The art of the mosaic has a proud history that stretches back thousands of years, and in this project we’ll demonstrate that this fine artform is every bit as effective when you create it digitally, in Photoshop of course.
Using nothing more complicated than a couple of layer masks, some super-effective layer styles and a photographic source image to start off with, you can create a realistic, tactile, three-dimensional mosaic that any Roman would be proud of.
We’ll also show you how to create a simple custom brush here to build individual tesserae within the mosaic itself and paint the grout lines in-between each fragment of tile within the design.
We’ll start by simplifying the tone and detail within the start image, and then carefully use layer masks to isolate each component before manually painting all of the tiles and divisions within the design.
The key to the realistic effect here is the humble but brilliant Bevel and Emboss layer style, which adds that crucial extra dimension to the whole design, giving each tile a convincing three-dimensional appearance. It can create a surface so real you just want to reach out and touch it.
The best thing about this technique is that the whole process is non-destructive; you get the flexibility of being able to make unlimited edits that be undone if something goes awry, thanks to some clever use of the layer masking technique.
So, put away that tile cutter and trowel, fire up Photoshop and reach for the humble Brush tool and we’ll get started!