What is the Difference Between Digitizing Watercolors and Vectorizing Artwork?

One of the biggest questions I get about the Digitizing Watercolors course is if it also covers vectorizing, which it does not.

Why doesn't it?

Because I truthfully do not vectorize my watercolors: it isn't necessary!

Through the methods I teach you in the Digitizing Watercolors course, you will end up with design files that are high resolution and ready to print on a large scale without losing the quality - no vectorizing needed.

But, I do vectorize black & white traces of my brush calligraphy and watercolor designs (ex: of custom crests) for a few reasons:

  1. Anytime I send a design to production for letterpress or foil, the elements that are pressed/stamped need to be vectorized.

  2. If a client needs their design in a black & white fully scalable format for something like a wedding gobo (when a design is projected with light onto a floor/wall).

  3. If I were to design custom branding for a creative (a service I used to offer), and wanted to provide them with both the watercolor versions of their designs and the vectorized artwork - in case they have letterpress business cards printed!

You might be wondering: what's the difference between digitizing and vectorizing anyway?

Let me explain!


Digitizing watercolors, the way I teach it, covers how to properly scan in your artwork at the best quality, edit your colors to best match your original painting, seamlessly remove your paper texture background without erasing any of the light colors in your painted design, brighten & refine your design so it pops and has life, and save your designs so that they are ready for both print and web.


Vectorizing is the process of using mathematic equations and geometric primitives (points, lines, and shapes) to create art that can be scaled infinitely, without any loss of quality or fidelity.

Can you see how these two processes of editing your artwork go hand in hand?

Here's a few examples below to visually illustrate what I'm talking about!

Digitizing Watercolors Versus Vectorizing Artwork by Simply Jessica Marie

This is Catherine & Francis' watercolor wedding crest I painted, alongside the black and white version that I vectorized

Upon request, I provide my crest clients with both types of files, so that they can use their design on a variety of products (watercolor crest on signage vs. vectorized crest on gold foil cocktail napkins or embroidered linens for their newlywed home). A major selling point!

If you prefer to handle all of your own printing & production, you could also upsell your artwork (like crests, monograms, maps, florals) by showing your clients a brochure of printed options they could commission from you featuring their custom design (this could be done via a HoneyBook brochure, or in your online shop!).

Watercolor and Letterpress Wedding Invitations by Simply Jessica Marie | Vitor Lando Photo

Ashley and Adam's invitations featured a delicate watercolor floral border (digitally printed), with the body of their invitations and their names in calligraphy in a beautiful blue letterpress on double thick paper.

Knowing how to combine watercolor & letterpress is going to expand your service offerings and help you book clients who are interested in fine print methods!

Gold Foil and Watercolor Wedding Invitations by Simply Jessica Marie | Callie Lindsey Photography

Karen & Connor's invitations featured their digitally printed crest, blue digitally printed text, and blush line art florals, accented by gold foil line art florals, calligraphy names, and even a gold foil crest outline for a pop of shimmer & shine!

Trust me, wedding clients love foil, and I want to help get you comfortable with offering it!!

SJM Art School
Vectorizing Artwork Master Class

If you've been reading through this post and have been thinking, "oh gosh, I really do need to learn how to vectorize!!" - I have an educational resource that won't just save you money, but will also save you TONS of time, allow you to book more clients, and feel confident branching into new design territories like letterpress, foil, custom branding, and more.

What am I talking about?

I've created a one-hour master class walking you through how I vectorize artwork from start to finish, through the…


Including my image trace formula for easily vectorizing calligraphy & line art designs!

The master class doesn’t just share my formula - it is a master class video course where I walk you through all the steps I take to easily & cleanly vectorize my designs!

So, if you've been eager to learn how to both digitize your watercolors and vectorize your black & white artwork so you can confidently:

  • Offer a variety of professionally printed, high-quality products to customers & clients

  • Not only provide digitally printed stationery to your clients, but also fine print methods like letterpress & foil

  • Expand your ideal client/customer base, and increase your profitability

    • Because you know that the more you can upsell your artwork by providing additional products & services (like koozies, foil napkins, foil art prints, etc.) - the more you can keep existing clients coming back for more - rather than constantly having to struggle to find new clients

    • And...the finer print methods you offer = a higher profit margin for you, too!

...I invite you to become an SJM Art School student and join the classes that are the best fit for your creative journey!

People just like you have already made the decision to become confident watercolor artists - and they're already doing it!

Artists like you who are eager to learn the lessons and skills it takes to learn the basics of watercolor so you can feel confident in becoming a watercolor pro - AND learn advanced techniques like digitizing your watercolors & vectorizing your designs to turn them into profitable shop products & custom services!


Because if you're needing a strategic growth plan that will hold your hand as you learn the basics, and then provide you with the exact step-by-step formula that I personally use each time I digitize my watercolors with the exact list of vendors I use to create high quality art prints/stationery/lifestyle products that you can build your own online shop with...

The Semester Bundle + the Vectorizing Artwork Master Class is the only comprehensive art school you'll need to experience real growth.

If you have any other questions, I am more than happy to help! Use the live chat tool on my site right now and let me know. :) (If I'm away, you can also email me!)

This blog post contains affiliate links for HoneyBook, but only because I personally use & love it, and know it will save you so much time by automating admin tasks and allow you to appear far more professional to potential clients. Win, win!