--The only blog dedicated to all things LEGO mosaics.--

A Blog by Casey M. and Katie W. | Guest writing by Dave W. and Sean & Steph M.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Proving His Mosaicky Worth

Josh Wedin (floodllama) created this mosaic of Doc Brown from the Back to the Future movies.  I really love how it captures the slightly crazed look of the character:

Doc Brown

He says it will be part of SEALUG's display at the Emerald City Comicon next month, where he hopes to get it autographed by Christopher Lloyd himself.

Josh also made this mosaic of Pinky and the Brain to take to the con:


He claims he still has a bit of tweaking to do on it, but it looks pretty good as is.  The voice talent for both of these characters will also be at the con, and Josh hopes to get this mosaic signed by them, too.  I guess it will be a measure of his mousey worth to see if he can.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Bright Idea

I saw these cute little lamps done by Bena (bena_rt).  My family has been playing a lot of MarioKart lately, so the Mario and Luigi figures jumped right out at me. 


The blocky style of a simple LEGO mosaic works well in portraying video game characters.  The way the figures turn the corner of the lamp is fun, and the fact that it all lights up is a brilliant idea (pun intended; sorry!). 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

LEGO Stained Glass Windows

Some of the most beautiful LEGO mosaics I have seen are Alyska Bailey Peterson's stained glass windows.  This blog would be remiss if we failed to cover her work, so here is a brief summary of some of what she has done.
Here is the Survivors of Trauma window, from the St Silas Church in North Belfast, Ireland:

Survivors of Trauma Lego Mosaic

Here is a stained glass sundial:

Stained Glass Lego Sundial

She also made a series of five panels based on the days of creation.  Here is Day 4, The Sun and the Moon: 

"Creation, Day Four: The Sun & The Moon" - Lego Mosaic Detail

Bruce from GodBricks interviewed Alyska about her work, which you can read here.  Alyska and Chris Doyle (of reasonablyclever.com) gave a presentation about building with translucent bricks.  You can see a pdf copy of the presentation here.  Alyska's work can be seen on both flickr and MOCpages.  Alyska also runs an art studio, Pointy Kitty Studios, where she sells "fine, artisan-quality accessories and non-traditional photography", including jewelry made from LEGO.  What a talented lady!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Line Art Mosaics

Back in September, Mark Anderson (andertoons) posted a very intriguing Catwoman line art mosaic.  Most of the mosaic is made up of a plain white background, on which he "drew" lines to make the face:

A close-up of the upper lip shows a few of the techniques he used to make the lines:

You can see that he used the lack of tubing on the undersides of the 1x2 tiles to slide them different distances to create the slight angling of the lines.  He also used hinged plates to angle lines in different directions. 

Mark recently completed a second line art mosaic, this time of Charlie Brown. 

I really like the striking images that can be made with this technique.  I might have to try it out sometime myself.

EDIT:  Mark let me know that he just finished his own blog write-up on the process of making these mosaics.  You can find that link here.  Thanks for sharing, Mark! 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Aliens Like Mosaics, Too

There was a time in my life when I would check the internet for new crop circles every day, not because I was particularly interested in the paranormal, but because I loved the geometry of them. I tried drawing a copy of one once, back before I re-discovered the fun of LEGO. 

Several other people have worked on recreating crop circles in LEGO form. It's a bit unconventional, I suppose, but I think it is safe to say that these designs fall into the mosaic category. 

The first ones I saw were by Chadwick VonVeederveld (who has his own band with an exciting website that my daughter loves).   The first of his "circles" is actually a spiralling square:

first of many lego crop circles....

The second is a re-creation of the B-side label to his band's first 7" label.

b side label

As an aside, there's a video of the non-LEGO version of this design spinning, and it has a trippy 3-D effect.

David Pagano (Paganomation), has a video/animation production studio which specializes in LEGO.  He worked on a few different crop circle designs for use in a video made for the LEGO Group in 2011.  The video was Red Brick Saga #3 - Alien Conquest,  and you can see the final result here.  The crop circle in the video (shown about five seconds before the end) turned out to be a very simple design, but another, more elaborate version was created for possible use: 
Crop circle camera test

He noted that the original design was meant to look like the Classic Space logo, but that LEGO did not approve it, because they thought it didn't really come across as a crop circle, and wanted just a plain circle instead.

