Fun with Fungi: Texture, Composition, and Color | Emma McIntosh | Skillshare

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Fun with Fungi: Texture, Composition, and Color

teacher avatar Emma McIntosh, Digital & Fine Artist and Designer

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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

13 Lessons (1h 37m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Mushroom Anatomy

    • 4. Collect References

    • 5. Artist's Eye

    • 6. Setting up the File

    • 7. Roughing out the Sketch

    • 8. Refining the Composition

    • 9. Colour Blocking

    • 10. Adding Detail

    • 11. Fresh Eyes

    • 12. Finalise the Files

    • 13. Wrapping Up

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About This Class

Learn the way mushrooms are put together and how to express yourself through your very own mushroom art. Lovers of fungi will enjoy this class for its combination of the science of mushrooms and the world of art. And experienced illustrators will enjoy the challenge of styling these wondrous organisms while keeping the anatomy true.

The class will cover drawing techniques along with composition and design principles suitable for those just starting out. Experience in digital drawing and Photoshop is desirable, but not essential, and though the class is given using digital illustration tools, the core techniques can be used with a traditional medium.

By understanding the basics of mushroom anatomy, your illustrations are given a foundation in reality that will allow you to push beyond science in a believable way. Using the skills learned in this class you can illustrate mushrooms in a 'botanical' way or take a wander into whimsy!


This class will use Photoshop and a Wacom tablet with a stylus. Alternative tools may be Procreate on an iPad, or traditional fine art tools like pencils, ink and paint.

I’m an avid fungi fan who forages every autumn for edibles, creates mushroom art for walls and t-shirts, and designs mushroom logos. I love so much about them and I hope to share my love of mushrooms in art with you in class!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Emma McIntosh

Digital & Fine Artist and Designer


Hello, I'm Emma! I'm a lifelong creative who's spent my career and spare time doing art and illustration, graphic design, game art and visual design. I also love sewing, crafting and mushroom foraging.

I love learning new things and now I'm wanting to share some of the skills I've gathered over the years with other curious minds, I'm excited to be a teacher on Skillshare and look forward to seeing you in class!

Find me on Instagram for recent art and illustrations.

You can see more of my mushroom art on t-shirts and such at

Thanks for stopping by my profile :)

