Behind the Scenes: Watercolor Prints

Hi! Over the next few weeks I’m going to be focusing on creating some new watercolor illustrations. I wanted show you a little behind the scenes peek at my process from painting to art print.

All of my watercolor prints start as original, hand-painted illustrations. My style of illustration is playful and organic – not super realistic - but I still look at reference photos or better yet, the real thing. I am usually setup at the Farmers Market every weekend so I love to bring home a bunch of amazing produce and draw from life. I just have to remember to draw it before I eat it!


Watercolor illustrations messily piled on top of each other


I scan my illustrations using my beloved Epson scanner, that is honestly probably ten years old at this point, but it still works great! Some artists prefer to take photos instead of using a scanner. I’ve tried it both ways and scanning just works better for me. I scan my work at 600 dpi – gotta get all those little details.


screenshot of scanned image


After I’ve scanned my illustration, I edit it using Adobe Photoshop. One of the downsides to scanning is it can really washout the colors and contrast. I start by adjusting the levels (an adjustment layer in photoshop). This usually fixes most of the color issues. From there, it’s little tweaks like adjusting the brightness, cleaning up stray marks, and fine tuning the color.


computer screenshot of editing a watercolor image in photoshop


I digitize my designs and illustrations so they can be reproduced. Being able to create prints of my watercolor illustrations allows people to buy art from a real artist at a reasonable price. It’s a win win.


Watercolor illustration of carrots in wooden frame leaning against a white wall with subway tile

This is the process that I use but there are lots of ways to make and digitize art – experiment, have fun, and do what works best for you!


P.S. This is just a summary of my process - I didn’t want to bore you with every photoshop layer or scanner setting. But if you have any questions, feel free to reach out and say hi.