Botanical Art: Fungi

Botanical art is not just about plants… let’s not forget fungi! Mushrooms are having a moment and you can be in on the fun. Learn how to draw and paint gilled mushrooms, shelf fungus, polypores, and boletes. We’ll select one mushroom each week and explore the mycology of it. Then we’ll add it to our sketchbook via graphite, pen, or watercolor in this relaxed artistic environment. Culinary specimens, poisonous examples, or brilliantly colored fungi of the forest: draw it all!

What you will learn:

  • Basic overview of mushrooms and fungi from an artistic perspective (while we will identify mushrooms, no claims are being made by me that I know anything specific about the edibility of mushrooms!)

  • How to forage, collect, use an identification book, and take field notes concerning your fungi specimen

  • Observation and examination of many different types of mushrooms and fungi, with the goal of creating an accurate sketch and subsequent painting of said mushroom

  • Beginning a sketchbook for mushroom and fungi recording which hopefully will become the basis for a lifetime love of mycology

Required supplies:

  • Stillman & Birn, Zeta series sketchbook; or any sketchbook with better quality paper (available through Amazon)

  • Graphite mechanical or regular pencils, 2H, HB, and 2B, with a sharpener (Faber-Castell 9000, Staedlter Mars Lumograph, or Caran D’Ache)

  • Tuffstuff eraser stick, and a kneaded eraser

  • A magnifying lens or magnifying glass

  • Ruler

  • Micron pen, black

  • Optional: camera, iPhone or iPad

  • If you are interested in working in color: a good set of six watercolor paints including French Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Lemon Yellow, Permanent Magenta, Scarlet Lake

  • A great addition to the list for fungi: Perylene Maroon, Quinacridone Gold, Winsor Violet; Viva paper towels (a few…very absorbent)

  • Two water vessels (one for working water, one for clean)

  • Plastic or white porcelain palette, with room to mix colors

  • Brush suggestions: If you are going to invest in one quality art supply, please let it be your brush. The instructor recommends the DaVinci Maestro Kolinsky Brush, long tapered round or round: #4, or #6. The #4, has a super-sharp needle-like point that has great spring and tension. OR Raphael #4 #8408, tan-tipped handle. Both clean easily and last a long time.