See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, thanks for taking a look at my class. My name is Emma McIntosh, and this is Fun with Fungi, illustrating a medley of mushrooms. I'm an Artist and Visual Designer with about 17 years of experience. I'm such a big fan of mushrooms. I love to forage them, I love to grow them, I love to eat them, and I love to paint them. I'm going to guess since you're here in this class you do too. I'm going to take you through creating an illustration of some mushrooms. A bit of a background in mushroom anatomy which will give your mushrooms a really believable foundation, you can take them into whimsy or keep it really botanical, up to you. Some of the parts of the class will be more focused on digital, but you can totally follow along with your traditional media. This class will be an interesting challenge for those experienced in drawing but new to mushrooms, but it would also be suitable for those starting out, wanting a foundation into digital art. The core principles that we'll cover in this class will be gathering reference material and how to interpret that with an artist's eye, and I'll give you some designer tips on how to create really engaging composition, how to choose your values, your colors, and your textures to really create a compelling piece. You'll find these skills in illustration and design really useful to apply to your other projects. But for now, let's create a medley of mushrooms. I'm really excited to see you in the project gallery. Let's get started. 2. Class Project: The project we will be working on in this class is illustrating a handful of mushrooms for printing or to share on line. One of the things I really enjoy about the subject of mushrooms is the range of textures, colors, shapes that you can find in the fungi kingdom. If you're a beginner, the shapes of the simple mushrooms will be really good to allow you to focus on the digital art techniques and getting comfortable in the digital art space. If you can get hold of some fresh mushrooms, even if they're from the super market, it can really help with your inspiration. There's just nothing like holding the real thing in your hand. How are we going to create this mushroom illustration? Firstly, I'm going to break down the parts of mushroom and then show you my creative process for gathering reference photos. I'll take you through how to interpret the reference photos. We aren't creating something photo realistic. So what do you leave out and what needs to go in? A few design decisions then need to happen. I'll walk you through each of those steps. We'll wrap up the composition and sketch and start selecting colors and adding detail. It's important to take a break from your work. It's easy to get too close to it. So after you come back with fresh eyes we will put in the finishing touches and get into how to finalize your exported files. If you don't already have a Pinterest account, I suggest setting one up before diving into the next class, as we'll be using this as a tool to collect references. Signing up to Pinterest is totally free and it's a really good resource for inspiration. I've added a mushroom anatomy referenced PDF for you to download, which might be handy to have on the side as we go through the later lessons and please do grab a notebook and a pen, and I'll ask you to jot down some of the things as we go. Post your progress in the project gallery so I and the other students can share in your progression and provide feedback. Now are you ready to learn some more about mushrooms? I'll see you in the next lesson. 3. Mushroom Anatomy: Have you ever stopped to consider how a mushroom grows? Well, a mushroom is actually a fruit. Not that kind of fruit, mushrooms are actually the fruiting bodies of an underground organism made up of fine root-like tendrils called mycelium. When the fungus is ready to reproduce, it forms a concentration of mycelium at the surface and pushes forward a fruiting body, which we would be used to seeing as mushrooms. The part of mushrooms that we will be most familiar with are the stem, the cap, and the gills. Gill mushroom like your supermarket varieties are beautiful but there are so many more types of mushrooms and fungi. I think many of us would be familiar with the fairy toadstool, the red mushroom with white spots, they're an example of a gill mushroom. But there are other kinds of mushrooms that don't have gills. Some of the most popular mushrooms in the culinary world actually have pores which are the entrances to little tubes in the cap. Examples of these are like the porcini also known as the penny bun. These are part of a Bolete family of mushrooms. There are also mushrooms that have teeth, like the hedgehog mushroom which is called so because the little spines underneath the cap can look like a cute hedgehog. But this is by no means an exhaustive list of fungi also things like cup fungi, which are the Peziza species which I'm a fan of. There are also puff balls which comes straight up out of the ground, they don't have a cap. Some little spikes, they're a solid mass and you've probably kicked them over on a walk. So when these fruiting bodies are mature they release spores. These spores go on and produce another organism, and when that fungi is ready to reproduce, it puts forward its own fruiting body. And as it grows up, some of these mushrooms actually have kind of like an egg or they have a veil around them. And as the mushroom grows, that veil can break and form this partial veil or annulus or ring. Something like you would've seen on a classic Amanita mushroom like the fairy toadstool. As that mushroom matures and the cap opens, the mushroom will release its own spores. Now that's a lot of mushroom science. So to help you soak that up, grab your notebook and a pen and write down two of the terms that you just heard, in the notebook. And after you've done that, if you haven't already, download the mushroom PDF, which has the anatomy, all the things we just spoke about, and jump into the next lesson. I'll see you there. 