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Get Noticed On Faa!

 

Posted by: Talya Johnson on 01/31/2013 - 7:03 PM

We all want to get noticed and find good homes and collectors for our paintings. This thread is all about getting your paintings noticed on Fine Art America. I will elaborate on all the following fundamentals, so check back often and share ideas and links that have worked for you as well.

1. High quality work that is unique, has clear intent/voice
2. High quality photos or scans of your work
3. Descriptive titles
4. Go slow, post one to three images per day
5. Keywords/tags are vital to being seen online
6. Descriptions using keywords/tags, titles, support visibility
7. Add successful or admired artists to your watch list
8. Join groups, submit your work, and participate in discussions
9. Reciprocate comments voting and promoting from others, be genuine!
10. Be consistent, spend a little time every day on FAA.

 

 

Posted by: Videletevian DeleteRSON on 01/31/2013 - 9:45 PM

Just joined!!! Marvellous idea........looking fwd to my usual fav's turning up here.....thanks Talya..........your work is wonderfunl

 

How To Photograph Your Paintings

 

Posted by: Talya Johnson on 01/31/2013 - 11:17 PM

I am already noticing that we Painterly painters struggle with photographing our vibrant works. The reasons for this are many and I won't bore you with all the problems that are unique to the surface quality of our paintings. However, I wanted to share a photographing method that has never let me down. I learned it from master artist, Karen Wells. Please be sure to thank her if you find this helpful.
Karen Wells, How to photograph your paintings

 

 

Posted by: Talya Johnson on 01/31/2013 - 11:38 PM

Thank you Vivian! And welcome!! :)

 

 

Posted by: Catherine Howard on 02/01/2013 - 9:54 AM

That was a wonderful and well illustrated article by Karen Wells. This is exactly, just one of the reasons I am going to love this group, Talya! I find that unless the painting is huge.. as in over 24" x 24", I prefer to scan them. I have learned a great deal about scanning and stitching over the last few months so if anyone wishes to know more about how I do it... please feel free to ask. The following is a little tutorial on youtube... he is using a mac computer and photoshop... I use an epson scanner and most of them have the best stitching program already built in but the file is still created in photoshop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnlPiTT8C6c

 

 

Posted by: MM Anderson on 02/01/2013 - 4:34 PM

I just joined this group. Looks great! I recently tried to scan an 8x10 painting but the texture of the paint caused problems so I ended up having to photograph it. Normally I work in pastel at small enough sizes to scan in one pass.

 

 

Posted by: Talya Johnson on 02/01/2013 - 5:26 PM

Welcome MM! Yes, I often have a similar problem. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. the method I posted above works like a charm!

Cathleen, any way you can make that YouTube post a live link? Beth has an awesome link generator here Also I would very much Looooove for you to describe you method of scanning and stitching for us, when you have the time!

 

 

Posted by: Catherine Howard on 02/01/2013 - 7:25 PM


Okay... the following may sound complicated but it really isn't once you have done it a few times.. and a scanned image will always be better than a photo of the artwork. I scan directly into Photoshop 7 and am using their photostitch program but am hoping to buy the Epson stitching software, which will make the process almost foolproof. Any flatbed scanner will do the job, even a small 8 1/2 X 11 one.. but the larger the bit size the better. I have a 48 bit scanner which in effect penetrates the layers of paint and picks up all the fine detail. It is very important to scan at a minimum of 300dpi but not to increase the scanned size of the image ..ever! After stitching the image together... and still in photoshop... I look at the actual pixels to ensure that there are no seams or pixels showing from the stitching and also to check all the edges in order to crop as closely as possible. If anyone has any questions, I will be more than happy to answer them... if I can... so fire away!

and Talya? I get Cathy...Cathie...Catherine... but never Cathleen before... so perhaps I should add it to the mix...lol

