Studio Merlonghi
Where passion and paint meet


Diorama Building Step-by-Step: Part I


Today I will be showing you how to create an entire miniature diorama exactly as I go through the process.
The title of this piece is called, ‘Finding the Path’ which is about a young boy finding himself in the most dire of frigid winters of the soul, finally stumbling upon a path towards a spiritual warmth that changes his life forever, long into adulthood.

This is a very personal piece.

Step 1:

I spend quite a bit of time going through my diorama bin of toys and trinkets looking for pieces that would go well together, or could be strung together to tell a particular story. I actually do this step before I even ideate on the story I’m trying to tell. For me, it’s all about looking in my bin and seeing if any two, three, or more pieces strung together would tell a story. Today, these particular pieces stood out to me.


Step 2:

To ensure that the pieces I found will actually tell the story, I need to see them in action. I then pick out my plinth or display stand that fits the pieces I’ve chosen. Once I find the right plinth, I use hanging putty (any type of putty you can find for hanging posters on dorm room walls), and place little splotches where I think the pieces would go best.


Step 3:

Now I begin to move my pieces around in all sorts of ways until it just feels ‘right’. The hanging putty does NOT stick permanently to either surface, so it’s perfect for re-positioning over and over again until you are satisfied. I even lean the boy figure in the exact position I will be finalizing him in using the putty.


Once I’m satisfied, I’m ready for the next step! Tune in next!

Bryan Merlonghi