Art With An Inkjet

Creating art with an inkjet printer has improved a lot lately, even the least expensive models on the market will provide good quality color prints, maybe not exactly the same as the original file but viewed by themselves they are quite acceptable. The ink is now more resistant to fading in UV light so the prints will last much longer than they did in the past.

One of the biggest challenges is manipulating an image to produce the desired end result, many different programs will do this, if you are a scrapbooker you likely already have a program that will do this for you.

If you not familiar with working with images and wish to learn how I would suggest getting Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 , it is an inexpensive home version of Adobe Photoshop that is used by the pros.

Inkjet Printers - Scanners - Manipulating Images - Make a Sepia Tone - Inkjet Papers

Inkjet Printers

Most standard Inkjet Printers print to a maximum size of 8 1/2" X 14" paper, the next step up in the home consumer market are wide format models that will print 13" X 19" sheets. Even larger printers are available that will print huge poster size prints from a continuous roll of paper, however they come at a hefty price. For years Epson printers set the benchmark, lately they have got some well deserved competition from Canon and HP, both in terms of quality and fade resistance.

The biggest drawback to inkjet printers is the cost of the ink, it has long been speculated that the reason that printers are sold at such low prices is because the manufactures soon make up any loss with the future sales of ink cartridges. There are refill systems and generic brand cartridges on the market, as tempting as it is to save money with them some factors should be taken into consideration such as print head damage, color accuracy and fade resistance.

The newer computers offer plug and play features so that all you have to do is plug your printer in to the USB port and you are good to go with drivers already in the operating system. Check the CD that came with the printer for programs that offer more printing options, go online as well and check for additional software from the manufacturer, there may be updates from the time the printer was packaged.

Large Format Printers

Epson, Canon and HP all have large format printers that will print 13 X 19 inch sheets of paper, there is even specially coated canvas sheets available,


Even if you have a digital camera there will be times when you may want to use an old photo, to get a digital image of it you will need a scanner. There are now very capable inexpensive scanners on the market, both stand alone models or combination models that include a printer. Home scanners come in two styles, sheetfed and flat bed, generally the flat bed models are more versatile since pages from open books and objects can be scanned on them.

For tips on scanning there is a very informative site here:

Scanning Tips by Wayne Fulton

Multipurpose Sheetfed

Flat Bed Scanner

Manipulating Images

To use available images it must be possible to manipulate them to the size required, this can be accomplished by cropping and resizing with a photo editing application such as Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.

The difference between cropping and resizing is probably one of the least understood functions of manipulating a photo.

Cropping determines the dimensions and the parts of the image that are included.

Cropping selects only the part of the image you wish to use, this determnes the shape of your image.

In Adobe Elements select the MARQUEE TOOL, in the tool bar at the top of the window there is a pull down menu where you can select NORMAL, FIXED ASPECT or FIXED SIZE.

Normal: Allows you to drag a box in both directions and select size and shape.
Fixed Aspect: Allows you to drag a box where height and width are always in proportion, any size box may be set. You will have to enter dimensions for height and width ratio
Fixed Size: Allows you to drag a box the size of determined dimensions. You will have to enter dimensions for height and width.

Drag your mouse outline the part of the image you wish to copy.

To manually determine the dimensions of an image draw a rectangle the size of the original. Draw a diagional line through opposite corners, if the image is being enlarged extend it below the rectangle. Extend or shorten the side of the rectangle to the desired dimension, draw a line at a right angle to meet the diagional line, this line will give you the other dimension.

Resizing changes the overall size of the image, images can be made smaller or larger than the original.

Resizing retains the shape the original image.

Imagine pulling or pushing a corner of the image along a diagonal line that runs through the corners of the original image, this is what happens when we resize.

In Adobe Elements select IMAGE then RESIZE from the bar at the top of the window, a box will then appear:

This is important:
Make sure the CONSTRAIN PROPORTIONS box is checked, then change one of the values under DOCUMENT SIZE in the WIDTH or HEIGHT boxes.

The common images you will encounter will be .tiff, .jpeg, .png and .gif. Try to select images that are larger than what you require and reduce them to fit, if images must be enlarged they should have a high resolution value such as 200 or 300 pixels/inch. This can be determined by opening the image in Adobe Elements and checking the value under DOCUMENT SIZE where it says RESOLUTION.

Be aware of copyright laws regarding images, use only images that are in the public domain or are offered for personal use with conditions attached.

There are vintage images available from Digital Oil Art that you can download for 99 cents.

Make a Sepia Tone

There are several ways to make sepia tones, Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 offers a one step method which works just fine in most cases.

You must be working with a "Grayscale" image, to convert a color image select IMAGE from the top menu bar, from the pulldown window select MODE then GRAYSCALE.

Make sure the 'STYLES AND EFFECTS' panel is visible. If it is not, go to 'WINDOW - STYLES AND EFFECTS' to show it. It may be a minimized panel. If so, click on the white triangle to show it.

In the 'STYLES AND EFFECTS' panel, select 'LAYER STYLES' in the left-hand drop-down box, and 'PHOTOGRAPHIC EFFECTS' in the right-hand drop-down box. You should now have the panel shown at left:

From your document select the layer which contains the image you want to Sepia tone, and then click the 'SEPIA TONE' layer style. The image should turn brown, as if it was a Sepia photograph.

Layer styles can only be applied to layers, and sometimes you will have a document where the only layer is named 'BACKGROUND' and is not strictly a layer. If this is the case, Photoshop will display a message box saying "Styles can only be applied to layers. Do you want to make this background a layer?". Click 'Ok', then name the layer, and click 'Ok' again to apply the Sepia effect.

Sometimes images Sepia toned in this way will look a little flat, an additional step to desaturate the image before applying the layer style will improve the result.

Select the layer you want to Sepia tone like before, but this time select 'ENHANCE - ADJUST COLOR - ADJUST HUE/SATURATION' from the menu. In the dialog box that appears, drag the Saturation Slider all the way to the left, so the image appears grayscale. Then click 'Ok', and apply the Sepia layer style as before.

Inkjet Papers

There is a vast choice of paper now available including cloth and canvas for inkjet printers in both 8 1/2" X 11" and 13" X 19" formats. Generally matching the brand of paper with the printer brand produces the best results with standard photo papers. Matte paper is one of the most versatile papers for crafts, photos, and greeting cards, line art and type all print amazingly well on it.

8 1/2 X 11

13 X 19

13 X 19

8 1/2 X 11

11 1/2 X 16 1/2






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