4. Collect References: Now, that we have an understanding of how mushrooms put together, let's go back collecting some reference material. I do like to paint from fresh mushrooms when I get the opportunity, but they are seasonal. I also like to paint from photographs of mushrooms using them as inspiration. Photographs have the added benefit of already being 2D, which is great because it just cuts out some of that brain processing. If you have a fresh mushroom in front of you, you have to take that 3D object and decide how that's going to be 2D. Having a photograph or an illustration of a mushroom to use as inspiration does cut some of that out of it. Let's go back collecting some images to use as a reference. I find Pinterest is a great resource. I encourage you to create a board and pin your finds here for easy reference. We can start by looking for different sorts of mushrooms that can come together in our composition. Now that you know some of the terms for mushrooms, you can enter these into the search field. Let's start with fungi. Already you can see some really nice variation and variety of mushrooms. Lots of textures and colors, and you can see the whole form of the mushroom, which is going to be really handy as a reference. When you hover over one of these images, if you're not familiar with Pinterest, you can choose which board to save that to. I already have a mushrooms board, which is already to use. But you can create a new board if you don't already have one. I'm going to save this to my mushrooms board just some cup fungi, and then Amanita muscaria, fairy toadstool, this medley of mushrooms that's lovely and this little umbrella. Now, because you know some of the terms for mushrooms, you can actually enter those into the search field as well. We'll get something a little bit more accurate. Perhaps Bolete mushrooms and we'll get more of these mushrooms that have pores. Porcini ceps, birch boletes. It's suggesting I can put it into my mushroom board already. There's some cup fungi here. This is interesting, so it's really up to you what you find appealing. You can just add what looks interesting to your board. I'd like to also have my board open in a separate tab. So have this as the search tab and have my specific board open in another tab so I can refresh my browser and see my collection growing. I can see here I've got perhaps lots of this type of shape of mushroom. Perhaps I want some more of these parasol mushrooms. I type that in here. You can see there's some nice shapes to choose here. Photography and illustration all have copyright belonging to the owner. So we're not going to copy these exactly. We'll use them as a reference and as an inspiration. But it is good to be mindful of other people's IP and copyright. A good way to work is to look for a hero mushroom, something special or unique that will set the tone and perhaps the colorscape for your piece. Well, this is quite a nice one, Lactarius indigo. You can see I'm really going down a rabbit warren here of different sorts of fungi and mushrooms. Let's check back in with the board. Refresh my browser. I think I'm going to use this one is my hero mushroom and around that I'm gonna put some of the other mushrooms perhaps this coral mushroom. I really like the shape of this mushroom, it's got an umbonate cap with a little peak. Perhaps some of these finer parasol type mushrooms. I might actually, have a look for Mycena mushrooms they have they have that very spindly stalk and small cap looking like a parasol, very delicate. They come in all sorts of colors. This one has the mycelium popping out around the bottom and very interesting cap. These are interesting, they are Schizophyllum. They have a beautiful shape to them. Schizophyllum commune, it's a split gill mushroom. Cup fungi, they've some beautiful shapes and lots of different colors. Now that one looks like a lichen. Yes, it's lichen. I like these little cups and the texture there, that's interesting. You could actually add a bit of lichen to this board. It's not strictly fungi. They do include a fungi, but they have a really nice variety of shape. They're not really mushroom, but I think they will complement the composition quite well. They might actually form a really nice background for the mushrooms to sit on. Back to my board and refresh the browser. Now we have a really nice selection of colors and shapes, different scales and sizes. Got some wispy, thin ones, some sort of fatter, wider strokes, solid caps, different cap-shapes. This one's a flared cap, tall and skinny. We've got some lichen and moss which could be good to fill in some gaps. Once you've got a Pinterest board together, click the "Share" button up here, come down to "Copy link". Once you have your link copied, come over into the project gallery and share it with the rest of the class. Your collection of mushroom inspiration! See you in the next lesson. 5. Artist's Eye: Now that we've collected some reference material, we'll need to analyze it. One of the reasons I like Pinterest boards is you can see many things at once, like a moodboard. I'm going to use this to let my eyes skim over all the images and take in the shapes and see if some ideas spark in my mind. You can see the images are all different styles, angles, lighting. We'll have to analyze the ones that we choose as references for the parts that we'll include in the illustration and the parts that won't work. I really like this mushroom here for a hero Mushroom, which I'll position probably in the center. I think it's interesting because it has this funnel shape which goes up from the bottom and flares upwards, its creating an umbrella. I think I can tuck in some mushrooms underneath here. This a Lactarius indigo. It's a milkcap. One of the other things I like about this mushroom is there's a contrast between the textures and the values. Values are your lights and darks and there's kind of a light colored stem, and then we've got this large canvas area of finely packed gills, mostly dark and then we've got a rim of light coming along the top. I think because these gills are so finely position together. They almost form a blank area or canvas. I think that will be really nice to position some more interestingly textured mushrooms against it, and they won't compete by being too busy all at once. I've got these spaces under here, I'd like to tuck in some more interesting mushrooms. This is a Laccaria. Laccaria species, not a specific subspecies. This Laccaria has a very open gill and has a contrast between values of light, dark. I think this will probably tuck in well perhaps on the right of this Lactarius indigo mushroom. On the left perhaps I'll take something that's not as busy to provide a contrast there. We're always looking for a balance between busy, which has energy and not busy, which will create some calm. You want a bit of tension in your artwork but not so much that it overwhelms your viewer. You want to take them on a bit of a visual journey. If they feel overwhelmed and there's too much competing for their attention and there's no visual hierarchy directing their eye through your artwork, then they'll feel overwhelmed and it won't feel good to look at the piece. So you really want to strike a balance. You can skew