6 Best Scanners for Artwork in 2022

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Aug 25, 2022 •  Guides

If you want to make high-quality reproductions of your artwork, sell your art online on Etsy and in your own online shop, or make your own beautiful archival art prints, you will need an art scanner.

So let’s look at which scanner for artwork you should get!

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Top 4 Scanners for Artwork Compared

This is a quick comparison of my favorite scanners for scanning art. There are more picks in the overview below, such as high-res and XXL picks.

My Pick
Budget Pick
Upgrade Pick
Art Studio Pick
Description:

Best Art Scanner for Artists

Description:

Best Budget Art Scanner for Artists (Beginners and Students)

Description:

Best Upgrade Art Scanner for Artists

Description:

Best Art Scanner for Art Studio and Professionals

Pros:
  • Scan area A3 / 11.7" x 17"
  • Amazing value in art scanner
  • 48 Bit depth
Pros:
  • Great scan quality for the money
  • Max 4800 x 4800 DPI & 48 Bit depth
  • Portable size & weight
Pros:
  • Wonderful scan quality for the money
  • Max 9600 x 6400 DPI & 48 Bit depth
  • Scans artwork, photos, film, slides, negatives
Pros:
  • Superb scan quality
  • Max 6400 x 4800 DPI & 48 Bit depth
  • Scans artwork, photos, film, slides, negatives
Cons:
  • Max 1200 x 1200 DPI
Cons:
  • Max scan area 8.5 x 11.7" (A4)
Cons:
  • Max scan area 8.5 x 11.7" (A4)
Cons:
  • Max scan area 8.5 x 11.7" (A4)
  • Price
My Pick
Description:

Best Art Scanner for Artists

Pros:
  • Scan area A3 / 11.7" x 17"
  • Amazing value in art scanner
  • 48 Bit depth
Cons:
  • Max 1200 x 1200 DPI
Budget Pick
Description:

Best Budget Art Scanner for Artists (Beginners and Students)

Pros:
  • Great scan quality for the money
  • Max 4800 x 4800 DPI & 48 Bit depth
  • Portable size & weight
Cons:
  • Max scan area 8.5 x 11.7" (A4)
Upgrade Pick
Description:

Best Upgrade Art Scanner for Artists

Pros:
  • Wonderful scan quality for the money
  • Max 9600 x 6400 DPI & 48 Bit depth
  • Scans artwork, photos, film, slides, negatives
Cons:
  • Max scan area 8.5 x 11.7" (A4)
Art Studio Pick
Description:

Best Art Scanner for Art Studio and Professionals

Pros:
  • Superb scan quality
  • Max 6400 x 4800 DPI & 48 Bit depth
  • Scans artwork, photos, film, slides, negatives
Cons:
  • Max scan area 8.5 x 11.7" (A4)
  • Price

Table of Content

Overview: 6 Best Art Scanners for Artwork in 2022

My Pick – Plustek A3 Large Format Flatbed Scanner OS 1180

Best Overall
Plustek A3 Large Format Flatbed Scanner OS 1180

Best Art Scanner for Artists

Pros:
  • Scan area A3 / 11.7" x 17"
  • Amazing value in art scanner
  • 48 Bit depth
Cons:
  • Max 1200 x 1200 DPI
Get it on Amazon

The Plustek OpticSlim A3 Flatbed Scanner is my choice for the best overall art scanner for artists.

Plustek is maybe not as well-known a brand name as others on our list of 6 best art scanners for artists, but the innovative Taiwanese company has been around for almost 35 years now, offering a wide variety of scanning, imaging, and other products.

And the Plustek OS 1180 Flatbed Color Scanner is a great example of the kind of value they offer – a full A3 scanner, it accepts artwork or documents up to 11.7 by 17 inches – a large format scanning solution for a very low price!

This Plustek OpticSlim does not offer the high resolution of other choices in our scanner buyer’s guide, but its 1,200 x 1,200 DPI is sufficient for accurate and attractive working copies, nice display images for computer screens and internet use, and for creating a decent quality portfolio or the archive of your work.

And, if you are scanning larger pieces, you might well find that this Plustek scanner offers even better results than trying to stitch together sections scanned from smaller, higher-priced scanners.

With plenty of automatic image manipulation software built-in and a simple user interface, the Plustek OS flatbed color scanner is a great choice for both PC and Mac users, and a great bargain to boot!

