I had previously written about Lisa Sunshine’s Eyes Mosaic in my blog article The Importance of Context in Figurative Mosaic Art.
In the article, I addressed the problem of the mosaic not being instantly recognizable as eyes, and I recommended extending the bridge of the nose slightly to provide context.
Lisa took me up on my advice and pried up a few tiles and revised the mosaic so that the side of the nose was extended slightly on its lower lefthand side.
Seeing Your Art Objectively
Evaluating and comparing the results of the change are a little problematic:
First, the photos were made in different lighting regimes, and so it’s not an “apples to apples” comparison. (Note that only a few tiles on one part of the nose were changed.)
The second issue is even more profound: You can only view something for the first time once. Once you know the image is supposed to be a pair of eyes, you will see it as eyes.
That is why it is hard to critic your own work objectively: Your mind already know what the image is supposed to be.
TIP: To see your work more objectively, take a break of a few days and come back to it. Working on more than one project at a time also helps.
I already know that some people will email and say that they think the original was fine or better than the revision, but we didn’t imagine the problem.
Lisa emailed me for advice because she thought the mosaic wasn’t instantly recognizable as eyes, and I didn’t instantly see eyes at my first viewing, even though I had read that it was supposed to be a pair of eyes.
Of course, there were compounding issues: There was glare on the mosaic, and I was viewing the photo close up instead of as a thumbnail or from a distance.
TIP: There is the same amount of paint in a mediocre painting as there is in a work of genius. Never rush to cover area thoughtlessly or to be done quickly. The genius is in the details.
The most important part of making a work of art is the finishing touches, the revisions you make after looking at the work as a whole. That is why I encourage mosaic artists to work on a temporary surface and lay out the entire mosaic before gluing it down all at once.
The ability to make changes and small revisions is critical if you are serious about making the best possible mosaic you can.