in either of those two directions. Perhaps bit more tension or perhaps a bit more calm, but I've got busy gills in these two images. So I'm going to go a little bit more plain, and I think since this is a Bay bolete. So this has got the classic mushroom shape and it's got, pores. It's a Bolete. We don't have one of those mushrooms in this yet, and I like the way that this is a little taller and also it leans to the left. So I think it'll tuck in really nicely here on the open space here on the left of this Hero mushroom. So I think this is going to be the three that I'll start with. Maybe I'll fill in some spaces in the front with something smaller and lower. So perhaps these little fungi. What are these? They're lichen. So perhaps we can fill in some spaces with this little lichen. I like the way these are pushing up, little cup. They look a little bit like little gnomes or creatures. So I've got some purple, got some sort of purpley browns, I've got some browns and yellows, and if I choose this lichen it's got green in it. I really like this mushroom but I don't know if it'll fit in later, but it has a very different shape to the rest I've just selected. It's a lot of open space here and I think if you don't leave it open in the composition, you might actually not see the stem. So if I find that I need something quite delicate to fill a spot, I think I'll come back to that mushroom but in the meantime I do want to have something finer in this composition and I really do like these Mycena. You can see at the base of these stems where they join into the substrate that they're growing from. You can see these tiny little fluffy filaments. So this is the mycelium. So I think these are going to be the mushrooms that I start with as references for my illustration, and if I have some gaps that I need to fill later on, I can come back to my board. So let's prepare the canvas that we'll be working on. I'll see you in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 6. Setting up the File: I'll begin by opening up Photoshop using Creative Cloud 2020 version. If you're following along on Procreate, if you're creating your art on a piece of paper or a Canvas then this is the time when you would select the size that you're going to work at and get that set up. If you are working in Photoshop, you can follow along, you'll come up here on the right and dropdown to choose your workspace. The different spaces, setup for different functions, I think painting will probably work for us pretty well here, we can customize things as we need, but it does give us access to some colors swatches in the beginning, your brushes panel, which is already open, and you've got your layers panel which we'll be using quite a lot. On the left you'll find all of your tools, primarily, we will be using the brush tool, which is this one here. When creating any illustration, you need to consider its final use. If you're creating something digital, that includes the size and the resolution of the file, and there are some defaults here. You can look at in Photoshop. If you're using traditional media to create this project, then this lesson is going to be less relevant to you as you're creating your art at its final size but if you're planning to use your art in a digital way, then you'll need to get it into the computer and then you will need to pay attention to things like the size and resolution. Have a think about how you're going to print this file if you are going to print it. The file size here is 16.93 centimeters, about this big. If I'm having this framed in a custom way, then file size, well, I can have a custom file size but if you are planning to buy a pre-made frame, it is worth having a look into, perhaps the standard sizes that they're coming in and maybe even choose your frame before you do the art. This particular IKEA frame here is showing the size which is really useful, is quite a lot of detail down here. Without the mount, its 23 by 23 centimeters which is this white area here on that board. I quite like to leave the mat board in, I feel like it is quite professional, it gives a little space around your art on the wall. With the mount, the picture ought to be 13 by 13 centimeters, and actually showing is 12 by 12 centimeters. That is something that's worth considering if your artwork is, for example, 16.93 centimeters and you definitely want to put it in that particular frame. It's okay to work at a bigger file dimension but you might want to put into margins so that nothing important falls in that area that's going to be cut off by the mat board or by the frame. You can make files smaller, you lose a little bit in quality, it is best to have it at the same size that you created, but you can't go bigger. If you're going to make a change, it's okay to go smaller, but don't go bigger. If you go bigger, you do lose a lot of detail and you get that pixellated look which is fuzzy and doesn't look very good. Resolution 300 dpi, RGB color, so this will be a square. If you're running something like six by four inches, then you would enter those details here but I'm happy with this, I'm going to give it a title call it Medley of Mushrooms. Clicking OK and there's my file. The technical stuff can be hard to hold on to, so take the time to write down the resolution of the file that you're going to need to get started, particularly if you want to print and also work out the dimensions of the artwork. Next up, we will be roughing out the sketch, I'll see you in the next lesson. [MUSIC] 7. Roughing out the Sketch: Now, that we have the file setup, we'll need our brain to create a filter. I'm going to select these image and bring them into Photoshop. If you're following along on paper or canvas, you might like to have your Pinterest board up on the screen, at the same time as you're drawing. If you are in Procreate, you might need to switch between apps. But if you're working in Photoshop, you can follow along. I'm going to take this Lactarius indigo image, right-click, "Copy the Image". I'm going to "Alt, Tab" back to Photoshop and create a new document. I'm going to make sure that the document type is clipboard, because it will automatically resize it to something I've just copied to the clipboard. I won't name it right now, and I'll "control paste". I'm just going to go up here to the tab and grab the tab with a left-click and just drag off and let go. That brings it into its own separate window, which will float and we'll take that window and just move it over and do this for the rest of the references. An uneven number like three or five or seven just gives the central focus rather than splitting down in the middle, which