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Best Scanners For Sketchbooks Water Color : Review And Buying Guide

Gretchen Rubin
  Feb 27, 2024 1:37 AM

Here, you'll learn about the top scanners for sketchbooks and watercolors, perfect for artists and collectors. Our mission is to provide our readers with the information they need to make wise purchasing choices.

We invested over 25 hours into the research, testing, and editing of this article to help you find the best art scanner for your needs. We based our study on empirical evidence, specialist opinion, and participant feedback. It is our sincere desire that you take advantage of our advice and select the art scanner that meets all your needs.

In doing so, we arrived at a set of criteria that we use to pick the best art-scanning equipment. As a next step, we ranked each product we suggested by assigning it a score between 1 and 10 for each criterion.

After laying out the criteria for making our choice, we published a number of possible applications for each scanner. The best portable scanner, the finest scanner for offices, etc., fall under this category. Use these suggestions for applications to zero in on the best scanner for your needs.


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Last update on 2024-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buying Guide


Artists that work in contemporary mediums such as watercolor, oil painting, and pen and ink are increasingly interested in creating digital reproductions of their artwork.

The high-quality photos you get from an art scanner can be used for whatever design purposes may arise. You can opt for a flatbed scanner or a specialized art scanner, depending on your demands.

Differences between the two types

A flatbed scanner is very much like a standard printer, except that rather than paper or photographs, you feed in artwork. A high-quality flatbed scanner will include options that help you get an accurate copy of your originals. Tools like "straighten" and "color correct" are examples of such features.

Dedicated art scanners are top-notch options for digitizing visual works. This is due to the fact that specialized programs include functions that make it easy to capture photographs from various perspectives and then adjust them so that they look as close as possible to the original artwork.

Supported Scanning Media

Many different types of media can be scanned, and scan portal sizes can vary widely between scanner models. A typical document scanner, for instance, might only support a limited range of paper sizes.


Since letter and legal are the most common paper sizes in the United States, a scanner that can scan both would be ideal.

Various types of paper, including envelopes, letters, Legal, ID cards, and Business cards, can be scanned with the devices we'll be discussing today.

Image Quality

Consider the image quality of a scanner before purchasing it for scanning artwork. In order to edit or share your artwork later, art scanners are designed to make digital copies. If you want the details in your scanned photographs to seem as good as possible, pick a model with a high resolution.


The number of dots per inch (DPI) in a scan is crucial (and digital reproduction). You should scan at 300 DPI minimum, and you should never increase the DPI in tools like Adobe Photoshop. Images scanned at less than 100 dots per inch (DPI) tend to look grainy or blurry and aren't suitable for printing. Distortions may also occur if you alter the DPI in Photoshop. You should check that your scanner can scan at least 300 dots per inch (dpi), the standard for acceptable reproduction quality. Theoretically, the greater the DPI of the scanner, the larger you would be able to print without pixelation. However, until working in really large formats, this is rarely essential.

Resolution, also known as pixel density, measures how many pixels make up a picture on a computer screen. It's not crucial, but it's a term that can come up in editing, so you shouldn't get them mixed up.

TIFF – Tag Image File Format

The JPEG format is widely used and widely accepted, and a JPEG file or image can usually be used successfully for printing. However, JPEGS may degrade images slightly while saving and opening. TIFF is based on CMYK color schemes (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black), which are what are used by printers, therefore it will provide you the most accurate color reproduction for your prints, and it can be utilized across different editing applications such as illustrator and photoshop without any difficulty. However, if you're worrying about which format to use, rest assured that either will do; it's only important to be aware of the variations and any potential quality losses.

Scanning Speed

How quickly a scanner can scan an item of paper or other media is referred to as its scanning speed. In most cases, a faster scanning speed is preferable for business use, as companies value efficient document processing.


Scan rates are expressed in PPM (Pages Per Minute). If possible, a scanning rate of 30 pages per minute (PPM) or higher is what you should aim for. Higher resolution documents take longer to scan at the same pace, therefore scanning times may vary.

In today's piece, we'll look at scanners with speeds anywhere from 10 PPM to 40 PPM.

Connection Interfaces

The term "connection interface" describes the ports on a scanner that allow for the attachment of other hardware. There will be times when you need to import documents from other devices, thus connection interfaces are crucial.


Since the vast majority of modern electronics feature USB connectivity, scanners typically require only a USB port to function. Wireless connectivity is offered by certain scanners, however it is expensive and often unnecessary. This means that the barest minimum for a scanner is to offer USB connectivity.

Scanners with various interfaces, including USB 2.0, USB 3, and wireless, will be discussed in this article.


Why would an artist need a scanner?

Images of your artwork should be of the greatest quality to do your creations justice. Whether you intend to create a digital portfolio, make art prints, or sell your artwork online, you will need to have images of your work.

Is it better to scan or photograph your artwork?

The use of a digital camera for taking pictures of your work is a practical alternative, but it comes with its own set of difficulties. Lacking a professional and expensive photography setup, it might be difficult to manage light and glare. There's also some angle distortion to consider, which can be a pain to fix. For detailed printouts, pictures, and drawings, scanners offer a faster and easier alternative to photography. If you want to make a living as an artist, you'll need digital photos of your work for promotion on social media platforms like Instagram and your own artist website, as well as for the production of high-quality fine art prints.

Is it better to scan or photograph artwork?

Scanning is favored over taking photos for this purpose. Whether it's too dark, too light, or just out of focus, a photo is still a picture.


With the sophisticated sensors and algorithms of modern scanners, you may improve your photographs with higher resolution (up to 300ppi), more accurate color depth, and even minute adjustments.

If you're interested in honing your photographic abilities, you should check out Robyn's Photography Academy.

How do professionals scan artwork?

Professional artists scan their work using cutting-edge technology to guarantee flawless results. This way, you can rest assured that your creative work will be stored in the best possible condition and easily shared with others.


The versatility of art scanners is one of their greatest strengths. They can scan anything made of paper, from paintings to photographs to documents to business cards to invoices.

If you're interested in scanning your own sketchbooks, watercolors, or other artwork, I hope this article is helpful in making your decision.

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