Reproducing Your Artwork

I’ve been considering reproducing my paintings, and I’ve started researching how to go about that. There are two methods; you can either use photography or digital scanning. Since I don’t own a good camera and I know nothing about photography, I’ve decided that scanning my paintings would be the best solution for me.

You don’t need to be a professional artist to have reason to reproduce your paintings. Maybe you’d like to make greeting cards to send or to give as gifts. Perhaps your children have painted something they’re proud of. You could make copies to send to adoring grandparents, aunts and uncles. Your digital images can be used to embellish coffee mugs, t-shirts and other items through online websites. Folk with blogs or using social media can upload images to show off their latest masterpiece.

Using A Scanner To Copy Artwork

When you take a photograph, you have to set up lighting so that you don’t create shadows or have direct light. There’s a lot of stuff you need to do to ensure your image is properly captured. Also, the angle at which you photograph the painting is important so that the image is not distorted. There’s a lot to learn.

When you scan a painting, there none of that pesky setup, lighting or f-stop stuff to worry about. You simply load the painting and push the button. Of course, we’re talking about paintings that fit within the image size of the scanner. You can also scan the image in multiple parts for paintings that are larger than the scanner and ‘stitch’ them together using the software. But that’s a story for another time.

Things To Consider

You need to compare things like speed, color depth, accuracy, resolution, size of scanning surface, ease of use and software when deciding which scanner is right for you.

If you scan often and a lot, speed is important in choosing a scanner.

Usability is important; if you can’t make it work, it’s not going to do you any good. The ability to make adjustments with the scanner mechanism may make the use of editing software less critical.

Software can either come with the machine or can be purchased separately, but the software that comes with the machine is often useful for repairing or removing blemishes, dust marks and stitching multiple scans.

The ability to scan the widest color range possible is important for artists, so make sure to compare the color depth when choosing your scanner.


The Epson Perfection V370 Photo Scanner has 4800 x 9600 dpi optical resolution and includes ArcSoft Scan-n-Stitch Deluxe software. This software allows you to scan oversized paintings and meld components into one seamless image. It also has a high-rise lid that opens to 180 degrees, so if you have thick items, you’re still able to scan them.


This Canon CanoScan LiDE220 Photo and Document Scanner can input images at up to 4800 x 4800 dpi optical resolution. It has a high-lift lid that can accept work that’s 1 inch thick so that you can scan sketchbooks or journals. The Canon CanoScan works with both Windows and Mac operating systems.


With 4800 x 9600 optical resolution, the Epson Perfection V37 is a higher priced machine that provides both clarity and exceptional detailing. It doesn’t require a warm-up time, so you don’t have downtime waiting for the machine to start. ArcSoft Scan-n-Stitch Deluxe is also included for welding oversized scanned components together if you’re creating large-format paintings.

There are wonderful and very expensive scanners that are perfect for digitizing paintings. However, those machines cost thousands of dollars, so I’m not even going to mention them. The machines I’ve listed here are reasonably priced and readily available. Even though scanners are one of the least used add-on devices for computers, they are a very useful tool for many artists working their way towards making a living through their art.


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