Scanning pencil crayon drawings

rats-drawn-in-pencil-crayon-by-myfanwy-tristram-scan-showing-errors

I know I’ve been quiet on here lately, but that’s not because I’m not drawing.

In fact I’ve been drawing quite a bit, between a weekly life drawing class, comic stuff, and even a visit to the museum to sketch with my daughter. I just haven’t managed to blog about it.

I’ve nearly finished my latest comic, which I’m hoping to have ready for sale at the Lakes and Thought Bubble festivals. (By the way, you can see all the other wonderful comics people we’ll be sharing a hall with at Thought Bubble, here.)

While I normally do my comics in inks or watercolour, for some reason I blithely drew this one in pencil crayons, without a moment’s thought about how well it would scan in and print out. That may have been a little foolish, especially given that scanning is always my nemesis.

It turns out that pencil crayons scan horribly. You get all the harsh contrasts and none of the subtleties.

Fortunately, though, after some Googling, I have a couple of plans up my sleeve. First – I might just photograph the images. It turns out that the camera on my phone is pretty good – the resulting pictures certainly look better than the scans.

For example, compare this photo:

wild dogs drawn in pencil crayon by Myfanwy Tristram - photo

With the scanned version:

wild dogs drawn in pencil crayon by Myfanwy Tristram - scanned showing errors

Urk!

Other images are slightly less alarming, but you can certainly see a difference:

rats drawn in pencil crayon by Myfanwy Tristram - photo

Above, photo; below, scan:

rats-drawn-in-pencil-crayon-by-myfanwy-tristram-scan-showing-errors

Second, I read that covering the images with transparent cellophane or acetate can help deflect the light. If the photos don’t work out, I’ll try that.

I’ll let you all know when I’ve finally beaten the reproduction issues into submission and these comics are ready – and of course, any that don’t sell at the comics fairs will be available via my online shop.

Meanwhile, if you’re curious to see some more of the work in progress, you can visit my Instagram account. You might have to pick through pictures of my cats and various flea market finds, but there are plenty of drawings too, promise.

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