can feel a little bit uncomfortable. An odd number can be a really good place to start. Now that I've got my references set up, I'm going to start with the general shapes. I'm going to switch now to the Medley of mushrooms document by clicking on the tab. You'll notice that these extra little windows remain open and floating above to the side of my artwork, which is a nice little trick. Going to the brush tool, you can come over to the toolbar on the left or hit the B key. Over here in the brushes panel, you can choose whichever brushes you like and there are a lot of brushes. I personally like the Kyle Ultimate Inking Thick and Thin brush, so I'm going to choose that one. I'm using a Wacom tablet and a stylus. If I right-click or you can program your stylus to say which button does what, But if you click on the stylus to bring up your brushes panel, then you have a larger dialogue that you can scroll through the brush selection. There's also previous choices here, so you can swap around and change you file size. This particular brush you can't change the hardness. I'm going to come down here to the layers panel and check what's happening. I've got the blank default white background here, so the first thing I'm going to do is create a new layer by clicking on this plus icon down here. Then I'm going to come to the left and check what my color is. It's currently foreground white, background, black. I'm going to click this little arrow to swap the colors around. I could come over to the swatches panel and choose a color to work with. But for now, I'm going to stick with black. I'm happy with black. This is the color picker, if you're wanting to choose a colour manually. But I'm happy with black. For now I'm going to stick with that. I'll just hit "control R" or "command R" to bring up the rulers. I can drag a ruler down to about a center vertically and horizontally. Now, I can if I want, come up to the View menu and create a new guide, which gives me the ability to be exact with my position in the pixels. If that's what I'd like to do. The other thing is we are in pixels, which is the default that I chose. But if you're going to change the values to something like millimeters or inches, you can come over to Edit and Preferences, Units, Rulers. The rulers are in pixels, but you could change them to centimeters or millimeters or inches. This is where you would do that if you're wanting a different type of ruler. I'm happy with pixels. I'm going to start with the general shapes. A strong silhouette really helps with good composition or a strong composition, so I'm going to select this Hero image here and just rough in the shape. I'll just undo my stroke with "Control Z". I'm just going to rough in a general shape of the silhouette here and I can hit the Move tool, which is this one here, shortcut "V" and that moves this whole layer around. I'm just going to bring that up a little bit. I'm going to come across to my layers panel and I'm going to give it a name, I'm going to call it Hero and line I'm going to create a new layer, rough in the next mushroom. I'm thinking this kind of shape. I don't think I'm going to do all of these mushrooms, I think that might be a little bit busy. Put the stem here. Got a little bit of a bendy stem happening here, I'll accentuate that a little bit Now, I know this is called a Laccaria. This is a 'Laccaria line'. But you could call it whatever you like. Create a new layer. Actually these are on the wrong side, I'm going to move these around so that it feels a little bit more intuitive as I draw. I said that I wanted to this Bolete on the left tucking underneath the funnel, I liked that it leaned to the left as well. I'm going to get them overlapping a little. If you're new to digital art and illustration, you might find that you'll having a little trouble controlling the stylus or your cursor. That is totally normal. I came from fine arts and I really was surprised by how difficult it was to make the transition. I thought it would be quite easy, but it's a little bit of a challenge. I think maybe because the screen and the stylus are separate, you're not drawing on the surface, I haven't used Procreate on an iPad, I feel like it might actually be a little bit more intuitive. But I don't have an iPad, so I'm using Photoshop. Let's call it 'Bolete line'. It's good to name your layers, because when you get to 20 layers, you're not going to involve copy 1, copy 2, copy 12, copy 19 actually that can get a little bit confusing. I do find a good practice to name your layers as you go. I'm looking for a place to put these fine mycena with the skinny stems and tiny caps. Looking at the right-hand side here. These have skinny stems and small caps. I think if I added more mycena to this side, it might actually start to tip the balance to the right. Because there are too many skinny stems and small caps even though these are medium size but this is quite a big cap with a big stem, there's only one of them. I think I'm going to put these tall mycena here on this side. Looking at them, they're very vertical and I'm not sure if that's going to work or not work or this composition because it there's bending out happening here. I'm going to give it a try anyway. Trial and error. I've got a bend in there anyway. If you don't have the control, you're used to here in digital, that's totally fine. It's what 'control Z' is for. If you hit Z, you can zoom in and have a closer look at what you're doing. I don't always find it useful. You can zoom out again. But if you get lost, 'control 0' will take you to fill the screen and zoom out. If you hit H, it will go straight to the hand tool and we can move that around or if you just want the hand tool temporarily on zoom you can hit the space bar and hold it down and drag and click around. I'm going to keep adding in these tall mycena and maybe a couple of baby ones make it an uneven number. These are references but you don't have to do it exactly as your reference. They are just for inspiration. I'm just going to make this one a little bit, with a bend. There's a little bit of a pattern, one, two, three upright and break that up with a couple that are slightly to the side. I'm moving this around and with these lichen I really like these funnel shapes. It mimics the funnel shape that we have going on here in the mushroom. You can see I'm overlapping my lines here, that's fine. Drawing in lines and the rest of it is transparent. And having a look at the general weighting here, it feels a lot heavier on the left. I've got big mushroom here, I've got a fine mushrooms, but they go out to the side perhaps a little bit more than this on the