How to Turn Your Paintings Into Art 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



One of the downsides to scanning is it can really washout the colors and contrast. After I’ve scanned my illustration, I use Adobe Photoshop to make little tweaks like adjusting the brightness, cleaning up stray marks, and fine tuning the color.


computer screenshot of editing a watercolor image in photoshop



The next step is printing! Just reach out to a local professional printer in your area and let them know about your project. They'll want to know things like: quantity, size, paper type, project deadline, etc. 

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

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 an artist at a reasonable price. It’s a win win.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!