Pelican- Brief Update!

Business Practices for Artists for Reproduction  & Copyrights   

Pelican Fine Art Print - ©2014 Mlighthipe

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to……..all of you who visited my blog for the last post about my Pelican Painting. I am so happy that you enthusiastically responded to the process on how I did this painting. I posted  on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. One of the questions I got was this:

I understand why you might use Photoshop to “stitch together the painting and “clean it up”, but was this just for your own files and to make prints? Did the client receive the original or a digital version?

As I started to answer, I realized this would probably make a useful blog post….. so here goes:

The client almost always gets the original painting! In this case, yes…. he got the original. Each painting is negotiated so that both parties are clear about the expectations and who gets what. I have had experiences in the past when I did not follow this protocol and it is something I have learned the hard way! Always be clear, who gets what and put it in a contract and have both parties sign it! I try to almost always maintain the copyright to my work. My reasoning for this is, maintaining the copyright I have the right to reproduce it or sell the rights to reproduce it, and the owner of the painting does not.  If I sell all rights to the purchaser the price of the art goes up substantially because I will no longer be able to create income from the piece and the new owner will! By making a digital record of it I am able to sell the reproduction rights for a limited usage to multiple clients. By maintaining the copyright I have the possibilities of creating income in the following ways:

  1. There are 3 ways that I can use the image to sell reproductions.
    1.  Creating prints myself on my Epson Printer for sale. (Visit my Etsy Shop!)
    2. Licensing the rights to a Reproduction company to produce gift items as well as fine art prints….This option is endless!
    3. Uploading the image and selling it through an Online Printing Company like Fine Art America or Zazzle.
  2. There are several ways that this image can also be used to create income.
    1. One time usage in magazines, newspaper articles, ads etc…..
    2. Inclusion in a Field Guide or identification signage.
    3. Used in part or in full in the creation of a logo for a client…. I have done this with several clients with a few of my paintings and they were thrilled!
    4. Use the image to enter shows, exhibitions, portfolios for employment.
    5. Use it in advertising my art for classes, workshops and more commission work…. and blog posts!

I just wanted to give you some of the opportunities you have as an artist to further create income from your art after the painting is gone from your studio. I hope that this inspires you to capture your work through digital scans, (If you don’t know how, My ebook- Scan YOUR Art might be useful.) even if it is just for keeping a record of your work.

Do you have other ideas and ways that an artist can create income from their art? Please leave a comment and don’t forget to share this with a friend!

This painting is currently available as an archival print in 3 sizes in my Etsy Shop.

The Pelican- How to Paint Larger than LIFE!

Brown Pelican ©2014 Mindy Lighthipe

“Brown Pelican” 40″ x 60″ Watercolor ©2014 Mindy Lighthipe

I just finished a commission for a client who wanted a “Brown Pelican” for his new beach house in Florida. I was thrilled to receive this commission and then I found out he wanted it 40″ wide x 60″ tall. Yikes! I have never painted anything bigger than a standard sheet of watercolor which is 22″ x 30″.  I was up for the challenge and had a blast! I thought I would share with you the process I went through to paint something this big.

– My first task was to find paper this big. I found that Lanaquarelle makes 300 lb. watercolor hotpress paper available 40″ x 60″ and is available at NY Central Art Supply. I ORDERD 2 SHEETS…… just in case!

– The 2 sheets came tightly rolled up in a cardboard box and my next task was to figure out how to uncurl it and get it to lay flat…… A trip to HomeDepot! I found a finished birch panel and had the salesman cut the board 44″ x 64″ so I would have some excess board all the way around….. Now to get it home! I had to rent a truck from HomeDepot and luckily we bought a new grill so I was able to capitalize on my business expenses by throwing the grill on the back too.

– I placed clean garbage bags on my studio floor and uncurled the paper on top of it and then covered the paper with more garbage bags and then placed the birch panel on top of it all. The weight of the panel made the paper stay flat. After a day or 2 I was able to use plastic clamps on the paper to keep it on the panel.

