Miniature Mushroom Tutorial

Spend any time around ToadChapel and you know I’m plum crazy about the fungus. I like the way mushrooms look and I like learning about them, so I photograph them, I draw them, and I use them extensively in my miniature projects. I’ve developed techniques for creating a variety of mushroom shapes suitable for 28mm, 54mm, or larger scale mini scenes, and I’m happy to share my approach with you. Depending upon how you paint these, you could produce many actual mushroom species and an unlimited number of fictional fungi.

These mushrooms are sturdy and small enough to use on gaming bases, especially if you place them intelligently, but they’re delicate enough to add a lot of dazzling detail to display pieces. Read on to learn how to work some minuscule mushrooms into your next modeling project.

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Mushroom Forest

I think I’ve finished up the setting for my next mini creation. It’s a forest scene packed with all sorts of mushrooms. There’s a figure still to come, but I wanted this piece to stand without one.

There were plenty of challenges. Leaves that can’t effectively be bent, rolled, or twisted. Various media fighting each other. Frustratingly slow drying times!

There’s plenty I’d like to improve or change, but I’m very happy overall. The turkeytails and lichens are the best I’ve done. The effect of the leaves in the water looks cool. And the logs are real good to my eye. So yeah, a nice little piece of modeling, I think.

Read on for a tour of the various mushrooms and other woodsy stuff!

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Is That an Ent?

I found a wonderfully rumpled birch tree last week which I knew would be fun to draw. It had nice rolled bark, a mix of textures, and… a face!

I like the contrasting vertical and horizontal lines in this drawing, along with the tattered sheets of bark sort of exploding out at you. I kept it pretty clean in order to preserve that effect, forgoing some of the gnarly bits found on the tree itself.

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Forest Diorama First Look

I pointed out in a few recent posts that I often draw the same natural objects. I should have mentioned that I model them, too! Here is a sneak peek at a project I’ve been engaged in for a little while. I intend for it to serve several purposes.

Forest Floor
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Pencilled Pixie Cups

Using colored pencil & technical pen, I drew a different crop of pixie cups today. These I found with Cassie on our first hikes of 2020. There’s a close relationship between my time in the woods, my efforts in photography, and my drawings of Nature. I wrote about it here. It makes me happy to know exactly where these little lichens live, and what Cassie was getting up to as she pottered around while her dad took a few pictures.

These little subjects, moss, lichen, woodgrain, mushrooms, etc. exhibit colors, patterns, textures, and volumes that I enjoy trying to capture in my artwork. I definitely don’t feel I’ve mastered it.

Thanks for having a look!

Winter Wonders

I’ve had good luck finding natural treasures out in the woods during the early weeks of Winter, and some of them have readily lent themselves to my drawing hobby. Sometimes it feels like I draw the same things time & again, but I enjoy it and I’m still trying to get it just right.

These colorful turkeytails Cassie & I found last week. I might have embellished them a little… I didn’t have any grey pencils so the blues are pretty powerful. The little guy in the upper right got a bit overworked, but otherwise I’m pleased with a couple hours enjoyment.

And they were kind of blue!