You might have made the masterpiece of your life; if you do not make a copy of it, you risk losing the only copy. Another advantage of making a copy is that you can share it with the world without having to expose the original copy. But for a good copy, you require a quality scanner for artwork.
Many artists complain that there are not many good scanners that can capture the details of their artwork. We don’t want you to be among those. We brought 17 scanners with a good reputation, and we put them to the test. After 87 hours of testing, we sorted the best five. Also, we took the help of 7 experts who have years of experience with artwork scanners. Here is the list.
1. Epson Perfection V600 – Best For High DPI
You will see a lot of Epson scanners on our list. The biggest reason being Epson has established itself as the most prominent brand when it comes to printing and scanning technology. Among the best scanner for artists, the 2018 V600 always topped the chart; nothing is different in 2022.
We tested and found that V600 has the highest dpi. When you read through our buyer’s guide, you will understand why dpi is the single most influential factor while buying the scanner for artwork. It has a maximum dpi of 12800×12800, which allows enlargements up to 17 x 22 inches. Such huge enlargement is well suited for artwork. You can quickly scan your biggest paintings.
We tested it with different sizes of canvas. We had to scan different parts for the big artworks to capture the whole canvas. But with canvases that fit into the scanner’s bed, we had to scan it just once. The time it took to scan the artwork was between 3-4 seconds.
However, the speed depends on the computer’s configuration that you use. We used a laptop with an Intel i7 processor, 8 GB ram, and Nvidia 2 Gb graphics as was it was closest to what most of the artists use today. The result we got was amazing. The colors were exactly like the original artwork. It can capture even the smallest details.
However, if you are looking to print the scanned artwork, we suggest checking the edges. Sometimes you may see some shadow-like distortion. Digital ICE and Arcsoft Photostudio are the two software you get with the Epson scanner. This software helps you with restoration if you scan an old piece of art. However, they are meant for photos and negative and other artworks. We loved that it was able to remove the dust and creases from the old art.
Things We Like
- Amazing result.
- Scans if used with a powerful computer.
- It can help you restore old artwork.
- Highest dpi.
- You get additional software.
Things We Don’t Like
- Doesn’t have an sd card slot.
For any artist who wants to digitize their artwork without losing the quality of color and curves, we recommend Epson V600. It is also the best scanner for large artwork.
2. Canon CanoScan LiDE220 – Best For Automatic Features
Canon is another big brand in the scanning and printing business. The CanoScan LiDE220 has the best color depth among the scanners we have tested. It is capable of differentiating 281 trillion colors, which is excellent if you want to create an exact image of your artwork.
To test it’s color capturing capability we used paintings with the most vivid colors. We were amazed at how exactly the shades of different colors it created. Many scanners we tested always had the colors 10-20 percent lighter compared to the original copy. If you want to buy a scanner for watercolor paintings, this can be a good fit.
The primary reason for scanning any artwork is its preservation. Today, we can store data on cloud services like Dropbox and Evernote. It was good to see the “send to the cloud” feature for this scanner. It currently supports only Dropbox and Evernote. The maximum resolution it supports is 4800×4800, which is smaller than the Epson V600, but it is enough for most artwork. The number of colors it can capture makes up for the resolution.
As for the speed, it is quick compared to other best a3 scanners for artwork. On average, it was able to perform the scan within 10 seconds. It can detect the type of document or image you scan and offers the most suitable setting automatically. It is another good thing we like about it.
Things We Like
- It can produce 281 trillion colors.
- Can perform scan within 10 seconds.
- Lip expansion top to allow thicker items.
- One button to upload over cloud services.
- Auto-scan mode.
Things We Don’t Like
- The resolution could be a little higher.
When you are looking to capture the exact colors of your artwork, you need something that has a higher range of colors. In our research, we found Canon CanoScan LiDE220 does precisely that. And we also consider it the best scanner for watercolor paintings.
3. Epson Perfection V39 – Best For Budget Conscious Users
When we looked to include a budget-friendly option in our list, we found Epson perfection V39 matched the profile. This has every feature required to scan all kinds of artwork and doesn’t cost much. Being manufactured by Epson, the scan quality is outstanding. However, it offers a maximum resolution of 4800×4800 dpi.
We worked with different artworks including watercolor paintings, illustrations etc. The details it captures are clear, and the color is close to the original.
We do have to admit that the image captures 10 percent lighter in the shade. However, the details are still the same. One thing that we were keen on testing was large paintings. The good thing about this Epson variant is that it comes with an Arc-Soft scan and soft, which is dedicated software to scan large artworks. The average time to scan the image is around 12 seconds.
As for saving the scanned image, you save it over cloud services like Google Drive and also share it directly on Facebook. This will help the artist to share their work with the world in a more efficient way. The design is really good and compact. Also, you can place it vertically to save more space on your work table.
