The axolotl is an amphibian with a remarkable ability to regenerate its body. These fascinating creatures also happen to be quite the selfie stars, with their slim green bodies and bright blue markings making them an Instagram favorite. If you’ve been itching to get in on the axolotl action, a mosaic axolotl is your next logical step. Similar to making an AXOLERENDER or a SUPERCUTENDER, creating your own mosaic axolotl gives you the opportunity to blend your personal style with these little aquatic friends. That said, making your own mosaic axolotl will take more time and effort than some of our other DIY guides. Luckily there are plenty of tutorials out there that can make this process easier for you! Here’s everything you need to know about creating your own mosaic axolotl.
What is a Mosaic Axolotl?
A mosaic axolotl is a genetically modified axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that is created by combining two or more different genetic axolotl strains. By creating a mosaic axolotl, scientists are able to study the effects of different genes on the axolotl’s morphology and physiology. Axolotls make great subjects for mosaic studies due to their robust regenerative abilities and the ease with which they are bred in captivity. Axolotls are particularly useful for studying the effects of gene mutations because the resulting phenotypes are usually quite distinct.
Where to Find Your Own Axolotl Prints
This is where the real work begins! To create your own mosaic axolotl, you’ll need to find the perfect images to use as your “markers.” Luckily, the internet is full of free printable axolotl images, so this shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish. There are a couple of important things to remember while searching for your printables. First, try to stay away from any illustrations or drawings that might be too elaborate. You don’t want to end up with a confusing image at the end of this process. Second, make sure to select images that have bright colors, like blue or green. If one of your printables happens to be black and white, you can always color it using markers or crayons.
Equipment You’ll Need
– Axolotl Prints – As mentioned above, the first thing you’ll need is a printable image of an axolotl. There are plenty of different axolotl images out there, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that you like. – Paper – You’ll also need a stack of paper to print your axolotl images on. You could go with printer paper, but something like watercolor paper would look better when you’re finished. – Cutting Mat – To cut out your printables, you’ll need a cutting mat. This should be a relatively inexpensive investment, but it will make the process a lot easier. – Scissors or Xacto Knife – You’ll need a sharp cutting tool to cut out your printables. Xacto knives are great for this, but you can also use a pair of sharp scissors if you’re working on a smaller scale. – Markers – Once you’ve printed and cut out your images, you’ll need a couple of different colors of markers to color in your axolotl.
Step One: Finding the Right Images
As we mentioned above, the first step in creating your own mosaic axolotl is finding the right images. You’ll want to select images that feature either a blue or green background. You can also try to incorporate other colors into your printables if you’re looking for a more complex design, but blue and green are the best colors to use if you’re just starting out. One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll want your images to be relatively simple. Remember, the idea here is to create one large image by combining a bunch of smaller images. If your images are too elaborate, they won’t work with this type of project.
Step Two: Cutting Out Your Prints
Once you’ve found the right images, it’s time to cut them out. Start by laying your first image out on your cutting mat, ensuring that the image is facing the correct way. Next, slowly and carefully cut out the image. Make sure to keep your scissors or Xacto knife as straight as possible to prevent any crooked cuts. Once you’ve cut out your first image, move on to the second image and repeat the process. Make sure to keep your scissors sharp to avoid any jagged edges. Once you’ve cut out all of your images, it’s time to start arranging them on your watercolor paper. You can either place the images on the paper randomly or follow a specific layout.
Step Three: Positioning and Sticking
Once you’ve selected your images and laid them out on your paper, it’s time to start sticking them down. This is where real artistry comes into play, so don’t be afraid to get creative! Once you’ve found the perfect arrangement, you’ll want to use some sort of tacky glue to attach your images to the watercolor paper. Whether you use a glue stick or an actual glue like Elmer’s, the key is to make sure that your paper is fully covered. If you’re working on a large paper, you might also want to consider using a ruler to keep your images lined up. You don’t want to accidentally have your axolotl’s head placed a centimeter left of his tail.
Step Four: Coloring in your Axolotl
Once you’ve glued down your images and applied the finishing touches, you’ll have a fully colored mosaic axolotl! Just make sure that when you’re done, you don’t put your axolotl in water. If you let your axolotl sit in water, the glue will dissolve and your paper will fall apart. So, keep your little aquatic friend out of the water and enjoy your custom creation!