How to Scan Artwork With A Flatbed Scanner
You need a flat bed scanner installed and connected to a computer system.
Before use, carefully clean the scanner glass with a damp cloth or glass cleaner and dry.
Put the print face down on the glass. Ensure that the actual print area is parallel to the edges of the scanner.
Start the scanner software. On some scanners there is a scan button, or there may be an import function on your images processing software, or a separate scanner program.
If your scanner software does not automatically run a preview, do so (unless you are using VueScan - see tips.)
If your picture is skewed, line it up better and repeat the preview.
On the preview, use the mouse to outline the desired scan area.
If you are going to use Photoshop (or other image manipulation), scan all images as 'millions of colours'. Otherwise use this for colour and grey scale for black and white.
Adjust the scanner resolution to give an appropriate file size in pixels. For printing, scan to get 300 pixels per inch of final print size. For web, create a scan with largest side around 900 pixels.
Try the auto-exposure button if there is one in the software, then adjust brightness and contrast if needed. On some scanners, resetting to default will give good results.
For colour pictures, set any colour controls to the default values unless you are scanning direct to a printer.
If your scanner has a setting that allows you to improve shadow separation, use it.
Scan the images, saving in TIFF, BMP or PCX, but not as JPEG.
See the related 'How to's' for what to do with your scan next.

Tips
Always set the size measurement on the software to read in pixels when making a scan, unless you are scanning direct to a printer.
Third-party scanning software may produce better results than that supplied by the scanner manufacturer.
Never scan at a higher resolution than the actual optical resolution of your scanner. Never use any 'sharpen' command in the scanner software.

Scanning Work Larger Than Your Scanner
Take the cover off the scanner
Place painting face down on scanner.
Scan in the first quarter at at least 300dpi, preferably higher, taking great care to align the artwork squarely.
Continue to scan all 4 quarters with exactly the same settings and again, taking great care to align the artwork squarely.
Open each of the quarters of the painting in Photoshop.
To remove any canvas pattern etc. optionally: Apply Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian blur, have the radius at between 5 - 10 pixels
If you scanned at more than 300dpi, reduce each quarter to 25%

Go to Image Go to Image Size - the window will look like this (Note: Make sure that Constrain - Proportions box is checked:


Image Window
Change inches to percentage by pressing the triangle next to the word inches.
Change Width to read 25% (when the Proportions box is checked, both the width and height will be reduced by 25%.
Press OK.

Make each of the quarters 25%.
If necessary, go to Image - Rotate - and select the correct number of degrees so that it will be right side up.
Now it is time to put your painting together. Go to Image - Canvas Size - Change the width to 5 inches and the height to 6 inches. This will give you enough room to assemble the painting.
Next, add 3 more layers to the image, one for each of the quarters. Make sure the Layers Palette is open.
If it isn't, go to "Window - Palettes - Show Layers" to open it.
Press the triangle until the menu pops out and choose New Layer.

Using the Marquee tool, move the Bottom Left Side of the painting to the bottom left side of the screen.
Copy each of the remaining quarters and paste it into its own layer in your assembled image file.
You can now move around each of the quarters until they all match up with each other by selecting the layer that it is on and using the Move Tool (Hint: You can use the arrow keys


to move each section by a very small amount).
When you are happy that all the quarters line up, go back to the Layers Paletter and Press the triangle again. This time choose "Flatten Image" and your quarters will now be pasted together.

At this point, you can handle this image like any others you have edited, however you might need to trim it a little, sharpen it, adjust the colors, change the size to fit your web page, etc.

Which Scanner To Buy

Scanner technology is improving all the time, so it's difficult to keep current with recommendations. Apart from following recommendations, the main factors to consider are the optical resolution and Bit Depth, but any new scanner is likely to be able to produce acceptable results.

 

 

Posted by: Talya Johnson on 02/01/2013 - 8:24 PM

ugh! How long have I been calling you Cathleen? Don't know how I ever got that in my brain!! So sorry! C a t h e r I n e...I'm too scared to go and look through our exchanges to check...

This tutorial is AWESOME! It must have taken you forever to write it all down, but it is most thorough. I have a watercolor that is too large for the scanner that I will try this on. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

 

 

Posted by: Mary Ellen Anderson on 02/01/2013 - 10:34 PM

I just ordered a xrite i1 display calibrator. Is anyone familiar with this equipment?

