Stump Puffball

I completed a drawing of a spent stump puffball today based upon a fantastic picture taken by my mom.

I like the clouds of white spores on the black background, though the arrangement of all the parts is a little strange. That’s because I had initially placed a shadow under the puffball, which I decided was both poorly executed and made it seem like a specimen on a table. The black portion of the illustration was my solution to the problem of hiding that wonky shadow.

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Warm Colors on a Cold Morning

I wanted to quickly transmute my new memories of a weekend in the woods with friends into something durable and creative, so I continued my turkeytail streak and completed a small mushroom drawing during Cassie’s nap yesterday.

This illustration is a sort of collage of mushrooms drawn from a natural grouping. Sometimes I grab one or two from one region, a few more from another, and combine them to my liking. It helps me pare down a large mass of fungi into an elegant little arrangement.

I liked the warm, muted, yellow hues of these mushrooms, and while I didn’t quite have the colors in my small collection of Copics to reproduce what I found in Nature, I blended what I had available to try to capture some of the feeling of the originals. I was also trying to be more economical with my micron pen this time, which is difficult for me, as I like a lot of tiny, busy linework.

I’ve managed to fall into a really productive, creative routine lately, in which numerous hobbies and loves are being mutually nurtured, my motivation is high and my stress low, and I’m happy to share with you the yield of my efforts. If you’ve been following along with my journey by checking out my frequent posts to ToadChapel, I hope you’ve found it enjoyable, too. And thanks!

Week in the Woods (27 I 20)

This past weekend I visited my parents’ cabin (where I left this as a surprise) for a couple days of gaming and camaraderie with a pair of good friends. On Sunday morning, after one had left but before the other had rolled out of bed, I took a nice quiet walk around the lake.

I found plenty of beautiful and strange things in the cold misty morning. Read on to see what else I found.

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Mushrooms for Mom

Having forgotten on two occasions to hand this over to my mother, I finally gave her something special I’ve been sitting on for many weeks.

Mom is a talented artist who is making time to do more and more drawing in recent months, so I gave her a blank journal to house her illustrations, writing, and other creative or personal output. Like her son, she nurtures interests in Nature, mushrooms, weird natural shapes & textures, and more in her art. To push her a little in that direction, I added the above turkeytails to the first page with an inscription. I had fun making it and even more when I finally got the chance to let it go.

Love you, Mom!

10Ball's Nifty Rust Technique: a Quick Guide on Weathering Metals

ToadChapel’s friend and regular contributer Lee Hebblethwaite returns to introduce another fun and effective technique to spice up your mini painting. Though 10Ball is better known for his outstanding NMM, he also knows a thing or two about gorgeous true metallic metals. Read on to learn how Lee makes use of liquid mask to lend character to his corrosion!

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Week in the Woods (19 I 20)

These photos were taken last week, so I backdated our Week accordingly. Cold has kept little Cassie & me grounded lately, which makes these memories a little sweeter.

On one of our favorite hikes we saw some amazing mushrooms and more. These fellows have… what?! Gills on the top? I sure don’t know. They look sort of geometric. Probably have to draw them, no?

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A Green Goodbye

I found time to draw a bunch of showy turkeytail mushrooms today. A friend at work is retiring and the two of us share a love of and interest in the natural world, so I thought I would make John a little gift. A few of the identifications on my photographs have come from him, and he’s used a couple of my images in his environmental science class.

I still don’t know how turkeytails and other bracket fungus turn green, but maybe John knows. I certainly intend to ask him!

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