I am building a small app about the human face.

I have an artist that is sketching pencil based illustrations for me. Mostly in black and white (pencil black/grey) with a hint of colour here and there.

What is the best way to digitally capture the sketches/illustrations?

A high resolution scanner I am guessing.

Any suggestions as to the surface he/she should be sketching on?

Apologies for the simple question. Thanks in advance.


2 Answers 2


Well, you do not need that much high resolution.

A. The scale, depending on what you want.

  • If you need presicion on the proportions, it is better to draw at a larger scale.

  • If you want a lot of detail, larger scale.

  • If you want the texture of the technique (paper, stroke) you can draw at smaller scale.

  • A natural look, draw at the final scale. If it is a mobile app, some standard phone is your target.

B. The resolution.

  • If the drawing is at the scale, scan it at 400 ppi, then you have aprox the same resolution of a retina phone.

  • If the drawing is 2x the final size for example, you can scann it at 200 ppi or scann it at 300 ppi and resample it.

C. The paper is up to your artist

  • The more grainy the more texture.

Note. This has nothing to do with a vector drawing. If you want texture and look stay with a raster image.


Ideally if the sketch can be done at 100% RGB of the device screen (roughly) Take note when you shrink and image the lines become more finer and detail gets dropped off. What the sketch is drawn on does not matter so much depending upon the line quality needed. If the paper is fine then the drawing will have sharper lines as compared to a textured paper which would result in more rough outlines.

When scanning also note that if this is for an app then you would need varoius sizes, eg at x1, x2 and x3 for the different retina sizes out there. It make work best to scan the image three times at different resolutions as to not resize the image which would result in slight degradation of it.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.