Another cute crop circle was done by Mike T. as a collaboration for a UFO scene with PennLUG
Making crop circles

I guess aliens like mosaics and LEGO. 

I've collected several more examples of different crop circle techniques in a gallery on flickr.  I wonder how many of them were made by Lino Martins' Dodge A-100 Alien Crop Circle Maker?  I don't know, but I'm sure the truth is out there...

The Order of the Brick

Matt De Lanoy (Pepa Quin) recently completed an amazing series of mosaics based off of characters from the comic The Order of the Stick

The Order of the Stick

The mosaics are highly complex, as you can tell by this shot of the back:

kcitS eht fo redrO ehT

Matt has an explanation of the process he used to make these mosaics if you click through on the above photo.  You can also find individual photos of each of the characters in his photostream.

Matt has an amazing body of prior work that I've been meaning to highlight.  In the meantime, be sure to look through his photostream to see some fantastic LEGO creations.  Also, thanks to Bruce for the tip.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's a Mosaic! It's a Sculpture! No, it's....

...a bas-relief image of Super Man!

LEGO Toy Fair 2012 - LEGO Booth - 07

Super Man is partly a sculpture bursting out of a more traditional mosaic. This can be seen more clearly in this image:

LEGO Toy Fair 2012 - LEGO Booth - 06

From Bricks to Bothans had extensive coverage of Toy Fair 2012, both on their website and on their flickr photostream, which currently contains lots of sets with new photos of upcoming LEGO sets.

Monday, February 13, 2012

See the Mosaic, You Will

Apparently there's some big movie coming out in 3-D soon, and LEGO sponsored a Darth Maul mosaic build at a local theater (or at least a theater that was local to Simon Primordial Greeble*, a.k.a. Si-MOCS).

Darth Maul Mosaic- DONE - 8hr 51min.

Mr. Primordial Greeble* got a call asking him to come and help with the build. He has an entertaining and informative telling of the making of the mosaic in the description of the photograph, along with extra photos from the event. Now go and check it out!

*Hey, if you give yourself fun names on flickr, they'll start to follow you around the internet!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"A Wicked Smile"

Chris Howard (Duckingham) made this rendition of the artwork from the Broadway Musical Wicked. With just a few simple lines and shapes, the mosaic manages to capture a lot of attitude.


As the first commenter on the flickr post stated it, "Dats wicked awesome!"

Casey previously interviewed Chris; you can read that interview here. Also, don't forget to check out his covers for DuckJournal and Mime Magazine.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Duke's Ballroom

Quite awhile ago I saw a MOC with a tiled floor that I loved. I thought at the time that if I had a LEGO blog, I would certainly post this MOC. Well, now I am contributing to a blog, and so here's the post. ;-)

Alex Fojtik (BrickFX) built this lovely ballroom that includes tile flooring and forced perspective, both of which he said were new to him. I think he did an excellent job with both.

Here's an overview of the whole MOC:

Ballroom: overview

And here's a closer, more in-focus look at the lovely mosaic floor, which is done mainly with headlight brick squares interspersed with 1x1 plates:

Ballroom: floor detail

I rather like the look of the flags, windows, and chandeliers as well.

For more patterns made from headlight bricks, be sure to check out this set by Brendan Powell Smith. There are also photos in that set that show the construction of the basic headlight brick square. I also experimented with headlight brick patterns before, with lots of variations. Some of those experiments can be seen here and here (among various others; the headlight brick square is incredibly useful for building all sorts of different patterns).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

How to Make a Cheese Slope Mosaic

One of my favorite things to do with LEGO is to use cheese slopes to make different mosaics. I once took a series of photographs that show how to make a simple stained-glass window out of cheese slopes. I'm going to present them here, with some instructions on how to do it.

First off, here is the final result:


Any of the colors can be changed, of course; I love to take a design that fits into a certain space, and then change the coloring repeatedly until I find all the different shapes and patterns that can be highlighted. For some designs I'll even make a completely white template, print up copies, and then just color all sorts of different designs with markers, which are much easier to manipulate than cheese slopes. You can see some of these coloring pages here.