right. So I think I might need another mushroom on the right to fill this out. Five mushrooms feels good overall, I don't think I want to introduce a new shape of mushroom. But I'm going to hit the move tool V and just shift this lichen out. Make it roughly even distance from the edge as the mycena. Coming over here to my layers panel, grab my laccaria line, and just move that as well. And that's already feeling a little bit more balanced. Let me erase this. And then I'll need to redraw this mushroom. But I can also select with the Lasso tool. This is a free form select. I can draw around, that's a personal preference, how you move things around. I can come over here to my Laccaria line. And I'm just going to move this as well. Now that's already feeling a little bit more balanced. I'm gonna redraw this Laccaria. I can actually come up to the Lasso tool, which is a free form selection tool. Move it over much closer. In fact, I'm wanting this now to be on its own layer. because it's touching here and I think I'd like it to be behind and have the freedom of the lines. So if I let go of this selection, when I move this layer they become the same object. So if I Control Z, Control Z my way back to this point with the running ants and I can move it freely. I like it here, but before I commit and de-select, I'm going to 'Control X' or 'Command X'. And it's a clean cut. And I'm going to come over here and create a new layer. And then 'Control Shift V' will paste in place. Or I can go up to edit, paste special, paste in place. You can see the shortcut there. I'm calling this the Laccaria 2 line. I think I'll shift it there, that's feeling pretty good. I'll go back to my lichen. And that's feeling a little bit more balanced. I've got two and two here, and there's a little empty gap so I'm going to put in another lichen. I'm going to make up a lichen, It's not working with these three Laccaria, it's too busy. But I can pretend there's another lichen. I can make it a bit bigger. I've got this triangle shape, this general triangle dome shape happening here. It's going in the opposite direction to these two. It's still filling the gap. It's still creating that drop. But there is a larger gap between these lichen and that creates a nice asymmetry, two together, one on the side, they're still a set. So I'm going to save this file to my computer. And now that we've roughed out the sketch and saved the file. We're going to move into refining the composition. So I'll see you in the next lesson. 8. Refining the Composition: Now we have an idea of what we're going to draw. Let's refine the composition, [inaudible] digital, the layers that we've used, so I can move these lines around adjust their stacking height as well. The first thing I'm seeing here is, this is a very straight baseline here with all these mushrooms. It's not something that's really working for me. Sorry, I'm feeling that this needs to be a little bit more organic. I'm going to hit the selection key, ctrl click. You can see it's highlighted there and I can move this bolete around. I can also come down here to the layers panel and select the mushroom layer that I'm wanting but the ctrl click is a shortcut that I'd like to use. Let's move these Mycena down a little bit and then grab these Laccaria. Now, I can use ctrl shift to get two layers or I can come down here to the layers panel and shift click two. This is not something you can do so easily if you're working on paper or canvas and is one of the advantages to digital. I'm also seeing here now that the sketch I have drawn here is a hero. It's probably little taller and skinnier than the reference I've got here, so I'm going to want to correct that. E for eraser, take those out. I am going to redraw this. We're also going to use the marquee tool and shift this a little higher into the left and this part lower to the right. Then I'm going to join these parts up and then fill in the rest of the sketch. I'm going to speed this up a little bit. That's feeling a bit better. I'm feeling this is a little empty down here though, so I'm going to create a new layer. I'm thinking something kind of floral, something sort of base, perhaps like this sort of shape. I'm going to go back to my mushrooms board here to the lichen and I'm going to collect this image here. Create new file, dump image in there, and just drag that off the bar. I'm also going to copy out one of these cup fungi reference images. I'm not going to draw that right now, but I'm going to click that for later. I think, I'll use these cup fungi to fill in some of these areas down here. I'm going to name this layer, call it lichen baseline and I'm going to select all delete because that's quite rough and I'm going to sketch this a little bit more carefully. Lichen is not really this size in real life, but this is an illustrative piece, so I'm taking a little bit of artistic license here. You'll notice I'm not drawing it exactly as well. I'm just using it for inspiration the way these shapes are, the kind of ebb and flow that they have. I'm going to draw in as well these cup fungi. I'm going to use this cup fungi to fill in these gaps here. I've got to be careful here. I've got to be careful here, I've gone to draw a third cup fungi, but it's of equal size this one here. We might actually find I'm developing a face, which is not really what I want and it is something to watch out for secondary interpretations of [inaudible] actually might be quite unintentional. I'm going to select all of these layers here and lift all of these layers up. It's a good location. [inaudible] is quite circular, sort of an oval shape going on here and I don't think that's really working for me. I am seeing there is a lot of empty space on the left and right here as well as the top and the bottom and I'm thinking what I might actually do is add in a little bit more of that lichen base then I don't have such a circular composition. Now, I have more of a dome triangle shape. Now, I'm going to go up to image, image rotation, flip canvas horizontal and we get to see this image in reflection. This is akin to holding your paper up to the mirror. We all have a bit of bias in our brain and this technique does help capture that shape that might have gone a bit skewy and you wouldn't notice. If following along on paper or canvas, you can hold that up to a mirror and you get a similar effect. This is very heavy on the right-hand side here and quite light on the left and that's feeling unbalanced. Showing up a little bit biased in my brain, so I think what I'm going to do to help even this out. I'll select the lichen base and go to Edit, Transform, Flip Horizontal, and that's looking a bit more balanced. It's creating a counter point here, the little heavier lichen on the left and with the lighter mushrooms and with the heavier mushrooms on the right, we've got a larger amount of lichen. It's feeling a little more balanced. I'm going to go back to the Image, Image Rotation, Flip Canvas Horizontal, go back to my original orientation there. I'm pretty happy with this as a composition. So I'm going to move on to color blocking. I'm going to save this file as a separate version in case I want to go back a step later and I will see you in the next lesson. 