Part One: Getting Ready
So you have a beautiful ink drawing that you want to digitize. Now what? Well, before you can jump right in to capturing your drawing on camera or with the scanner, there are a few things you’ll want to do to make sure you’re getting the best possible result.
First, you’ll want to make sure that there are no pencil lines showing through if you do a rough draft prior to inking your drawing. I find the best way to do this is with a kneadable eraser. The benefit of using a kneadable eraser is they don’t lift up the pen in the same way a regular eraser does as you can dab them over your ink lines instead of using a rubbing motion. Make sure all the pencil lines are removed for an easier time in Photoshop.
Next, take a look at your lines. Are they consistent in colour? Are some of your lines faded from erasing overtop, or perhaps using too light of a touch? Use your pen to make sure there is consistency within your piece before scanning.
Sure, you can do these things in Photoshop, but the final piece will be the most like your original if you take these steps now.
Preparing your equipment:
Camera lenses and scanners can collect dust and dirt. Before you begin, make sure your camera lens or scanner screen is free from anything that might compromise your drawing.
Some cameras come with a soft cloth you can use to wipe down your lens, but make sure you’re following the instructions for your specific model. To clean your scanner, you can use a lint-free cloth to wipe it clean. I’ve used a light spray of glass cleaner directly on my cloth and then gently wiped down the screen in the past and have never had any issues (just never spray directly on the screen! Again, I’d suggest following the recommended advice for cleaning outlined in your user manual.
- Remove any unwanted pencil lines from the piece you are wanting to digitize
- Make sure all of your lines are consistent in colour before photographing or scanning (e.g. no fading)
- Clean your camera lens if using a camera
- Clean your scanner screen if using a scanner