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Log and Mitten

8 Days Ago

Dog Pen Drawing - Could You Please Help With Digital File Quality?

Dear All,

I'm new to selling dog portraits online as art print and was wondering if I could seek some help from other pet artists
with regards to getting my digital file ready for upload onto FAA.


I'm running into trouble to get my original art looking good on printed paper.

Here's the dog portrait I'm discussing here (this is the faulty file):


The issues I'm having (I bought myself a copy to check the print quality):

1. The surrounding area shows a lot of paper residues (grey dots and tiny hair dust that may have gotten stuck to the paper or the scanner bed without me noticing)

2. The dog clearly sits on a surface that's not white despite the scan I uploaded looking white. Towards the bottom there is a light grey edge that does not look nice
(all other 3 corners look white). The original paper - it's beige and textured - scanned as light grey in the bottom right corner despite the scan looking white to me.

So, I'm thinking of going back into Paint.net and manually deleting those residues and switching to Black and White (Adjustment menu).

But in the meantime I'd like to pop these questions:

1. The black and white effect displays black with a slight blueish tint and I do not like that. Is there a way to ensure the digital file only shows black and white without those blue or red tints?

2. Paper residues are not easily visible on the digital file - without the print, I would probably miss out some.
So, in the future, is there a particular method I could follow or tool I could use to make sure the digital file has been thoroughly scanned for paper residues prior to upload?
Would all this be resolved with Photoshop?


For those who cannot afford a professional photographer, would you recommend we stick to scanning (my art is always on A4 paper)?
Or will I be better served creating my makeshift light box to photograph my art? Would photographing change the things I need to look for when editing?
I saw some pet portraits on FAA on beige paper and they look very nice as such.

Would you have a tip or two to help with those issues?

I thank you very much for your time and tips!

Alex of Log & Mitten

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Gill Billington

8 Days Ago

When you scan the image it is always best to open it with photo editing software like photoshop etc. Blow it up to over 100% and go over every bit of the image to erase any stray marks that could be dust or pencil. You can also then make sure it is black and white as the paper may have a hint of other colors. There are many different whites!


Log and Mitten

8 Days Ago

Hi Gill,

Thanks a lot for your response!

That's very useful to hear what other artists do.

I'll go and get Photoshop then and start cleaning the file.

Have a lovely day!



Donna Mibus

7 Days Ago

I feel your pain on this, lol. This issue of trying to get a good and accurate scan of my paintings is a real frustration to me. I only recently started uploading scans of paintings, for this recent 100 day Challenge I participated in. Before that I've only uploaded my digital artwork. I'm still not 100 percent happy with my scans of my paintings. I find the colors are washed out, and when I try to increase the saturation levels, post scan, then the white background has a bluish tint to it. Some things I've learned that have helped a little is to changed the scanner's settings before scanning. If your scanner has that capability that seems more effective than trying to edit after the scan. I'm able to get a preview of the scan, and then I can change the colors and brightness and contrast and saturation levels all before I scan. This ends up with a much better outcome that doesn't need so much editing afterwards.

Like you though I still get these random dots that I need to use the touch up brush to erase. The dots are not on my watercolor paper, and I've cleaned the scanner surface really well so there does not seem to be any dust or debris on the scanner bed. Not sure where those random dots are coming from! But I have to keep erasing them off.

So see if your scanner allows you to edit and change settings prior to you scanning. I was not aware mine did. My husband is the one who told me.


Log and Mitten

7 Days Ago

Hi Donna,

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience and tips!
It's good to know I'm not the only one feeling the pain.

Some days I wish my art will just transport itself onto the computer and get itself ready for upload without my intervention :-)

I'll be experimenting with these tips Gill and yourself gave me one step at a time in the future.

It will be a question of learning how to use Photoshop and my scanners well via experimenting then.

If all fails to produce a result that's to my satisfaction, I just won't offer these as prints quite simply and stick to other art forms simpler to digitize (watercolor and digital).


Rich Franco

7 Days Ago


WELCOME! If you have just this ONE image that needs "fixin", then just email me the image and I'll be happy to correct and return it. Photoshop is at least $10/month or several hundreds of dollars to purchase. One great alternative is "Photoshop Elements" which is all you need and about$100 or less to buy. OR, you can make a great copy using a camera or smartphone using my tutorial on HOW TO!


Here's my email if you want to send your image:



p.s. what scanner are you using? What is the scanner set on, DPI? You might be pushing the scanner and it's "seeing" into the paper.....like when I used to scan film, if the scanner was set too high, it would "see" the film emulsion.....


Roger Swezey

7 Days Ago

Instead of Photoshop, I would consider Gimp


Mike Savad

7 Days Ago

whatever you used on that butterfly, do it on the others. if you do things on paper you use a good scanner. then bump the dpi up to make it larger 300dpi is 1:1. and steps of 300 doubles it and so on.

----Mike Savad


Log and Mitten

7 Days Ago

Thanks for your response and tips Rich, Roger & Mike!

You've all given me plenty to think about now.

To Rich:
1. Thanks for sharing your links. They look super nice so I'll be checking them out as part of my experiments to get to the bottom of these things
2. I use an HP Home office printer and a Canon LIDE 220
3. Thanks very much for the tip on scanning too high. I certainly did for the large version (scanned to 1200 DPI)
4. Thanks for the offer but I'd rather leave it for when I get to experiment and learn more about all this (I prefer learning how to do it so I pick up the skill).
It's not urgent. I'm not even sure I'll stick to this art style in the future.

To Roger:
1. Thanks for the suggestion. I already use GIMP and that's what I used to clean the butterfly.
I need to find out how to use it to clean complex pen drawings as these offer a different reality compared to watercolor illustrations (lots of white space with
dots on in the drawing itself)
I'll get to this in due time (I'm going to make this whole digitizing hand-made art an experimentation that I'll take 1 step at a time in the future)

To Mike:
Thanks Mike for the tip!


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