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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Custom Mosaic Models

Have you ever been tempted to give a try at mosaic art but felt overwhelmed by the apparent complexity of the task ? 

Martelina and tagliolo, traditional tools of mosaic artists for 2500 years.
Martelina and tagliolo, traditional tools of mosaic artists for 2500 years.

I created in 2015 a new and easy to implement mosaic technique. I named it “Opus Pixellatum”.


Opus Pixellatum is the perfect introductory technique to mosaic art. Because at the beginning this technique only uses square tiles of the same dimensions, disposed in horizontal and vertical lines, no cuts are needed. You simply have to glue your tiles on a model, fill the gap between them, and voila, your mosaic is complete.

How does this work ?

You send me a picture of what you would like to represent in mosaic. 

Cheetah cub used as model for Opus Pixellatum glass mosaic portrait
Cheetah cub from Serengeti Desert.

From your picture, I create a model. This model looks like a spreadsheet. 

Cheetah cub mosaic portrait  - laminated model on the bench in Alabama studio.
The laminated model on the bench

It is composed of many little squares with numbers in it.

COrner of laminated mosaic model showing the numbered squares.
The lower left corner of the model of Cheetah cub mosaic .

Each number corresponds to a specific tile color. I also provide the quantities you’ll need of each tile. 

Cheetah Cub Mosaic tiles

Tile reference Number of tiles

1 100
26 250
27 300
29 100
32 100
42 1400
43 200
44 860
46 454
47 200
49 300
62 1206
65 100
66 1089
69 450
95 100
96 150
104 250
108 100
109 286

The references are those of the 8 mm glass tiles from Mosaicartsupply in Atlanta, GA.

You can order the tiles from Mosaic Art Supply or I can order them for you.

If you wish to use different tiles, I can design a model based on your own colors.

Once you have your model and tiles, you can go to work.

Lay your model on your working bench and start gluing your tiles on it. You can use any water soluble glue such as Elmer’s glue.

Cheetah cub mosaic, first day work in porgress
Cheetah cub mosaic on its first day.

On this particular Cheetah mosaic, I was working in reverse method, gluing my tiles upside down on top of my laminated model.

To work in direct method, you will set a piece of fiberglass mesh on top of your laminated model and glue your tiles on this mesh. 

mosaic portrait realized during mosaic seminar in Atlanta, Georgia, April 2017.
Amy's eyes mosaic portrait. half the tiles laid on mesh.

After a while, your mosaic is ready to mount on a rigid frame.

Cheetah cub mosaic portrait, all tiles laid. Ready to be glued on its support.
Cheetah cub mosaic, all tiles laid.

If you worked reverse method as I did this Cheetah mosaic, you will glue the support on top of it. 

Cheetah cub mosaic complete glued on backing board support, ready to flip.
Cheetah cub mosaic with its support glued on its top.

If you worked direct method, you will simply lift  the mesh from the laminated model and glue it on top of its support. 

Daniel's eyes mosaic portrait just glued on its backing board support. Mosaic Seminar Atlanta, Georgia, April 2017.
Daniel's eyes mosaic has just been glued onto its support.

Once your mosaic is set on its support – a few hours in direct method, 48 hours in reverse method – you can grout and finish it.

The author beside Cheetah cub mosaic at the Mosaic art studio, Headland, Alabama, May 2017
The Author beside the completed Cheetah cub mosaic portrait.

Cheetah Cub above was realized in colors, whereas Amy's eyes below were built in Grayscale. 

Actual podel and her mosaic portrait, Mosaic seminar, Atlanta, Georgia, April 2017.
The model and the mosaic !

From a same model, many, many variations are possible. You can change the palette of colors from Gray scale to Sepia, Blue scale, or inverted Gray scale. You can also chose to realize parts of the mosaic in regular Opus Tessellatum – the classical Roman or Greek Technique. 

Opus Pixellatum is an amazingly versatile technique. It starts as “mosaic by number” and later allows you an infinity of variations. The great beauty of this technique is that it allows a total beginner to realize a very beautiful first piece ! 

Students of the April 2017 Mosaic Fiesta Seminar in Atlanta, GA.

In a next article I’ll share with you some amazing mosaics made by some of my students and clients. 

If you would like to create your own mosaic based on your own picture or design, please contact me at (334) 798 1639 or

I am a French Mosaic Artist.
in 1992, Alabama became my home
My Art is about inspiring people.

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