Week in the Woods (11 I 20)

Freezing temperatures gave way to an afternoon near 70 degrees on Saturday, ensuring that Cassie & I would find time to explore a few of our favorite trails. We had a good day hunting mushrooms & other interesting stuff!

I brought my macro lens into the woods again, something I just started doing but now feel I almost can’t do without. I’ve come to really enjoy it, and today got some fun shots of a few miniature beauties, such as these… I’m not sure whats. I’ll watch to see if they grow. Maybe they’re some sort of tooth fungus. I love their frilly lace hemline!

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Mossy Branches

I found time for a little drawing today. And it is little, about five square inches. I like compact and small images and often start an illustration by tracing around the base of a coffee mug or roll of tape.

Mossy jungle gym
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Drawing with Pointillism to Render Nice Leaves

My friend Lauren was admiring a leaf I drew and saying she’d like to try one like it. I prepared this little cheat sheet to help her in her efforts.

Lauren’s leaf

Read on to learn how I draw a leaf like that.

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Turkeytails Forever!

My Nature illustration kick continues, this time returning to an old favorite.

These are inspired by some turkeytails Cassie & I found in Allegheny Cemetery last year. In the spirit of the place, you might be able to imagine a skull in my drawing if you squint.

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Another Round of Pixie Cups

Of course my new favorite lichens were so rad that I had to draw some more.

This little drawing uses colored pencils, where I had used Copics for color the first time. In the past several months I’ve used this set up (microns, white gel pen, and colored pencil) for my Lovecraftian microbes, but not for real subjects. It’s what I had on hand, though, and it worked out great.

I’ll definitely be drawing these again, I’m sure. I’d like to find some more so I have more reference material!

Skunkworks

I had such fun with my pens & markers yesterday that I pulled them out again today while Cassie baby napped. She gave me just long enough to bang out a complete drawing.

These are drawn from a couple of beautiful skunk cabbages my mom photographed last March.

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Pixie Cup Portrait

It’s been a while since I posted a Nature drawing, but you had to know I couldn’t resist using my art tools to get closer to the pixie cup lichens I found while hiking in the woods a few weeks back. They’re too funny and beautiful to remain just in a photograph.

Drawing of lichens found while hiking and investigating Nature
So alien!

I had a very fun time trying to capture the lichens’ colors & contours, and their dusty surfaces covered in propagules. Balancing a lot of similar colors (I used seven different green Copics, plus a green micron pen!) was also an interesting challenge. Ultimately, I am happy with this drawing, because it made me happy to draw it.

If you haven’t seen the actual pictures of this fantastical symbiote, check out Week in the Woods from Christmas Eve.

I’ve also got a tutorial that breaks down how I do these pen & marker drawings of Nature subjects. Whether or not you use my approach, I encourage you to draw something cool soon, especially if it’s been a while!