Posts Tagged ‘Lego Mosaics’
Huffington Post Canada ran a story on Brickwares, including a great gallery feature at the end.
For the 2012 Calgary Expo, I wanted to attempt to replicate some line art/sketches. I started my search by looking at comic book artists, and their Con sketches. i found a few that were pretty interesting, but nothing that inspired me. So I decided to branch out in to black and white art. One of favorites is Brian Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series. My good friend Rob turned me on to the series, and I’m crazy about it. I found a picture that worked really well.
And I set to work. For this mosaic, the amount of detail, and the incremental nature of the guitar strings made it necessary to do this as what we call a “studs up” mosaic. With mosaics, you can have the top of the brick pointing at you as you look (studs “out”), or have top of the brick facing upward (you’re looking at the side of the bricks). The main advantage to the studs up mosaic is that you can use plates (1/3 width of a brick), which allows you get more detail in. the main disadvantage is that it’s MUCH more laborious than a studs-ups mosaic. You have to build from the bottom, there are more stability and connection issues. In general, I find it to be much more “fiddly”, and not so much to my liking. There are great works out there that are studs up, but I’m not a fan of making them.
Anyways, this is how it turned out.
And here’s another shot on a table, to give you some size perspective.
Brian Lee O’Malley saw the mosaic on Twitter, and he thought it was interesting, but didn’t get all excited about it. Not Adam Baldwin excited, anyways.
The latter half of 2011 became very busy with mosaic building. Earlier that summer, I took a trip to San Diego to learn how to surf. I’ve always been fascinated with surfing, and the culture surrounding it. This led me to consider it for a subject for a mosaic. I spend some time looking around and found this beautiful poster, and knew this was the one.
I spend a bit of time (with assistance from the wonderful Mrs. Brickwares), playing with the picture until it was what I needed, and built the mosaic.
Here’s the completed piece. I only have a few pics of it, as it has been subsequently purchased and now resides in sunny California. It’s owned by an Academy Award winner, and all around cool guy. I’m not at liberty to divulge more, but I’m a huge fan of his work, and when I met him, we had a fun round of “No, YOU’RE the cool one”.
A shot from a bit further back in my garage. It’s amazing what a few feet will do for clarity, etc. Mosaics often look best from about 10-12 feet away, sometimes further, depending on the size.
Here is the piece on display at BrickCon 2011, with my other piece “Cheverny”.
Finished up a commissioned piece last week, but couldn’t post until now, as it was a surprise anniversary for a fellow AFOL. He’s a big fan of both Castle and Pirates, and so his wife and I brainstormed for a while about what to make for him. Finally, we settled on Jack Sparrow. I started working on a mosaic of a full body minifig of jack, and was having trouble getting his facial hair right. Sparrow has a LOT of facial hair. While I was looking for a close up to use to get it right, I looked over at my wall in my office, and staring back at me was a poster that came with either the LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean game or possibly one of the sets. And there it was, the perfect Jack image.
The finished piece
From further away
A view of the backing board
Max checks things out.
I’m currently taking commissions for the fall and winter. Check out the site, and if you like what you see, drop me a line!
The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo is wrapped up, so I thought I’d share some pics of the mosaics I built for the show. Some of these are still available for sale, if you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, the Classic Video Game Characters.
I’ve been busy on various projects, mostly non Lego. Though I did do my first “Secret Mosaic” with my son’s beaver group. I’ll have to get the pics from the photographer and tell you about it soon. One of them involves “reclamation”, the process of finding parts my son has borrowed for various things, and returning them to the collection. I’ll have to take some pics and write a post about that soon as well.
Right now i’m coming up with ideas for the Calgary Comic Expo this summer. I’ll have a table in the Artist’s Alley area, and am coming up with ideas for small mosaics I can sell there. So far I’ve experimented with some 8-bit videogame characters, and a few other small things. I’m trying to keep the size small, so 8×16 baseplates, 16×16, and maybe up to 32×32.
Anyhow, a few pics of the results so far. Apologies for the quality of the photos, I’d rather bring you a new post that make you wait until I have time to properly photograph these.
This guy is a star.
2010 was a very busy year for Brickwares. I built 4 large mosaics, as well as some smaller pieces, had a few commissions, joined a LUG, won a number of awards, and my LEGO world expanded as I met and networked with a number of luminaries within the hobby.
In January, I entered the Silver Springs community show, an annual show in Calgary. The highlights of the show for me were meeting up with a number of the folks from SALUG (The Southern Alberta Lego User Group), and a second place ribbon for the “Rudolph and Hermey” mosaic with its light up nose.
April brought about another local LEGO show, at the Ogden Millican Community Centre, for which I built a mosaic of my youngest son, Max. It turned out very well, and took first prize at the show. I also built a small microscale city, which won 3rd prize in it’s group.
