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How to Colour a Mushroom

Johanna Basford has lots of mushrooms in her books, so I thought it might be useful to show you a way of colouring them. I have chosen the small one in Worlds of Wonder to demonstrate but this technique can be used for any. I am going to concentrate on the larger mushroom and have decided to colour it mainly orange/red.

I start with a light orange (I have chosen polychromos 113 orange glaze) and colour the whole thing.

Then I take a darker orange (I have used polychromos 115 dark cadmium orange) and go over each edge but not the centre. I press harder and colour more layers on the very edge and fade towards the middle.

Then I take a red (I have used polychromos 117 light cadmium red) and go over the very edges and fade towards the middle. I do not cover all of the dark cadmium orange and I apply more layers nearer to the very edge.

I then go back over all of the colours again to darken and blend them. This time I start with the red just covering the same area I did before, then the dark orange, overlapping the red and then the orange glaze, which I put all over.

For the spots, I want them to stand out and look three dimensional. So I put a small layer of dark brown under each also covering the black line that is there (I use polychromos dark sepia 175).

I want my spots to be white so I use a white gel pen to colour them as I want to cover any orange or brown marks and also erase the black line at the top. (I use a sakura gelly roll nib size 10)

For the underside and stem of the mushroom I use a warm grey colour and firstly add a light layer all over (I use polychromos 273 warm grey 1V)

Then I emphasise the shadow under the mushroom by putting some darker colour on the gill area with quite a hard pressure and add shape to the stalk using the same pencil. I also use it to add some shadow at the top of the stalk. (I use dark sepia again for this). On the stalk I have used much gentler pressure as there is less shadow here but I have covered the black printed line on the edges and top in quite a heavy layer.

Then I colour the details. I have chosen a warm orange/yellow for the windows (polychromos 108 dark cadmium yellow) and have matched the door and the curtains in a red (polychromos 219 deep scarlet red)

I also do the chimney using the orange glaze shading the edges with the dark cadmium orange.

Lastly, I want to make the windows look like they have glass over them so I add some diagonal stripes with my gel pen.

The finished picture can be seen at the top of the page!

If you want to purchase any of the items used you can get them by clicking the links below:

Faber Castell Polychromos

White Sakura Gelly roll

World of Wonders by Johanna Basford.