Pros & Cons of Plustek OS1180 art scanner

ProsCons
➕ Amazing value for a large format scanner➖ Not the best image quality at this price point – but possibly the best for such an inexpensive A3 scanner
➕ Reliable and well built
➕ Very easy to use
➕ Delivers better image quality than specs or price would suggest

Plustek OS 1180 Specifications

Budget Pick – Epson Perfection V39 Color Photo Scanner

For Beginners
Epson Perfection V39 Color Photo Scanner

Best Budget Art Scanner for Artists (Beginners and Students)

Pros:
  • Great scan quality for the money
  • Max 4800 x 4800 DPI & 48 Bit depth
  • Portable size & weight
Cons:
  • Max scan area 8.5 x 11.7" (A4)
Get it on Amazon

The Epson Perfection V39 is my choice for the best budget artwork scanner for artists, beginners and art students that offers an almost absurdly good value!

No, you are not going to get the ultimate image scan quality from a scanner that retails for this low price, and the build quality is not quite as substantial as other models on this list of best scanners for artwork and artists, but for the money, this is, nonetheless, a remarkable unit.

The Epson Perfection V39 has similar scanner resolution and color depth specifications as the more expensive scanners below, and I find the scanned images surprisingly good.

But it’s not just me. Many artists and photographers talk about the scanning resolution and detail and, maybe even more often, the beauty of the colors the Epson V-39 captures.

It is also an easy-to-use scanner, has a removable lid for working with thick pieces, oversized artwork, and books, and has many automatic features for archival purposes.

While not the ideal choice for the most discerning artist and graphic designer, the Epson Perfection V39 Flatbed Scanner offers unbelievable performance and satisfaction for the money and is a highly useful and versatile scanner that works well every time and should last and last.

Pros & Cons of Epson Perfection V39 art scanner

ProsCons
➕ Great image quality for the money➖ It’s slower with scanning, but that’s not a bad thing if you want high-resolution scans (DPI)
➕ Easy to use➖ The image quality is not as good as with more expensive scanners. However, that’s expected at this price point
➕ Removable hi-rise lid for thick pieces, oversized artworks, and books
➕ Direct to cloud scanning
➕ Stitching software for oversized artwork out of the box
➕ At its size and weight, it becomes a handy portable scanner I can take with me when I am traveling

Epson Perfection V39 Specifications

Upgrade Pick – Epson Perfection V600 Color Photo Scanner

Best Upgrade
Epson Perfection V600 Color Photo Scanner

Best Upgrade Art Scanner for Artists

Pros:
  • Wonderful scan quality for the money
  • Max 9600 x 6400 DPI & 48 Bit depth
  • Scans artwork, photos, film, slides, negatives
Cons:
  • Max scan area 8.5 x 11.7" (A4)
Get it on Amazon

The Epson Perfection V600 Color Flatbed Scanner is my choice for the best step-up scanner for artwork and artists, offering significantly improved image quality over entry-level scanners for not much more money.

With all of the features and enhancements you might expect from an Epson photo scanner, this is a great budget scanner for any photographer – even a professional. 

This is a photo scanner and has tons of features any photographer would love – including automatic image enhancements, damage repair, and the ability to beautifully scan film – slides, and negatives – as well as color and black and white photographs.

But I include it on my list of best scanners for artists because the images it pulls from my original artwork are truly beautiful!

The V600 offers excellent specifications for the price – a full 6400 x 9600 dots per inch resolution and 48-bit color depth.

I have used this scanner in many different situations and can attest to the fidelity it offers to the original source material, with tons of detail, sharpness and depth, accurate colors and shading, and an overall nice sense of balance and flow. 

And when you look on the screen, you see something beyond all that – the scanned image just comes alive, representing whatever made the original artwork so special. 

More expensive scanners may offer slightly better specifications on paper, but they just don’t always get it.

The Epson Perfection V600 does, and for a pretty amazing price.

Pros & Cons of Epson Perfection V600 art scanner

ProsCons
➕ Wonderful image quality for the price point➖ Not as durable as professional scanners
➕ Can scan very fast if you need it to
➕ Easy to use
➕ Delivers reliable, and consistent scan results

Epson Perfection V600 Specifications

Art Studio Pick – Epson Perfection V850 Flatbed Color Scanner

Best for Art Studio
Epson Perfection V850 Flatbed Color Scanner

Best Art Scanner for Art Studio and Professionals

Pros:
  • Superb scan quality
  • Max 6400 x 4800 DPI & 48 Bit depth
  • Scans artwork, photos, film, slides, negatives
Cons:
  • Max scan area 8.5 x 11.7" (A4)
  • Price
Get it on Amazon

The Epson Perfection V850 photo scanner is my choice for best art scanner for image quality.

