This page includes examples of figurative mosaic art that are particularly exuberant and joyful. I consider these mosaics to be fun and whimsical without being cute in a tired sort of way. This is no small accomplishment in my opinion.
I love this piece even though it is a copy of something that is mass-produced because that something isn’t typically used as a theme for mosaic artwork. Also, there is the play on tiles as pixels, however unconscious that might have been on the part of the artist.
Angels might be common themes, but this angel is refreshingly different from the angels usually seen in religious clip art.
Whimsical but Fresh
I’m not a big fan of “cutesy” in art, and I really dislike how cutesy tends to dominate amateur art in general, but it is possible to be whimsical without being cliche or saccharine sweet. To understand what I mean, consider the work of famous painter Marc Chagall. Most of his paintings are playful in tone, but they are all genuine art in that they are original or take risks or are fresh in some way.
My goal for this page is to showcase work that is whimsical in tone but fresh. I’m hoping people email me pictures of their art, but I’m also hoping that their art isn’t a copy of something they saw at an arts and crafts show or on a holiday greeting card or something like that. All artists copy in one way or another, but to duplicate a craft product that is already being manufactured is a sad loss of an opportunity to make something different. Make something your grandchildren will keep as an hierloom not sell at a garage sale.
From what I’ve read of the biographies of 20th century painters, more than a few began their careers by copying drawings and engravings from books. In other words, copying art has been almost as important a tool in art education as drawing from still life, landscapes and other natural models. Symbols and logos might not give an aspiring artist much practice in perspective or light and shadow or other skills needed for naturalistic rendering, but they do offer a fun way for someone to get started and produce something they can recognize and feel connected to. It’s very important to build confidence with small, simple pieces before attempting more ambitious projects. A favorite symbol on a small plaque is just such a project and makes a great art object for around the home. I have even seen smaller versions of mosaic plaques used as Christmas ornaments.
I love this one. The design is so simple yet so effective, and the color choices are spot on. Minimalism is a challenge because nothing is superfluous, and all your design decisions are in plain view and either obviously right or obviously wrong. The fact that this design is rendered in whole tiles arranged in a grid only adds to the minimalist charm. Normally I encourage people to use concentric rows around figures instead of tiling the background in a grid “as if they were tiling a shower,” but in this case it is appropriate and reinforces the theme of the design.