Madre Bottega del Mosaico di Simona Proto




Workshop: Colors in Mosaic: from Tiles to Markers

Instructor: Simona Proto


Class time: Session 11

Session 11: 2 day class - Wednesday, September 27th, 8:00AM - 5:00PM (with 1 hour lunch break)

AND Thursday, September 28th, 8:00AM - 5:00PM (with 1 hour lunch break)



$425 USD


Material fee:

$50 USD





Class level:



Class Description:

This session should particularly benefit those who has jus experience in mosaic making but wants to improve the use of colors to reach effects of great realism.

In mosaic art, even more than in other artistic techniques, it is of great importance to know the colors well. Are we sure we know how to best use them? During this session, we will study colors, analyzing the value of complementary colors in mosaic, as well as the characteristics of saturation and brilliance through practical examples, we will go to decompose some shades, looking for the "hidden colors" that compose it. We're going to understand how to make a sea or a meadow, without using only blues and greens, obtaining particularly pictorial effects. An important parenthesis will be the one on flesh tones, in which it is very important to recognize the "hidden colors".

We will start with atheoretical lesson on colors, in which complementary colors and their use will be explained and, through practical examples, it will be shown how from a distance the human eye is able to recompose a set of very different tiles.

Each student will be provided with a portrait image with natural elements inserted. Thus we will work by breaking down the colors of different parts of the face, eyes and lips, seeing how they change according to the lights and shadows. Then, we will analyze the colors of the natural elements. In the end, the students will not have completed the mosaic, but will have all the elements to be able to continue it independently, having studied all the colors that make it up.
it is highly recommended for students to bring their own nippers that they are used to working with to feel more comfortable. The materials that will be provided as part of the material fee are: markers, sheets, smalti, 40x40 plywood boards and vinyl glue



Simona Proto was born in Naples, a city rich in history, art and culture. Always passionate about art in all its facets, she  graduated from classical high school, which laid the foundations of her curiosity towards mythology, history, literature and ancient art. Thus, she continued her training by enrolling in the degree course in Archaeology and History of the Arts at the Federico II University in Naples, where  she graduated with honors in 2007. At the end of this course, however, she felt that her theoretical training was missing something: she wanted to enter into the substance, to understand deeply how the works she admired were made and their deep structure. For this reason, she decided to continue her studies by enrolling in the degree course in Diagnostics and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, graduating with honors in 2009. During those years of study, she was able to "get her hands" physically on ancient works, removing encrustations left by time, containing damages made by previous interventions, mixing natural adhesives, filling her eyes with the varied color of pigments, seeing the flourishing of the original beauty of forgotten objects. She began to study the mosaic technique, first as a self-taught, and then attending the Venetian workshops, feeling an incredible emotion in finding that the mosaic instruments have never changed: everything is still realized today with a simple hammer, at most with knippers, and with the ability, matured over time, to "measure" with the eyes the size and shape of the small pieces that you want to make, before giving the shot that will break the material irremediably. In Venice she got to know the Italian smalti, an incredible material, capable of giving life to works that change completely according to how the light is reflected on the tiles. Since then, she has started her artistic journey, recognizing in the mosaic a powerful tool of investigation of colors and shapes of reality. 

Recently she has worked  in the religious mosaic decoration field, as the work of about 30 square meters, conceived, designed and built for the Sanctuary of San Gerardo Majella of Caposele. At the same time, however, she continued her artistic research, interested in the last year to develop a cycle of works on the theme of ecology. In fact, she felt the need to tell, to give life to a series of images that went to starve in her mind for the many stimuli of our current reality, which rightly can be called the Plastic Age. In this cycle, in addition to the purely said mosaics, which never leave her, she developed a personal technique. Having understood, in fact, that the way she means the mosaic is essentially a research on colors and shapes, she replicated this same way of working, using simple felt-tip pens, and ink liners for the leaks. Her current research is aimed at this: combining the ancient and the modern, in the creation of works that tell a dystopian future and, in some ways, irreverent, in a continuous flow of references to the past.