Things We Like
- Much cheaper compared to its competitor.
- Software support for scanning large artworks.
- Scanned documents can be uploaded on Google Drive.
- Image scan quality is very good.
Things We Don’t Like
- The bigger resolution could be helpful.
Though it is a budget-friendly option, we found it is one of the best scanners for illustrators as it includes software to help you scan oversized images.
4. Epson Perfection V370 – Best Option Under $ 150
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This is another Epson scanner that performed amazingly in our tests. The two Epson scanners that we have mentioned were either expensive or lacked higher resolution. But this is a combination of both.
Though the resolution is not bigger than Epson V600, it does have 4800×9600 dpi, which is higher compared to V39. In addition to the resolution, you can enlarge the images up to 13 x19 inches without compromising the scan quality.
But the biggest plus of this variant is it, its user-friendly buttons. Most of the scanners that we tested had small buttons, and it takes some time to get used to these small buttons. However, the V370 has a fairly large button, and they stand out instantly. So if anyone is using it for the first time would not have difficulty operating it.
Our team has good experience in testing products, and any machine is as fast as its ergonomics. It also comes with Arc-Soft scan n stitch software that helps scan oversized artworks. The overall scan time is around 10 seconds, which is very good compared to its competitors.
And the scan quality of the image it scans is outstanding. All the colors and details were captured with precision. However, you may see little difference in the shades of colors. In our test, the image scanned was 15 percent lighter in the shade.
Things We Like
- Fairly high resolution.
- Ergonomics are straightforward to use.
- Fast scan time.
- It comes with software support for oversized artwork.
Things We Don’t Like
- The color it captures is 10-15 percent lighter to the original.
If you scan too many paintings or drawings daily, you require a fast machine with quick ergonomics. This Epson V370 has the best ergonomics among the scanners we have tested.
5. Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII – Best For Artwork Restoration
It is one of the best scanners for artwork with high dpi, which is 9600×9600. This is probably the second-best dpi that we encountered in our tests. Big businesses mostly use it for scanning documents and images. However, it also works great with paintings and illustrations.
When we were testing, we loved the feature where it detects the format of the document. It not only detects the format but also saves it in the scanned file with the recognized format. Though it comes with My Image Garden software, it is not that useful for artworks. Yes, you can use it to manage the images, but most of its features are for photos.
The only feature that makes it a must-have art scanner is its resolution and its ability to restore the old artworks. We tested it on old artworks. It was able to produce an image that was almost the same as the original when it was fresh. Even the colors are restored to a great extent. Why is it 5th on our list? The main reason is it is a little bulkier than others, and the price may be higher for some users.
Things We Like
- High resolution of 9600×9600 dpi.
- It can help you restore old paintings and illustrations.
- Scanning is high-speed.
- Easy buttons to automate the scanning process.
Things We Don’t Like
- Bulkier than most of the scanners.
- May be expensive for some users.
We recommend this scanner only if you have to save old paintings, artworks, or images. It can recreate the charm of the original copy to a great extent.
What To Consider?
During our tests, we realized that all the scanners are almost the same. They have the same features and same work. The only thing that differs is the resolution, quality, and storage.
As you require scanners for artwork, the resolution, and the scan quality are the most important factor. Beyond that, storage and sharing also be two factors that help you decide which scanner to buy. So, let’s look at the factors that help you decide on the right scanner for your artwork.
1. DPI (Dots Per Inch)
The resolution of the image is measured regarding dpi. Higher the dpi higher the scan quality of the image. The quality of the image has to be maintained while scanning. You don’t want the digital copy of your artwork to lose the shades or small details.
So, the scanner must have a certain dpi. For small-sized artwork, lower dpi may work for oversized artwork. You need more than 4000×4000 dpi. All the scanners that we have talked about in this article have a resolution of more than 4800×4800 dpi.
If you are looking for traditional art scanner with the highest dpi then we recommend No products found. and Canon CanoScan 9000F. Both have dpi greater than 9000×9000 dpi.
However, if you work only on a small canvas or the size of your artwork is not that large, you can try Epson Perfection V39. It has dpi of 4800×4800, which is very good for illustration and watercolor paintings.
For an artist, each shade of color has emotion or meaning. Even the slightest change in its shade can ruin the meaning of a painting. Hence, having a scanner that can capture the exact colors is a must.
The technology of scanners has come a long way; now, they are capable of capturing almost 281 trillion colors. Canon CanoScan LiDE220 is one of the finest example of it. During tests, the scanner was able to capture the exact colors of the original copy.
Another thing that a scanner must be able to do is to recreate the original shades of the painting. Most of the time an artwork may fade with time if not appropriately preserved. Scanners come with software that allows you to restore the old fading paintings.
If you are looking for such a scanner, we advise you to get Canon CanoScan 9000F. It scored a good number regarding restoring old artworks.
