glass mosaic tile art studio of william j enslen jr
Color and Contrast
As if we don't have enough to worry about with tesserae color, we must also worry equally about grout color. For example, simple variations in the tone
of gray grout can significantly affect tesserae colors and the look of the whole mosaic. You must consider whether the grout color will contrast with the
tesserae, unite or divide the tesserae, and soften or harden the tesserae.
As emphasized and described in detail in other chapters, you must plan your project and determine the desired look of the final project before cutting,
gluing, or grouting anything. See Figure 6-9 and become familiar with how grout color can help achieve that desired look. In Figure 6-9, the tiles are laid
in the exact same pattern for each example. The only thing different among the examples is the grout color. Notice the effect that different grout colors
have on the look and feel of the colored tiles.
Please click on the Chapter 6 page you'd like to go to next:
|Figure 6-9. Grout Color Changes the
Look of Your Tesserae
|Figure 6-10. Real Tile with Real Grout - See How Grout Color Changes the Look of the Tiles
Figure 6-10 shows examples of real tiles and grout. The patterns are identical, only the grout color is different. I placed them side-by-side in the sunlight
so there's no variation in the type or amount of light shining on them.
Even after you mature into a world-renowned mosaic artist, you'll probably have a project where you just can't decide which grout color will best achieve
your look. Try using swatches. Simply glue scrap tesserae to a piece of wood and grout each swatch a different color. Let the grout thoroughly dry and
then determine which color helps create your desired look. My swatches in Figure 6-11 are sloppy, but who cares? They were good enough to help me
choose the optimal grout color.
So, what grout color is best? Again, it depends on the look for your specific project. I use light-gray, dark-gray, and occasionally charcoal (most of my
work is light-gray). I never use white. I seldom use color, but when I do, it's usually dark-green. In my opinion, a novice should use only light-gray,
medium-gray, or dark-gray. The key is to make swatches of two or three colors that you think you might like, let the grout thoroughly dry, and then
determine which grout color best fits your tesserae color and desired look of the overall mosaic. If you still can't decide, your safest bet is to use
|Figure 6-11. Use Swatches to Help Decide Which Grout Color Works Best for Each Particular Mosaic
Using Colored Grout
Effectively using colored grout is difficult to master. The wrong color can ruin the look of beautifully laid tesserae; therefore, I suggest gaining lots of
experience before using colored grout. Once you're comfortable that you know what you're doing, go for it. Try reddish browns, dark blues, and dark
greens. Use whatever color helps to create your desired look (make lots of swatches to ensure you find the perfect grout color). Figure 6-12 shows
examples of the effect that colored grout can have. Again, the only thing different among the examples is the grout color.
|Figure 6-12. Effect of Colored Grout on Tesserae Color
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