This step-by-step guide illustrates how to design a mosaic using a scanner, source artwork, and a PC with a printer.
Step 1: Obtain Source Image.
Step 2: Refine Image and Make Outlines Heavier
Step 3: First Trace
Step 4: Refine Trace 1 - Outlines
At this point I stop, make a photocopy of the image and then from then on I continue working off of the copy. This is primarily because I like to have version control with my drawings, and copying and setting aside the working copy at each major design step has it's advantages.
For example, I like to give a client a few options for design, and this streamlines that process by enabling a very methodical approach to creating multiple copies without needing those to be redrawn from scratch or digitally reproduced and altered in an image editor.
Step 5: Ink Outline
Now its time to play with lines and color. This is where you go wild with options. Make a few copies and determine the highlights and shadows of your piece. I chose to be very specific about the inside-the-lines tile design. You could be freeform here- and just go ahead with the tiling process if you like.
Step 6: Final Tile Design
Step 7: Final Design Sketch
Step 8: Poster Printing
In the printer options window that pops up, select printing properties button.
That opens a Printer Properties window, in that you navigate to the Page Layout Tab,
Then select the Multi-Page box, then select the radio button Poster Printing.
(Select poster page options (2x2, 3x3, etc) that best suit your needs.)
Then click OK, and printer will print your image over the number of pages you selected.
*Note - The pages will all have around 1/8" margin at the edge of the page. You will need to trim that off so the image is not broken up over the pages.*
Step 9: Transfer Image or Use Indirect Technique
1. Apply photocopied image face down, saturate with rubbing alcohol (70-90%). This will transfer image to backerboard from paper. Optional - trace over these lines with a pen to darken.
2. Lay image face up over surface, then outline the tile shape with a rigid and pointed tool. You are engraving the lines into the wood. Then lift the image, and trace over the engraved lines with a pen to make the image visible.
Using Fiberglass Mesh:
You can have the illustration under a sheet of plastic film, with a layer of fiberglass mesh over that - the mesh being the layer which you glue the tiles onto, RIGHT side up. This is the direct technique.
Heavier paper was used because of the mosaic technique I apply, called indirecto (the reverse technique), where the pieces are applied face-down with a water soluable glue.The artist never sees the work until it is completed and the back of the piece is glued to a substrate. Only then, when the paper is soaked off the image face, does the artist get to observe the work of art.