He places paint to pallette. He feels the power rising as he briskly turns the pigment. Folding the colors into a blend of custom magic. Stirring and applying Earth’s crystal clear liquid essence to the mix until it becomes a velvety pool of mystic life granting slime.
The peculiar short, stout figure stops stirring. He glances at the small tool he holds in his right hand. By the light of his single burning candle he examines the small glob that hangs from the curved end of the tiny implement. He turns it one way, then the other. Catching the lights reflection. A small satisfied smile pulls the corners of his musty emerald stained beard slightly upward. Revealing his coffee and smoke yellowed teeth.
“This will do fine.” The Dwarven unkempt little folder of time and space muses to himself. “Orc skin. Tonight my little friend you live.”
He reaches into a small oddly marked package resting on his cluttered workbench. Symbols endow the tiny paper box. Scrawled by the hand of another of great power. A creator of empty vessels awaiting the pigment of life. A tiny golem of resin, erected from the nothingness of a three dimensional void box capable of creating nearly any object that the the master of the code can imagine.
The power of the the 3D printer is not one held by the scruffy individual that we now intrude upon. So through the invisible web of power that such holders of the divine spark use to communicate, he relies on merchants of the orient to obtain the small figures in which he plans to breath colorful life.
The lichen bearded dwarf, we must hold in mind, is no adept in Pigment Magic. It’s a new skill that he has recently acquired and he has much to learn, yet by trial and error he gleefully intends to hone this ritual of lights and darks to the furthest perfection his abilities will allow.
He begins by collecting the tools of the craft. The crude implements that he has chosen for his task are far from fine or of distinguished brand and I’m sure that many of more experience and skill would scoff at the thought of using such products, but for this mossbearded twister of dimensions they will do fine.
He begins by preparing the piece. Slowly, carefully shaving away the parting lines with a sharp razor knife. He slips at one point. the sharp blade sinking into the pad of his thumb. He shakes the wound, utters a few well groomed curses, clots and continues.
He makes the choice to assemble the tiny pieces before beginning the painting process. He may alter this approach in future endeavors but that is yet to be determined. Common super glue works best to achieve a strong fast bond.
After he has skinned the tiny unwanted lines from the small figure to his satisfaction the stout hairy enchanter takes from his tool kit a common toothbrush. With soapy warm water he cleanses the piece. Gently scrubbing the entire surface of the figure and then rinsing away all soap residue. He then set the piece aside and left it until it had dried thoroughly.
After it had dried the time had come to begin. The Dwarf then took the figure, paying attention not to handle it too much to avoid oils from his hands from contaminating the cleaned piece, and adhered it to a makeshift handle with tacky putty which can be found at any local merchant. This will reduce handling.
He then draws a bag of brushes from a musty drawer filled with countless unknown wonders. He applies the primer. In this case, the dwarf uses the mix known as Matte Pewter Grey Acrylic from Apple Barrel. It is a cheap bottle of paint but he is satisfied. He makes sure to thin his paints for a smooth uniformed application. He then applies thin even coats until he is satisfied that all is covered well.
After allowing ample time for the primer to dry he then begins applying some color. As he is new to this skill he is still trying out various brands and types of paint. Verde Jade from Game Color by Vallejo has proven a fine product creating a strong, resistant coating with a very vibrant attractive hue.
Slowly, patiently, the tiny creature is given life in a rainbow of color. This process may be faster for some, but for this novice it can take awhile as dry times and life’s interruptions can slow you down or at times turn you around completely. So he is patient, he is maticulous in his details, and he is ever thinking of his color scheme.
Applying a wash adds depth and texture to the tiny orc. The thin viscosity causes the wash to lay in the creaves giving a shadow effect. For this project the dwarf has chosen Vallejo Dark Green Model wash (mostly because it was left over from his last project) for the leather and clothing and Contrast Magos Purple by Citadel Colour for the skin.
As with any budding talent there are mistakes to be made and lessons to learn. The shaggy dwarf is no exception to the rule. He attempts to imbue a glowing aura on the cannon using low dollar Folk Art glow paint and finish. After a struggle covering the target areas the result was a disappointing glowless green hue. Luckily it’s not a terrible color and didn’t damage the overall eye appeal of the piece.
Finally the finishing touches are applied to the paint. Gold and silver accents saved for last.
Now comes the protective coating. The dwarven painter applies a coat of a thick creamy substance called Mod Podge. He smears a genrous amount of the goo all over the tiny orc, taking care to avoid pooling in the creaves and creases. Mod Podge is actually a water based glue that can also be used as a sealer or finish. They offer a few different options including gloss, matte, satin, and sparkle to name a few. For this piece he has chosen matte.
Don’t be put off when you begin applying the Mod Podge. It appears at first that you are ruining all of your hard work by rubbing what looks like Elmer’s Glue all over it, but never fear, as it dries it loses its white hue slowly becoming a nice smooth clear protective coat. If you allow it to pool it will dry in an ugly white clump so make sure that you sop up any excess.
So there it is. He cleans his brushes with cool clean water. He wipes the unused paint away from his pallette. Instruments he certainly will wield another long night when the desire strikes him.
From a lifeless mass of plastic he has erected a character. Into grey nothingness he has breathed colorful spirit. A story begins. A new day dawns….