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Vixen Devilgirl: Getting the Lips Right is the Most Important Part of Good Head

Okay, some of you are going to look at the following grid of images and think that I'm aping Andy Warhol… actually, what I want to do is show the transition between the original photo, the "sketch" for the mosaic which I did in photoshop and the first and second version of the final mosaic.

Sometimes working from a printed image can actually mess you up as much as it helps. I usually start with the easier parts of a mosaic project and work my way up to the most challenging bits when I feel like I've got my groove on. That would have meant starting with the legs, since they're mostly straight lines. In this case, I started with the face and private bits, because I needed to get photos off to the jurors at the dirty show and I knew that's what they would focus on most.


Vixenhead    Devil head

original Vixen devil mosaic    revised Vixen devil mosaic


The mosaic shown on the left is what I did the first day… I worked pretty closely to the photo-sketch, which I had printed out life size (kind of like filling in a picture in a coloring book). I had difficulty finding a color for the lips that would work well against a bright, primary red skin tone, so I moved on and finished the rest of the mosaic first so that I could look at the over-all piece and get a better idea of what would look good. I wanted a decent contrast, but at the same time I also wanted something sexy and glossy, lips that would, well, make you lick your lips. I almost went with the same iridized black that I used on the tattoo, but that didn't seem quite right. There was already so much black in the piece that it seemed like it wouldn't stand out enough. Also, it seemed a bit too goth, maybe. Finally it occurred to me to use a copper colored glass that has a sort of grain to it which mimics the fine lines of the skin on lips. It doesn't tend to come through well in the photo, but basically, it's very bright, reflects light from inside the tile instead of the surface of the tile, and it harmonized with the red.

When I started working on them, I was having trouble making out the details from my print… I had pumped up the contrast on the photo-sketch in order to get a better sense of how I wanted to do the mosaic in basically two colors. I also wasn't totally happy with the right eye and the neck. So I printed out the original photo to see how it looked with less contrast. As you can see by looking at the two leftmost images, the original mosaic matches the original photo pretty well, but it doesn't quite look right having the eye at an angle like that. So I changed it a bit, and the "lie" actually reads a bit better. I guess that's kind of where the art comes in on a piece like this… sometimes our minds respond better to what they expect to see (both eyes on the same plane, for example) and so you alter reality to make it a bit more real. Funny.

I was actually really very happy with the look Vixen had in the photo. The flirtacious come hither grin really worked for me. I just didn't feel that it read well when converted to tile. Th erevised expression is a little cooler and more reserved, but still has a hint of flirt about it. When the piece has been grouted, it will change the way it looks much more than you would expect. Grout tends to unify all the minor things that catch at the eye and bring a piece more together. You'll see. In a few days when I get the thing completely finished.

To see the rest of the posts of the table in progress, follow these links. The page you're on will show up in the list without a live link:

  1. The photo I worked from and a preliminary drawing
  2. The first three days' work on the mosaic
  3. Day four
  4. Day five and six
  5. Reworking the face and neck
  6. Superior Moisture
  7. Vixen Devil Girl Table: Ready for the Dirty Show!

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I'm so loving the vixen girl mosaic! ^_^
It's such a cool idea and the finished peice looks great!!


Thanks Shay! If she sells, I'll definitely be making more like her, in different poses. I promised Ang that she could model for one also.

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