Scanning new drawings

Every year , I go through a predictable drawing production cycle: create new drawings, have the drawings scanned, and get the images printed. Last year, a new problem emerged. The graphics company that I had been using for years was no longer able to do large format scans because their machine had become inoperable. My standard format for large drawings is 14″ x 17″. I started working with this size decades ago and have become accustomed to it. When I complete a new drawing, the first step in producing reproductions is to have high resolution scans made of the image on paper. The output of the scanning process is a large Tif file at 300 DPI. Once the scans are made, I have an archive of the image and the Tif files can then be printed from a digital printer. So, a solution had to be found, since I had several new images to be scanned and a few old images to be archived.


Amazingly, after extensive searching and many phone calls, I found that no one else in the city of Huntsville could make high resolution scans for an image size large enough for my paper size. This seemed hard to believe. I began to consider the only alternatives at hand. One possibility was to have my drawings photographed, and use the photo image file for digital printing of my art reproductions. This avenue was deemed unsuitable due to the very fine detail in my drawings. Another possibility was to have the image scanned in sections on a smaller flat bed scanner and have the sections re-assembled using a graphics program such as Photoshop. In some cases, such as panoramic images of landscapes, this process is totally acceptable. My local printer offered this service as an alternative to large format scans as it had been determined not to repair their broken scanner. This option, however, cost almost triple the cost of a flatbed scan.

After some further searches, I was able to find a an artist contractor that was willing to try this process at a much more economical cost. With no other apparent options available, I decided to try this route. When the scan was complete and the images stitched together, I examined the image on my home computer. Initially, it looked perfect. But, after careful examination, I found one detail, a single object in the image that was ever so slightly offset. Even though the detail was very small, and certainly not obvious, I decided that the possibility of introducing such defects into my archived digital images and reproductions for sale was unacceptable. It was at this point that I decided to widen my search for graphics scanning and reproduction services outside of Huntsville. Soon, thereafter, I found Chromatics. Located in downtown Nashville, they offer scanning and reproduction services specifically for artists. Most notably, they offer scanning services using their Cruse Scanner, a specialized, large format scanning device used to create high resolution scans of high archival quality.


The Cruse Scanner is well known as a precision machine and is used by iconic establishments such as government agencies and museums around the world to create high quality scanned images. At this point, I had 5 new drawings that needed to be scanned, so I decided to have the scans made at Chromatics. The result was very satisfactory. The Cruse Scanner is an impressive device (see photo). It is large enough to scan several of my 14″ x 17″ drawings at a time. During my visit at the facility, it was obvious that graphics reproductions for artists is a principle component of their business model. The resulting 300 DPI scans are Tif files about 60 mb in size. The only drawback is the fact that to get scans made, I have to make two rounds trips to Nashville by car. One trip to deliver the artwork, the second trip to pick up the scans. However, the scans are very high quality, the staff is very professional and they seem to take extra care to make sure the product is as near perfect as possible.



Announcing new symmetrical art adult coloring books

I’m really pleased to announce the launch of two coloring books featuring my symmetrical art! The first book features my symmetrical mandala images and the second one features science fiction and steampunk art.  If you enjoy coloring books, they are now available on Amazon! If you enjoy them, please leave a review on my Amazon page. Also, please send me pictures of images you color, I’d love to see what you create!

Buy Coloring Book #1 (mandalas) here.

Buy Coloring Book #2 (steampunk and scifi art) here.

Thanks for your interest!

symmetrical universe mandala adult coloring book

symmetrical universe steampunk adult coloring bookHere are a few of the images inside the book you can color. They are all close-up views of portions of my drawings.

symmetrical universe adult coloring book mandalas

symmetrical universe adult coloring book steampunk

symmetrical universe adult coloring book steampunk

Launching new adult coloring book series

Adult coloring books are all the rage, and I’m getting in on the act with an offering that is a little different. I’m working on a coloring book featuring my intricately detailed drawings of mandalas and Celtic designs, plus also steampunk and mechanical drawings.

Zororaster symmetrical universe adult coloring book
Scan of the original pen and ink drawing Zororaster

I’ve created these symmetrical drawings for many decades, entirely freehand with only pen and ink. When people started to mention that my drawings would make great coloring books, I were intrigued. I took a look, and with some work my wife (through her publishing company Rocket City Books) put together two books based on my artwork. Because my original drawings are all a fairly large format (14×17 in most cases) we included each original drawing, but then broke the book down into detailed views of many of his most complex drawings. We believe this will give you a great opportunity to use your creativity to design your own colors and interpretations of the drawings.

My mechanical drawings are also unique in the world of adultcoloring books. Many of my drawings are inspired by spaceships, electronics, and machines, so my drawings will be attractive to people who enjoy the world of steampunk and science fiction.

symmetrical universse mandala adult coloring book steve pitts

The coloring books will be available on Amazon on April 20. Get a copy and share your coloring inspirations with us and we’ll publish them here!

symmetrical universe science fiction art steve pitts

Reflections on DragonCon 2015

It’s been a few weeks since DragonCon and I’m now having time to post some photos of this year’s great convention. For those of you who don’t know, DragonCon is a HUGE science fiction convention in downtown Atlanta, GA every Labor Day weekend. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been accepted in the art show the last two years and I’ve really enjoyed attending the convention.

I arrived on Thursday and immediately set up my booth in the art show. Here’s a shot of my art. I had this panel display as well as prints for sale in the nearby print shop. Thank you to everyone who stopped by my booth and bought prints!

WP_20150903_007The first day of the con featured one of the highlights for me. 2001: A Space Odyssey has long been one of my all-time favorite science fiction movies and it in fact inspired some of my artwork. On Friday, I attended a panel with Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood, actors who played the two main roles in 2001 (Dave Bowman and Frank Poole). The panel was fantastic. They described what it was like to work on the movie and shared many great stories about their experiences. Later, I got to meet Keir Dullea in the autograph area and I chatted with him a bit about how much the movie meant to me.


The rest of the weekend, I attended a variety of panels and other events, and enjoyed looking at all of the incredibly creative costumes every night. Here are some random photos of costumes I saw over the weekend.

Who is Godot waiting for?


Ripley and Newt with a very realistic Alien. WP_20150905_020(1)


You shall not pass!


My wife absolutely hates the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens. Here she is dressed as Starbuck with the big-haired host of the show. WP_20150905_018(1)

Chris Pratt and a flock of dinosaurs.



Best of Show in the 2015 Birmingham Artwalk

The Birmingham Artwalk in Birmingham, AL is the first show I applied for about five years ago, and I’ve been back every year. I have a great time talking to all of the people who stop by my booth, and I also love meeting all of the other artists. There are some very talented artists who  participate in the show every year.

This year, I was surprised and honored on Friday night when a judge stopped by my booth to tell me I’d won the year’s Best in Show ribbon.

Birmingham Artwalk 2015 Best in Show

I can’t describe how honored I am to have won the Best of Show. My artwork is very detailed and takes a very long time to complete. It’s really very rewarding to be recognized for my work. Thank you to all of the judges!