How To: Paint Mushrooms with Watercolors and Ink | Stephanie Kilgast | Skillshare

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How To: Paint Mushrooms with Watercolors and Ink

teacher avatar Stephanie Kilgast, Contemporary artist.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (54m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Mushroom Basics

    • 4. Composition

    • 5. Mushroom Sketch

    • 6. Watercolor Blending Exercices

    • 7. Mushroom Ink Drawing

    • 8. Mushroom Watercolor Painting

    • 9. Conclusion

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About This Class


A fun class perfect for those chilly autumn days where you want to cosy up at home at do something colorful.
This class is going to show you how to easily draw and paint mushrooms and turn your knowledge into a vibrant watercolor painting.
Tips and tricks on materials are also included.
Fit for beginners, but certainly inspiring for more advanced artists!

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While this class doesn't need any prior knowledge, I would recommend watching these two basics class first:
- Abstract watercolor painting and blending technique
- Art and Colors, How to Pick and Compose:

C L A S S - S U M M A R Y

Drawing Mushrooms
First Sketch

F O L L O W - M E




Meet Your Teacher

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Stephanie Kilgast

Contemporary artist.


Inspired by natural forms, Stéphanie Kilgast’s artwork is an ode to nature and its current biodiversity. Plants, mushrooms, insects and other animals encounter in a vibrant swirl of colors under her brush or sculpting tools.

Since 2017, in her series “Discarded Objects”, she grows colorful organic sculptures on human-made objects, celebrating the beauty of nature in a dialogue with humanity, questioning the lost balance between human activities and nature.
Her work has a cheerful post apocalyptic feel to it, a reassuring reminder that nature has the capacity to grow back, if we only let it.

