Contemporary Portraiture in Smalti and Picassiette with Gila Rayberg

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Pieces

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Do you have a passion for learning how to create portraits in mosaic art? Would you love to learn specific techniques from an artist who has studied at the Scuola Mosaicisti del Fruili in Spilimbergo, Italy? We have invited Gila Rayberg to teach her take on using smalti and picassiette (broken plates) for creating one-of-a-kind contemporary portraits. These can be displayed as cut out stand alone pieces or with a mosaic background. If you know anything about Gila, she is a portrait aficionado with a very unique style that gives each piece she creates a special personality and incredible expression.

You will watch in real time as Gila creates one contemporary portrait from beginning to end while using her knowledge and wisdom. This in-depth course is full of demonstrations of her signature techniques. Her use of both smalti and picassiette will allow you to see the endless possibilities for creating these portraits with expression and personality.

In this course you will learn:

  • How to choose a reference photo
  • How to transfer the photo to a plastic surface
  • How to choose a tonal color palette
  • How to mix tinted mortar
  • How to create a portrait with expression
  • How to use plates with images for specific facial features
  • How to create shadows and highlights
  • How to make a mortar and mesh substrate
  • How to transfer the mosaic to the new substrate
  • How to work directly with mixed media materials while adding texture and dimension
  • How to cut out the mosaic for a stand alone piece (no background)
  • How to add reinforcement and hanging hardware to finish the piece

Included in this course is a PDF for download with the suggested tools, materials, and resources. You will also have access to the referernce photo used in the course if you would like to learn with this image.

"This course was absolutely fantastic. Thank you so much.

I learned so many of the bits I needed to know and your naturalness with the process took any anxiety out of it.
You have really supported me giving my creativity free reign. Now I feel ready to get started!

Tami, thanks so much for commissioning this. I'm getting so much from MAO I really appreciate it." Jo S.

Your Instructor

Gila Rayberg
Gila Rayberg

Gila Rayberg arrived at the visual arts after a successful career as a freelance musician and educator. Allowing her strong sense of intuition and love of experimentation to guide her, Gila has developed a unique voice in the realm of mosaic portraiture.

After earning her masters degree in music from Arizona State University (1989), Gila moved to San Francisco and quickly became involved with a community of improvisational musicians, composers and artists.

Pursuing her love of travel, Gila found herself performing & teaching instrumental music at a newly established University in Borneo, East Malaysia. From there, she traveled extensively throughout South East Asia, Hong Kong, China, India, Israel & Egypt, collecting art, textiles, and musical instruments, representative of local cultures. With each excursion Gila became increasingly fascinated by the indigenous art which surrounded her.

On her return to the United States, Gila landed in New Orleans, spending her first year practicing jazz standards on the street for tips. She then joined the horn section of Deacon John & the Ivories which kept her gigging steadily until hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. At that point, Gila turned her focus to creating mosaic art full time.

In recent years, Gila's work has been exhibited around the US, winning numerous awards for her expressive and whimsical portraits. Her work resides in private collections internationally & has been published in a number of books.

Course Curriculum

  Contemporary Portraiture in Smalti and Picassiette with Gila Rayberg
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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 14 days and we will give you a full refund.

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