Category: Improving Your Art

  • Mosaic Backgrounds & Variegation

    Kokopelli Mosaic comparison showing improved figure.

    In my previous post, I wrote about Peggy Pugh’s excellent use of color variegation and the potential for this technique to cause figures to lose definition when there is variegation in both the figure and the background. In response, artist Jill Gatwood emailed me photos of a student’s work where the problem had caused the […]

  • Variegated and Mottled Colors for Better Mosaics

    Mosaic Detail Bee over Flowers, Left

    I forgot to write about some of the teaching points from Peggy Pugh’s mosaic backsplash. Variegated and mottled colors create more visual interest in mosaic artwork than monochromatic color fields. However, there is a limit to how much variation you can put into an area of color and still render an element as a distinct […]

  • Mosaic Backsplash for Stove with Hood

    Mosaic Backsplash with Kitchen Interior

    Peggy Pugh’s mosaic backsplash makes me wish the vent hood for the range didn’t have to be installed! The backsplash design is a mosaic interpretation of the view from the window opposite to it in Peggy’s kitchen. The view is of Peggy’s flower gardens with Upper Back Bay in Newport, California in the background. Peggy […]

  • Mosaic Peacock: A Cautionary Tale

    Mosaic Peacock by artist Lonnie Parsons

    My recent blog article about small mosaics has a section at the end that explains how to take catalog-ready photos of mosaic art. My article about mosaic frames includes some discussion about the best light for photographing artwork and the need to avoid foreshortening. I know why the issue is coming up more and more […]

  • Small Mosaics Update

    Mosaic Coasters by Joe Moorman, progress photo 2022-05

    I have been making some small mosaics on our bamboo mosaic coaster backers, and I wanted to share a photo of the collection so far and talk about some more advantages of working in a series of smalls. Each of these coasters will be a “tile” that is used in a large sculpture that is […]

  • Sports Logo Mosaic

    Mosaic Minnesota Vikings Logo by artist Curt Gassmann

    A stylized logo or pattern is different from a picture of an object. In a picture, the goal is to create a sense of verisimilitude (likeness) by including small details and visual complexity. In a logo, there is an opposite emphasis. To create a logo, images are “posterized” and every element is reduced to monochromatic […]

  • Curves Not Lines for Better Mosaics

    New Orleans Mosaic Table Top by Marianne LiMandri view 2

    Artist Marianne Limandri’s mosaics are good examples of how to create more interesting designs by thinking in terms of curves instead of straight lines. Straight line segments (or their imperfect representations) occur all the time in nature, from cactus needles all the way up to the endless horizon on the open sea, but they are […]

  • Mosaics in a Painterly Style

    Fishing Hat mosaic by Yolanda Bergman

    Paints can be blended to any shade or hue, but the mosaic medium requires that an artist render an image in a limited set of fixed colors. The color palettes of molded glass tile product lines are limited to 40 to 60-ish colors, and this limitation seems to encourage novice artists to work in a […]

  • Video of Mosaic Rose Design Process


    Natalija has filmed a video of her laying out a rose mosaic inset for her new home, and it’s a good demonstration of cutting and fitting tile and other basic techniques. More importantly, it shows the process of design evolution by trial and error, something that is lacking in most craft videos. Marking and Cutting […]

  • Secret to an Exceptional First Mosaic

    I’ve already written about Brad Srebnik’s first mosaic and how impressive it is. It’s also amazing how well Brad documented the process as he was learning it. Brad emailed me a summary of his methods and the lessons he learn from the project. He has some good photos of some important steps, including making a […]

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