– I submitted 4 thumbnail sketches to the client with the general proportions mapped out. This is the sketch that was chosen.  I did a detailed graphite drawing of what it was going to look like, for me as well as the client.

Pelican Thumbnail sketch- MLighthipe©2014PelicanGraphite









– I scanned the finished graphite drawing into my computer and projected it onto the panel with the watercolor paper attached. I lightly traced the outline and some of the details onto the paper. This step helped me to keep the proportions in tact and made sure that the pelican was centered on the paper.

Detail of Brown Pelican- Mlighthipe ©201

– I was super nervous about getting the pristine white watercolor paper dirty, so I placed a large sheet of tracing vellum over the paper and cut out sections to work on in flaps so the rest of the paper would not get smudged by my hands…… I am a total slob when I work! This helped a great deal.

 – I  propped the birch panel onto some wooden crates so that I could get to the bottom of the painting. When  I couldn’t reach the bottom, I flipped it upside down and worked on it that way. Once the graphite drawing was created. I was ready for paint.

– Adding gouache and watercolor was intimidating at first. With the panel vertical, the paint might have run down the paper. I did not want to lay the painting flat on the ground. I usually wet the paper first before applying watercolor or gouache. This time I mixed up the colors I needed and applied them in a thin coat with a large #10 watercolor round brush. The graphite was visible through the light washes of color and it created a seal so the graphite did not move or smear any more.

– Additional layers of watercolor and gouache were applied until I achieved the color saturation I was looking for. The process from the thumbnail sketches to the finish painting was about 6 weeks.

Pelican Watercolor- Mlighthipe ©2014

– The next challenge was to scan the image! My husband and I rigged up a table along with 2 saw horses and moved the painting along my 8.5″ x 11″ Epson scanner. It took 42 scans before I was able to capture all of the painting. I did this in the same method as described in my eBook- Scan YOUR Art.

– I  used Photoshop to “stitch” the picture together and clean up the background. It is now ready to be shipped to the client.

This was an awesome experience. I loved every challenge that came my way. I can’t wait to do more!!!!! If you are interested in ordering an archival print of this painting please Contact Mindy

Many Thanks!

I wanted to do a quick post to thank all of you who purchased my e-Book, "Scan YOUR Art". The response has been awesome! Since I am new at sending out the eBooks there may be a few of you that did not get your books. If this has happened to you, please e-mail me and I will send them to you as an attachment. I am looking into a better system to send them automatically upon payment, but these things take time. I am also looking for feedback. Any of you who would like to review the books I would be grateful for your feedback. I have also received the following questions:

  • How do I save the e-book?

The e-Books are made to open with Adobe Reader. If you do not have this program on your computer, you can download it for free at:  I suggest that you save the eBooks to your desktop, folder, or an external hard drive. At the bottom of the window on your internet connection, Adobe Reader has is a small tool bar that pops up when you move your mouse around the middle bottom. The toolbar will appear and it is the first icon on the left. Click this and save.

  • Can the books be printed? 

Yes, they can be printed. I suggest that you save it first onto your computer and print it from the desktop instead of the internet.

  • I tried to print the book and it came out too big on the sheet of paper and there are parts cut off. How can I fix it?

This is a printer issue. When you go to print the books a menu will come up. This is where you can choose the type of paper, color or b&w ink. You can also change the percentage size of the document. It defaults at 100%. If you want it to print on an 8.5" x 11" paper make sure that you have the setting on horizontal (landscape) and not vertical (portrait). Try changing the setting to 90%. Print one page first so that you don't waste paper or ink. If this is working than print the rest of the pages. If it is too big or too small, adjust accordingly.

  • Can I transfer the e-book to another computer or my iPad or Smart Phone?

Yes, you can. If you have saved the eBook you can then put it on a flash drive, cd or dvd and download it onto another computer. You can also attach it as an e-mail and send it to the device you want it to be on.

I hope that these follow up tips are helpful. What are you struggling with??? Maybe I can help! I recently got an email from an artist who wants to know how to clean up the white backgrounds in her botanical paintings. I am looking into a new program that will capture videos of me working in Photoshop as I go through the process. As soon as I get this up and running I will let you know.

