New Techniques in Fine Art Printing: Bonny Lhotka and Jack Duganne

New Techniques in Fine Art Printing:
Bonny Lhotka, Digital Art Studios, and Jack Duganne, Duganne Atleliers

I had the good fortune last week to participate in a day-long workshop run by Bonny Lhotka of Colorado, and my good friend Jack Duganne (Dugane Ateliers, Santa Monica). An added bonus was that Russell Brown, of Adobe, was present, and of course a dozen or so students – all hot on the trail of one of the most exciting set of techniques available today for fine art printing.

Class In Session

Bonny With Workshop Student

I’m not exaggerating, Bonny has developed a spectacular array of tools and techniques that take inkjet printing out of the ho-hum world of machine-based printing – and into a world where the artist’s personality, patience, inventiveness, and hands-on skills all play a role. Using Bonny’s methods, conventional ideas about inkjet media go right out the window, and no two prints look exactly alike, each is personal and and in some ways malleable to the whim of the artist.

Sometimes referred to as “inkjet transfer techniques”, Bonny’s methods frequently involve printing an image on a pigment-based inkjet printer – but not on paper. She uses a special, transparent film that takes the ink quite well, rendering color and detail at least as well as traditional media.

Jack Duganne and Russell Brown Discuss A Set of Prints On Film

Transfer Film Cut From Roll

The film was printed on the HP Z3200PS printer, using Bonny’s proprietary film stock.

She then uses the printed transfer film to apply or transfer the image to other media – fresco-style tiles, fine art watercolor paper, stone paper, wood, metal, acrylic, and other materials. Think of it as resembling “Polaroid transfer on steroids” – and more! In many cases, a releasing solution (called SuperSauce!) is used to coat the target media, or the transparent film. Bring coated target and sauce together, and voila!

She uses other methods, but the results is always the same – as a student said the other day: “we’ve got something really cool, and really different here!”

Images may be printed small or large, as the artist desires. The look can range from distressed, almost antique, all the way through to glossy abstraction!

Jack's Creation!

Amazing results!

Bonny developed nearly all the materials needed herself – from inkjet transfer film, to her pigment releasing solutions (there are many, her SuperSauce is among the best).

She even invented SuperSauce!

Super Sauce!

She has created a set of instructional DVDs, and plans to release a book on her techniques in Fall 2010.

From my point of view, she’s created a methodology for taking photographic fine art printing to a completely new level. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.


You can see more about her printing techniques at

Jack Duganne’s studio site is:

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