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I struggled for a while really when the need to convert drawing to digital format arose. Being an Artist, it is really getting essential to get ourselves and our art online and sometimes really important to create vector files that are scale-able.
When I started workinig digitally, i right away started with working directly through illustrator and Learned the Basics of Vector to get started. If you have a blog or shop or website where you would like to sell your digital artworks ( Read my post on How to sell art online here ) or maybe just plainly want to transfer your work into digital format to color it digitally , first thing first , you need to get it into a line work that is digitally supported.
For digital Artwork , or maybe coloring pages you need to have a clean and crisp black and white line. Here is a little tutorial for really novice artists who would like to do that.
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1-Draw Clean and Bold
Draw with pencil or directly whatever is comfortable for you , keeping in mind that what you are drawing will be scanned and digitally modified and manipulated. More crisp and clean line you have easier it becomes to convert drawing to digital format.
I like to start my drawing with pencil , once I am done with the basic idea , I like to switch directly to a black Fine tipped marker to fill in the details. As I don’t like to rework on my details 🙂 . So it is totally up to you how you draw but the lines must be Clean and Bold .
The tools I use for drawing are
2-Importance of Right Tools
Nothing can be worst than finishing your pre sketch with pencil and when you start drawing you realize that your sharpie or marker is out of ink!.
Make sure that you have a well-filled marker that gives clean edges. Rough edges means MORE touching up after the artwork is digitally altered.
3- Scan high res
I like to scan my artwork on high resolution , you can ALWAYS go down but you cant go up and scale a pixel image . Also i like to keep my scanner settings to colored and NOT BLACK AND WHITE. Black and white scans give a line contrast that is too much to handle and doesn’t give a smooth line in a final black and white image.
4-Adjust Curves and Brightness.
Finally in Photoshop you can adjust the Curves and play around with the brightness and contrast to get a clean and crisp image quality.
Last but not the least , you can copy your final clean image Ctrl+A (select all) and place Ctrl+V (Paste) into illustrator and then trace it !
Result is a clean crisp outline that you can scale to any size you like WITHOUT LOOSING its line quality. Some additional steps you might want to take after the vactorization step is complete is to convert it to outline and clean the white area . I have explained cleaning the outlines in another post that you can Read about Right here.