Doug  Powell
Mosaic Art Mosaic Portrait
Doug Powell
Professional Mosaic Artist

Oviedo, Florida artist Doug Powell has mastered an unusual art form: mosaic portraits created with random jigsaw puzzles. It's so unusual in fact that his work is being collected by the art worlds influential.

Powell paints a canvas black, then glues individual puzzle pieces to it to form famous faces. "Each puzzle piece is like a stroke of a paintbrush," said Powell, who has been studying and perfecting his methods for some many years. Powell uses the puzzle pieces in a nontraditional way - he doesn't interlock the pieces, he uses random pieces in the same manner as a painter would splash color on a canvas with a brush.

"This is a very anti-puzzle process," Powell said. "the method I use allows the viewers brain to dynamically mix the color together, so that you see is the intended shade".

Powell, who started doing puzzle art, read a newspaper article saying that Orlando-based Ripley's Entertainment was seeking unique art of movie stars. He contacted Edward Meyer, Ripley's vice president for exhibits and archives, and soon he was working on a 4-foot by 4-foot portrait of actress Sophia Loren based on an image from the 1964 film, "The Fall of the Roman Empire." The Ripley Museums have now collected some 10 works of art from Powell.

Powell's first puzzle portrait in 2007 was of another classic actress. "I did the Ingrid Bergman just to see if I could make puzzle pieces show actual detail in a human face. How detailed could I get?" he said. Next was a representation of Steve McCurry's eye-catching photo of SharbatGula, best known as the "Afghan girl" and a National Geographic cover subject.

"Eyes are integral to each portrait," Powell said. "That is the part that takes the longest. I could spend 15 hours on just the eyes," he said. Typically, he spends 100 to 120 hours on a project. At first, he used 30 or 40 pieces for an eye. For Loren, there are 300 pieces in the eye. He just finished a Lady Gaga portrait, which has 400 pieces for one eye. "I'm figuring out my own method of madness with putting these things together," he said.

Powell, 49, never paints the pieces. He applies a clear coat of protective finish to protect the cardboard pieces from moisture and seal them into place. He buys jigsaws at yard sales, flea markets and on Craigslist and dumps them into a bathtub-sized bin. Powell estimated he has 100,000 puzzle pieces. He uses an average of 3,500 puzzle pieces per work of art.

Powell creates the puzzle portrait mosaics as a way to connect with his youth in New Jersey, where he was always involved with creative projects. As a child he didn't do puzzles. "I missed out on it," says Powell. "The older I get the more I seem to want to get back in touch with the things I left behind before I joined the Navy and all of a sudden life got serious".


Dale Earnhardt

Lotus Rose

Sunset Palm

John F Kennedy

Jennifer Lopez

Mickey Mouse






National Geographic Cover








Painting: Acrylic on Canvas

An abstract work.

Original Work:
Height 40" x Width 29" x Depth 4"
Year Produced: Unknown
Inventory ID DP_0019
This is an original work.
Showing: All Galleries

Price:  $ 540.00   [ Buy it local ]
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