Week in the Woods (26 III 20)

In these days of confinement and anxiety it’s been comforting to get outside even a little bit. I thought I’d share some pictures from the last few weeks, which saw Winter slowly loosening its grip on my area, even as we all hunkered down.

My wife spotted this stick snake on the short trail near our house. I love its goofy nose. Now we check for it each time we walk by.

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Week in the Woods (25 II 20)

Cassie & I were able to hit the trails for the first time in weeks yesterday. Lately it’s been either dry and cold or warm and wet, but never nice enough for a good hike. Our excursion was great fun, even though the woods were pretty drab. Here are a few of our finds!

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Mushrumps for Granny

At last her search is over. Granny has found an incredible patch of all sorts of mushrooms! Perfect for her soup!

What have we here?

There are a few poisonous fungi in these woods, but Granny knows what’s good and what’s not.

She’ll never tell you where she found them!

My plan is to add a few animals to complete the scene, but I’m basically done with this fun project at last. Don’t forget to check out the tutorial on sculpting the mushrooms I have scattered throughout this diorama.

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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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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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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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