dots. I'm just positioning them closer to the ones I made in brown. Now, let's dilute these colors to blur the dots and add more volume so I'm going back in with a pretty clean brush. To complete this element I'm just painting some small branches that connect the main stem to the topper part of this plant. The structure of this new plant is similar to the previous one. You want to create a stem that splits into two different branches. On top of the stems, I'm adding some lines that will serve as a bird for the flower. Then with the same color, I'm painting a leaf closer to the bottom of the branch. Because I want to make this flower a little bit more dynamic, I'm diluting the brown and I'm painting smaller leaves on either side of the stem in a lighter color. Finally for the buds, I'm picking up a good amount of live red that I lay down near the top of the bud. Then I make sure my brush is pretty loaded with water and I just go back in and create this blurry effect. Next I'm starting by painting some petals with burnt sienna and I'm leaving some whitespace within each petal. I'm grabbing some water to clean my brush and I'm going back in to make the inner part of the petal light while still leaving some white space. This is adding a little bit of contrast to the petals making them more interesting. Then I'm picking some brown for the stem and painting it starting from the bottom, moving up. You can add some leaves if you would like to but I'm just going to leave this stem very simple. I'm going to skip painting the center of the flower for now and come back to it later. I want to wait for the petals to be completely dry before I add more color here. For the next flower, I'm using a dark brown to create the structure of it. I'm using a good amount of color here and I'm starting by tracing the main stem first. Then I'm adding two leaves in the lower part of the stem using the tip of the brush to make them pointed. I'm also adding a little branch where I will place a second flower later. For the flower I'm picking a light red and I'm loading the brush with a lot of pigment and starting to create the center of the flower. I'm just painting small dots and lines to demark the center. Then creating the petals using the same thick and then this color, I'm painting four petals. Again, I'm leaving some white space. I'm also using the tip of the brush to make them a little jagged and uneven. This will give that nice fall winter look to our flower. You don't want these petals to look too small. Well the paint is still wet, I'm going back to the petals with a clean brush so that I can give that nice blurry effect. If you notice that your brush strokes are too watery, you can just tap the brush in your napkin to release some water. Let's add a tiny flower here. I'm adding three petals to create a flower that hasn't bloomed yet. Now that the flowers are completely dry, we can create the centers of them. I'm picking the brown and I'm loading the brush with a lot of pigment and I start to tap the color to create the center of it. Our next botanical element would be the head of a flower. I'm painting this one by keeping things again, very simple. For the previous elements, we usually started with a dark pigment that we then diluted to make it brighter. But for this flower, I'm going to start with a very light color and later I'm going to drop some color on it while the paint is still wet and I'm going to make some part of the petals darker and we'll create a really nice smooth gradient. First with a very light color, I outline the shape of the petals leaving some white space in-between. While the petals are still wet, I'm slowly adding more paint to the inner part. As I paint each petal one-by-one, I continue layering the paint slowly. This creates a beautiful gradient that gives some shading to the flower. Now I'm just adding a couple of leaves to complete our set of illustrations. Our paintings are finished, but if you like, you can also add details to some of the botanical elements. For example, here I've added some lines on top of this leaves, and I also made the buds pop out a little more by adding more color. Illustrations are ready to be scanned, just wait for everything to be dry and I will see you in the next lesson. 7. Scanning: We have just concluded the painting session, so now we can start the digitization process. When digitizing your work, you have two options for getting your handmade artwork onto your computer. First, you can use a scanner, which is the method that I highly recommend. Or you can use a camera or a cell phone instead. If you're choosing to use a camera for the scanning step, here are just a couple of tips that you may want to consider before shooting the photo. First, find a location with even and undirect light. Cloudy days are usually the best ones because the light is very neutral and gentle on your paper and doesn't alter the colors of the illustration. Avoid shooting with sunlight or in any situation that creates shadows on your paper. When you're shooting, make sure you're holding your camera from the top and that you're not cropping out any parts of your paper. If you have a tripod, I recommend you use it to avoid any distortion and shaking. Here's a piece of white paper to bounce light back onto your art for more even lighting. To digitize my artwork, I use a scanner and the