125 – Fungi (study)

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1000 drawings, Contrast sketchbook, Illustration, Nature, Textures


Number 3 in my small studies sketchbook.

It’s a close up of an unidentified Californian mushroom which features in my all-time favourite coffee table book, “Treasures from the Kingdom of Fungi” by Taylor F. Lockwood – whom I had the pleasure to meet at a fungi fair in Santa Cruz, when I lived there many moons ago.

I have a big thing for mushrooms. Before I had my son, I sometimes used to set off at dawn with a field guide, camera, coffee flask, biscuits and roll up baccy… pick a general direction in the hills near Hebden Bridge in the Pennines… and just wander about until sunset looking out for fungi to identify and photograph. Aside from being a very cautious mycologist, I didn’t usually pick any; I like to leave them to their own natural life span. They are so amazing; a real anomaly in our natural world. Like aliens from outer space cohabiting our planet in a totally different way to us.

Anyway, I digress. As usual, monochromatic on the left and watercolour on the right.

I like the colour panel; I thought I’d be struggling more with it. Inversely, I was initially confident about the black side, but that turned out a massive flop.

The point of this exercise is for me to improve my line shading, at the same time as improving my watercolour technique, so I’m not too bothered about making masterpieces. Just trying, and learning.

It’s like being at art school again! 🙂 Just with a lot more moderate consumption of alcohol, and no more ciggies.


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