Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Mosaic

I thought I'd document the making of a mosaic here from start to finish. I think it's hard to explain, since each one is processed so differently from the next, but at least this tells the story of this particular mosaic.

I don't have a title for this one yet. I was sketching in my sketchbook and I came up with a face I liked, starting with the eyes. The one on the left was one of those continuous line drawings that are fun to do and force you to draw differently than you normally draw. I liked something about the eyes, so I drew an eye without the continuous line, still liked the eye, and so drew a face.
So I grabbed a scrap of wedi board. This one was very vertical or very horizontal. I turned it vertically and drew the face near the bottom and lots of hair piled on top. I changed the face a bit and had to do some erasing, but I like how it looks now.
So far I've put in about half an hour. The next thing I did was put in the wedi washers near the top. This hanging system allows the mosaic to be hung on a nail. This took about 10 minutes.

I started gluing the glass down for the eyes. When I'm working on a face, I always start with the eyes. If you have great, expressive eyes, it hardly matters what else you do with the face! I always put a glint of light (white glass) in each eye to give it life. Then the pupil, iris, whites, and surround. Next I worked on the lips, then the nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin.

I didn't plan on making the skin all colorful, it just happened. I was actually planning on doing it all in one color, but suddenly felt like doing this. I wasn't totally sure about the cheeks being the larger pieces, but it's kind of grotesque and clownish, which seems to work for this one. Very painted on. She's got a beauty spot, too, of course. I'm happy with it overall, because it's a bit more fun with all the color. I don't want this to be stuffy at all, rather I want it to have a sense of humor. I don't know what will happen with the hair yet, but it might be fun to have all sorts of crazy things in there.

Finally I did the collar, the blouse and the earrings. The mosaicking has taken me about 7 hours so far.
She ends up looking older and less glamourous than the drawing, which I'm really happy about!


Crystal said...

This is so fun to watch. Thank you for sharing. I love it already!

Barbara Benson Keith said...

Thank you Crystal! I'm working on her hair today. I'll post an update soon.

Prairie Girl Studio said...

hi barbara ~
i have found your most delightful and inspiring blog via laura k. aiken! mosaic tiling is intriguing to me and i am gathering up the muster to try it ... as i have been gathering bits of ceramic and glass that has 'surfaced' in our century old acreage and want to create a piece to place on the outside of my studio ...
your work is astounding! thank you for sharing the steps in creating ... wonderful wonderful ...
i'll be by often!

Barbara Benson Keith said...

Thanks Prairie Girl! I love that things are "surfacing"! What fun to find a way to use that. Thanks for stopping by!