Prompts from the Pros - Lawrence Payne

Lawrence Payne

Understanding and Using Rules for Roman Mosaics

For a mosaic to be considered to be a Roman mosaic, it has to follow a set of particular rules. Once understood, these rules can be used as a foundation discipline for modern artists in their work. By understanding why the rules are used and what artistic effect they create then people can choose to use them or not. The quote I often use is: ‘If you know the rules then you know how to break them.’

There are two parts to this prompt:

1. Learn the rules, how to see them and what they do.

2. Create a mosaic of a simple object (e.g. an apple a water jug) applying the rules as you go. It is suggested that you use tesserae 10mm in size, with a board no bigger than 16cm/20cm square. A copy of the rules has been provided. You may like to make your own copy of this in mosaic as a way of helping you learn the rules.