Here's a wee project I tackled a few years ago. I was inspired by a book called "The Complete Pebble Mosaic Handbook" by Maggy Howarth. She is an amazing UK mosaic artist who has completed very intricate public mosaics including a large one nearby in Ponsonby, Auckland, NZ. Being able to view such an intricate mosaic first-hand was very motivating and inspiring.
First up, to work out my technique, I created a gecko, a favourite creature of mine.
Pleased with how the gecko went, I then set myself up for the much bigger task of creating the sun image. In both cases, the whole mosaic needed to be completed in a single day due to the risk of rain. The pebbles are submerged into the bed of sand so that only the top edge is protruding and the pebbles are packed tightly against each other, helping to lock them in place. Once all of the pebbles are in place, a finely sieved sand/cement mix is brushed all over the surface and the excess is brushed away. The mosaic is then watered to wet the cement and it is covered with tarpaulins to leave it to set for a few days. Planning and preparation were vital to ensure that I had everything I needed on the day and so that I knew how I was going to go about executing the mosaic.
Years later, it's still looking fab. However, before I'm tempted to do any more of these mosaics, I still remember that it was back-breaking work!!