I've begun the base for Olfo. I ran through a couple different options but decided to stick with my first idea, a dark forest. For the OSL effect I feel that it's important to have a solid backdrop behind the figure. So I tried to place the trees close enough together to form a mostly continuous background. I also used the trees to stretch the scene vertically so the figure looks even smaller, surrounded by the dark.
The main structure for the base is cork (from an Ikea Trivet, you can get a set of 3 for about $3). It's best to tear about the cork instead of cutting it. By tearing you get some nice jagged shapes good for dirt and stone. I started with one large piece and then glued smaller pieces to it to extend it down the wood block and also to give the top some variations in height. The trees are just dried sticks that I found on a walk, broken into roughly even sized pieces. I used a saw on the bottom ends so I had a flat surface to connect to the base but I intentionally left the top sections jagged. To help place them I drilled a small hole in each and inserted a pin. Then I could push each into the cork and experiment with their placement before I did any gluing. After that had dried I took some green stuff to create some roots and fill any gaps where they contacted the base. It's a little hard to see the roots in the images below, but one on the far right is pretty visible.
The last step was to add some more texture to the ground. I used an old brush to spread white glue over the cork and then sprinkled the base with sand. This creates a nice rocky texture. The best option is to pick up some sand from the beach (cheapest option too). If that won't work you can find some at a pet store. Look for a bag that has different sizes. You don't want the sand to be too uniform. After that I took some leaves and forest litter from Secret Weapon and sprinkled that on top of the sand (along with a little more white glue).
To see how it all looked I primed the base black and then carefully set Olfo into his spot. I'll remove him before I start painting of course.