Techniques commonly used in digital drawing can be used in mosaic building.
You can produce and use mosaic modules in a manner very similar to this Copy & Paste digital technique. And you can later assemble these modules to complete a bigger piece.
This is true for geometric as well as figurative mosaics.
Take this 5th century Etruscan Gorgon
I am presently drawing her. I intend to build a mosaic of her, once I open my new studio, but this is an other story…
Her (rather hilarious) face is surrounded by many little snakes.
So when drawing, you can do one of two things :
- Draw each one of those individual little snakes one at a time
- Draw one snake, and use it as many time as I need.
Option 2 will save you lots of time…
First of all, I traced one of the snakes on top of the Medusa, in a color that contrasts with the original – I find that Teal and Fuchsia come very well on top of Black.
Once I had traced a snake, I copied / pasted it into a separate drawing, then edited and saved it individually.
Next thing I’ll do is copy it and paste it around the Gorgon’s head. I will not have top trace all those little reptiles individually you won’t have to trace all those individual little reptiles.
And I can also use this snake to create other designs.
Now you can use exactly the same technique to build actual mosaics.
I used individual mosaic modules to build my Lepus Vexus
(inspired by the Corinium hare mosaic).
That is the way I actually built the 8 trapezoid parts on the edge of the piece, before I glued them on top of the main field.
I learned the trick observing Jean Pierre Soalhat in Southern France several years ago.
I used this mosaic modules system on Lepus Vexus, on my Labyrinth table and on other pieces. It has many advantages :
- It saves lots of times
- It allows to work on smaller pieces
- It allows for smaller working tables
- It allows to work in different places at the same time.
Because mosaics tesserae are tiny pieces of monochrome materials the mosaicist renders colors in a way closer to the way images are printed on paper or displayed on a TV screen than the way a watercolor painter does. This is why some techniques used in digital imagery are very useful to him.
I build my mosaic models using 2 softwares :
Both those programs are available for Linux and Windows operating systems and they are free to download and use.