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Best Scanners For Line Art Of 2023

Brandon Forder
  May 31, 2023 4:30 PM

Not everyone has what it takes to succeed at making digital artwork. You want to be able to show the world your paintings or drawings regardless of whether you use digital or conventional techniques.

To get your creations out there, you can do one of two things. You can either take pictures of them or scan them.

The quality of your artwork, including its colors and details, will be preserved when you scan it. If you use a high-quality scanner, your artwork will retain its original quality after being digitized.

There has been a significant improvement in scanner technology, and most modern scanners offer very high quality scans. While it is encouraging, it does make it more challenging to select a scanner.

There is a scanner available for every type of artist. Of course, it's crucial to know what red flags to look for!

In light of this need, I compiled this list of the top scanners for artists. I’ll offer the most crucial characteristics of an art scanner.

Then, I’ll review the reviews to assist you choose the finest scanners for line art for your needs!

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Buying Guide

Flatbed vs. Document Handler

The first thing to figure out is whether you need a flatbed scanner, a document handler, or a hybrid of the two. Scanners with a flatbed feature a glass scanning surface and a lid. However, you can feed multiple sheets at once through the document handler.

The days of cumbersome scanners are over. Artists of all stripes can now pick their preferred flatbed scanner. Put your artwork on the scanner's glass plate and close the lid for a high-quality scan that preserves the original colors.

Image Quality

You'll need top-notch image quality for your scanning projects to really shine. If you plan on showing off your creations, you'll want them to appear their absolute best.

The image's resolution and pixel density must be examined. You'll get better results and noticeably more detail in your photos if you increase the pixel density.


Optical density is also a crucial consideration. Some of you may be familiar with the term "dynamic range" to describe this. It means being able to identify and duplicate subtle gradations of color in your work.

One with a higher optical density can faithfully replicate the complete tonal range when scanning.

Optical densities of 3.8 or higher are typically found in more expensive scanners. However, if you are able to do so, it is highly recommended that you get the highest possible optical density!


Many scanners can only handle paper no bigger than A4. As a result, your options for what to scan in are severely constrained.

Scanner size should be a top priority for large-scale operations. It's possible that this will result in a higher budget allocation.

However, there are scanners that can handle far more space. Always do your homework before making a purchase.


A USB cable provides the quickest and most reliable connection between your scanner and computer. These days, you can connect your scanner to your computer via USB-C or USB-A.

It's important to carefully check because some outdated scanners may only connect in antiquated ways.

Make sure you have the right type of USB cable for your scanner, whether it's USB-C or USB-A. Then, check to see if it's compatible with your laptop.

If you stick to these guidelines, you'll know you're picking wisely.

DPI Count 

When scanning artwork for digital reproduction, the DPI (Dots Per Inch) resolution is critical. Though it may sound technical, the term simply refers to the number of pixels that may be detected and recreated.

This is crucial: if you want to make money off of your digital artwork, you need a resolution of at least 300DPI (dots per inch) from your scanner, preferably 600DPI (dots per inch), and a greater resolution will only enhance the overall clarity and precision of your creation.

To put it another way, if you scan an artwork that is only A4 in size but you want to sell A3 reproductions of it, you will only be able to do so if you meet this minimal criterion. If not, it will be a fuzzy and potentially humiliating disaster!

Ideal resolution for color work is 4,800 DPI, which might be somewhat pricey. If it's more than that, you won't notice a thing, but if it's less, you'll see a big difference.


When looking for an art scanner, speed is a crucial factor to consider. How many pages can the device handle in a single minute? This will tell you whether the scanner is optimized for speed, accuracy, or a combination of the two.

To get a quick scanner will cost you a pretty penny. Remember, though, that these pricey scanners are optimized for rapid throughput. Is it essential for you to prioritize speed as a creative person? Alternatively, you could decide not to shell out money for a function that you won't even utilize.


Many modern scanners are compact enough to sit on your desk among your other office equipment, eliminating the need for an extra desk. When you no longer need to allocate resources to printers, photocopiers, etc., you may free up valuable floor and storage area. In its place, you can put your money into a combo unit that will do double- or even triple-duty.

Keep in mind, nonetheless, that the cost of such multifunctional gadgets is typically substantially greater than that of standard models. Do you plan on using the scanner for other purposes besides digitizing your artwork as an artist? Think about the query before making the appliance purchase.

Software Compatibility

Those of you who have invested in an iMac or MacBook Air, be forewarned: the vast majority of scanners are made for use with PCs running Windows (or user-generated OS like Linux), and are therefore incompatible with Apple computers.

Always, always double check that the scanner comes with or can obtain a MacOS driver before you buy it! Depending on the model, you may have to download and install it individually, although the manufacturer’s site should explicitly mention if this is possible.

Equally important is acquiring a scanner that also comes with the necessary software for scanning and editing your artwork. You can find some free software to use online, but it probably isn't up to snuff and anything of a reasonable quality will cost you money.


Is it better to scan or photograph artwork?

That is debatable! It's more cost-effective to invest in a scanner than a good camera because you won't need any other equipment to convert your paper documents into digital files.

To capture your artwork, a flatbed scanner will suffice if it is A3, A4, or smaller; but, if you are more of a three- or four-dimensional artist, you may find that a camera is more convenient.

Scanning actually avoids factors like light, shadows, or other distortions from your movement from affecting the final image, so there's really no contest when it comes to quality. It's possible that a camera could provide a higher definition image, but doing so would be extremely challenging.

Which is better quality, JPEG or PNG?

PNG images can be compressed and reproduced at a greater resolution, but this comes at a price. If you're dealing with a large number of files at once, you may want to consider if the extra time it takes to upload and download is worth the marginal improvement in quality.

Although JPEG photos can be downloaded and sent more quickly, this does not indicate that they are of worse quality. For little files, JPEG is fine; for big ones, PNG is worth the wait.

Is higher DPI Better for Scanning?

Depending on the scanner's resolution, different amounts of detail will be captured. The more dots per inch (dpi) it has, the more detail it can capture. This will allow you to scan and print a high-quality photograph with all of its finer details intact.

Increasing the "dpi" will result in a smoother photographed image. Interestingly. How you plan to capture the image at a given dpi is heavily influenced by the size of the image. Scanning at a lower resolution is the way to go if you want to decrease the file size of the resulting scanned image.

What DPI Should I Use for Scanning Artwork?

Dots per inch (dpi) is the standard unit of measurement for scanner resolution. Various artworks need for various scanning resolutions. When scanning artwork or photographs into paper, most artists are content with a resolution of 600 dpi.

A scan at 900 dpi is required to accurately capture gradients in line drawings used in comics, glyphs, etc. However, 1200 dpi is ideal for capturing halftone photographs. It is recommended that images be scanned at a resolution of 1200 dpi to ensure their preservation quality.


An excellent art scanner will capture every nuance of your original while maintaining vibrant color. It has the potential to capture the full depth and impact of your paintings, allowing you to show them to a wider audience.

Because artists don't create works solely for their own enjoyment. Through our art, we hope to connect with viewers and evoke emotional responses.

Now more than ever, posting your work online is the most efficient and accessible option for getting it seen. To get your designs seen by more people, share them on social media and blogs.

This is why you need to get the best printer/scanner available for printing artwork immediately!

As you can see, the products I've reviewed here cover a wide range of prices and mediums, making them ideal for artists of all stripes. If you're ready to upgrade your art scanning capabilities, pick your favorite from the options below and click the button to do so now!

Please let me know if there are any further inquiries you need answered.

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