model is the Canon LiDE 400. It's a good thing Scanner to start with if you need any recommendations because it's not as pricey as the professional ones and does the job perfectly. You didn't really need the most expensive one to get started. So before I started digitizing my artwork, I always make sure that the painting is dry. The second thing to do is to make sure that the bed of the scanner is clean, even if I can't spot any dust, I always wipe it down with a towel. There haven't been many times I scan my work and noticed dust on my painting when editing in Photoshop. This is just extra work that we want to avoid as much as possible. When you're ready, you can place the paper, close the lid and hold your hand on the lid or place a couple of books on top of it. The watercolor paper is usually uneven, so some weight can help during the process of digitization. Within the scanner software on your computer, you have several options for your scan settings. These will depend on your specific scanner and your dialog box might be slightly different, but the options we're going to set should be there. When scanning artwork, I always select photograph mode, and then I set the resolution. If you want to keep the illustration for web project then 72 DPI is fine. If you're planning on printing the illustration, I recommend you to start from at least 300 DPI. I usually scan at 600 DPI because it tends to be easier to scan at a higher resolution. If I need my file to be smaller then I can always export it at a lower quality in Photoshop. Then I check where the file is going to be saved and lastly, I select the format I want my file to be saved as. Here I have PNG, TIFF, and JPEG. If you're stressing about what format to use, either of these will do, but just be aware that TIFF files store much more data than JPEG files. This means that there will be higher in quality, but this will also translate into larger file sizes. The JPEG format uses lossy compression, which means that these files reduce picture quality to achieve a smaller, more manageable file size. So even though my file will be bigger, I always select TIFF format for the best quality image. We are all set. Now we can click "Okay." Now I'm clicking on "Photo" to start the scanning. Once you have your illustration scanned, you can open Photoshop and go to the next lesson where we'll work on color correction. 8. Color Adjustments: The first thing I do after I've scanned my work is to correct the colors. First of all, let's open Photoshop. Click on "File", "Open", and then select the file you just scanned from where you saved it. Now, you may need to rotate your image. If so, go to Image, Image Rotation. If you hold down the spacebar on your keyboard, a little hand will appear and will allow you to move your work area around. I'm going to use this function pretty often, so I just wanted to show it to you. As you've probably noticed during the process of scanning, our artwork lost a little bit of brightness. It may appear a little yellow or on the opposite side, it may appear to be a little cool. This really depends on the scanner you have. To correct for this color change, we need to balance the white background against the overall image, so click on "Image", "Adjustments", "Levels". Here you see three eye droppers and you need to click on the third one. Zoom in on a clear part of the background by clicking "Control plus" and sample a white point from the paper. The difference in the overall color change might be slight, but in general, the look of the image should be more natural. Another interesting option we have in the levels panel is the input levels. There's more triangles you see under the graph are handles so you can move around to adjust the colors in different ways. I always use the first one to add contrast to the illustrations and just moving it a little is enough. If you overdo this, your illustrations might look a little bit dramatic. I don't usually move the other two handles because I don't want to alter my painting too much. But of course, each painting is different, so at times I might add brightness by dragging this last handle to the left. But again, just a little bit. I think the watercolors look good now and more natural but I'm going to do one more thing. Sometimes the colors in your scanned paintings can look a little bit flat, so I like to add a little bit of vibrance and saturation. Let's click on "Image", "Adjustments" and "Vibrance". As I mentioned, I only go very lightly on these adjustments. My goal is to make the scanned photo look as similar to my painting, back to the original, maybe with just a splash of contrast and saturation. In the end, how you do the color corrections comes down to each individual artwork, the color you used and how you want it to look. This was it regarding color correction. In the next lesson we will work on removing the background and isolating each botanical elements. 