magic scanner

Before the end of 2011 I bought myself a new scanner.

My old HP All-In-One scanner/printer got the job done, but scanning was always frustrating because it never quite captured all the detail or accurate color of my art. I’d do my best to edit the images, but I knew it could be better.

I did a ton of research and decided that the Epson V-750 was the scanner for me. Most of the comparisons I saw online showed scans of slides and photographs, but I was encouraged by the detail that it picks up, even in photos, so I felt confident it would do my art justice. I wasn’t disappointed!

I won’t go on and on since the images speak for themselves.

Each of the following scans are minimally edited, mostly just cropped and a little dust clean up. In the images below, the HP scan comes first, followed by the same image scanned with my new Epson.

Kaleidoscope Drawing
HP Scan

Kaleidoscope Drawing
Epson Scan

Kaleidoscope Drawing
HP Scan

Kaleidoscope Drawing
Epson Scan

Isn’t the difference amazing? For me, the Epson really shines in the lightest areas. It captures the detail of every mark I make; even light pink colored pencil, or delicate graphite. I’m sure I could bring out the color in the Epson images, but I was so impressed by the quality right out of the scanner that I wanted to share them without any editing at all.

The Epson V-750 has been a dream come true so far. It’s fast, it’s quiet, and the image quality is impressive. I actually look forward to scanning. No more frustration!

**Update**
I almost forgot! I made these two drawings for a couple mail art exchanges to Kati Driscoll and Rhya Tamasauskas. I just love the way Rhya described the mail art I sent, mentioning that “the collection of colours and textures reminds me of the beach at sunset…running in sand as the landscape changes in big sweeping gestures right before our eyes.” Isn’t that dreamy?

New Year, New Sketchbook: a giveaway!

While I was out shopping for Christmas presents this year, I found it hard to avoid temptation to pick up a fun item or two for myself. Especially when I went to IKEA, because I discovered that they had brand new sketchbooks! I was so excited that not only did I pick up a few for myself, I also got one of each color to giveaway to 3 of my blog readers!

sketchbooks for giveaway!

That’s right! I’m giving away 3 sketchbooks! I’ll give 1 pink, 1 purple, or 1 blue sketchbook to 3 lucky winners.

I made a quick video to give you a better idea of what they are like.

Please note: I don’t usually pronounce pink as “peenk”. Not sure where that came from. Also, when I say the purple is more purple, I meant that it’s more of a warm purple, not as blue as it looks on the video!

As you can tell from the video, they are filled with blank paper, but they have a nifty ruled plastic insert page too.

filled with blank paper

plastic ruled insert

I love the size of the book–feels very comfortable to hold on my lap and sketch. Truthfully, it’s not the best quality paper in the world, but it’s perfect for basic sketching.

sketchbooks for giveaway!

If you’d like to start off this new year with a new sketchbook, then leave a comment that tells me which is your favorite color of the 3 choices (I’ll do my best to give the winners their favorite, but I can’t make any promises!), and let me know what your New Year’s resolution is if you have one!

I’ll pick the winners at random. Comments for this giveaway will close in 1 week–Next Sunday January 8th (at midnight!) with the winners announced Monday January 9th.

Good luck!

Prismacolor Premier & Verithin Pencils

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of some art supplies all week. Today they arrived!

My new supplies

After working on a bunch of drawings recently with sharpies, I had the idea to try similar drawings with colored pencil. Unfortunately my colored pencils have been totally eaten up by my Sketchbook Project drawings. Aw, shucks. I needed new ones. :D

I’d heard really good things about Prismacolor colored pencils, so I decided to get a set each of the Premier and the Verithin pencils. The Premiers have softer thicker lead, so the colors tend to be richer, while the Verithins’ lead is thinner and harder, so they are better for detail work.

Prismacolor!

Dick Blick had a special, so I got a free set of fine line markers with the set of 48 Premier pencils.

Of course the first thing I had to do was make a color chart.

pencil colors

The first block of colors are the Premier pencils, followed by the Verithins, and then the 4 markers. If you’d like to view the chart a little bigger, you can see it on flickr.

I was kinda surprised that there were a few colors in the set of 36 verithins that weren’t in the set of 48 premiers. I might have to pick up a couple premier pencils in pumpkin orange, dahlia purple, and deco pink–they are such nice colors!

Off I go to draw!