Doug Elliot: how to transform your art into a bound book

Have you toyed with the idea of turning your best pieces of art or design into a book, but were unsure how to get started? Watercolour painter, Doug, tells you how he turned an art project into a bound book and why you should give it a try.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, Doug.
Born in Yorkshire I am a retired surveyor, initially a mine surveyor and later a building surveyor. I took up watercolour painting when I retired and specialise in landscapes and buildings. I love travelling and have sketched in Italy, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in addition to the UK. I enjoy sketching on holiday as a record of the trips.

I am also a computer buff and administer a huge worldwide art forum, Wet Canvas and have painting friends around the world. I have a personal website where my A59 Project can be found.

Clifford's Tower painting

Your A59 Project is a collection of paintings based on the A59 trunk road that starts in Liverpool, trails the Pennines, and ends in York. What was it that inspired you to start the project?
I was inspired by an artist friend who lives in Kansas and has done a similar series of paintings along an historic motor trail across Kansas. I know the subject well travelling the road frequently en route to the Yorkshire Dales, and had fun researching the history of each of the locations.

Skipton Castle

You recently printed your A59 Project paintings and turned them into a book. What was it that made you made you decide to do this?
Many artist friends said the series would be of interest to visitors to the area and a book would be a handy way to distribute them. I started by having a batch printed as Christmas presents for friends and relatives and demand is such that I continually get repeat orders.

Lime street station

How did you tackle the transformation from digital to print? Did you use any specific tools (like Photoshop etc.) and did you find the process relatively straightforward?
I took photos of my paintings with my digital camera and adjusted them with Corel Paintshop Pro, sizing them for the required 300 pixels per inch that the printer requires. I then assembled the book in the free Scribus desktop publishing program, saving them as a complete PDF file before sending them to on an SD memory card.

Albert Dock

What kind of reception did your book get when you finally released it?
The book was extremely well received, one friend bought 10 copies and several have been sent abroad.


Now that you’ve done it, would you recommend that other creatives take the leap and turn their work into a bound book? What have you found the benefits to be?
I would definitely encourage other artists to create books of their work. It is a lasting memory to leave behind for your family and friends and means that many people can enjoy your work, not just the person buying the original painting.

Ainscough Mill

You can get copies of Doug's Project A59 book on this website, where you can also enjoy more of his work. If you've been converted, try turning your artwork into a bound book and give it a go yourself! 


03 Aug 2015 12:15
really lovely, having a physical copy is just different.
Heather Lewinton
07 Aug 2015 11:49
I love the image of Albert dock in Liverpool!! I've stayed in a hotel where that was my actual view so I have a photo just like it but it doesn't have the same character as Doug's work.
Su Mwamba
17 Sep 2015 07:49
There's definitely something special about a book that a digital format just can't compete with. One day, I will definitely make the time to formulate some of my ideas into book form - that would be amazing!
09 Oct 2015 07:53
I agree with, digital just can't compete ~ would love to try producing one of these myself :)

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