9. Removing the Background: There are many ways you can go about doing the same thing in Photoshop. There are also several different ways available to you for how to remove the background. In this lesson, I'm going to show you the steps I take to isolate each element and create a nice clean PNG file ready to use for any type of project. Along the way, I will share some tips about how to deal with watercolors that don't have well defined edges. I will also demonstrate how to get rid of imprecisions or painting mistakes. In the class resources, I've included a guide about all the steps we're about to take. You may want to check that out. Let's lock the level where you have your photo by clicking on the lock. Create a new level and drag it below the first one. Make sure the new level is selected and then in the tools section, you have on your left-hand side, click on the first square in the color section, pick any dark color, and then click. ''Okay''. Now select the bucket tool and click anywhere on the canvas. This dark color layer will come in handy when we will remove the background. It adds a stark contrast and helps us identify places within our watercolor elements that, for example we haven't erased well or white spots that still require cleaning. To keep things tidy, we can give a name to the level we just created by double-clicking on the current name and changing it to background. I'm also renaming the level containing the skin file. Now make sure you are on the main level and in a toolbar, find the eraser symbol. Click down on it and hold to see more options pop up, and among these, select the Magic Eraser. Up here we have a value which is called tolerance. The value we give to the tolerance will define the range of colors the eraser removes. A lower tolerance erases only pixel with a color very similar to the one that you select. A higher tolerance erases pixels with a broader range of color similarity. I'm going to demonstrate the different effects as we vary tolerance. But before we do that, makes sure that contiguous is checked so only the background gets erased. If contiguous is unchecked, then all pixels of that color anywhere on the image would be erased. Now let's set the tolerance to a high number like 60 as an example. Now I'm going to click on the white background that I want to remove. As you can see, many parts of our illustrations have been erased and this because the value of the tolerance will set pretty high. Let's reset by hitting "Control Z". This time I'm going to try a low number. As you can see, the illustration themselves are intact, but much of the paper didn't get erased. This because the paper has texture and some color variations. The goal here is to find a value that works well with our paintings. Let's bring the number to around 30. This value seems to work well and to strike a good balance between maintaining the elements and removing the background. We just have to bring back a few parts of the botanical elements, but as you can see, the overall result is good. Now I'm going to zoom in and look at each one of my botanical elements in detail. If there are any white areas that I want to erase, I click on them with a Magic Eraser. There are some white areas that I don't erase because I want those to be part of the final look of the element. You might also see some residue paper texture left or some white dots along the canvas. You can click on the pixels you see a couple of times and some of them will disappear. Don't worry if you can still see some dots and imperfections, we'll get rid of them by the end of this lesson. We have now removed the background, but in some places we have removed a little too much. In the next steps, we're going to bring back some of the parts of the elements that were erased. To do this, first, I click on the History Brush tool, you can find in a toolbar. Once it is selected, you can go on the top right side of your screen and click on this arrow. This will open a history or a chronology of all the actions we took. If the window pops up too small, you can expand and resize it by dragging it down. Within the history, you want to select "Paint Bucket". This essentially creates a brush that brings back the parts of the illustrations that you have erased. If you need to adjust the dimension of this brush, right-click with your mouse, and here you can choose the size and also the hardness. Always make sure you are on the main level, then you can zoom in to make more precise adjustments. This part of the editing process does require a little bit of patience and precision, but don't go crazy about the jagged ends that your watercolors have. We will smooth them out later, but if you see something that really bothers you, you can pick the eraser and erase the edges to smooth out your shape. I'm moving my canvas around and I'm going over the parts of the elements that require this editing. The digital tablet comes in really handy for this tab. So if you have one, I encourage you to try use it. Another helpful trick you may need is a tool that lets you fix mistakes. Sometimes it happens that the scanner picks up some dust particles you didn't notice, or simply that one of your illustrations has a splotch or a mark in it. To fix these mistakes, we can use the Clone Stamp tool right here. I'm going to zoom in really close to see if I can find any dust or imperfection. Here is a good example of what a dust particle might look like. To adjust the dimension of the Clone Stamp tool, right-click just like we did with the History Brush tool. Now you can adjust the hardness and the dimension again. You want to keep the hardness of this tool to zero. Now, hold down Alt and click on the area close where the mark is. The brush will reproduce the area we just picked. Click on top