How to digitize your ink and pen drawings on a smartphone for free (how I do it)

Don’t have the money to purchase Photoshop and can’t be asked to try to find a hacked version to install.

No worries, this is what I use, and I don’t even need a computer, I just do it all on my smartphone.

How to digitize your ink and pen drawings

Before I was just taking pictures of my artwork with my phone and uploading it. To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled with the result, so I tried something different. I thought at first it would be better to edit my pictures on Photoshop.

I did this for a little while, and I was happy with the result, but I felt like the whole process of sending the picture to my computer, editing it in Photoshop, saving it, sending it back to my iPhone and then uploading it to Instagram was just too much of a hassle.

I thought to myself – “imagine being able to edit your pictures just like in Photoshop but on your smartphone.”

Now it sounds super obvious as I’m typing this, but I started looking for photo editing apps in the App Store so I could edit my pictures on my phone and get the same effect that I had in Photoshop. I came across all sorts of apps which allow you to crop images, add text, apply filters and even use custom filters but I wanted to change the perspective of my pictures to get them perfectly straight edges.

Even Adobe Photoshop Express couldn’t change the perspective of my images. And if you are a bit of a perfectionist, then you really want them straight edges.


Luckily, I found Snapseed by Google, and it’s perfect.

Source: iTunes – Apple

Snapseed is also available on both the App Store and Google Play, so need to worry about having a fancy iPhone to use this app either.


These are the exact steps that I use to fine tune a picture of my drawings:



Faceless woman in a Burqa
Instagram: Faceless woman with a burqa


Number 1. Get the app.

Number 2. Open your image in Snapseed, hit “Perspective” and make the edges of your drawing straight. You want to select “Free” and use the guides to help align them edges.


Number 3. After aligning the edges, we need to crop it. Once that is done, we can start fine-tuning our artwork. Select “Tune image” and then scroll up to select the different options.


Number 4. Adjust Highlights and Shadows (I usually use Highlights +100 and Shadows -100). You can also use Brightness to bring back some of the ink strokes which add nice authenticity.


Number 5. Open up Curves, and here you are gonna want to make an S shape. You will need to play around with the S by making it bigger or smaller until you are happy with the result.


Tip. If there are some yellow areas still left which are not entirely white, then you will need to use the brush tool to clean it up. Don’t forget to clean the sides too!


Bonus tip. Once you are done, then you can use other things such as expand to already create a square post for Instagram.


And you’re done! Hit Export and save it to your phone.

I found this method much more comfortable than having to constantly transfer pictures to my computer or scan them. If you have a good phone with a decent camera, then I have found taking pictures with a camera actually gives better quality than scanning.


If you found this helpful, leave a comment or a like. If you have any of your own suggestions/tips and tricks then share them below as well.

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