Patch 4.1 is bringing us all these pretty tiles so what do we do with them? Why paint, of course! Tiles are versatile, they come in handy when making custom signs, theatre backdrops, hanging wall art or labeling boxes and cartons. Pictures made with them can be simple or complex, colourful or monotone, modern or old fashioned and still look great.
As a skill set, painting with tiles is a lot like piecing together a mosaic or jigsaw puzzle, a matter of finding the right tile for the right spot. It helps to have a clear picture of what you want to paint sitting beside you and the patience of a saint (or a very good person, at least) to wrestle the tiles into place.
Negative space is important in a painting. It’s the space around an object that defines the object’s existance. The black smile of Tinderal’s smiley face is defined by the yellow around it. (‘The Big Red House’ by Tinderal, EU) The smile is made by a black disc overlapped by a smaller disc of the same yellow as the the smiley face. The overlapping yellow tile fades into the background, leaving the black smile. The cloud spirals in the header picture (‘Songbird Theater’ by Hawthorn@NA) are made in the same way, with grey discs to create the negative space and white discs to delineate the lines of the spiral. If the background tiles have a grain, the overlapping tile will need to match the background grain or it will be noticeable. Plain tiles often work best for this.
Tile art can be three dimensional, using other building blocks or other dimension items to add texture and interest to a painting. Feendish uses spheres to make balloons for her art in ‘Starlight Villa’, NA, while Loveyttsab mixes tiles with plants for her theatre backdrop in ‘City of Dreams’, EU.
Labels are a good way to use tile paintings. Instead of boring text, Vooo’s ‘Mouse House’, NA, shows what’s in the carton with a picture of fried eggs and a hen on a nest.
Need a sign to tell visitors where they are or who owns the dimension? Tile paintings are a natural for that and Blythe has two great examples in her dimension ‘Magaritaville’ (NA). Mix picture with text for a specific message, while decorating your dimension with something colourful and graphic. I know I appreciate coming across a cleverly done sign.
Tile paintings don’t have to be elaborate to be effective. Simple shapes and harmonising colours, when they match their environment, can have just as much punch as fancier paintings. If more complex paintings, like Blythe’s parrot sign (‘Magaritaville’, NA) or Nouvae’s elegant lady painting (‘Harmony Heights’ by Maevha@NA), seem daunting (oh, how they daunt me), then start with something like Tinderal’s squares and circles art (‘The Big Red House’, EU).
Patch 4.1 more than doubles the colours and shapes of tiles bought to us by our faithful minions. There’s no better time to stretch our building skills and try something new. I’ve never painted with tiles and I promised to make my guild a banner for their facebook page. That seems like a good project to experiment with tile painting. My fingers are itching to do something with all the pretty gold, copper and iron tile colours, and textures like the green scale roof tiles. What are your fingers itching to build?