 

 

Posted by: Talya Johnson on 02/02/2013 - 3:18 AM

A few basics before we start really digging into this discussion. please read these to familiarize yourself with how FAA works. I promise post of your concerns and questions will be addressed within these links!

Make HTML links on FAA
FAA FAQ and help
Posting thumbnails in discussions or elsewhere
Change text color/bold/italic
Resizing your thumbnails/image posts

 

 

Posted by: Angela Stanton on 04/17/2013 - 1:18 AM

Since I am officially a professional photographer, I can be of help here I think.

Scanning is good with certain types of scanners but not all! LED light scanners versus the older halogen light scanners; you will have huge texture differences. The old is better since the new LED light scanners tend to flatten texture for they have even light everywhere whereas the old will scan nicer but with uneven light.

If you photograph--and I read the article above about photographing on the northern side of the house for shade--you will get better results except if you also have something else shading the northern side of your home--like a tree or another house, which is the case at my house. In a case like this you need to use a reflector that directs light (sunlight or strong artificial light) to your art such that it looks like a gloomy sky over your art. (We call gloomy skies "giant softbox" and love to photograph everything when it is gloomy and foggy a bit).

So set your art up as the above description on the northern side of your house or in a shade tree or anywhere where sun does not hit it directly. Then get a tripod (or a person to hold) and a white reflector (it is a fabric or cardboard paper--I use cardboard for ease and cheap.. you can use a canvas board as well!) Set your white board up such that it catches light--sun or aim a white light bulb like LED flash into the white board and aim the light from that toward your painting but from a distance of at least 10 feet or more. This will allow the light to spread so your work will be lit evenly everywhere. Set your camera such that you get as close as possible to show texture sharply and use a very large aperture number--on most modern DSLR cameras it is 22 but anything between 11 and 22 will do. I recommend you auto focus your camera and use a table top or tripod for stability--some exposures with such large aperture numbers may take several seconds to take and your heart beat is enough to remove the sharpness.

The hardest trick is what you focus on within the painting since in most cameras the focus point in the center (which is what you would use for paintings) also "meters the light" meaning if you have a lot of white on your painting, it will look gray on the photo to reduce what the camera sees as "too bright". So if you have a camera that you can adjust to manual setting and you have a lot of white in your art, set the exposure to be a tad higher than the camera would like to go. This will make a brighter picture and your whites will remain white. If you have a lot of dark in your picture, you will be facing the opposite problem. The camera will want to lighten up all that dark, washing out the colors. So in this case you will want to dial the exposure just a tad below what the camera wants to do.

For this you need manual option. If you don't have that, you will have to play in Photoshop afterwords. Let me know if you need help since photography is now my full time job and if you live close enough I am also glad to go and photograph your art or you can bring it to my studio where I can do a real pro job on that. :) My studio is in Anaheim Hills, is Southern California.

If you are handy with cameras and what they can do, the best way to photograph your work is by HDR of 3 separate exposures of different settings and combine the three using special software that I have. that way you are guaranteed to get all colors exactly right.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Angela

 

 

Posted by: AnnaJo Vahle on 04/18/2013 - 7:53 PM

Great discussion...so much useful information! My paintings are usually quite large and I don't have a good scanner. I need to pay attention and be more careful about my images. Shame on me. I will take the good advice and try to mend my ways.

 

 

Posted by: Angela Stanton on 04/18/2013 - 8:55 PM

Let me know if I can be of help. I am getting into a very busy wedding season and also out of the country 2-3 times where I will not have internet all the time if at all. I may not be able to log on to get messages here but you can always send an email to my regular email at angela@stantonphotostudios.com and that comes to my cell everywhere--except where there is not even cell reception... lol.. and that will happen in a few places this summer. But feel free to send questions and I'll be glad to help any way I can!

Hugs,
Angela

 

 

Posted by: Glenna McRae on 04/22/2013 - 2:56 PM

Great Discussion! I am learning so much already about photographing my images!!! Thank you very much for this wonderful, informative discussion!!! glenna

 

This discussion is closed.