Hummingbird shower mural - making the tiles, part 1

by brae  

I did a little prep work and sampling before forging ahead with the tile mural.  First, I photographed my original hummingbird and flower drawing and then manipulated it in PhotoShop to lighten and sharpen since some color loss and blurring occurs in printing.

There are a few ways I figured I could make the tiles.  I could cut out individual tiles and paste them to a board with "grout lines" in between.  The problem I foresaw with this method was matching the precise lines of the drawing and getting the grout lines even.  Also, I would have to cut my tiles slightly smaller since the overall dimensions of the drawing were exact to the shower stall size I wanted.

I opted for an easier and just as effective method: making gridlines in PhotoShop.  I made my gridlines the lightest of greys, just to make them fall into the background slightly.   Plus, even white tile grout isn't bright white in real life.  I also made sure there was a gridline in the very center where the mural would break at the corner of the shower.

I made three test prints, the first of which had 14 half-inch tiles across with grout lines 10 pixels wide.

The second has the same half-inch tiles but with 5 pixel-width grout lines.

The third is done with quarter-inch tiles and 5 pixel-width grout lines.

The half-inch tiles are the clear winner to me since they achieve the tile look in a realistic manner without detracting from the image the way the busier quarter-inch tiles do.

The 5-pixel lines for the half-inch tiles seem better in print (in person anyway), but I will do a trial run of the next step using both samples to see which works better in the end.  I don't want to go through the whole process just to have the lines disappear for being too thin.  :]


Comment from: April [Visitor]
I agree, the 2nd one looks best now, but the lines may change as you said. Good plan to test and see from there, either way the tiling through photoshop worked awesome!
04/16/13 @ 17:03
Comment from: Lyssa [Visitor]
I think.... you are doing this the same way you did the old world tiles, yes? If so, I think you would be better off going with the wider grout. Love the way the drawing looks as tile! So pretty. :) Nice thought to keep in mind for my someday RL house!
04/16/13 @ 17:14
Comment from: Blondie [Visitor]
I don't have a fav. They all look so good. :)
04/16/13 @ 17:32
Comment from: Pat [Visitor]
Beautiful tiles. Oh, to be an artist!
04/16/13 @ 19:59
Comment from: Lucille [Visitor]
Hi Brae! Isn't photoshop wonderful! I want to learn this. People do marvel with this program! Now, Brae, I have enlarged the pics many times in order to analyze everything. I have concluded that I prefer the first one which has 14 half-inch tiles across with grout lines 10 pixels wide. From what I can see on my screen, these tiles look more realistic. I just measured the grout lines in my bathroom and they are one-eight of an inch. So, I don't know how that compares with 10 pixels but that's what I personally prefer. Hope that helps!
04/16/13 @ 21:24
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you!! :>> Yes, Lyssa, I'll be using the Old World Tile method. Smart cookie you are. &#59;D I do think the 10-pixel lines look better in these photographs. In person, on the print alone, it looks very wide and distracting. In the end, I'm guessing the 10-pixel will be the winner simply because it photographs better. :yes:
04/16/13 @ 21:42
Comment from: Kath [Visitor]
a suggestion is to score on the lines and it will make them look more 3d. try it on the test paper and look how much cooler it is.
04/16/13 @ 21:56
Comment from: 12Create [Visitor]
Brilliant use of Photoshop. I must work on my Photoshop skills.
04/17/13 @ 01:59
Comment from: Keli [Visitor]
I concur...1/2" with 10 pixel grout looks the most realistic. They look fantastic, I'm glad you decided to draw them yourself to get exactly what you wanted instead of settling on somebody else's.
04/17/13 @ 04:48
Comment from: Kathi [Visitor]
Brilliant! Love the first photo. I also like Kath's suggestion to score the lines for more definition. Either way, you've done something amazing! I had no idea you could do something like this with Photoshop. I really need to learn how to use that!
04/17/13 @ 06:01
Comment from: Marisa [Visitor]
I like the first and second one the last one is a bit busy with that pattern, IRL if I had that in my bathroom I'd probably burn my hair off because I'd be too busy staring at the tiled shower instead of paying attention to curling iron. Hugs Marisa :)
04/17/13 @ 06:57
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you!! :D Scoring the tiles will come later in the process. Stay tuned... :yes:
04/17/13 @ 07:26
Comment from: Mona [Visitor]
I think the first photo is the best. In the photos that look more realistic than the other two, I think. I don`t know the work score (I`m Norwegian) so I don`t understand what you meen..... Mona
04/17/13 @ 10:25
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you, Mona! When you "score" the lines, you use a tool - like a stylus or awl - to trace the lines with pressure. This creates the texture of tile.
04/17/13 @ 23:38

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