9. Colour Blocking: My favorite way to color digitally is to block in color at the base and then locking in the pixels to hold the shape and then I add in the highlights and shadows later. So with all of these references open, I'm going to use the eyedropper tool to color pick one of the purples in the hero image. You can see it's come down here in the color picker, and I can intensify that a little bit more, for like a medium, purply blue. I can go a little bit more gray if I want, take some of the color out, or I can go a little bit more colorful, and the saturation of the pieces up to you depending on the direction you want to take it. Coming down here into the layers panel, I'm going to create a new layer AND I'm going to call it hero fill. I'm keeping the line and the fill separate. It's a personal choice. But this is the technique that I like to use. I really just like it to be below as well. So with the hero fill layer selected, back to my brush tool, I'll make it bigger from the middle. I'm just going to draw in here. Because the lines are already defined, it's like coloring in, I can be a little bit rough on the edges and that's okay. Being separate layers I can come back and adjust the edges if I want. Making my brushes larger and smaller, I've adjusted the keyboard shortcuts from the default to a couple of keys on my keyboard I'm using S for smaller and D for larger so I can just tap them easily with my fingers. Something I like to do when I come to edges is just press down and have the brush become larger. This is touch-sensitive, so a light touch, heavy touch. That's largely brush dependent. This is something you can do with your actual paintbrush on the paper. And I like to do with my watercolors sometimes. As you approach a line or an edge, just press down, smoosh the brush into the paper and you get this, just pushing outside the lines effect which reminds me a little bit of a mismatched print. So with that fill in there, I'm going to come up to the lock. I comes up here and choose this one to lock the transparency. So this means that I can still draw on it. But if I say switch to a lighter color, I can make a free stroke and it clips to the color block that I've just created, which can make editing a little bit easier, and you don't have to use that locking if you're feeling confident to just run your brush really close to the edge, that's fine as well, but this is something I like to do. So I'm going to go ahead and fill in the color blocks for all the other pieces and I probably will arrange some of the layer order as well. So I'm going to speed this up a little bit. Now when coming to fill my myscena here, I'm seeing that the lines I put in the roughing out of the sketch, are probably a little bit too rough for me at this stage and the switch back to my myscena line. You get in there and I'm going to tidy up those lines. These two laccaria here, I think I'm happy with their positioning so I'm going to reunite them as one layer. We should select two of them and Control E, or come into the menu here and merge layers. Be a little easier to work with the single laccaria layer now that I'm happy with them and I don't need them to be separate. So that's my color blocking done. I've got all my layers locked. Just go back and check them, lock any of the fill layers that aren't already locked. I'm going to Control and Colon to turn off my guides. I'm ready to start applying shadows and highlights and some detail to give some illusion of depth in 3D shape. So I've saved this file as an iteration. I'll just call it color blocking. So I suggest you do the same, so if you need to take a step back, you can and I will see you in the next lesson. 10. Adding Detail: With the main colors in, and looking harmonious with each other, I'll now add in some highlights, and some shadows to create the illusion of depth. As with many things, you need to create a balanced here too. White areas, are going to come forward to the eye, dark areas will seem further away. If you use your values, which is the lights and dark as well, you'll get an illustration that really jumps off the page. The first thing we'll need to do, is decide where the main light source is coming from. You might have got mushroom references with lighting from different sides, the top, and maybe even below, behind, and this will look really weird if you copy the lining exactly as it is in each of them, and put them all together. You have to use your imagination when it comes to the lighting. You can take, the main lighting cues from one of the references that you have. I'm probably going to take it from the hero mushroom here. Coming back to my main document, I'm going to create a New layer, I'm going to call that Light, and I'm going to change the color of this layer to yellow, just so I can see it more easily. I may also just draw in yellow too. Look at the lights less here, shadows here and light there, because in that direction as well, shadows over here so there is different light coming from this direction. We come back to my main document. The light coming from the top right, but there is also light coming from this side. I'm going to start with that as the light source and see how we go. If you have one very strong light source then you have very bright on one side, very dark shadows on the other side, I might also want to think about a more ambient or soft light that's coming from all these different angles. Couples or have just black, essentially on this side. I'll think about those being the ambient, and this will be the strongest. I'm going to use as my reference. I'll turn that off for now. We're going start with my shear and mushroom when it come down here and find it at the bottom. Because I've looked at these pixels as I showed you before. I'm going to be able to, clip on anything that I paint on here too, that shape, something a little brighter. This mushroom, and it has this very strongly defined margin of the cap,that merges the edge. I think actually that might be good to clip too as well. I'm going to create another shape and