As y’all know I teach in PV, Mexico at Hacienda Mosaico every year (come join me in 2018!). This 5 day art retreat is the perfect amount of time to dig into a BIG mosaic project like this one. In March I had the honor to teach my dear friend and wonderful artist Susan Bass how I “paint with glass”! Here is her process using my “painting with glass” technique. BTW I NOW have an online “painting with glass” class, you can register for it on my website www.mosaicsbysusan.com-check it out!
Step 1: It all begins with an inspiration, in this case Susan sent to me an original painting she did of an owl and asked if this would make a good image to translate into glass? The answer was YES! It is always preferred to start with an original image that you created, if you do use someone’s image, make sure you get their permission first.
Step 2: Susan made a black and white copy of her original painting so that she could glue it directly to her substrate. as a guide for just her owl. She traced the rest of her “outlines” directly on the wood substrate.
Step 3: Gluing in the green glass towards the horizon and vanishing point to establish the background for the owl. This was all done using a stained glass technique. Susan cut the glass into strips using various shades of greens.
Once we got the ground established Step 4: was to work out the face, specifically the owl’s eyes. Susan spent a lot of time getting those EYES just right because she felt it was the most important aspect of the Owl and therefore the main focus for her piece. There is never one right answer, she had a few good options for the eyes, but in the end she liked the silver vintage earrings the best.
Step 5: Getting the body of the owl just right was her biggest challenge. Susan was very interested in incorporating not only jewelry bits but also china plates into a black/white motif to add texture to the owl’s body.
Step 6: working first on the horizon and then adding the tree really gave the owl placement in this piece.
Step 7: finishing up the background with the purple mountains and blue sky, Susan layered different values of blues adding bits of blue china in the sky for interest.
Final Step: was to add first a row of tiles on the edging of the layered frame (yes, I sell my frame designs on my website, look under “SHOP”) and then a black/white motif for the final edging of the frame gives this piece a finished look. Viola’, another Susan Bass MasterPiece!