Hot on the heels of that show, we discovered that Calgary had been chosen for the first LEGO store in Canada. Very exciting stuff! As part of the build-up to the grand opening, Chinook Centre was interested in displaying some local LEGO pieces from SALUG. During one of our meetings, I was lucky enough to meet Robin Sather, an incredibly talented builder from the West Coast. I decided to build a replica of the 2010 Stampede poster. It was the largest piece I’ve attempted thus far, and on a serious deadline. Many late nights and rush bricklink orders later, I had something to show.
Big enough for my family to lay on!
In the garage, attaching things..
The finished piece!
The Stampede mosaic received a lot of attention, even from the president of the Stampede Board himself. While that was flattering, the next event brought the highest praise of all! I was lucky enough to be able to help with the “Build-A-Buzz” event for the store opening, and met Dan Steininger, a Master Builder with The LEGO Group. He was very impressed with the Stampede mosaic, which blew my mind. Dan let myself and Jen Wagner put the finishing touches on Buzz. It was such a great experience, and I met a lot of great people, some of whom would keep popping up during the year, like Ed from the Anaheim store!
Dave and Dan
I also volunteered for the Stampede Breakfast, helping with the Minifig builds, which was a blast, and allowed me to be near a LOT of minifig parts…
So many torsos!
Minifig parts galore.
Dave and the little Brickwares.
After the summer was done, and the store in full swing, it was time to turn my attention to BrickCon and Seattle. This is by far my favorite LEGO event (at least so far!) and I was excited to return. I even remembered my passport this year! The show was even bigger than the year before, and I had a great time, meeting up with some old friends, and making a lot of new ones. Some of the highlights were meeting people like Mariann Asanuma and Alex Eylar, whose work I admire greatly, helping to judge the train category, and hanging out with Dave and Stacey Sterling, Tom Rafert, Iain Heath and John Langrish until the wee hours. Oh, and winning Best Large Mosaic was pretty awesome too. “War of the Worlds” was build specifically for the show, and was a lot of fun to make, with bright colors and some fun laser work! Michael Giacchino, Academy Award winning composer and very awesome lego guy tracked me down to tell me how much he liked the piece, which made my brain asplode!
Getting ready to roll!
Lasers are dangerous!
After I returned from Seattle, “War of the Worlds” went up on display at Phoenix Comics on 16th ave in Calgary, where it currently resides, until I figure out what to make next!
In late October, I was contacted by an old friend from high school, and commissioned to build a mosaic for his wife’s birthday. After looking at the picture for a bit, it struck me that I wanted to make a picture of her eyes, and style it after the old Nagel pieces from the 90′s (you might remember his cover for Duran Duran’s “Rio” album). It was a quick but fun build, and as a bonus, I received a picture of the piece hanging in their home.
After I finished “Eyes”, I started toying with something for an upcoming project that’s still in the planning phases. Without giving too much away, I built a small prototype (not of the final image) to show how the concept would work, and my good friend Tony liked it so much it now adorns his baby’s room.
With Christmas fast approaching, I didn’t have time to build much more, but I’ve made a few microscale things for the next Silver Springs show, and, since time prevents a new mosaic before then, I’ll likely bring War of the Worlds to that show, though I don’t like bringing “old” pieces to shows…
At any rate, I can’t imagine what 2011 holds. If it’s anywhere as amazing as 2010 was, I better hold on to my hat! Have a great new year and we’ll see you back here soon.
(This entry is part of a look at early mosaics I’ve made).
My good friend Albert Howell, comedian, star of stage and screen, and comedy writer, jokingly suggested that I make a mosaic of him. So, I did. I think it turned out very well, and taught me more still about portraits and shadowing.
I usually don’t like the “side by side” comparison. Other people are amazed at how close the picture is, etc, but having spend hours staring at the pictures, I usually just see the flaws and what I’ve missed. (In this one, Al’s hair bleeds into the shadow behind him).
As usual, I took a few pictures with Finny sitting on or near the piece, to add scale. It occurs to me now that as he gets bigger, I’ll need to either make bigger mosaics, or accept that the scale will be less impressive.
I also experimented with building up parts of the mosaic to make it a bit more 3D. I didn’t think it really added much, and it seemed weird, so I stopped.
As Albert is “Canadian Famous”, he didn’t actually purchase the mosaic, but I made up for that by renting space to a fellow who wanted to build a castle. I think this makes this mosaic fairly unique, as I can’t think of any other LEGO creation that uses a portrait as it’s baseplate.
Thanks for visiting and allowing me to ramble on about the work. Hope you enjoyed it, and as always, Brickwares is available for custom mosaics. You can’t buy THIS mosaic, as it’s of Albert, and that would be weird. Oh, unless you ARE Albert, or maybe his parents, possibly his sister. Otherwise, it’s right out. Contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Global TV in Calgary ran a story which was intended to be about Brickwares and such. Of course, that was before my son got a hold of the microphone… And so, we present Brickwares and Son.