How to scan watercolour on cold press

Unless I’m using mineral paper, all of my watercolour paintings and doodles are on 140 lb cold press paper. I love it for the original but it scans TERRIBLY if I want to do prints. The tooth of the paper causes a shadowy texture all over and the only way to get rid of it is to pretty much ramp up the saturation to the point where any subtle colours disappear and half your painting is gone.

BUT! If you scan it twice, with the second upside down on your scanner bed, layer them, adjust the opacity on the top layer to 50% (or whatever suits you) and use Photoshop’s auto align feature you’ll find that the shadows in the painting are greatly reduced, giving you a smoother texture.


The above image has the double layer technique on the right side, the left is a regular scan. You can definitely see a difference in the texture of the ground!

Additionally I have migrated towards tumblr these days. You can follow my continued posts at Rat Rocket. I’ve been making a concentrated effort these days to draw and paint more often. Usually not good, but failing 50% of the time is better than not even trying 100% of the time.


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