Even compared to the more expensive 12000XL-GA below, the Perfection V850 has superior image quality. The incredible resolution, deep color range, and fine grayscale depth, in combination with the V850’s dual-lens scanning mechanism, create beautiful images – good enough for your professional portfolio, internet images, and even fine art prints.

I find that the images pulled from the Epson Perfection V850 catch the eye – they have real energy, three-dimensionality, and detail, which transfers brilliantly to a computer screen for working and editing or for an online store/portfolio.

And with a really good printer – like the Epson SureColor P900 17-Inch Printer – and archival fine art paper – like Canson Infinity Baryta Prestige Gloss Paper – I feel that the Epson Perfection V850 allows for a printed image which is an excellent and fully satisfying representation of my original work, and I would be proud to offer such prints for sale.

The only drawback is that the Epson Perfection V850 flatbed scanner will only scan images up to 8.5 x 11.7 inches – pretty standard for a desktop flatbed scanner, but if you need to scan larger artwork with this scanner, you must do it a section at a time and use scanning software to stitch the pieces together.

But for me, the image is the most important thing, and the Epson Perfection V850 offers the best image of any scanner.

Pros & Cons of Epson Perfection V850 art scanner

ProsCons
➕ Superb image quality – detail, color, light, and shading➖ A bit pricey compared to the art scanners above; however, it becomes a clear choice when I consider it an investment for my art business!
➕ Excellent build material with high construction quality
➕ Can scan fast if you need it to
➕ Delivers consistent results
➕ Easy to use

Epson Perfection V850 Specifications

High-Res Pick – Canon CanoScan 9000F Color Image Scanner

Highest Resolution
Canon CanoScan 9000F Color Image Scanner

Best High-Resolution Art Scanner for Artists

Pros:
  • Superb scan quality
  • Max 9600 x 9600 DPI & 48 Bit depth
  • Scans artwork, photos, film, slides, negatives
Cons:
  • Max scan area 8.5 x 11.7" (A4)
  • Price
Get it on Amazon

The Canon CanoScan 9000F Color Image Scanner is my choice as the best art scanner with the highest scan resolution and offers the best automatic image quality.

The CanoScan 9000F is maybe the most beloved scanner on our list among artists, graphic designers, photographers, and fine artists – with incredibly high ratings on various retail sites. 

I suspect that this is because, in my experience, it is the easiest high-quality scanner to get a superb image from.

With its automatic image optimization algorithms and innovative scanning software, the Canon 9000-F adjusts itself to yield the best quality image – and, unlike many other scanners, the image looks better and closer to the original. 

And the Canon’s 7 EZ buttons make it super easy to use.

But this is not just a great scanner for a beginner or technophobe. 

The quality of this Canon CanoScan flatbed scanner’s material parts and construction, the advanced technology, and the remarkable specs – 9,600 x 9,600 DPI (dots per inch) scanning resolution and 48 bit color depth – make the scanned images a significant step up from the lower priced scanners on our list of best scanners for artwork and artists, and even better than many more expensive units.

Highly recommended, then, to even discerning artists.

Pros & Cons of Canon CanoScan 9000F art scanner

ProsCons
➕ Superb image quality – a significant step up from lower-priced scanners➖ The model has been on the market for quite some time, so it might be due for getting discontinued; however, the global COVID-19 pandemic has caused a shortage in components supply, and Canon doesn’t seem to have announced a replacement model yet!
➕ Automatic adjustments that do increase image quality
➕ Incredibly easy to use
➕ Beautiful styling

Canon CanoScan 9000F Specifications

XXL Pick – Epson Expression 12000XL-GA Flatbed Scanner

Large Format
Epson Expression 12000XL-GA Flatbed Scanner

Best Large Format Art Scanner for Artists and Professionals

Pros:
  • Superb scan quality
  • Largest scan area 12.2" x 17.2" (A3+)
  • Scans artwork, photos, film, slides, negatives
Cons:
  • Max 4800 x 2400 DPI
  • Price
Get it on Amazon

The Epson Expression 12000XL-GA Flatbed Scanner is my choice for the best large format scanner and professional fine art scanner for the discerning artist and graphic designer.

