Botanical Art in Winter: Fungi, Branches, and Woodland Objects

Botanical Art is not just about green plants…let’s not forget fungi, branches, and the odd thing you find on the ground! 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. Or choose an interesting branch — something with peeling bark, something smooth. Or on your next walk in the woods, look down. Winter gives us a plethora of objects to draw: seed pods, nuts, dried leaves, berries, and more. You bring the subject and we’ll work through the steps to draw it successfully. You can add it to your sketchbook via graphite, pen, or watercolor in this relaxed artistic environment.

Special notes:
This is an online class hosted through Zoom. We recommend that you download the free Zoom application on your computer, phone, or tablet in advance of the first class.

You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to join the course via Zoom. The same link will be used each week.

This is an eight-session course. Class will not be held on January 18 and February 15 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and President’s Day.

What you will learn:

  • Basic overview of woodland natural objects and how to capture them in a drawing or painting

  • How to forage, collect, use an identification book, and take field notes concerning your fungi specimen or whatever you happen to find on that day

  • Observation and examination of the natural object with the goal of creating an accurate sketch and subsequent painting of it

  • Beginning a sketchbook for fungi, branches, and woodland objects, recording which hopefully will become the basis for a lifetime love of sketching

Start the term with these 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. I like the DaVinci Maestro Kolinsky Brush, long tapered round or round: #4, or #6. I love these, especially the #4, because it has a super-sharp needle-like point that has great spring and tension. OR Raphael #4 #8408, tan- tipped handle. They both clean easily and last a long time.