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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Opus Pixellatum - Sheet Music of Mosaics

When I invented Opus Pixellatum in 2015, I wanted a new, faster technique to build mosaics to build huge portraits of the eyes of Yezidi refugees.

Yezidi 37

The principle of Opus Pixellatum is simple. From an original picture, I design and print a grid of vertical and horizontal lines. These lines define square cells.

Detail of Yezidi 36 model

On each cell is printed a number corresponding to a colour. I generally use 7 colours from White to Black. So the numbers range from 1 to 7.  

Yezidi 36 model.

I build the mosaic by gluing inside each cell the tile corresponding to its number.

Detail of Yezidi 36, Work in Progress

Opus Pixellatum basically seems to be a “Mosaic by Number” system. In itself it has nothing really exciting, but then came the AHA moment...

Building my series of Yezidi eyes, I started to realize there was much more to this technique than I had originally envisioned.

For one thing, you do not need to lay all the tiles to actually begin seeing the image you are trying to create...

Yezidi 20, only half the tiles are laid.

This would allow me to use additional colours different from the 7 ones originally defined. And so I used this on my Yezidi 37.

Detail of the eye of Yezidi 37

After completion of my Yezidi series, I decided to experiment mixing together Opus Pixellatum and Tesselatum on the same piece. Which resulted in Carole’s Eyes.

Once Caroles’ eyes done I created Blue Carole, in which I replaced all nuances of Grays by nuances of Blues. The result here again, is very interesting...

Blue Carole on the bench - December 12, 2016

What we actually have here with Opus Pixellatum is a totally new way yo approach the laying of Mosaics. This technique provides not just a model, for the artist, but a guide to allow him to express his creativity in a much more improvisional way !  

You can compare the Opus Pixellatum model to the Sheet Music of a symphony.  

If you are a beginner, you try to play it exactly as written by the Author. But if you are a Master, you can allow for improvisation, throw your genius in, and it is probably what the author would have wanted you to do ! 

This is so Cool ! 

In 2017, I will research Opus Pixellatum as a way to bring improvisation in mosaics. I will also teach the use of the technique to small groups o f students. I’ll keep posting about this.

Keep in touch !

I am a French mosaic artist based in Alabama. 
My Art is about Inspiring People.
If you are interested by my work, please contact me by phone at (334) 798 1639 or by email at
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