Mosaic Art

The intricate beauty of custom mosaic portraits

(4 min read) As you already know, we often use this awesome blog to chit-chat about the glorious ways of mosaic art and we’ve done so covering a variety of artwork styles and topics. One thing we haven’t covered, the art of mosaic portraits. Yes, I say “the art of” because every mosaic artist will tell you that creating a mosaic portrait takes much more skill and much more dedication than creating any other type of mosaic artwork.

Custom Mosaic Portrait of a woman in a hat by Mosaics Lab.
Woman In A Hat created by one of our terrific artists, Sophie Laroche. Custom Mosaic Portrait by Mosaics Lab.
Mosaic portrait of a sailor by Mosaics Lab
Lone Smoker mosaic portrait created by the expert hands of our Sara Stevenson. Custom Mosaic Portrait by Mosaics Lab.

Needless to say, I always felt as if mosaic portrait artworks are somehow larger than life, so I always skipped the subject thinking that I wouldn’t do it justice. However, we’ve survived through the majority of 2020 and we’re about to leave it behind, so I don’t think tackling the subject of mosaic portraits would be a problem anymore.

Gorgeous Mosaic portrait of Amalia queen of Fado by Mosaics Lab
Amalia, Queen of Fado, beautiful portrait created by our Eileen McDonough. Portrait Mosaic Design by Mosaics Lab.

Mosaics have been around since the 3rd millennium BC and those earliest artworks were found in an ancient Mesopotamian temple. Early mosaics were made of seashells, ivory, and a variety of stones and they were usually abstract in style. Mesopotamian mosaic artists laid the groundwork for mosaic art that was created thousands of years later by the distinguished mosaicists of Ancient Greece.

Handmade Mosaic portrait of a new bride by Mosaics Lab
The Mexican Bride, a stunning piece created by Sophie Laroche. Handmade Mosaic Artwork by Mosaics Lab.

It wasn’t until the 4th century and the Renaissance that mosaic portraits really started gaining some traction. Mosaic portraits of saints and biblical figures started appearing on the ceilings and walls of Catholic basilicas all over Italy. These transcendent artworks were typically created in glass and those that are preserved are still as mesmerizingly beautiful as then.

Stunning ancient mosaic portrait.
Mona Lisa of The Galilee, 4th-century mosaic.
Gorgeous abstract mosaic portrait by Mosaics LAb
Gorgeous abstract portrait by our marvelous Angelo Fabbri. Portrait Mosaic Design by Mosaics Lab.

Later on, in the 5th-century mosaic portraits became the central art form of the Byzantine empire. These stunning portraits were celebrated for their intricate beauty and liberal use of shiny gold leaves. Most of these artworks have been destroyed during wars and conquests, but those that remained are considered to be some of the most gorgeous mosaics in the world.

Ancient mosaic portrait of San Vitale, Ravenna.
Justinian Mosaic, San Vitale, Ravenna. One of the greatest mosaic artworks of the Middle Ages period.
St. Ignatius mosaic portrait by Mosaics Lab
St. Ignatius Mosaic Design created by the skillful hands of our Pamela Mauseth. Portrait Mosaic Artwork by Mosaics Lab.

Modern mosaic portraits are usually characterized by a dose of photo-realism. With paintings, that effect is moderately easy to achieve, as the painter has the luxury of mixing pigments until they achieve the right shade. With mosaic art that matching is accomplished by sourcing a variety of different materials until you discover the one material that will do the trick. Needless to say, the process can be difficult and frustrating for the mosaic artist, but in the end, nothing matches the satisfaction of discovering that one perfect mosaic portrait material.

Handmade Mosaic Portrait of Albert Einstein by Mosaics Lab
Albert Einstein Mosaic Portrait created by the gloriously talented Haith Dani. Portrait Mosaic Art by Mosaics Lab.

To achieve the photorealistic impression modern mosaic artists often use mixed media when creating mosaic portraits. Natural stone is beautiful, but it only comes in so many shades, which considerably limits the mosaicist’s work. That problem can be solved by adding glass, ceramic, or even colored mirror pieces, etc.

Mosaic portrait of Vasco da Gama by Mosaics Lab
Gorgeous Mosaic Portrait of Vasco da Gama created by our very own Eileen McDonough. Custom Mosaic Portrait by Mosaics Lab.

