This tutorial basically uses two different techniques:
- conserving what nature gives you
- sponge-like behaviour of moss
Also there is little tools or materials you need to replicate this.wikipedia wrote:[...]The capacity dried mosses have to absorb fluids, has made their use[...]
- colours of choice
After harvesting your moss, spread it even on a piece of newspaper or anywhere dry (newspaper does have absorptivity). Just after that, spray the moss thickly with hairspray - if it's really wet - let it dry a bit first. Repeat to spray hairspray two or three more times.
Let it all dry for a couple of days.
I'd also advise to let it sit outside for quite some time as it could contain little bugs, centipedes or spiders. You wont have them in your bits box
After drying a week or two, the moss may look really dry and brownish, that's okay, the hairspray helps containing the stability of the single leaves, underneath it may dry out und shrink a bit. This technique is used in floral business to easy conserve flowers. While drying, putting the moss into a dark place also helps preventing from bleaching out by the sun.
Now the fun part begins.
Take whatever colour you like and thin it roughly about 1-2 parts with water to 1 part colour. Now start gently applying the water-colour mix over the moss clump. Be gentle else you might break off to many leaves and your moss looks naked - let it dry - et voila.
Repeat this until you are happy with the colour's coverage, you can vary the water paint consistency for different results in coverage.
The advantage of using watered down paint is, that the below natural surface and shading shines through and the water is absorbed by the dry leaves and happily suck in and hold your paint mix.
Below a few examples i did, blues and greens might lead to a more saturated result than red or orange colours, since that's the moss natural colours.
What all this for?
Well so you can create dense foliage for bases, dioramas or terrain-pieces. Normal hobby tufts could be coloured as well but all look like grass. With moss you can create a different look and more variety also colouring is quite easy and helps to ad diversity.
On the downside, still it will not be very resilient, although prepared with hairspray, single leaves may break off easy by touching or dropping the clumps. Those tufts are more suitable for miniatures that are display pieces or not moved/touched that often.
Last but not least, it's dirt cheap!
I will use more blues for a river base and/or for an alien worldy look on bases.
Hope you liked my little Tut