I have fallen a bit behind in my weekly painting posts. I will be doing a gang post soon with  4 or 5 paintings to share with you. Life has been busy!

Scan YOUR Art- The New e-Book is here!

"Scan YOUR Art "- A new e-Book by Mindy Lighthipe

It has taken me almost 3 weeks to get this e-book, "Scan Your Art" together. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to start writing it. It might have been easier for me to do as a video. In the future I will look into what it would take to capture the process live on the screen and in motion. After 3 weeks of writing, taking screen shots, editing etc…..I printed out the book to read the 17 page document. It took me about 20 minutes to read it and only about 10 minutes to go through the whole process of scanning. I have been scanning my work for over 10 years and this is the first time I actually documented what I do in a step by step progression. This eBook, "Scan YOUR Art" is for Artists as well as Photographers who want to create printed reproductions using Photoshop Elements by scanning. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Scanner Settings
  • Photomerge "Stitching Large Images Together"
  • Rotating & Straightening Your Art
  • Cropping & Resizing
  • Introduction to Layers
  • Color Enhancing
  • Creating Guidelines
  • Creating Text
  • Saving and Backing Up Files
  • Information on Online Printing Companies

When you purchase "Scan YOUR Art" you will receive this FREE BONUS TUTORIAL :

"Share Your Images on the Web & Protect Your ©opyright!"

 Here are the Bonus e-Book highlights:

  • Protecting Your ©opyright
  • What is Resolution?
  • Resizing & Altering Resolution
  • Creating Web Ready Images
  • Optimizing for Maximum Image Quality and Speed

Ready to Purchase? The price is an amazing $1.99

Simply click on the BUY NOW BUTTON and pay online.

Include YOUR e-mail address

Upon payment I will deliver the eBooks to your email address within 24-48 hours. Thanks for your patronage. Please share this with your friends!

Scan Your Art!

"T is for Tuxedo" #32 of #Paint52


"T is for Tuxedo" watercolor & ink original by Mindy Lighthipe ©2012

I had a blast painting this little piece. It took me about a week or so to figure out the colors. I spent a lot of time on the drawing and inked it with a black micron pen. I didn't realize how complicated the design was and the only thing I knew for sure was that the cat had to be black and white! I scanned the image into my computer and printed it out in a smaller size. The original is 8" x 10". I printed several small b&w versions, about 5" x 7" each onto watercolor paper. I quickly made some color choices. This was very helpful. I painted about 4 versions….. After the first one, I took what I liked and didn't like and went to the next version. It was a great process to go through and by the time I was done I had a clear plan.  I have never done this before and I highly recommend it for design work. My paintings are normally done from life so the color is decided for me. If I had I painted it like I did my first version, I would have been miserable. The color was all wrong. I would have needed to ink it again and start over. Thank goodness for computer skills……. speaking of this……..

I promised you a blog post about scanning art. It has taken me about 2-3 weeks to write this tutorial about scanning. At first I was just going to simply do a blog post. I recently got a program called "Dragon Dictate" and it allows me to talk into a microphone. As I talk, the computer types.This is an awesome way to get my thoughts and words into typed form. Once I finished talking, there was text ready to edit and I began adding images of each step. I started this tutorial/blog post/project by creating a card from this painting. The painting is from an assignment that I did in Val Webb's online "Drawn & Decorated" Class. (A new section of this class starts November 16th. I highly recommend it!) As I went through the process of making a greeting card, I took screen shots. Before I realized it, I had over 18 pages with step by step instructions, text and coordinating images! It is way too big to put into the blog post. I am in the process of creating a downloadable PDF/eBook. I am researching the best way to get it on my blog so that I can offer it to you as a download. The cost of this ebook is $1.99 and gives you a "bonus tutorial" on "Preparing Images for the Internet". There are many tutorials on working with photographs in Photoshop, but not many that deal with artists and scanning paintings. Here is a sneak peak from the book! I hope that you find it useful. If you "click" on each page a new window will open in your viewfinder for easier reading.