The 12000XL will scan images up to 12. 2 by 17.2 inches (slightly larger than A3), so there is no need to scan larger artwork in sections and use something like Photoshop to stitch the sections into a whole – once you get the hang of it, stitching usually works just fine, but it’s always a bit of a chore…

While the specified resolution is actually less than some of the lower-priced scanners, you should remember that several technologies and innovations come together with Epson’s extraordinary Dmax technology (the scanner’s ability to capture detail in shadows and highlights) and excellent mechanical stability and accuracy to produce truly beautiful scans which come very close to even the most detailed or subtle original artwork.

If you intend to sell fine art prints of your originals, if you want to put together the highest quality portfolio or if you simply want the very best reproduction of your work, this fairly expensive scanner will feel like a tremendous bargain and one of the best investments you have ever made.

Highly recommended model among the large format scanners!

Pros & Cons of Epson Expression 12000XL-GA art scanner

ProsCons
➕ Superb image quality – sharp and detailed➖ Compared to the models above, it is super expensive, so it’s mostly suitable for an artist or artist studio with a higher turnover. Once you get it, though, it pays for itself many times over!
➕ Accurate colors with subtle shading and gradation
➕ Offers much better results with larger works of art compared to “stitched” images
➕ Made of professional material and construction quality
➕ Delivers reliable and consistent scan results
➕ Amazing value for the image and build quality

Tech Features of Epson Expression 12000XL-GA art scanner

Main Criteria for Choosing Scanner for Artwork

There are many different scanners available, but the scanning process for an artist is very different from what many others do, so we need to focus on the best scanner for artwork and artists, not just another document scanner.

All of the scanners on my list meet the below criteria!

Specifically, as artists, we need:

Support for Different Art Mediums

As artists, we paint and draw on all kinds of art mediums and paper types such as watercolor paper, sketchbooks, canvas, heavy cardstock, metal, plastic, and so on. So a good artwork scanner is always a flatbed scanner with a removable lid to accommodate the thickness of these mediums.

Support for Different Artwork Sizes

Without spending a lot, even the best art scanners usually only have max A4 or letter size scanning areas – around 8.3 by 11.7 inches. Fortunately, they all come with “stitching” software that allows you to scan bigger artwork (think A3+) in parts and then stitch them together.

Bit Depth / Color Depth

Bit depth or color depth means how many bits of colors are in each image pixel. The higher, the better, and to ensure that the colors and color shifts in your artwork come through when you scan your art, you should aim for a scanner with at least 32-bit to 48-bit depth.

Scan Resolution

Scan resolution, measured in DPI (dot per inch), is important for scanning artwork because it means how much detail the scanner can capture.

The scanning resolution you want to use mainly depends on the purpose of your artwork reproduction, such as prints for Etsy and your online shop, high-quality archival art prints, or images for your online portfolio.

You should aim for scanners with min. 1200 DPI scanner resolution is higher, so you are flexible depending on your end product.

Compatibility

Compatibility means what operating system and what interfaces can your art scanner work with. Fortunately, all modern scanners support the most popular operating systems – Windows and macOS and have the newest USB connection interface. Some can also connect to Wi-Fi to upload your scanned artwork to Cloud!

There are a lot of great choices for artwork scanners at affordable prices that will work with the different mediums and sizes and will always faithfully capture the full detail, color, depth – even the feeling and energy – of our original creations.

FAQs – Best Scanner for Artwork

What kind of scanner do artists use?

Artists use flatbed scanners with a removable lid because they support the different thicknesses of art mediums, and oftentimes, the lid can be completely removed to support different use cases. Epson Perfection V39 Color Photo scanner is one of the popular choices among art scanners!

Which scanner is best for scanning artwork?

For artists scanning artwork for their online shop and Etsy, Plustek A3 Large Format Flatbed Scanner OS 1180 is best because it supports media up to A3 / 11.7″ x 17″; delivers a good enough scanning resolution and supports different art mediums!

Is it better to scan or photograph artwork?

If you want to digitize drawings, sketches, or line art, that don’t have any three-dimensional effects, it is better to scan them with a quality artwork scanner because you will achieve better resolution and consistent results most of the time! If you want to digitize oil, gouache, acrylic, and watercolor artwork, it is sometimes better to photograph them.

Conclusion: Best Art Scanner for Artwork Reproductions

I choose Plustek A3 Large Format Flatbed Scanner OS 1180 as the best art scanner for artists because it provides amazing value for an artwork scanner: large format scanning (A3 / 11.7″ x 17″); good enough max scan resolution and affordable price!

For other use cases, here is the full list of the best art scanners for artists today:

Other articles in the Printers and Scanners series:

Lis cet article en français 🇫🇷 Le meilleur scanner de dessin pour les artistes en 2022

Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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