Printable Wall Art: Before and After


Last week I introduced several new printable wall art designs. Though I didn’t know beforehand how the actual art would look, the concept had been on my mind for awhile: taking original, hand drawn sketches and converting them to digital prints.

The tropical theme came naturally since I grew up in Florida and am drawn to the water and sea life (and miss it tremendously). I browsed through my collection of reference photos and first decided on a jellyfish, then a palm tree and sand dollar.

The goal for the sketching phase was not to fuss! I tend to strive for “perfection” and consciously chose to keep it somewhat loose and allow for mistakes with little erasing. It helped knowing I was going to convert them to digital drawings where I could edit out any major flaws.

Here’s a look at the original sketches. You can see I’ve used textured charcoal paper and drew them to the actual 8×10 print size.

jellyfish sketch I did very little intentional blending on the jellyfish. Instead, I just laid down strokes of charcoal to hint at values, or light and dark.

palm tree sketch The same here on the palm tree…no blending with overlapping strokes in the darkest areas.

sand dollar sketch I added random marks around the sand dollar to hint at the texture of sand.

After each sketch was complete, it was time to digitize them. I did this by scanning the drawings using a flatbed scanner and importing the digital images into Adobe Photoshop.

From that point I could have gone in many different directions, including adding color. I chose to keep them more true to their original appearance.

In the end, I decided to remove all shades of gray from each print and use only pure black and white. I found the results bold and graphic, letting the designs “pop” off the page.

Here you can see the final versions.

jellyfish printable artThe jellyfish looks like an ink drawing now.

palm tree printable art A beautiful palm tree silhouette.

sand dollar printable art I thought having the sand texture on the entire print was overwhelming, so I removed all but a few choice marks immediately surrounding the sand dollar.

It’s the magic of Photoshop!

Are you in need of beach home decor? Each of these prints is now available in my printable wall art shop on Etsy.

Click here to have a look.


  1. Rebecca Reed says: February 24, 2016

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