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how to scan and edit your drawings for prints!

Firstly – I’d like to state that I am absolutely no expert in this area, I’m just sharing how I do it and what works for me.

When scanning your work, it’s super important to get a good quality scanner, I have the Epson Perfection V550 Photo which I bought a good few years ago and it’s still going strong. It did cost me a couple hundred quid at the time but it’s been absolutely worth every penny!

When I first started, I tried using the little scanner that comes on top of the cheapy cheap printers you can get but it was DIRE quality, not anywhere near what you’d need for good quality reproductions – I do not recommend! If you don’t want to invest in a more substantial scanner then you are definitely better off sending your work to a professional for them to scan for you! That way you’re guaranteed a file and a print that looks as close to the original as possible and you know the quality is going to be as good as they can get it.

But, when doing it yourself – be sure to give the bed a good wipe with a lint free cloth before scanning anything! Get rid of any dust so your scan is as clean as can be!

Once you’ve placed your artwork onto the scanner bed you want to make sure its lined up at the edges and completely covered by the lid – if, like me, you want to scan pieces that are larger than A4, I always lay a t-shirt or something over the scanner to stop any light getting in those edges.

Now once the scanner has does its overview scan, I get the options to change the settings – here is how mine is set up as standard:

As you can see I decrease the brightness a tad, but I can tweak all these depending each particular drawing depending on the subject’s colour! The aim is to get it looking as close to the original drawing as I can. Then I’m ready to click scan! I always scan at 300dpi.

Once scanned, I load what I call the “raw scan” into my photo editor, I use a program called Pixelmator Pro, its basically photoshop but it’s a one off VERY small cost so, big fan of that! I’ll make any last colour adjustments and if needed go through the painstaking task of removing the background – time consuming but I haven’t found a quicker/more precise way other than a very small eraser and teeny tiny movements. I find that if I select the whole background it can erase smaller details around the edges of the drawing that I want to keep. I do have a drawing tablet/graphics pad that I used to use for this as I could be really precise but I’ve gotten pretty good at just doing it on my laptops trackpad! Practice makes progress and all that!

And finally, after I’m happy with the edited scan, I’ll view it using the soft proof settings downloaded from my printers website – enabling soft proof colours means I can view the drawing in the colours it will print, it gives me a better idea of what the final print will look like, such as if some colours won’t be as dark or if some will get washed out.

*googles soft proof meaning*… *copies and pastes*:

“Soft proofing is the ability to view a simulation of how your image will look when out-put to the printer on your monitor, based on the chosen profile.”

Get it? No? Me neither.

Then I’ll save it as a PNG and its good to go to print! Woo!

Hope that made some sense, and helped in some way! Feel free to send any questions you have and I’ll do my best as always!

Cherry xo

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the dreaded hand pain

Here we go guys, we’re getting serious in here!

Please, if there’s any advice you take from me, be it this – LOOK AFTER YOURSELF!

In early January 2020, I, like so many people made a few New Year’s Resolutions… one of which was to start creating different styles of work using other mediums so I could branch out of my comfort zone. My first series was floral letters in micron pen, A-Z and an ‘&’ for good measure!

I absolutely adored drawing them but at one point I was so focused on getting through them all I was non-stop drawing. After a week my hand was really starting to cramp up but I was so determined to complete the set, I did not slow down, rest or stop!

I pushed through until I’d completed all 27 intricate drawings and my palm was actually swollen, and I was waking up everyday with dull pain all around my thumb and up my wrist. It went on and on and never really got any better, I spent 6 weeks alternating between heat pads and ice, drawing went out the window completely. I ended up making an appointment at my GP, got myself a steroid injection into my thumb (which didn’t really help) and eventually got sent for an ultrasound and X-ray as the swelling never went down.

My diagnosis? From tendonitis, to repetitive strain, to being told I had an “extra muscle” in my palm! Eventually the consensus was I’d “worked out” the muscle in my palm and it wasn’t actually swollen – but bigger! I have a pop-eye palm!! It’s now July 2023 and still the same, I have a constant dull ache in my hand – and my palm still looks swollen.

When you feel pain, STOP.

Since then I’ve had to be a lot more aware, I stop at the slightest twinge and my pieces take longer to create as I’m taking frequent breaks to rest and stretch! I’ve even started using different mediums and materials which involve using less pressure.

I’ve had physio and a spate of acupuncture which I wasn’t overly confident would help – but let me tell you! When I say I was struggling to brush my teeth at one point because of the pain… one session of acupuncture down my arm and I felt the relief immediately. Magic! Highly recommend it.

Take care of yourselves, and especially your hands!

Cherry xo

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what is a “giclée” print?

One of the most frequent questions I get is what on earth is a “giclée” print, closely followed by how on earth do you say it!?

So, it’s pronounced ‘zhee-clay’ which originates from the French word ‘gicler’, which means “squirt/spurt/spray”, referencing how the ink is sprayed onto the paper to produce prints.

Giclée printing uses a wider range of coloured inks which means there is a much broader colour range available to more accurately reproduce the colours in original artworks.

Giclée printing uses lightfast, archival pigment inks which are sprayed onto archival, acid-free paper. The result of which is long-lasting prints where the colours won’t fade and the paper won’t yellow for at least 80-100 years!

Cherry xo

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“how can I get better at drawing… fast?”

I got this DM on instagram just now and it read “How can I become a professional in drawing in a short time?”, and I replied simply, “You can’t”.

I must receive a version of this message a handful of times a week, so I’m writing this so next time I open a message and read those words I can link this blog post straight back to them and anyone else wanting to learn how to draw or how to get better at drawing.

First off – there are NO SHORTCUTS. There is no course, no lesson, no magical bean that will teach you how to draw in a matter of hours or days. My favourite saying is ‘practice makes progress.’ and its so true – in my experience, you can’t cheat the system, I learnt how to draw by drawing, consistently, over a long period of time – and I’m still learning now with every drawing I complete! Always a student.

Now, don’t be put off by that – because if you love art and you love creating then the process is fabulously fun, and its so rewarding to start being able to look back at artwork from last month, 6 months ago, a year ago and see the evolution. Once you’ve put the time in, you’ll start seeing changes in your work, small improvements that lead to the development of your own style.

My best advice would be to do what’s best for you and your style of learning, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube and endless Patreon channels that will teach you step by step, but only you can commit to learning.

I have my own Youtube channel with plenty of time-lapse videos if you’re interesting in watching them and seeing how I draw my pet portraits!

But other than actually practicing, how can you better your art? Have a look at your materials, are they decent artist quality? Cheap and cheerful paper and pencils are great for practicing, but you’ll really notice a difference in your work if you invest in quality materials, as well as ensuring your hours of work don’t go to waste on paper that will yellow or colours that will fade.

And lastly, don’t compare your Chapter 1 with someone else’s Chapter 30. Comparison kills your creativity and we are all on our own paths, only compare your work with your own work from last month or last year, and don’t give up!


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…why is it so ‘expensive’?!

Let’s talk money! It’s an awkward and uncomfortable topic for many, and one I have to discuss often with potential clients so let’s just get stuck in! 

I’m one of many, many small creative business’ who go to fetes and fairs, have market stalls and therefore get to interact with potential customers face to face, and it’s after one of these days where I’m writing this post . It is really wonderful to have people come and see your work in person and it’s fabulous to have some of those people tell us they love our work, then there are others…

Continue reading …why is it so ‘expensive’?!