of the mark and you'll see it disappear. You can repeat this step for all the parts you need. We're almost ready to save each illustration separately, but before we do that, we're going to take one less step for the final touches. As always, make sure the main level is selected and that you are zoomed in on your illustrations. In the layers panel go to the main layer, right-click within the little preview rectangle, among the options that pop up, choose select pixels. Now we're going to create a mask and adjust the outlines of your illustrations in the window above the layers panel, which you can expand to your liking. You want to click on "Select and Mask". Now click on "View" and select on layers. This option will allow you to see any changes that you make immediately in real time. Among the option that are now displayed, we will only utilize the bars in the global refinements section. Each bar, will edit the outline of the illustrations in a slightly different way and how you want your elements to look in the end really comes down to personal preference. I would suggest just playing around with the handles and seeing the changes they producing your paintings. When you move the handles, you might not see any change but just give your computer a few seconds to compute because we are working on multiple illustrations. This can take a little bit of time. Once we're happy with the result, let's click on ''Okay'' and then to apply the mask, click on this tiny icon that has a little arrow facing down. We are now ready to save our illustrations. See you in the next lesson. 10. Exporting: Okay. We're just one step away from working on our final project. Let's export and save our set of illustrations. We're going to put each element into a separate layer. With the lasso tool which you can find in the toolbar, let's select this branch. Now click "Control Shift J", and the element you just selected is now on a new layer. We can hide this new layer to see which elements we still have left to isolate, and let's repeat this step for the remaining elements. Go back onto the main layer. With the lasso tool, do a selection around your illustration, and again, click "Control Shift J". If you want to deselect an element, just hit "Control D". It takes time to finish this. I sped up the lesson a little, but whenever you're ready, you can eliminate the new layer because it's an empty layer and we don't need it anymore. Now we can go through each layer and save our illustrations. I'm starting from Layer 1. Before saving it, I just do a quick check by zooming in. I use the eraser tool to get rid of any white pixels left, if there are any. To save this illustration, I right click on the level and I choose Save As PNG. Make sure to save the file in the right folder and then click "Okay". The file will be saved in PNG format with a transparent background, and it's ready to be used. You can proceed by saving the remaining illustrations. The technical part is over and we can finally create our botanical card. I know it can be quite a lot of work, especially if you're new to Photoshop, but once you start doing this a couple of times, it will definitely feel like less work and something that comes more naturally. 11. Final Project: This is the part that I love the most. I have all my illustrations ready, and this allows me to work on a variety of projects from creating social media templates, greeting cards, invitations, and anything I can imagine customized with my own illustrations. For this class project, I want to create with you a small square card that will contain the initial of a name with your hand-drawn and digitized botanical illustrations on top. Cards like these are very versatile. It can be a very special gift to someone, you can use it to write on the back and use it as a greeting card, or you can even use it to decorate your home. In fact, I'll be putting my card in this frame and keeping it to decorate my art studio. Back to Photoshop. Let's create a new document by clicking on File, New. On the right-hand side, you can set the width and height of your card. I'm going for a square format, and I'm selecting centimeters as the units. I want my card to be 12 by 12 centimeters and I want to set a three millimeter of margin. I'm leaving the resolution at 600 DPI, but if you scan your paintings at 300 DPI, you can go with 300 DPI. For me, the RGB color mode is okay. I'm just planning to print this with my own printer, but if you need this graphic for professional use, you want to set the CMYK color mode. We first want to make a text box to display the first letter of the initial. To write on the Canvas, go on the toolbar, select the text symbol, and click anywhere on the Canvas to start typing. On the right-hand side, there's a column, and here you can set the font type, dimension and color. Right now I can see what I just typed because the color is set to white. To change this, I highlight the text I wrote and click on this white rectangle in the menu to select a new color. In the type layer properties, you can also find this icon which allows you to capitalize your text. Now I'm adjusting the dimensions of my initial, increasing the size until it's as big as I want. I'm clicking the first symbol in the toolbar to move the letter and position it in the center of the Canvas. Now I'm going to change the font type. I'm