Monday, August 13, 2012

Fixing problems on the fly

Have you run into a problem with a mosaic where a section just wasn’t going quite the way you thought it ought to?  I have found that it’s possible to fix almost anything before you grout.  In fact, it can be done after grouting too, but it’s soooo much easier if you catch it before that point!  I ran into a bit of a problem with the background on the current project.  I thought it would be useful to show you how I identified it and then how I corrected it. 
First of all, it’s important to remember to step back from the mosaic frequently and look at it from a distance.  Sometimes it looks quite a bit different from a distance than it does up close, and this gives you a good sense of perspective on it.  You’ve seen painters step back from a canvas and sometimes squint at it?  It’s the same principle.  I have also found that taking a photo of it can identify problems that I don’t notice in person.
Here’s the pre-fix photo of the whole thing:
Just above the bee and to the right of it you’ll see a dark green section.  I want shadows in the foliage to indicate depth, but that was too dark for the part of the foliage near the sky.   You’ll notice that it is as dark as the shadow near the base.  Here’s a close up of that section before I fixed it:


I decided that rather than trying to remove the whole section and start over, I would just randomly take out several of the darkest pieces and replace them with light greens.  That would give the impression of lightening the whole section.


I used the dental pick to pry out several pieces, leaving a few darker ones to maintain the impression of shadow.  New light green pieces were cut and filled in, and here is the result:

The difference is subtle, but I think it might be enough.  When the rest of the glass is filled in I’ll go back and reevaluate – I might change out a few more, particularly the darker ones right next to the flower. 
It’s never too late to make a change – and when you put this many hours into a piece, you want to be sure to be happy with it when you’re done!  Don’t hesitate to make those changes!

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