Every day in May no. 17 – scanning trouble

I think flowers are pretty hard to capture in watercolors, I have to struggle for a while to get it right and the subject is a bit out of my comfort zone, to say the least. But it turned out today´s real challenge was not the painting at all. The hardest part was to get the colours to look right on the computer screen.

My scanner usually does a good job, but it certainly does not like blue Kremer watercolours. A little comparison here: The left image above was scanned, and there is always a little bit of editing in Photoshop after scanning something so I went ahead and did the usual stuff, i.e. levels and hue/saturation adjustments. That usually takes care of the flaws my scanner has. But this time nothing helped. The blues turned into something brownish purple-black (a completely new and surprising hue, I know!) . The right image is a photo, captured with a digital camera after I gave up on the scanner. The light was not the best, so the paper is slightly shadowed on the right, but the colors are extremely much better.

I wish I knew an expert in calibrating scanner, screen, Photoshop and printer, but I don´t. There is a whole science around this issue, and I wish I didn´t have to deal with it, but I realize I may actually have to sit down and learn more about it. If anyone knows of any good online resources on this subject, I would be very grateful for some tips and hints.

8 x 12 cm, light pencil sketch and Kremer watercolors on a small Moleskine Watercolor page.

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