Category: Improving Your Art

  • California Mosaic Bench

    California Mosaic Bench

    Keira Miller recently made a mosaic bench in the shape of the state of California with a class of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.  The mosaic bench is made from California redwood and is to be auctioned off as part of a fundraiser to benefit their Montessori school.

    Note that we do NOT recommend wood as a backer for outdoor mosaics, but if this mosaic had to be placed outdoors, some of the drier regions of California would be ideal. I think the mosaic would do well on a covered porch, and it would be a great addition to a family room or den.

  • Grouting Case Study (Plus Mosaic Art Worth Seeing)

    Grouting Case Study (Plus Mosaic Art Worth Seeing)

    Artist Sherri Grasmuck created a mosaic facade of Guatemalan women on her house in Philadelphia that is the perfect case study for choosing a grout color.

  • Why Did My Tiles Come Loose From Thinset?

    Why Did My Tiles Come Loose From Thinset?

    Recently, artist Jackye Mills emailed me about a problem she was having with her first mosaic project, and it really caused me a lot of angst because the artwork was a strong design that was otherwise well executed. I hated the thought that a first-time mosaicist could do such a good job on something so ambitious only to lose the project due to a technical issue.

  • Making Mixed-Media Mosaics By A Process of Elimination

    Making Mixed-Media Mosaics By A Process of Elimination

    Artist Susan Watson created a stained glass and stone mosaic for her studio exterior wall and chose the background color and material using a process of trial and elimination.

    Mixed-media mosaic artists often choose backgrounds by laying tile on the pattern or backer after the figures have been tiled, as I explained in my recent article How To Choose Mosaic Background Colors and Patterns.

    Black was considered for the background because black makes colors “pop” or seem more intense. Susan decided black was too dark and didn’t look good with the colors where the mosaic would be installed.

  • How To Choose Mosaic Background Colors and Patterns

    How To Choose Mosaic Background Colors and Patterns

    Background colors for mosaics should be chosen based on how well they contrast with the colors used in figures. For this reason, most mosaic artists will tile their figures first and then choose their background colors by a trial-and-error process of placing tiles on the mosaic backer and just seeing how they look.

    The same approach can be used to decide what pattern of placement (andamento) you should use for the background. You look at what you have in the figures in the foreground and choose a background pattern that is compatible.

  • Opus Pixellatum Mosaic Class Photos and Videos

    Opus Pixellatum Mosaic Class Photos and Videos

    Frederic Lecut’s “Opus Pixellatum” Mosaic Class was a lot of fun, and I think the mosaics were very successful, especially with the improvised tweaking and colorization that students did in phase two of the process. In the photo above, instructor Frederic Lecut kneels in front of the class.

    When people are in position at the end of the video, here is who you are looking at from left to right:

    Robbintina Harrison holding her adorable granddaughter’s portrait. Joanne Remppel holding her rescue dog’s portrait. Kate Carroll holding her friend Martha Barton’s portrait. Daniel Adams holding his self portrait. Amy Galbavy holding her self portrait. Apryl Howard holding her self portrait. Daniel Baxley holding his self portrait. Stephanie Cosenza holding her son Danny’s portrait. Sandra Atherton holding her self portrait.

  • Mosaic Artist Michael Kruzich’s Must-See Work

    Mosaic Artist Michael Kruzich’s Must-See Work

    Mosaic Artist Michael Kruzich has a body of work worth taking a look at, especially if you have any doubts about how well dramatic lighting can be rendered in mosaic portraiture and other figurative mosaic artwork.

    But that’s not all that you need to see of his work. Michael has also made some mosaic-clad figurative sculpture that is as interesting in it’s abstract geometrical textural elements as it is in it verisimilitude –plus he has some stylized, classical and medieval interpretations. These stylized pieces are as eye catching as Michael’s naturalistic work. The reason is simple: All of Kruzich’s mosaics make great use of contrasting light and dark elements in addition to using strong pairs of complementary colors. 

  • Inspiring Mosaic Portraits Using A Grid Pattern

    Inspiring Mosaic Portraits Using A Grid Pattern

    David Armstrong has created some inspiring mosaic portraits, and he did it using whole tiles arranged in a grid instead of irregular pieces cut and fit as needed. Normally, I dislike mosaic designs based on grids because they lack the extra visual element provided by tile arrangement (andamento), but David’s work has tons of visual interest that more than compensates for this.

  • Class with Mosaic Master Frederic Lecut

    Class with Mosaic Master Frederic Lecut

    Artist Frederic Lecut has agreed to teach a class in which student will create a naturalistic mosaic portrait of their own eyes using Frederic’s Opus Pixellatum technique. We are very excited!

    Take a look at Frederic’s mosaic eye portraits to get an idea what you will make in this course, and we think you will be excited too. This course will definitely improve your mosaic skills regardless of what style you work in.

  • Pan’s Head Mosaic: A Classical Interpretation

    Pan’s Head Mosaic: A Classical Interpretation

    Artist Frederic Lecut’s “Pan’s Head” mosaic has a style that matches its theme, and it is a great example of using classical elements in a contemporary mosaic.

    The face of the “goat-footed god of Attica” or Pan is the subject of Lecut’s mosaic, and consequently the artist incorporates several aspects of ancient Greek mosaic in his design.