Technical Difficulties

I took digital photos of my new piece when it was just ink lines on watercolor paper, as I would like to be able to reproduce it as a poster to color. Well, this sounds easy and straight-forward. Wrong. I’ll bet there are plenty of artists out there who know the tricks to use to make this work in Photoshop, but I’m not one of them. Each time I try to do this, I run into the same problems. Pencil- and even ink- lines are not as solid as you might think. And white watercolor paper, which has texture, is by no means white. Worse yet, the “white” background is made up of tiny blotches of many colors, so I can’t just grab it all with the magic wand. I’ve tried so many things, but it always comes down to using several different techniques, then drawing digitally to fill in bits of lines that disappear in the process. I know I’ll have to spend hours and hours touching up those tiny lines before I’m satisfied with the end product. Think I’ll save that for after I’m done with the painting!

Some Photoshop tools I use to end up with black lines on a white background:
curves (with eyedropper for light and dark)
magic wand

PS I know it would be easier if the digital photo was taken by a professional with the correct lighting. I’ll have that done with the final painting, but too late for just the line drawing. Doing it myself, I can’t get really even, overall lighting. This is part of the problem.