Whether it’s for reproduction or sending to publishers, most illustrators eventually face the need to convert their artwork into digital format. If you only work with traditional media and feel a bit lost, Illustration Editor, Tita Berredo, offers a few beginner steps that will help you digitise your work with quality.

Once you have scanned your artwork and adjusted the colour and contrast, you might want to correct imperfections like textures and little “inkcidents”. This can be done in most editing softwares but, for this article, we will use Photoshop.

Reducing paper texture

A quick trick is to scan your artwork twice, turning the paper on the scanner 180 degrees the second time. Open both images on Photoshop and rotate the upside down one to match the first. Align them perfectly. Reduce the opacity of the top layer until the texture disappears. Scanning the artwork from opposite directions makes the light reflect from both directions, which cancels any shadows cast.

Magic Eraser tool

By pressing down the Eraser icon in the toolbox you are able to select the Magic Eraser tool. You can use it to remove same colour areas like the background by clicking on what you wish to remove. You might need to adjust the tolerance if the background is too grainy. Also, ticking off the Contiguous option will make everything that is the same colour disappear altogether when you click, which is ideal for when you have outlined work. When you do this, you can choose to tick the Anti-alias to smooth jagged edges, and untick it to make the edges sharper.

Clone Stamp tool

With this tool you can paint precise corrections by copying pixels from another area, as if you were copying and pasting one selected area on top of another. To copy, you must hold the Alt key (Windows) or Option key (Mac) and click on the area you wish to copy. Simply release the key to be able to paste paint by clicking.

Spot Healing Brush tool.

As the name suggests, you can use this tool to heal what looks like damage. Use the tool to select the area that you wish to correct and it will clear it by picking up what is irregular and mimicking what is smooth pattern. 

Next time we’ll take a closer look at digitising on your smartphone!

All images © Tita Berredo

Tita Berredo is the Illustration Features Editor for Words & Pictures. 

Find her work at

Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @titaberredo

Jo. E. Verrill is Knowhow Editor. If there's something you'd like to know how to do, send your suggestions to

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