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Old 12-05-2011, 04:43 PM
lilblu lilblu is offline
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How do I make a high quality copy of a drawing?

I have a drawing that my grandmother did about 20 years ago. She can't draw at all but followed one of those step-by-step instruction guides and did a terrific job. The drawing was done on what I believe was paper from a sketch pad as it has a non-smooth surface and she may have used a special drawing pencil. The drawing has a lot of shading and since it was done in pencil, it's all gray.

My grandmother told me to keep the original drawing and she has since forgotten about it. I would like to make a copy somehow and frame it to give her for Christmas. What would be the best way to make a copy of the drawing without letting it out of my hands? I was thinking I should scan it into the computer and then upload it to a few photo labs and have them print it out at 8x10 as that's the closest to the drawing size. But I'm afraid the shading won't come out right in the photos. I'm also thinking that matte prints would be better than glossy.

Does anyone have any helpful opinions?
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:11 PM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: How do I make a high quality copy of a drawing?

Well, I know what I would do, merely because I am familiar with this particular way of doing so, but perhaps you would not want to do it, or perhaps you may not have the equipment for doing so.

I would eliminate ALL direct light, such as the sun, the sky, a lamp, camera flash, etc., etc.

To do that, I would take the drawing to a covered, outside structure, such as a patio, a front door stoop, a gazebo, etc., etc., and place it face up on the floor of the structure. I would straddle the drawing with my feet, so as to be looking straight down on the drawing with my digital camera. I would set the camera to as full a zoom as I could get it, while still having it fill the view frame. This eliminates the barrel-shape distortion.

I turn off the flash. I take a deep breath, I let my breath out about halfway, and then hold my breath at that point, as I press the button to focus, and then take the shot. I'd take about 3 shots.

I would load it to Photoshop, and square it up, crop it, and, using "curves", I would adjust the contrast/color, etc., until it looked as much like the original as possible.

In lieu of that, I would just scan it, provided it will fit on the scanning window. That is a lot more straightforward, and is just as easily correctible in Photo as a digital photo, and a lot more detailed, and square. Whatever is a bit off in terms of contrast, value, etc. can be easily corrected in Photoshop.
wfmartin. My Blog "Creative Realism"... http://www.wfmartin.com
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:56 AM
Steve Orin Steve Orin is offline
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Re: How do I make a high quality copy of a drawing?

If its within 11"x17" you could have it scanned on a flatbed at a Staples or other printer. They could put it on a CD & you could print yourself or have them do it. Might be a prob with pencil though...
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:45 AM
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Re: How do I make a high quality copy of a drawing?

Steve's right with the scanner. Generally the higher the dpi that you scan it in at, the larger the picture will be on the computer. A lot of people prefer to use 300dpi when scanning in a picture, but like I said, the higher the dpi, the bigger the picture.

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