She built her reputation and her sculpting skills around hyperrealistic miniature food sculptures. Her wo... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello. My name is Stephanie, and I have been a professional artist for the last 10 years. In today's video, I'm going to share with you a very fun class about mushrooms and watercolors. We're going to do a few exercises for you to get comfortable with watercolors and drawing mushrooms, and then we're going to dive into composing your very own mushroom watercolor painting. It is a very fun class. There is absolutely fit for beginners, but also interesting enough for more advanced painters. I really hope that you're going to pick this class, but most importantly, that you're going to have lots of fun with it. So pick some, thank your favorite watercolors and some good quality paper, and let's dive into this class. 2. Materials: the materials that we're going to need for this class is off course paper what you call a pains, some inking pen and some pencils. Now, if you do not want to think, I would suggest to not use a regular pencil but a water. Call a pan cell to make your sketch first, as it's going as the lines are going to dissolve. Once you put the water color paint on for the paper, you have to keep two things in mind. One is the paper sickness. You want to go with something rather thick, like 300 ground per square meter. Analysis is the usual thickness water cold pains. You can find something that is a bit less sick, like 200 grams, but usually 300 is the norm and is also the most agreeable to work with. And the 100% cotton, which is also really nice just because you're going to be able to blend your colors nicely off course, your paper needs to be acid free, but from experience that's type off paper is always asset freeze with it's usually less of a concern. Another thing with paper is the rain off the paper. My favorite paper is hot pressed simply because I work on details and hot pressed paper usually is extremely smooth, so it's very easy for me to draw and go into details. Usually, the paper that is suggested, especially for beginners, is fine. Grain and cold. Pressed for the paper is easier to work with just about the colors and the blending. And lastly, even though 100% cotton is supposed to be the best, I also have a bunch of other paper that is not 100% cotton and not just the underground. This one is with bamboo. It's supposed to be more and drive until friendly. That's why I got it hard. Mamula is German brand, and it's a pretty good paper, and this one is on Lee, so to speak. 265 grand per square meter suit. That's pretty fine as well, and one last thing I profess use blocks off paper that are glued on the four sides, so I leave the paper onto the block. I paint. It, gets wobbly dries it, gets nice and flat again, and then on Lee, when the paint is finished and completely dried. I removed the paper from the blood, which interests me a very nice finish, not for the pains. It's really going to depend if you intend to sell your work or not. So if it's just for fun, or if it's something that you're going to keep for yourself and you're just going to scan your paintings and sell them digitally or whatever off for Prince, then you don't have to bother too much about the quality of the pains in the sense that even if you have weak pigments, it's going to be fine. However, if you intend to sell your artwork, then I would suggest to really dive into pigments. And for that I will recommend you a website which is called handprints. This website is just a treasure off resource is about pigments. Light Fastness As a general rule of thumb, it's better to use colors that are made with just one pigment because you can't better mix the colors together after and you're not. You're not going to get any money problems. This website is also going to explain which pigments off high quality and which pigments to avoid. So again, if she wants to sell the artwork. If you are already a bit more advanced and are looking into paintings to sell yourself, then really take the time to check this website out. And whatever water polo pains, even higher brands that you may have a to just double check which pigments they used and could decide those pigments that ad wrists not great. And just focus on the pigments that are bests. Well, the ink I'm using Father Castell, they use Indian ink in its waterproof. What you really want to keep in mind is to use an ink that is waterproof and then his light fast. I personally like Father Castell and I personally used the X s because I really like to dig into detail, and I'm using a relatively small papers, so I really need to be extra careful with the thickness off the pen. 3. Mushroom Basics: So for the first step of this to general, we're going to draw some mushrooms just so you get a little bit accustomed to drawing them . Mushrooms essentially made off different types of things. You first have the camp, which is the head of the mushroom, if you will. Just underneath you're going to have the gills, and then you're going to have the stem off Stipe with the ring, which is that kind off skirt that you can see just underneath the mushroom. And usually the base of the mushroom is a little bit thicker, and often they're some kind of skin just round as the mushroom grew out of it. Most of the gills are lines like this. So what you want to keep in mind when drawing the skills is that you go from the center to the outside and you can add a little bit off rounded nous. If you want you essentially, this is a mushroom. No, of course, you can play around with the shape of the cap if it's retire, or if you wanted to be a little bit curved on the outside, and the stem also can be very long and very thin. You can also route move the ring. You can make the stem really small and then make plenty off different mushrooms that go from the same thing out. On the contrary, you can make a cap that is very chunky and a stem most time that is very chunky as well. Now, of course, this is a little bit boring, and you can always add some patrons on top off everything so you can add something that looks like tiled mosaic, which is fairly common in the mushroom world. And then off course. You can add lines to the caps, and, and of course, you can also add some tiny dots. There are other types of mushrooms that are a little bit order but more simple in shape, like something that looks a bit like a cone. But very elongated mushrooms are very forgiving in the sense that there are so many shapes round and so many out forms that usually you can go away with almost anything. You can also make caps that are very irregular. Mosul's have cups that are very regular, was plenty of holes in them. Sometimes the rings are a little bit more layered like you and certain stems more complex there, more geometric, and they're really have complex Petron. The idea of this first exercise, it's really for you to get used to drawing mushrooms without thinking too much about it. Most people knew the gills. Like these simple