Using Color

The colours and space as the distances between the coloured tiles will have a huge impact on your finished work.

Blending or combining colours is possible although not overly easy. That said, there is a wide range of colours available in glass, glitter, reflective and twinlke tiles, that allows for some graduating on your work.

Select your colours in natural daylight so you get the true reflections of theose colors. Artificial light can distort the relationship between colours.

Take care not to choose colors that are too subtle and wont show much contrast on your work. Mosaicing is NOT like painting, tiles that have only a slight change in colour may not produce as much effect as these very suble changes are not visible. Coloured grout can have a blending or mismatching effect. If you can't see the grout then when you look at your work then you know it is a good job.

When examined up close, not all tiles will look the same. An easy way to check is to place the tiles on the floor next to each other and check if the chosen colours contrast or compliment each other.

Some colours also serve to improve the intensity of other colours and not just act as a simple contrast.

Mosaic Colour Basics:

Colors are classified into four different categories:-

Hue - this is the colour in its purest form, such as red, blue and yellow.

Tone - this is the darkness or lightness of a particular color. Take Black and grade it to White, the Tones are all the shades of grey you get in between. Placing a light tile next to a dark one will intensify the darker tile more.

Intensity - is the overall appearance of a colour, an example of this is pink where it can either be a bright or a pastel color - vivid colours are said to have a high intensity..,

Temperature - is the warmness or coolness of a colour. Reds, oranges and browns are warm or hot, while violet, blues and green colours are cooler colours.

The size of the mosaic also affects the overall result of your work: example, having 20 white tile pieces and another 20 green ones will produce a completely different mosaic to one having a different combination of these colours.

As for the color of the grout, here are some quick reminders:
* White grout can draw the eyes to the white/negative spaces. Do not use white grout if you are aiming for a more seamless mosaic.
* Dark grout can be used for colorful mosaics. However, pastel-colored mosaics do not do well with dark grout.

Here are some basic effects produced by specific color/color groups when used in a mosaic:

Receding effect:
* Blue
* Green
* Purple

Space and distance for the foreground of the mosaic:
* Pale blues
* Creams
* Beiges
* Soft purples

Maximum contrasting effect:
* Red
* Orange
* Blue
* Yellow
* Blue
* Indigo
* Violet

Strong outlines can be achieved with two tones of the same hue (lighter inside whith a darker-toned "border").

Next time we will be exploring how to prepare your equipment and materials for mosaic making.