This is an update on my Mosaic Door project built from a “series of smalls“, which is the most effective way to improve artistic confidence and ability.
A “series of smalls” is more than a simplistic example of practice makes perfect. You can practice by painting works of all sizes and painting many different types of composition. But in that case, each piece has it’s own unique learning curve.
Keeping the size of the pieces in a series all the same size removes that extra layer of difficulty. Many “series of smalls” are often the same or similar compositions, which also maximizes learning.
Many painting instructors recommend doing a series of smalls for these reasons:
You get “another bite at the apple” with each piece, and you get to take advantage or everything you learned on the previous piece. You can also compare results as you go.
I’m not doing the same or similar compositions for the series of smalls I am making for the Mosaic Door project, but I am using a uniform size. Making one after another has really honed my ability to work with that particular small size.
I note that my later mosaics in this series have better shading and contrast of values than the earlier ones.
The reason is simple: I am better at working in this tiny size, which was completely new to me when I started, and so now I have more mental bandwidth left to concentrate on the images being rendered.
At the beginning, I was struggling with the small size and foolish decisions like trying to reuse the same piece of contact paper.
I note with chagrin that some of the earlier compositions are a lot less detailed than they would have been had I not been struggling with tile not sticking to worn-out contact paper.
I built the door from 1-inch thick oak that I salvaged from the pews of an old Baptist church blown down by a tornado. I planed the wood by hand.
Before mounting the mosaic insets, I will fume the wood with ammonia to darken and age it in appearance.
The dimensions of the door are 38.5 inches x 22 inches.
The frame and surrounding wall section for the door will be made from many different wooden bedposts that I have been collecting for years.
The studio shot below shows the value of nesting tables in a small studio used for many different manufacturing processes.
Here I am stripping some old paint off the door bolt housing, which should have been done before I installed it:
Materials and Methods
They are made on the 4-inch Bamboo Mosaic Coaster Bases: