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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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!

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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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!