Handmade Mosaic Paintings

by Leonor Crossley
Creating mosaic artwork is like fitting puzzle pieces together.

Creating mosaic artwork is like fitting puzzle pieces together.

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Mosaic is an ancient, intricate art form that uses a series of tiles strategically placed next to each other to form an overall design or picture. Mosaic artists typically use glass, stone and ceramic materials for their work. Kids can simply glue cut pieces of colored tissue paper or construction paper together for their own mosaic artwork. A few options exist to introduce paint into a mosaic.

Sponge-Painted Mosaics

This project requires sponges cut into small squares of about a half-inch to an inch wide. Each acrylic paint color needs its own sponge, and each color calls for its own container. Sponges with height allow artists enough leverage to dip one end into paint and press it onto the canvas or paper. As the artist continues the process, she leaves small spaces between colored squares. It's handy to keep a rough sketch of the painting next to the workspace. It takes some time to finish a sponge-painted mosaic, but the final artistic piece is worth the effort.

Stone Mosaics

Artists create stone mosaics by gently pressing small pebbles or broken stone slabs into a freshly-laid mixture--at least 1 inch thick--of cement or plaster. The mixture is poured into a removable container such as a wooden planter or large aluminum foil pan. Two ways exist to make paintings. One option finds the artist placing colored stone tiles into the mixture to form a design. She uses a paintbrush and acrylic paint or spray paint to color pebbles or stone pieces. An alternative option finds the artist covering the fresh mixture area in unpainted stone tiles and letting it dry before painting each set stone with acrylics to produce a mosaic painting. Artists must leave unpainted spaces between stone tiles and apply protective sealant to finished artwork.

Eggshell Mosaics

Mosaic art can feature broken eggshell pieces given color after being soaked overnight in food coloring, painted with a paintbrush and acrylic paint or spray painted. This is a creative use for peeled, dyed Easter eggs. Those using this mosaic technique must make sure they rinse freshly cracked eggshells with water and air-dry them before coloring them. The artist starts by drawing an outline in pencil of her intended artwork on white paper. Simple designs are best for children, like flowers, butterflies or basic landscapes. The artist completes the painting in sections by spreading glue over a work area with a paintbrush and placing colored egg shells on top. Artists must leave space between shell pieces. Framing enhances finished artwork.

Canvas Mosaics

Some artists create mosaics on canvas solely with paint. The artist creates a rough outline of his painting subject or scene on the canvas with pencil before beginning the process. A paintbrush dipped into black paint breaks the canvas into visible tiles of differing shapes; the canvas now resembles a jigsaw puzzle. The artist paints within each designated space. Artists should take frequent steps back to to see the overall painting come to fruition. It might be necessary to retouch the black lines after the painting is complete.

About the Author

Leonor Crossley has been a graphic designer and writer since 1995, with entertainment and other articles written for "Max Magazine" in Jacksonville, NC, and various websites. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, cum laude, from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images