lines, however, some gills are actually tiny dots. If you have never worked on mushrooms before, I would highly suggest to check out reference pictures before this is going to be a lot easier for you to play around with. Also, don't be shy to try different patterns that don't really exist in the real world, but that she just really like Langlands, for instance. Here I'm making some stripe in the other sense. You can also imagine that this stem itself has some stripes on it. If you want to add more realism to a mushroom, I would suggest two things. First, you want to add some in dense and marks on the cap, and then you want to be sure to add a double line just between the cap and the gills. Okay, - way to make base a little bit thicker and added on little skin on the but, um, off the base, then add some texture all around, usually adding a lot of details, make the mushroom look a lot more realistic. If, however, you want something that is less realistic, then I would suggest to try to remove the gills and go for more simplified shapes and then simply play around with patterns everywhere, less details, less realism. And then you can really work with colors at the end. 4. Composition: Now let's talk a little bit about composition. So what was going to do you is to try and center the mushrooms more or less in the centre. What you want is kind of a cluster. This is the goal of this class to make something like this. So either way, you can use it presente lee or vertically. That's fine. But you really want to keep in mind to have kind of a cluster of things that go in the middle, and this is where we're going to concentrate our efforts and our colors. Now, this means that you are going to have one single focal point, usually one bigger mushrooms off several bigger mushrooms and then a lot off tiny things all the rounds. So you want to do that? So when you see the artwork you're going, Teoh have sort often understanding off what is going on. And this is also going to help a lot of your own composition. You don't have to you this off course. You can also imagine a composition off things that have the same size about the same size at least, and nothing really. That goes over the other. This will work as well, Or you can also play around with something that is very geometric and make a collection off mushrooms in different colors and shapes and sizes and order them on your sheet of paper, a bit illustration style. You can also imagine line and then go from there that you have things that are growing on that specific line. When working in lines like this you want to, you might want to keep in mind the 1/3 rule. You basically divide your sheet off paper and three and you're going to put your mushrooms in. One of the three things is going to be a very different composition if you put in in the middle or in the bottom. I don't really see how in the top would work unless unless you're making something underneath like you would have your mushrooms and underneath maybe the Earth and the all their roots and connections. So this could be an interesting composition. So you would have, for instance, all the mushrooms here on top with all the colors, something very bright, and he had just lines, maybe white on a black background or something like that. Off course, this is just very easy compositions. This is by no means a composition to trail just a few ideas that you can work on. 5. Mushroom Sketch: what I always do first before starting any kind of painting is to make sure that I have margin over the painting. E usually just add one central. Me too for that specific size because it's pretty small. So more seems like too much. And usually so I have a big idea off what I want and where I want it. I'm just going to sort of very quickly draw a few mushrooms. He in that You kind of know. Okay, I want something here. Maybe. And I want to kind of take space like this. Maybe he is well, so I just know where have to draw things and know what I'm going to use to simply go on and raw the mushrooms that I want. Since I have been drawing mushrooms for a very long time, I don't really need reference pictures anymore. However, by all means, use the drawings that you made previously to kind of help you out on how to draw the mushrooms in this step. And I would also suggest you'd like I do right now to start with a crayon so you can raise it afterwards. Why not go with the ink right away. Unless, of course, you feel super comfortable about it and then just go ahead. For me, it really depends on the difficulty of the painting. Sometimes I will draw things upfront, and sometimes I will do its later off. Sometimes I will go ahead and work with ink right way. My last advice for this step would be to kind of go with the flow and not really over. Think it and just kind of add mushrooms without much thoughts, as if you don't like it. For some reason, you can't always raise it, so it doesn't really matter too much. Also, you might want you add some repetitive patterns just to fill the space. You can be very abstract with it. 6. Watercolor Blending Exercices: So in order for you to blend a color into nothing into the paper, what you're going to start is to start with the color itself. You can make it us pigmented as you want, and then you rinse your brush and then you add watch from the other side, and then you just simply go from one to the other. And that way you have a nice blending. Now the same thing applies if you are going from one color to another. So let's start with the purple again. And now I'm going to go over something that is a libit brownish, and so I simply on the other color. And then I'm going to go to the orange and as you can see the and as you can see, they seemingly blend in another just because you were quick enough to go from one to the other. So this is something that I would like you to try out for yourself simply because we're going to use it in the class. I really love grade ins. So it's something that I do a lot to go from one color to another, and some are easier than others. What you want to be sure of is to really rinse your brush off before you use another color . And another tip that, I would add is to go over neutral color eso you don't have the in between mix because he I went from yellow to a bluish tune. Now if I had gone just from, let me show you next suit. So if I go only from something that is a Renji yellow directly something that is bluish, then in the middle, I'm going Teoh. I'm going to get something that is a little bit greenish, which is not as it's a problem, but it's not what I wanted to sue. If you don't want any kind of green in the middle, the key is to basically use another color so you can see here it's green and he its very neutral because I went and used a dark brown in between the yellowish and the bluish. Same between the purple and orange. I used a dark throne. I really like to use a very dark brown. It almost looks like black, so simply practiced like this, a few very bright colors and mix them to something that is very different and go over