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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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!

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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Trouble at the Taberna

Two weeks were enough to finish this fun and creativity-inspiring project. I’m a Latin teacher and have studied antiquity for more than half my life, but this is (almost) my first foray into the Roman world as a modeler. It was also my first complex diorama, but it certainly won’t be my last. I’m going to bring this scene into class to share with my students, and I can’t wait to hear what they have to say.

So much going on!

Read on for a peek at all the details and my thoughts on creating this piece.

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