From sourcing the materials to creating a mosaic portrait masterpiece, it takes one helluva mosaic artist to do it. Experience makes the sourcing a bit easier, but creating an actual portrait is always a new experience, no matter how many times you do it. Valleys of one’s face, glints of their eyes, subtle shadows, and marks, it all takes immense skill to recreate with tiny pieces of hard materials. Now wonder mosaic portrait is one of the most renowned artistic expressions in the world.

Splending handmade Mosaic portrait by Mosaics lab
Odile Mosaic Art, another splendid piece created by Sophie Laroche. Portrait Mosaic Designs by Mosaics Lab.


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M. Belosh

M. Belosh

Passionate art enthusiast; avid reader (you can find me on Goodreads under the same name); movie connoisseur; intolerable before my morning coffee.

43 Comments

  1. Natasha Mairs
    November 11, 2020 at 11:14 am — Reply

    These are all really great pieces of art. I love the Mexican Bride one, just stunning!

  2. Melissa Cushing
    November 11, 2020 at 12:29 pm — Reply

    These are all wonderful and beautiful examples of the art of mosaics. I for sure would love to learn to make my own as they really are stunning and some of the examples I have seen in showers and even floors….are amazing and make your space so unique and one of a kind which I love. Thank younger sharing and laws love stopping by to check out your newest posts.

  3. Riv
    November 11, 2020 at 1:10 pm — Reply

    These are such fun, and so colourful too. You’ve given me some home decor inspiration!

  4. Joline
    November 11, 2020 at 3:46 pm — Reply

    These are stunning! Such intricate designs; I mean, even the eyelashes and skin tones are super detailed!

  5. Dan "Jay" Reyes
    November 11, 2020 at 6:26 pm — Reply

    These are cool custom mosaics. I especially like the Einstein and the Gorgeous abstract portraits 🙂

  6. Alissa Ashley Ackerman
    November 11, 2020 at 7:50 pm — Reply

    The abstract portrait is STUNNING!!
    I also love the character displayed in the lone smoker one…so quirky!

  7. Neely Moldovan
    November 11, 2020 at 8:29 pm — Reply

    Ijust cant even imagine the amount of time and work that goes into these. They are so incredible.

  8. Stephanie
    November 11, 2020 at 8:52 pm — Reply

    I never would have thought of a mosaic portrait, but these are so neat. I really like the bride portrait, it’s gorgeous!

  9. Rm muk
    November 12, 2020 at 4:22 am — Reply

    What a creativity.. Mosaics portrait i wish i can learn it they looks so fancy things to learn ..

  10. Krysten Quiles
    November 12, 2020 at 6:00 am — Reply

    It’s amazing what you can do with mosaics, the possibilities are endless!

  11. Emily Fata
    November 12, 2020 at 8:40 am — Reply

    I’ve always been so fascinated by stunning mosaic portraits! I’d love to get a seaside home in Italy one day, with mosaics on the floor.

  12. Garf
    November 12, 2020 at 10:56 am — Reply

    These are all beautiful mosaic artwork. My fave is the woman in a hat.

  13. Amber Myers
    November 12, 2020 at 11:15 am — Reply

    How pretty! I love all of these. The colors are fantastic.

  14. Kileen
    November 12, 2020 at 11:50 am — Reply

    Oh my goodness all of these are so beautiful! I wish I could have a piece like this!

  15. Catherine
    November 12, 2020 at 11:52 am — Reply

    These are really stunning…the attention to detail is incredible. I have such respect for the time and hard work that goes into each piece.

  16. Nikki Wayne
    November 12, 2020 at 1:07 pm — Reply

    These are really great art works! Love it.

  17. tara pittman
    November 12, 2020 at 4:03 pm — Reply

    These are so creative. They are really great works of art

  18. Li
    November 12, 2020 at 4:54 pm — Reply

    Mosaic portraits are always so breathtaking – and as you say, have such intricate beauty. The amount of work and sheer talent that goes into them is absolutely incredible.

  19. Knashz
    November 12, 2020 at 7:47 pm — Reply

    It’s amazing how much attention detail they give to each art piece.
    It’s crazy how much dedication you have to give for this to complete even a single form of art.

