Iguana Art Academy

Editing your photographed or scanned image

You’ve taken the time to produce an original work of art. Now we need to present it well. The sayings “You only get one chance at a first impression” and “You’re only as good as you look” apply to your artwork. It’s important that the work you submit to the Assignment Gallery is true to your work. In other words, it should accurately represent your work. Following are tips to help you make a good impression.

  • Start with a good photograph. See the FAQ “Can you offer tips on photographing my artwork?” to ensure that you have a good image file to work with.
  • Be honest! Keep in mind that accuracy is beneficial to you. You will receive feedback that will help you grow. If it looks better than your work, you miss out on constructive feedback. If the image is of poor quality, then others will have a difficult time offering honest input. We’re here to grow, not to impress, for long-term results.
  • Match your paper’s color and tone. If you have white paper, then it should look white in your photo.
  • Highlights and Shadows are the key to well-exposed image. Avoid using “Brightness” or “Contrast” controls.
    • In Photoshop, make use of the Levels tool (Image > Adjustments > Levels). Slide the shadow (left slider) and highlight (right slider) to achieve an accurate image.
    • in PicMonkey, use Exposure > Highlights/Shadows sliders.  *PicMonkey is a superb, free online photo editor (*You can ignore the invitation to trial or buy PicMonkey Royale if you don’t mind the ads in Basic PicMonkey, and it’s always free).
  • Desaturate! If you’ve done a drawing in black/white/gray, then there should not be any color cast. Cameras can have a hard time getting white balance correct, resulting in a cool or warm tone over the image. There is a simple fix- desaturate.
    • Photoshop: Click on Image > Mode > Grayscale.
    • PicMonkey: Click on Colors and then slide the Saturation slider all the way to the left to nix any color cast. Easy!
  • No fancy stuff! Avoid the temptation to do crazy things with gradients, frames, fonts. Stick with the basic tools to present your image honestly.
  • Help for newbies. Check out these easy-to-follow tutorials to produce great images of your artwork:

Experiment with editing your photos (always on a duplicate just in case…!). You’ll be a pro in no time. :)

September 25, 2016

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