going for a serif font, something classy that can go well with my personality and my studio as well. I'm leaving the color for later so this way I will find the perfect tint that will also match the illustrations. Now let's open the folder containing our illustrations and let's select the ones we want to use. You can use them all, but I will be selecting several elements. To select the elements, I'm holding down control and clicking on the element I want to pick. I selected seven elements, now I'm dragging them in Photoshop, click "Enter" for each illustration to insert it into your work area. To select all the layers containing your illustration, start by selecting the one at the top hold on shift and select the last one. Now, hit "Control T" to scale them down. This is the time where you can start decorating your letter and there are no rules here. The goal is to arrange your botanical elements around the initial in a way that feels right for you and if you need ideas to get started, here is a graphic collection I've realized this fall and I've included the letter of the alphabet along with numbers decorated with watercolors. You can find this collection under the class and resources tab. I'm moving only elements in the top left corner so that I can have a room to work. You can pick an element simply by clicking on one specific layer or by clicking on the group of elements. If you need to scale or rotate the element, click "Control T" and when you have completed the adjustments, you want to make, just click "Enter" [MUSIC] Another thing you may want to try is to reordering the layers, so, for example, here I want to move this flower on top of all these elements. I'm just going into the layer panel and I'm dragging the layer containing this flower on top of all the other layers. I also want to try to flip this element to see if it looks better and you can do the same by clicking control T and then right-clicking with your mouse, the illustration will flip when you select flip horizontal. Here you can also find the option to flip your element vertically [MUSIC] Guys, I will continue placing the elements until I'm happy with the composition. During this step, I often go back and forth, rotating and scaling the elements, reordering and moving them around. It usually takes me a couple of tries and some experimenting. I will speed up the video, but as always, feel free to pause and work at your own pace [MUSIC] I'm very satisfied with how the botanical elements look on top of my letter so now it's time to pick a color for my initial. I'm going to select the layer containing my letter. I'm going to click on the rectangle. Here, I can choose what color I want to set my letter to. I'm looking to go with a brown since the color palette I picked to create the illustration is fall themed and warm. Now I'm going to select all levels except for the background and I'm going to merge them together by clicking control E. This way we have everything, the initial and the illustration all in one layer. I'm going to do one more thing before exporting the card. Instead of keeping the background pure white, I want it to be a slightly different color with a white border around it. To achieve this effect, I'm going to create a new layer and select the color I want for my background in the toolbar. Then I'm going to use the paint bucket in the same toolbar to fill this layer in with the color [MUSIC] To make a white border, I'm going to select the background color by clicking control T and then I scale it down a little bit and I position it in the center. I'm happy with the result so I merged the background together with my letter by clicking control E and now we're ready to export the file. Click on "File" Save a Copy, rename your file, and then select the PDF format if you want to print this card or you can simply select JPEG format if you want to share it on social media. From here, the possibilities of what you can do with your final digitized composition are in your hands. Throughout this process, you learned and gained a lot of skills from sketching and painting to editing and composing your digital assets. You can really use them in endless projects. You can apply these skills to any handmade art work, not exclusively to watercolors an I really can't wait to see what you come up with. You have reached to the end of the class so huge congrats to you for making it this far. 12. Thank You: [MUSIC] Thank you so much for choosing to spend your time with me today. I hope that you found this class useful and that you feel inspired to turn more of your artwork into digital assets to use for new projects. I can't wait to see your botanical carrots. I use mine as a decoration in my studio and I think it looks gorgeous. Make sure to go to the Projects and Resources Section to upload your work and feel free to post any part of your project. I'll be very happy to take a look and leave feedback. Also, if you post your project on social media, don't forget to tag me. Lastly, if you feel stuck on a certain step of the class, especially with Photoshop, or if you have questions, feel free to use the Discussion tab, and I'll be more than happy to help you out. You can also follow me here on Skillshare to get updates as soon as I release a new class. Thank you so much again for joining me today and I hope to see you soon. [MUSIC]