--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, January 30, 2013

After Escher

 Hans Demol (hd_lego) made this mosaic in the spirit of the work of M.C. Escher, who experimented with "'Regular Division of the Plane' (a composition form depicting irregular shapes or combinations of shapes that interlock completely to cover a surface or plane)".

'After Escher' - Overview

You can see it better in the larger sizes, which is where I noticed that in some areas Hans used square pieces and in other areas used round pieces on different colored backgrounds to try to achieve a gradation of color.  There are also transparent pieces used for the same purpose, as you can see here:

'After Escher' - Detail

And here is one more close-up:

'After Escher' - Detail

Thanks to LegoMyMamma for the tip. 

Starry Night

Alanboar made this LEGO rendition of Van Gogh's Starry Night:

Lego Mosaic - Starry Night 星夜

I like the color swirls as well as the brick-built frame. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Movie Posters

Arthur Gugick (torgugick) is working on a series of 3 movie posters.  The first two are done, and look fantastic.

Here is a poster for The Shining:

The Shining movie poster
This one was made with 3500 decorated tiles.  The next one, from The Silence of the Lambs, was made with 5000 decorated tile pieces:

Silence of the Lambs movie poster

Those eyes... and the insect.... and the shading...  they're just amazing. 

Colors of the Brick

Sorry for the blitz in posting, but I finished a project and am ready to catch up on my backlog of mosaic posts.

Eldert (evhh) made this very interesting bas-relief colors collage.  I find myself staring at it for long stretches of time, admiring the pieces used and the color transitions.


Although it's not really of anything specific, I think it's one of my favorite mosaics that I've seen in awhile.  If I had the right kind of house (you know, the kind that looks more like an art museum and less like a daycare), I would love to hang something like this up on my walls. 

Mosaic Portraits

Mariann Asanuma (Model Gal) recently completed her first mosaic portrait of a real person.  At the size of 1 square foot, it's pretty small, but still containing lots of detail:

Baby Mosaic 1
She wrote a lot about the design process on her Model Building Secrets blog
Dave Shaddix also recently completed a mosaic of a person, which is, as he describes it, "A 20" x 20" mosaic commissioned by a very loving grandmother to commemorate her grandson's senior year of high school and amazing last season!"
This mosaic is a bit more stylized, but still gives me a great impression of a football player in action.

Small Mosaic Round-Up

I've seen a few small mosaics lately, and thought I'd feature them all together.

First, here is a Seattle Space Needle mosaic by Joshua Christenson:

Seattle Space Needle Mosaic

Here is a cute little clown fish mosaic by Jim Walshe:

Clown Fish Mosaic

The use of round 1x1 plates gives it an interesting texture.  (Via DisneyBricks.)

And Simon Liu used some mosaic work on his building for the Urtican Blitz'ard to make for some pleasing walls:

We live on...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Evolution of a Cheese Slope Mosaic

The Mayos came up with the idea of having a "Flash MOC".  It's like a Flash Mob, but with LEGO models instead.  A bunch of models would show up all at once, all following a similar theme.  The theme was of a fantasy world filled with polar bear warriors.  You can see the results of the group collaboration, including the story line, in the Urtican Blitz'ard group on flickr.   

I made a model of a bear divining the future with bones. 

We live on....

It's no secret that my true love is geometric mosaics, and I put them in MOCs mostly just to show them off in a more interesting way (and to show that they could be useful for other builders, too, I suppose).

Here is the mosaic in a different picture all by itself:

Mosaic + Lighting --> discussion in 1st comment

I felt inspired to write up a step-by-step description of how I came up with this on flickr, and I would like to expand on it here just a little:

I started with the idea of using curved walls, straight walls, and hinges to make different shapes that could be filled with cheese slopes.  Here are some of the shapes I tried first:


The first mosaic I made with one of these shapes was this flower petal study:

Flower petal study

I tried it again, trying to blend the colors from white to black a bit more:

So I took the outside frame off, and just concentrated on filling the center and the petals with cheeses and tiles. I probably found four ways to do the center (only one is pictured).  Each petal was filled in a different way, to see which would turn out the best.   Some turned out better than others. An ideal filling would not only have the space completely covered, but would also have some symmetry or interesting geometric shaping in the patterns of the cheese slopes, for making interesting color designs with.


