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6 Tips for Working in Traditional Mediums with Clients

Although I do projects that are entirely digital, I still prefer the style I can achieve when working traditionally with paints on paper. Luckily, I think many artists have this preference too and it is great to see traditional styles going strong on the market. However, almost all projects require artwork to be digitized especially if the illustrations are to be mass-produced as books or products.

Here are some tips I hope can be useful for traditional mediums work-flow:


1. Prior to signing the contract, confirm with your client the reproduction size required. This will affect the physical scale you are working in as the artwork can only be enlarged to a certain extent before losing image quality.

2. It might help to explain to the clients in advance, that due to the nature of the creation process, only minor revisions (digital touchups) can be done once the painting is completed. This tends to help them more firmly commit to the draft and approval stages.

3. If applicable, let your client know you will be delivering a "raster" file (not a "vector" file). Sometimes, this information is relevant to manufacturing specifications.

4. Scan all artwork at 600dpi or higher (you can always save down after). Save as TIFF format instead of JPEG as it is better for further manipulations in Photoshop.

5. The main method I use to "clean up" a scanned artwork is by adjusting the "levels" and "curves" in photoshop. This process helps me to ensure the white areas are pure white and saturates the colours to match the original.

6. Save as RGB for web and CMYK for print. You may notice a big drop in saturation and vibrancy when converting the file to CMYK so I suggest adjusting the "levels" and "curves" again to get a better result. It may be helpful to consult a swatch book (like Pantone or 3in1 color guide) to match specific colour values.


Thanks for reading till the end! I hope this was helpful and I would love to know if you have any tips for me too via my instagram: @natalie.illustration


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