Abstract This paper is focused on modeling of progressive failure in brick masonry. A mesoscale approach is adopted, in which the structural behavior is examined at the level of constituents, i.e., brick and mortar. An advanced constitutive model, capable of addressing both pre and post-localization behavior, is developed and implemented in a commercial finite element package. The performance of this model is verified by simulating a series of experimental tests reported in the literature. Those include the tests conducted by van der Pluijm [Pluijm R van der. Shear behavior of bed joints. In: Hamid AA, Harris HG, editors. Proceedings of the 6th North American Masonry Conference, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 1993. p. 125–36], Atkinson et al. [Atkinson RH, Amadei BP, Saeb S, Sture S. Response of masonry bed joints in direct shear. J Struct Eng ASCE 1989;115(9):2276–96], and Page [Page AW. The strength of brick masonry under biaxial tension–compression. Int J Masonry Constr 1983;3(1):26-31]. In latter case, the whole masonry panel is discretized and the directional strength characteristics for different loading scenarios are obtained. Later, a numerical homogenization is implemented to study the same problem and the results based on these two approaches are compared.