12 November 2008


I've been very passionately working on the mosaic, which has become two-soon-to-be-three mosaics.

Here is The Lion Roars. It still needs to be grouted and framed, but you can get a good idea of what it is going to look like now. It (I really want to call it He) is around 11" tall and 14" wide. It is a mixture of opus palladium, opus tessellatum, opus vermiculatum, and a rough approximation of opus regulatum. That's likely too many types of andamento in one small mosaic - probably a common beginner's mistake.

The major thing I learned from this piece is that I want to break my glass tesserae into fourths. They come as 20mm (aprox. 3/4") square tiles that are very regular in size and shape. When I did the background for The Lion Roars I realized that I was going to be doing a considerable amount of cutting to outline the lion. I decided to quarter the tiles, again probably not the best combination (some full, some chipped and some quartered), but for this it seems to work okay. Anyway, what I discovered along the way is that I REALLY like the lack of uniformity in the quartered tesserae. I love the less regimented, more organic feel.

While I was waiting for Lion to finish drying I started another mosaic. This one doesn't have a name yet. I've called it The Birds as a working title, but I'm not locked into that for the actual title.

I'm quartering all the tiles for it and using primarily opus tessellatum.

This first image shows the cartoon and some initial color selections for the eyes.

A close up of two of the birds' eyes, which also shows the cartoon in detail.

Second try at the first bird's head. I peeled the first attempt up after it dried. It was too chaotic and undefined. This is when I decided to use opus tessellatum instead of opus palladium. I like the way it defines the bird's head.

Bird one is done. I particularly liked the way that the beak edge came out. I had done the birds as an encaustic painting and never could get the divide between the upper and lower beak defined like I wanted.

Bird two, partially done. this was a stopping point on the second night of working on this project.

Here is how The Birds currently looks. I hope to finish the piece by the weekend so that I can grout both mosaics at the same time. I will need to do a tile sample to test the grout color, but right now I'm thinking of a dark grey or black - have to see how that tests out with the beak colors.

Meanwhile, mosaic three is rattling around inside my head.

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