Mushrooms are one of my favourite things to sketch, I love their unique shapes and it's always fun going out for walks in autumn to spot them. I often document the ones I see in my sketchbook - see more of my sketchbook pages here.
I also love eating mushrooms, although never the ones I find in the woods in case they're poisonous. However, earlier this year I had the pleasure of collaborating with Merryhill Mushrooms, who sell home mushroom growing kits, and I got to grow and eat my very own mushrooms (as well as doing lots of drawings of them!)
I was sent a shiitake and a pink oyster kit, and after leaving them to grow for a week or so I was ready to harvest a fresh batch of tasty mushrooms.
As the mushrooms were growing, I used my sketchbook to document the process, regularly drawing what the fruiting bodies looked like poking out of their box! It was a nice way to capture the change as the mushrooms grew, and their amazing forms and shapes.
The shiitake mushrooms all grew together on a log, starting with lots of little pin head sized mushrooms poking out until you could barely see the log anymore! I used a combination of ink lines, watercolour washes and pencil shading to add some extra texture to these drawings.
The pink oyster mushrooms grew in clusters from various holes in the box, creating the most amazing bright pink trumpets! I sketched this cluster in my sketchbook using an ink brush pen, I like the thick, varied lines it creates. Then I added washes of watercolour paint, to capture that intense colour.
I made some of the illustrations into an insert card design to be included with future mushroom-growing kits. The cards are nice little extra freebie for customers, as well as utilising my sketches to give an idea of what the mushrooms should look like once ready to pick!
I really enjoy working with small business brands to create illustrated content that tells their stories, if you'd like to work together get in touch!