Finding literature that is helpful and inspiring to artists wishing to pursue alternative digital printmaking is important. The perfect art guide book is one that not only teaches you the ropes but gives you the knowledge base needed to excel in any given subject matter. Even more important is having the ability to go off on your own and experiment by combining your own previous knowledge with that of which you have just learned. In this article, we will share with you our top 5 recommended image transfer books. We have ranked them from 5 to 1 with 1 being the most recommended.
5. Jill Enfield’s Guide to Photographic Alternative Processes: Popular Historical and Contemporary Techniques (Alternative Process Photography) 2nd Edition
We recommend this book because it walks you through traditional image-making methods while introducing modern techniques in printmaking. Some older techniques can be swapped out for newer techniques using computer software and this book does a fantastic job of showing this. Learn how to combine digital manipulation techniques with traditional photographic processes to create work that pushes the boundaries of image-making.
4. The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes 3rd Edition
This book is on our recommended list because we feel that having a strong foundation in traditional image-making will help inform you when you are creating works with newer techniques made possible by recent improvements in technology. In the modern era, it can be quite refreshing to find yourself in a dark room and mixing materials in ways of the past. Combining these methods with modern ones can be powerful as there is so much room for exploration.
3. The Last Layer: New methods in digital printing for photography, fine art, and mixed media (Voices That Matter)
This is one of the books written by Bonny Pierce Lhotka who is a pioneer in the image transfer and alternative print community. This book is a great reference that includes details on new methods in alternative printing techniques. This is one of three books by Bonny which are all recommended by us!
2. Digital Alchemy: Printmaking Techniques for Fine Art, Photography, and Mixed Media by Bonny Pierce Lhotka
Digital Alchemy is another book by Bonny Pierce Lhotka and is perfect for someone just getting started in alternative printing techniques. She goes through step by step, explaining safety, materials, and methods. Be prepared to get supplies and really start experimenting with the multiple methods available. This is a great read and will be sure to inspire you with the examples provided within this book. You can really tell Bonny is an expert and you will feel as though you have a mentor right beside you to help!
1. Hacking the Digital Print: Alternative image capture and printmaking processes with a special section on 3D printing (Voices That Matter)
Hacking the Digital Print is for those of us who read Digital Alchemy and just couldn’t get enough! Bonny goes into further detail in this book as she shows you have to make your own tools to create your images. Going way beyond our imaginations, she introduces 3D printing techniques as well. This is truly an inspiring read that you must have. This book will surely get the gears turning in your head as you think of all of the possibilities these techniques will bring to your work. Be ready to experiment. Even Bonny herself says “Don’t bother reading this book unless you’re ready to get your hands dirty.”
We hope this article has helped you find the next excellent read on alternative print techniques. We know that all of the information found in these books is so valuable and will keep you preoccupied for weeks, months and maybe even years. These books aren’t something you read once and put on a shelf. They are a tool that you can revisit from time to time when you need to brush up on a technique or research ways to complete your next creative project.
Do you know of any other amazing books that we didn’t talk about? We want to hear about them! Comment below to let us know about these or what you think of the books we included in our list!