While buying the scanner for artwork and illustration, you will have to determine what kind of artwork you want to scan. Based on the need to get the right scanner.
If you won’t have a job that requires constant scanning of artwork, you need a scanner that is fast and easy to use. The first thing that you must take care of while buying the best a3 scanner for artwork is compatibility.
Almost all scanners are compatible, but some may take up most processing power. The issue with such a scanner is that scanning time is always high. It can go beyond 20-30 seconds. That is a long waiting time when you have many large artworks to scan.
Most manufacturers will provide you with the most suitable configuration for their scanner. Make sure that the computer you use is satisfied that requirement. In our test, we have found that computers with dedicated graphics cards performed much better than computers with integrated graphics chip.
Another thing that slows down the usage is the ergonomics. Most have simple buttons, but some models have such small buttons that you have to search for the right button every time you use.No products found. has one of the best ergonomics. Their button is large, and once you get used to the button, you can operate the scanner without even looking at the buttons.
The auto-scan feature also makes the processing of scanning documents or images much easier. The Canon CanoScan LiDE220 has this feature.
Storage is going to be an important factor when it comes to choosing scanners for artwork. Well, you can store the files on a computer, but today the safest and most convenient place is cloud storage. Some of the scanners can directly send the scanned file to cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, etc.
Storing the files in the cloud has its advantages. You can access and send files from anywhere and to anyone. The
However, we suggest getting a faster internet when you are looking to upload artwork files to cloud services as the size of the data scanned is large. Higher the resolution, the more significant the file.
There are even some scanners that support storage devices like USB or SD card. However, we did not find any top-performing scanner that offers these features. Yet, you can always search online if you want such features.
How Do We Conduct Tests?
Scanning artwork is dependent on scanning technology. The manufacturer does give you the basic information technology, but it’s only after you use a scanner, you can gauge its potential.
We chose 17 scanners that were popular among the artists. We designed different tests based on parameters like resolution, color, speed, etc. We used different types of artwork. From fresh to old, fading paintings helped us test the scan quality of the scanner. We even used painting with different paints to see how the scanner performs for a particular type.
Our team examined all the results in detail, and we even printed the scanned images to learn the difference between the original and the copy. In addition to testing, we also reached out to the brand managers of the different scanners to learn more about each scanner. They explained to us how the scanner works and how they have designed the scanner.
We also wanted to know what users thought about the different models of scanners. We reached out to each model’s users and went through several sites that provide user reviews on these products. Once our team had all the data, they scored each model on quality, speed, and usability. We sorted out the five best scanners for artwork based on the score. Here is the scorecard.
|Canon CanoScan 9000F MKII||96.8||95.8||96.1||96.23||Check Price|
|Epson Perfection V370||97.2||97.2||96.2||96.87||No products found.|
|Epson Perfection V39||96.8||96.8||97.2||96.93||Check Price|
|Canon CanoScan LiDE220||97.8||96.8||97.2||97.27||Check Price|
|Epson Perfection V600||97.6||97.4||97.5||97.50||Check Price|
Scanning Your Art Work
1. Which is the best A3 scanner?
Most of the art scanners mentioned in our list are A3 scanners with any one of them of best results.
2. How much does scanning an artwork cost?
Generally, it costs around $85. According to experts, if you regularly walk with scanning at work, it would be wise to get a good scanner. It was a lot of money.
3. At what DPI should I scan and artwork?
You must scan at work at 1200 DPI to get the archival scan quality. And for photographic excellence, 600 DPI is enough.
4.600 DPI suitable for scanning photographs?
Yes, 600 DPI is more than enough for photographs. Even 300 DPI will do the job for you.
5. Can the scanner scan acrylic paintings?
Yes, it can scan acrylic paintings. But if there are too many shiny textures, you will have to make some adjustments. Otherwise, the result will have some glare. But during the test, we observed that taking high-resolution photos and then scanning the photo solves the issue.
6. Does the scanner have software to organize the digital copies of artwork?
Most scanners come with software that helps you scan at work and organize and manage. Some software has cloud features to help you store the data online.
7. Can you scan watercolor?
Yes, this kind of that we have mentioned in the list can quickly scan watercolor at work.
8. Is it better to scan or photograph the artwork?
The best way to save any artwork is to scan rather than photograph it. Because scanning is the best way to capture the final details of the artwork. Even the color quality is the best captured by scanners.
Every artist wants their art to be preserved for ages. The best way to maintain any work of art is by digitizing them. However, even the slightest difference between the copy and the original could ruin the meaning of the painting. So it is essential to choose the scanner that gives you the exact copy of the original work.
Before buying a scanner, you will also have to know what kind of artwork you will be dealing with. Each type of artwork requires a specific feature from the scanner. So, consider the only scanner that fits your needs and not the most expensive one.