To make the star mosaic, you'll need the following. The colors listed are those shown in the photograph:

2 - 2x6 black plates
2 - 1x2 black plates
1 - 1x4 black tile (or plate, if you don't mind the studs showing through the "glass")
6 - 1x2 black bricks
1 - 1x4 trans-clear plate (or equivalent)
6- 1x2 trans-clear bricks (or equivalent)
16 - trans-blue cheese slopes
12 - trans-yellow cheese slopes

The first step is to make the case for the mosaic to be held in. This is done with the black and trans-clear bricks and plates.

Start with a 2x6 plate:

Step 1

Then put on the two 1x2 black plates, black tile, and trans-clear plates as shown. I didn't have a 1x4 trans-clear tile, so I used an assortment of 1x1 and 1x2 plates.

Step 2

Add on the 1x2 bricks, black on the sides, trans-clear in the back.

Step 3

Then add the other 2x6 plate to the top, to complete the case.

Step 4

Now it's time to add the cheese slopes. Here is a layout of the design before I put it into the case:

The layers -- overview

I carefully add in one layer at a time, starting from the bottom. I find that my fingers are big and clumsy when working with cheese slopes, so I usually have a toothpick that I use to nudge them into place, or to help pull them out if they fall onto the wrong side. I've also heard people who say they've used tweezers to good effect.

Step 5

If you used a plate instead of a tile, the first layer of cheese slopes will fasten into those studs.

Step 6

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Step 10

Sometimes the last few pieces can be difficult to wedge in. It's important that they're tight, so they don't fall out, but if they're too tight, the case will fall apart. When creating cases for different-sized designs, it can be tricky to get the tension just right. I usually do a lot of trial-and-error till I get it to work. But once the tension is right, a mosaic can be placed vertically without falling apart. For this design it's easy to just loosen the top plate a bit, perhaps even remove it entirely, put the cheese slopes into their spots, and then re-attach the top.

Step 11

Some designs fit their cases so perfectly that they can even be held upside-down, as you can see here, here, and here. (That last one is definitely my favorite.)

Step 11

I suppose that's just about enough self-promotion for one day! But if you would like more ideas of cheese slope designs, you can look through this set. There are often more examples of this technique in the Cheese Slope Cubes flickr group.


Arthur Gugick (torgugick) recently completed a printed tile mosaic of Einstein, using a new technique in which he overlapped the tiles, so that only a 1x1 square of each tile is visible. This allowed for greater resolution of the resulting mosaic, which he calls a "micro-mosaic".

Micro-mosaic Einstein 2

The entire image is smaller than one 32x32 baseplate. Impressive.

In the future I would like to explore a bit of the history of the printed tile mosaic, and do a more thorough examination of Arthur's work, which is extensive. For now, here is a link to his mosaics set on flickr.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lucky Baby!

Jeff Shaw (unpoko77) recently had a new little one join his family. His wife asked him to make some LEGO birds for decoration in the baby's room. After he finished those, he kept making more LEGO animals and framing the ones that worked. The result is a series of very cute and happy mosaics. Jeff said that he wanted to use just bricks to make the animals. While animal shapes could be made to look much more realistic with more sophisticated parts, the use of the basic bricks makes these seem very toy-like, perfect for a child's room.

I can't decide which one I like best, so I'm going to include the whole series here:

Lizard Owl WhaleSquid TwoBirds
Werewolf Robot Penguin

Jeff said that his wife actually built the werewolf, and he just added some depth to it. I think it's a lucky baby who has parents who work together to make a LEGO werewolf decoration for their room (not to mention all the other cute critters).

Also, be sure to check Jeff's photostream for more LEGO goodness, including a Star Wars Holiday Village.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fabric Patterns

Yvonne Doyle ({YVD}) has used a wide variety of different colors to make LEGO mosaics that resemble different fabric patterns. Her latest is a saddle blanket design that uses colors such as magenta, medium violet, and sand purple:

Saddle blanket

Previously she has worked on a number of different tartan patterns in various colors. Here are a few of those:

Blue and Dk blue Lego Tartan pattern

Pink/Blue/White Lego Tartan pattern

Red Tartan in Lego

When I look at these, it's hard for my brain to tell which colors are actually being used. The intersections of color look so natural, like two different dyes intermingling. Then I remember it's in LEGO, and Yvonne had to pick each color perfectly in order to get the desired effect.

You can see more examples of fabric and patterns in this set.

Now if only you could wrap yourself up in them...