I picked the designs I thought would work the best, and tried them out.  Then I tried again to make an outer frame all the way around the petals.  I found a way that you can see on the right side of the below picture, but I wanted to make it a little cooler looking.  So I added little nubs that stuck out like a snowflake.  But that new attempt was too tight, and after I got to about 9 of them done, the plates and hinges that make up the center circle couldn't handle the tension and one of them popped apart. The inner circle wasn't all connected together anymore, though you can't really tell from the photo:

I ruined it!

I think at that point I started to take the nubs off, because they couldn't handle the tension.  And then this happened:


The frame for the innermost circle burst apart at two places. Very clearly my frame was not working.  So I went back to the simpler and less interesting frame, so that the tension on the inside of the mosaic remained at tolerable levels. And in the meantime, I had a good excuse to redo the middle circle to a colored design that I liked better.

2013-01-03 1-03-13 016
(Sorry it's not the best photograph of the mosaic -- I didn't think
to take a better one, since I wasn't done with the whole MOC yet.)
You'll notice that the outside edges don't actually connect, but leave gaps.  It's so tight that the cheese slopes stay put anyway. Filling in the outermost shapes was very hard by the end. I had to put the pieces into each shape in a specific order, so that some of the pieces would help to hold the shape more open so that I could cram in the rest of the pieces. The last ones were very difficult.

Then I started working with lights. My kids have little lamps with red and blue lightbulbs, and we have 4 blacklights (which make the trans-medium blue cheese slopes glow).

2013-01-07 1-07-13 037

For the final MOC I did a lot of work on the walls, putting double layers of black and double layers of trans for the windows, so that gaps wouldn't show through. It was also tricky to do the walls because the corners of the design were too tight, so I couldn't connect the sections at the bottom, but interlaced them. I layered tiles at the junctions, kind of like interlacing your fingers. By the time I got to the top there was enough give that I could connect all the wall panels together. That really helped with the stability.

For the final lighting, I had two black lights underneath, one on each side right next to the MOC, a blue light in the back, a reddish light sort of shining in the vicinity, a light on in the nearby closet, and then waved a flashlight on the bear's head to try to fill it in with light. It was hard to hold the camera still for the long exposure while holding the flashlight.  It took forever to get something passable, and I'm not sure it's as good as I was hoping for, but it works, I guess:

We live on....

I took some photos with more red in them, which I liked, but it didn't feel as cold as a mystical polar bear place should feel.

(I realize there is a slight inconsistency with this story versus the one I told on flickr.  I thought more about how I did the outside frame and made some changes to the order of events.  Don't hold it against me in a court of law, please!)

It was fun to work on a project with friends, and it's always great to have a reason to make another cheesy mosaic.  ;-D

Self-Standing Mosaic

Daniel Stoeffler (Dan_Sto) developed a way to make a self-standing mosaic by using hinges to open the panels of the mosaic.

As Daniel says, it is a "self-standing 128x70 mosaic representing the scene of the Star Wars, A New Hope movie where Princess Leia records her help call for Obiwan. The mosaic consists of 4 panels connected with hinges so that the panels make an angle of 22.5 degrees."

Front view

Here is a view of the back:

Back view

I never thought I'd make a large mosaic, if only for the fact that I wouldn't know how to mount it and didn't care enough to try to figure it out.  But this makes it look easy and do-able. 

