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Catch Lights- An Absolute Must

Eyes are the windows to our soul. Creating a mosaic of an animal's eye or a human's eye can be daunting, for sure. It needs to look as real as possible.

Because it is the hardest part of the face to create, I always start with the eyes. If I don't get the eyes right, the rest won't be worth the effort, so that's why I always begin there.

Here are a couple of mosaics I've done where the subject of the mosaic is the animal's eye.

I used photographs to help me create each of these animal eyes. It is very important to pay attention to all the details of the eye – especially the catch light. A catch light is a light source that creates a highlight or reflection in the eye. This highlight adds dimension and depth and brings the eyes to life.

There are two methods I used to create the catch light in these mosaics. In the Zebra mosaic, I cut white glass to create the catch light. The other method I used was choosing curved, dichroic glass for the eyes of the Red Fox. This dichroic glass catches light from the surrounding sources and creates a great effect that way.

Catch lights come in different shapes and sizes because it all depends on the shape and size of the light source as well as the distance from the subject. You can also have more than one catch light, if there is more than one light source. If you follow a photograph, you'll be able to confidently place the catch lights where they should be.

Try adding catch lights to your subject's eyes and be amazed at how life-like they will look!


  • Bonjour, je vous remercier pour votre savoir, je suis débutante et votre site est géniale ! Merci!

    Nathalie Forcier
  • I appreciate the guidance. Love the look in the eyes of each of your samples! I’m getting ready to do dog portraits and will definitely “start with the eyes!”

  • This is so helpful. Thank you for sharing your expert advice.

    Linda Hart Collier
  • Thank you! I love all your tips.

  • Thanks for the info. Never thought of using dichroic glass for eyes . Love your work

    Linda Bricker

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