  20. Cele
    November 12, 2020 at 10:03 pm — Reply

    Just stunning, this craftsmanship of painting a portrait with pieces of glass. Beyond gorgeous.

  21. Sue-Tanya Mchorgh
    November 12, 2020 at 11:29 pm — Reply

    These mosaic pieces are really amazing.

  22. Yanitza Ninett
    November 12, 2020 at 11:56 pm — Reply

    Wow! These are amazing! I love the Woman in a Hat. It looks very glam.

  23. Shannon Gurnee
    November 13, 2020 at 12:51 am — Reply

    Mosaic art is so pretty! These are some great examples! Thanks for sharing.

  24. Mae
    November 13, 2020 at 1:52 am — Reply

    Oh, my word! These are beautiful pieces of custom mosaic portraits! I love the Mexican bride, it’s so stunning!

  25. Sundeep
    November 13, 2020 at 3:21 am — Reply

    One of my favorite is Mexican bride. These are some amazing piece of art. Love all these stuff

  26. Lyosha
    November 13, 2020 at 3:56 am — Reply

    Mosaic portrait must be very exciting. I have never seen it in modern homes, only antique portraits in the museums

  27. Natalia
    November 13, 2020 at 6:42 am — Reply

    I’d love to have such a custom mosaic portrait in my office. As it looks really interesting and for sure unusual! 🙂

  28. Lucy Dorrington
    November 13, 2020 at 6:51 am — Reply

    I had always thought of mosaics as being ancient and, although beautiful, I’m even more amazed by the ones in your article that look really modern!

  29. Norma
    November 13, 2020 at 12:07 pm — Reply

    These mosaics are so beautiful. My favorite is the one with Einstein. I would have one in a place where I spend a lot of time for some inspiration.

  30. Priya
    November 13, 2020 at 1:09 pm — Reply

    All the pieces of art are gorgeous! I didn’t know Mosaic art has been around for so long! I can’t decide which one is my favourite. They are all so detailed! Amazing!

  31. Millie
    November 13, 2020 at 2:30 pm — Reply

    These are so beautiful. I really love the Mexican Bride! Great information!

  32. Fatima D Torres
    November 13, 2020 at 2:38 pm — Reply

    These are lovely mosaic pieces. I love a personalized touch.

  33. Gladys Nava
    November 13, 2020 at 2:46 pm — Reply

    I wanna see these personally! I really admire these kind of Mosaic portraits

  34. Kuntala Bhattacharya
    November 14, 2020 at 6:28 am — Reply

    Wonderful portraits in mosaic. So intrinsic design, awesome creativity.

  35. Joanna
    November 14, 2020 at 11:36 am — Reply

    These are some amazing portraits. Some of them are so well designed that it’s hard to tell what they are made of. Stunning.

  36. Cindy Ingalls
    November 14, 2020 at 9:06 pm — Reply

    They are all stunning! I really like the bride one, it looks like a photograph!

  37. Ivan Jose
    November 15, 2020 at 1:44 am — Reply

    I love how totally creative these look. They are a great addition to any home.

  38. Christa
    November 15, 2020 at 12:13 pm — Reply

    These are stunning! I’ve seen quite. few older mosaic portraits, but the modern, abstract ones are breathtaking.

  39. Annie Mason
    November 16, 2020 at 8:08 am — Reply

    All the mosaic portraits are AMAZING but as an Art Historian Justinian in San Vitale set the mark for the ages. Mosaicslab did it again. Took me away from my own art but gave me the inspiration to keep on keepin’ on.

  40. Yaya
    November 16, 2020 at 12:41 pm — Reply

    These are absolutely beautiful! The Mexican Bride is stunning because it’s simplistic and classic yet beautiful. I will definitely look more into this beautiful art form.

  41. Krizzia Scollon
    November 16, 2020 at 2:36 pm — Reply

    These all look very creative! Especially the first one. Seems so real to me

  42. Brian
    November 17, 2020 at 9:44 am — Reply

    I love to look at mosaic art in subway stations.

  43. Veronika Sykorova
    November 22, 2020 at 11:45 am — Reply

    Wow its crazy to me how much you can do with a mozaic. So creative

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