How to Mix Color
Creating a beautiful mosaic is a one-way process and very difficult to undo, so when you choose the color and style of the tesserae, a little planning always helps!
Color can be regarded as possessing four basic qualities; hue, tone, intensity and temperature.
Select a balance of color and size
When selecting colors for a mosaic it is a good idea to play around with many different combinations. Put a handful of the tesserae over the base or a similar situation (for background color if it is fixed) and play around with what works.
Size is very important! You can have two very different looking mosaics even if you have 50 red piece and 50 yellow pieces, if one mosaic has evenly spaced and evenly sized pieces and the second mosaic cuts the red tiles into pieces that are double the size of the yellow, then the overall color will be yellow verses orange in the first instance.
Remember to use gold and silver carefully and don't not overdo it. Having a small amount of these colors can create a stunning effect but if you have many pieces it can look dreadful.
Keep the overall color of your mosaic in perspective
Look away from your work every now and then to get a better idea as to what it will look like. Often when you are just focusing on your mosaic you loose touch with what you set out to do or what you are trying to achieve. This way you will be able to have an ongoing personal assessment of the overall appearance of the piece.
Colored pigments are useful for the coloration of cement and grout. They are expensive and not as simple to use as acrylic paint. Acrylic colors are water based and can be used on a wide variety of surfaces, such as wood, paper, card, MDF, etc.
How to choose grout color
Changing the color of the grout will have a huge effect on the mosaic.
White grout can be very harsh - it will draw the eye to gaps rather than colors, giving the mosaic a Mediterranean feel.
Dark grout is very effective for highly colored mosaics but will dominate pale colored tesserae.
Choosing colors using a color wheel
A sense of space and distances between the background and foreground can be achieved by the use of pale, dusty colors (pale blues, creams, beiges and soft purples) in the background and strong clean colors in the foreground.
Red orange and yellow will up forward in a mosaic, where as blue, green and purple all tend to recede.
Maximum contrast can be created by using a primary color and its complementary color (opposites on the color wheel). This intensifies and mutually enhances the two colors. For example if you have a rusty red flower (soft color) it will be beautifully enhanced by an olive/sap green background (also soft color but complementary opposite on the color wheel.
Strong outlines around details or motifs can be created by placing two different tones of the same color next another.