You can read more about this mosaic at Eurobricks or, if you prefer French, at Forum SeTechnic.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Developing Trend? A Discussion on Scatter Mosaics

Bart De Dobbelaer (Flickr user) just recently posted his third entry for the Iron Builder competition against our own authoring team Sean and Steph Mayo. The entry was titled "Fiery Lips" and is using what I'm hearing is called the "scattered mosaic" or "scattered brick technique". It includes (but is not limited to) using a random assortment of piece types in the same color to create shapes.

Fiery Lips

The above mosaic utilizes the technique found in the previously blogged (by Katie) Spiderman mosaic by Xenomurphy in December (Seen below). (Check out the original post here )

Bricko also made a superhero scatter mosaic after seeing Xenomurphy's. This one, is a interpretation of the Dark Knight himself, Batman.
The Caped Crusader: A Scatter Mosaic

I think this new form of mosaic has a lot of potential, but one must be very precise about how they make the shapes or it could look...odd. It's all about the fine details of curves and shapes. For me, I think it's a great new building style, but is not even a real creation as little to no bricks are connected. You can't transport them anywhere. ;-(

What do you think of them? Let us know in the comments.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Host of Ye Olde Tapestries

tapestry [tap-uh-stree] - n. a fabric consisting of a warp upon which colored threads are woven by hand to produce a design, often pictorial, used for wall hangings, furniture coverings, etc.

CC tapestry 2 small
The first is of a unicorn by Flickr user, jackiebritton. My favorite parts of this one include the shading of the back legs and the slope parts used to insert the unicorn horn.

Lego tapestry from Legoland
Here's a mosaic found in Legoland, Windsor taken by Flickr user, Derringdos. I like the use of only five colors.

Black Falcon Tapestry
Majita Grguric made this Black Falcon mosaic, but unlike the tapestries here, this one is studs up, opposed to SNOT. The shading in the grey is just superb, though.

Mountain Castle
NewRight made this smaller tapestry of a castle. This one is probably my favorite out of the lot as the mist and clouds are really a great touch, as well as the color of the trees and the slopes at the top of the castle.

CCCVI tapestry entry, Hunting Scene
Flickr user, Daniel Z "DNL", created a hunting scene. This one is interesting by its use of multiple perspectives (with the tower and people). Once again, you can notice the little shading of the side of the tower and further away legs of the horse that make the mosaic great, as well as that he used both sideways and right side up SNOT techniques. It is a bit odd that the tower's top is not included inside the tapestry, though.

Bluesecrets made both of these tapestries, of which the one on the bottom won the category of best tapestry in the 2008 Colossal Castle Contest VI on Classic-Castle. The first is a recreation of her avatar, which is very smll, but effective. The second is of a knight. The scattering of colors the is really great, and the clouds are really spectacular too.

- dictionary.com

Friday, January 11, 2013

Star Wars Mosaics

Oliver Kude (HanSolo089) recently posted these Star Wars character mosaics.

The first, of General Grievous, was built with 3595 plates on 3 x 2 48x48 Baseplates.  He looks very menacing:

General Grievous

My favorite is the second, of Aayla Secura.  She was built with 5377 plates on 3 x 2 48x48 baseplates.

Aayla Secura

Oliver has several other mosaics in his photostream, too, including this lovely mosaic of Neuschwanstein Castle built by visitors to Bricking Bavaria 2011:

Bricking Bavaria Mosaic

Monday, January 7, 2013

Muntabur Cathedral

Stefan Johannes Kubin (lord_tarris) is working on building a cathedral, filled with lots of gorgeous mosaics.  Check 'em out!

2013-01-06 scola cantorum (3)

august 2012 mosaik 038

august 2012 mosaik 017

mosaic in crossing

Aren't they gorgeous?  I especially love that first photo; the colors are so rich.  It will be fun to watch the rest of the cathedral come together as Stefan builds it. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lo! A Lovely Library!

Benjamin Jakobsen (Bentoft) made this mosaic-filled library for the Colossal Castle Contest at Classic-Castle.com.

Toberg Library

It includes these gold-tinged stained-glass windows: 

Toberg Library

I wonder if one of those books is a LEGO book?  ;-)