scanner vs photograph Part 1 using a scanner - the difficulty of copying coloured pencils in moleskine sketchbook and some solutions
I've been comparing scans and photographs of this little sketch of evening fields in coloured pencil in a moleskine sketchbook.
I find coloured pencil can be difficult to reproduce. Scanners or cameras can pick up the top layers of colour too strongly (And I scumble lots of layers). With cream coloured paper they make it too white, using the cream for their white balance and that makes the whole image cooler.
There may be better ways but this is the way I try to solve it:
With the Scanner
- scan image into Photoshop or similar programme - I don't like to make the adjustments in the scanner if it isn't quite right, as photoshop has more options so I usually accept the scan as it is
- in Photoshop duplicate the layer
- look at options for the opacity of this layer - this one needed 100% opacity but this is variable. This intensifies the colours without distorting them and doesn't usually darken the pale colours overmuch.
- Flatten the layers.
- Look at Levels to see if any tweaking needs doing there
- Now go to the colour balance, I adjusted the lights to add a lot of yellow and a little magenta to get closer to the creamy colour of the moleskine page and add the warmth back to the paler areas of the sky. It's now pretty close to the original.
Below you can see it at stage 2 with the layers duplicated and flattened but the levels and colour balance not yet done.
Stage 2: It's too cold and white, losing the creaminess of the moleskine paper and the pale apricots in the evening sky - there in the original but not showing up.
Original scan: All too pale, too cool, missing the paler colours in the sky that are there in the original sketch.
Tomorrow I'll show the photograph and see which gave the best result.
I hope this is helpful.