something that is blackish grown that drone over. No, the color. Now this essentially is the first step that we're going to use in the water cooler pains lately. Now the second thing that I'm going to do is once it's dry, you can go over the paint and just simply make it darker. So if I want a more intense sparkle, I'm just going to do basically this wash, but over the colors. So I'm just adding more pigment and then fading. It's in tow, watcher and you the same on the other side. With the orange, I'm just adding orange and then feeding it into the Watcher. I like to add the pigments slowly and not all at once at the beginning, simply because it gives you the ability off a better control off the vibrancy of your colors. For instance, if here I think that I don't really like the blue, for some reason I can go over some purple, for instance, and change its so this gives you a bit small freedom when you work on your painting. It's also it's also going to make more interesting mixes so you can for instance, start with something that is yellowish and then decide to add something that is more orangey, and then maybe decide you like the green and then makes into a real green. Another blue Seles A. Really just layers and layers off colors just to get the vibrancy that you want. Another thing to keep in mind. I'm going to make a quick mushroom just to show you So The idea, of course, is to start with the first layer that is very lights. So now, as you can see, I used That's Pantsil, that this water soluble. I used it very strongly, but it's still the soft into the water. So I make a first wash off something that is a little bit orangey, and now we're going to imagine that the light comes like this. It's on this side. You're going to have highlights on on this side shadows. So basically the first layer is your highlight, and then I simply add a darker layer on the other side. So my shadow is basically just a more pigmented version of the same color. And of course, that's not quite enough for the shadow, So I'm going to show young another one. But basically, if you want some more shadow. I used that dark drowned and I faded into the colors onto the colors and toe watcher so that you have, like, one darkness. I'm always imagining that the light comes like this. So you want something darker here, and then you just blend it on the other side. Just be sure you always rinse your brush in between blending, so the blending is smooth and often you're going to be obligated to do it a few times just to get the shading rights because you don't want it to be too harsh. So it's better to start slights and just to add up. Okay, this is essentially the techniques that were going to use later. So feel free to play around with them until you feel comfortable, and then we can go on and work on the mushroom composition 7. Mushroom Ink Drawing: So once you feel ready with your composition, you can start to think I am going to use a farmer. Castell excess. I like very fine lines. But depending on what you want, you might want to use the s or even a m all. Maybe a brush or use a rotering on any kind of other fine liners that you have at home. Now, be a mind. I simply drew the lines where I think they wanted to be. I'm going to under more lines with the ink now, depending on how skilled or how comfortable you are withdrawing, you might want to work a little bit more upfront before going to the inking step. My style tends to be colorful and realistic, so usually go with that. If you, however really like shapes that was simplified and make me more with muted tones, then that is fine as well. I really want you to find what you like best and not force yourself to use a lot of colors or using Ah, what not You can also not use the ink and and directly go with watercolors. However, if you want to do that, I would suggest that you don't drop with a simple Crean, but use a watercolor pencil. So then you can simply work on top and the lines are going to dissolve into you want to call it pains? You will note that I don't add any shadows, which is usually when you only Inc I am always adding the shadows, partly with watercolor pains and partly at the end with ink. You can think once you have added colors with water colors. For the rest of this step, I have sped up my thinking process by four times, so you're able to watch it completely. Otherwise, it would have been too long. Tow watch. I've watched it myself, and I find the speed to be comfortable. However, if for some reason it's not agreeable for you, please let me know. I hope this time lapse helps you visually. To better understand how to draw mushrooms, it seemed. Leave me with my just one. Thank you. You 8. Mushroom Watercolor Painting: for the colors. I picked purple, orange and teal, and the idea is to go from grade Ian's off orange on the top two. Purple down and go over maybe black or white and then add some bits off teal everywhere. So this is the color scheme that I have chosen off course. You can pick whatever colors you like best and work from that. When you're adding water color, you want to be fairly quick. Us want to call it dries, so you want to be sure to make the whole shape. You're working in a very fast pace, and here I am, going over something that is slightly greyish. Try to arrive on the bottom at something that is more purplish. As you can see, I'm working very fast. You blend in the colors from one to the other simply by in putting on the colors off one and then mixing them together. And now, instead of shadows, which is going to add the same color but a bit dunker, more pigmented ends less watered down. As you can see, I'm adding a first darker layer, and then I am blending it into the rest of the color just be sure to clean your brush when you're blending every color and chew the paper for the gills, as it is a lot darker and more sugary. I'm adding a bits off brown, dark brown to the mixture. I've decided that the light will come like this so shadows will be on this side everywhere . - Keep adding shadow when she needs to be. Also feel free to on some details way. I just want I just want to. - As you can see, I like to work in layers because I find it easier to work with colors that way, adding variations and details and also starting with the lighter color. Until I get the vibrant, bright ones I want change, that's you can always add more details with the ink. If you feel like that, you big gaps in your composition. And I also like to go over the gilts again just to make them a bit DACA and add a little bit more ink where the shadows lie. Just be sure that you want to call us dry before doing this, - OKay , 9. Conclusion: Thank you so much for taking this class. I really hope you loved it. Please also share your project with the class so everyone can see it. And I also love to see what you come up with. If you want to share your project on social media, don't forget to tag me. I go by the moniker at particular pretty much anywhere. Thank you for taking the time to view this video. And I will see you in my next one by