I have an opportunity with an author, but I want to see if I can even deliver first, if I were to take it. The author needs her current black and white drawings to be in color for a book she is putting online. The images for the children's book are scanned jpeg files of actual artwork. Her book art reminds me of stuff from the 80 or 90s - the drawings aren't Blue's Clues type of artwork. She had some already in color and showed me those. The illustrations are also created to looks to be pencil. As you can imagine some black lines are darker than others for example, lots of variety of colors in the form of lines, curves, squiggly lines to add details on the main subject (whether it is hair on a person, plants, clothes, etc).

Imagine the artwork being similar to these:



I have a few of her book illustrations and I am trying to figure it out. I've tried Image Trace (low color) but the lines become fat once you hit expand and you loose the details.

My question: 1. How do I convert this scanned image to an illustrator file with paths/points (like image trace>expand does)? 2. How do I convert black and white to color, as specific as down to the line of the pencil drawn for one detail.

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    I can't help but wonder why this needs to be done in Illustrator as it seems like it would be a much more complicated process than just working with the scanned files in Photoshop? – curious Aug 24 '14 at 23:36
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    I second emilie, why are you needing/wanting to convert these to illustrator format? Her illustration style is, of course, very analog/traditional media. Likely should be left that as much as you can. – DA01 Aug 24 '14 at 23:36
  • I thought it would be simpler because I would need to use different colors so I thought I would need to use their pathways and points to do so, as this is in black and white and I need to add color. Do you have any tools or links to achieve this in photoshop? – user3443617 Aug 24 '14 at 23:39
  • This is not a project for Illustrator. If you were perhaps starting from scratch, okay, but using an existing image as in your sample.. I wouldn't even think "illustrator" for similar images. – Scott Aug 25 '14 at 1:16
  • I think illustrations will loose all the intended charm if you try to trace or recreate IMO - with the scans you can use a transparency setting to knock out all the opacity of the white paper, then on added layers underneath the scan you could add some colour – Mark Read Aug 25 '14 at 2:06

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