Drawing simple shapes is a great way to get your drawing skills rolling. The cheerful-looking, red Fly Agaric mushroom is easy to draw, with its circular “hat” and simple stem. I have selected a nice photo with a small group of mushrooms to use as a reference so that we can consider composition too. In this video tutorial, I show you how to draw mushrooms in a realistic way while still using your imagination and creativity.
In the video, we go through the following steps:
- Drawing the outline of the mushrooms with a soft pencil. No need for shading whatsoever.
- Mixing the colors we use when painting a watercolor base, taking cues from swatches picked up from the photograph
- Painting the watercolor base, both mushrooms, and the ground
- Let it dry (use a hairdryer so you don’t have to wait)
- With a good selection of colored pencils, drawing all the details such as shading, texture, variations in colors and highlights.
- Painting the white spots with white gouache. We use it sparingly on stems to enhance the trunk shape. Gouache is like watercolor, only the pigment is much denser so that the paint is opaque, not transparent like watercolor.
In this video tutorial, I show you how to draw the mushrooms, what to consider with regards to composition, how to mix colors, painting a watercolor base and then lastly, drawing the realistic mushrooms with colored pencils.
If you want to skip drawing the outline and rather go straight to step 2, you can download a PDF with the drawing for free, and then trace it.
How to trace
- Draw with soft B or 2B pencil on tracing paper.
- Turn the tracing paper over.
- Draw with a hard pencil to transfer the drawing to watercolor paper.
Simple as that. When you download the PDF you will see why it is so simple. The drawing is flipped horizontally/mirrored so that when you flip the tracing paper it’s the right way down. Check my article with an easy step-by-step tutorial: How to trace onto watercolor paper.
Toolbox for watercolor with colored pencils
I don’t use regular, textured watercolor paper, because the texture makes it difficult to draw with colored pencils. Instead, I use smooth, hot-pressed watercolor paper that works beautifully with colored pencils, as I draw on top of the crisp, dry paint.
These are the tools I use, available in any artists’ supply store:
- Daler Rowney or Winsor & Newton watercolors.
- Permanent White Holbein Artists’ Gouache
- Various colored pencils by Faber Castell and Derwent Most stores sell single pencils, so you can select your own range of colors.
- White pencil by Stabilo. A cheaper version is available from Rembrandt
- Paper: Arches hot pressed, smooth 100% cotton white watercolor paper
- Medium size brush for the mushrooms, thick brush for the ground. You can buy single brushes or in sets. I use a variety of brushes, what's important is that it is good quality and the tip stays pointed after use.
- Watercolor tape
- A smooth piece of wood or custom wood to mount the paper.
When you paint with watercolor, you need to tape the paper onto a plate of wood with watercolor tape. This is because the paper buckles from the water and the tape holds it down flat when it dries. Here, I show you How to mount watercolor paper in a step-by-step tutorial.
And remember; I’m always happy to see what you are creating- drop me a line and a photo of your work!
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Best wishes to your creative joy!
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