I'm going do a little bit clicking on clipping here. Grainy layer, right-click, Create clipping mask. That clips anything that I drawn onto the shape below [inaudible]. But when I'm willing to do here is take this, press down a little harder, little softer, that's a bit dip, tucks in under the null. Now I can use my razor, because this is a separate layer. If you didn't want to do this layering effect and you wanted to paint all on the same line it is possible. It's just a technique that I like to use. In each case, instead of erasing, you would pick this bottom color and then paint over. I'm not enjoying this little, taste has come any more though by, instead of deleting my cat margin, I'm going to come down here to the hero fill. I couldn't ask this out, but I think I'm really wanting to get rid of it so I'm going to unlock. Erase just that tiny bit of the fill layer. Look at again, back to my cut margin. Now I'm going to do the same locking of pixels on the Cap margin. Because, I want to be able to do highlights and shadows on that Cap margin itself, pick this color, go a little darker and now choosing, down the middle here don't be too gray, neither do I want it to be too saturated. I can pick on either side of this line depending on what I'm looking for, I am going to go with the shadow maybe slightly more gray. That's quite harsh line. I think I'm going to switch brushes now. Carl's ink boxes used to be brushes that you could buy separately, through Carl's shop on Gumbert and in recent versions of Adobe Photoshop, they have actually they are shipping with Carl's pencils being sold. Essentially with Photoshop. I'm looking for a gauche brush that I like to use. Because paint box, squash, round variable. I like it, because it gives you the edge of texture. Fetch my hearing. What I'm going to do is create some shadows and highlight layers. Just while I'm figuring out what I'm doing, I like to have my shadows and highlights on separate layers and you can flatten them down later. I am going to start by, blocking in some shadows. I'm going to take the brush for my shadows and that data on the stem. I'm going to come into my highlights now. I can see my previously used brushes is stored up here and I'm going to come back to quash brush. I'm going to see how that goes on the highlights. I'm feeling that the color here is a little bit flat, a little bit mono, and that's not surprising because I've been using the same purple, I was not color picking just lots and dogs in the same hue. But I think it could benefit from a little bit of variation in the color. I'm seeing here in this reference, grains here, is that a browns? These colors are probably a little bit of reflected color from the environment. I don't have the other mushrooms in there at the moment, so what I'd like to take those other colors and reflect them onto these mushrooms to provide a bit of variation, the color, I'm going to wait, I'll come back to that. I'll take a break from this mushroom for now. I have a bit of a stack of layers going here, I'm going to select all and group them into hero. This group I made earlier just to turn them all off at the same time. I'm going to ungroup that, Control Shift G. Now, for this one, I'm going to turn off the others. This one, I' m going to draw straight unto these clips layer and see how that goes. Just check where it is coming from. This highlighter to show that reflection on the cap, which indicates the cap is quite wet. Back to a textured brush for this type, this stem. Take a pause on the plate and move to another one. It's going for the lacaria. Now, this lacaria, that will be interesting, they've got a mix of purple and brown in them. Think if I go straight purple for the shadows, can look a little bit odd. Need to introduce some of these browns. I'm going to come down here where the reds with the yellows mix to create a reddish brown. When things darks to be even darker, I am going to change the mode of my brush itself, to quite darken. Try to multiply. Next in the script was switched off. Stick to the carrier, I'm going to group. This is where I'm going to realese my scene for a while. Using this opportunity to put in a stem and pick from a different mushroom in the same composition. That allows me to get a little bit of that continuity of coloring. This is more brown than the reference and probably more brown than I'm wanting. I can actually go to my "Hue/ Saturation." It's "Control U," or I can come to my "Adjustment" layer, "Hue/ Saturation," and that is non-destructive. Create clipping masks, and you'll fix this one layer. Now I can base the saturation little and change the hue, make up a pink or purple, perhaps more orange. We'll leave it at that purpley magenta color. and this is non-destructive. So I can come back here later and have a bit more of play if I want. [inaudible] layer. So there's some detail applied. We're going to come back to my main hero mushroom for the moment because I'm wanting to put in some sharp highlights for the gill, they are looking very soft. I'm going to add some of those colored reflections aspect about earlier. Under the Gills. On top of the stem. I'm just imagining that light was coming from here bouncing off of this brown and up to the mushroom. Think clearly that's a very strong color but I can use my blend modes to lighten that off a little bit. I'm going to play with these lines a little, they're currently black. If I lock the pixels and actually peak dark color. You can run over them with a color that relates to the mushroom's color pallet. This knocks back a little bit of that harshness. You might like the strong black of the line, that's fine i don't have to do this. This is not something that will be possible if you are working in traditional media. It's not the technique that is in the traditional out space. But if you have got your lines in separate layers which is quite an advantage, to be able to have them isolated like this and then you don't have to do one the line. Almost any color you can have, especially using a textured brush you can have a gradiation of a line. I'm going to have a last check of these values. Anything else that needs changing and I'll come right to the top of my stack in the layer panel. I come to "Adjustments" layers and I can go to the "Hue/Saturation actually just desaturate the entire pace. That just lets me see the lights and darks, the values. If you are not working in digital. This doesn't make you be able to, but you can squint your eyes and use your lashes to help filter out some of that detail coming in. That will help you to see now the darkest darks and the lightest lights. It has a similar effect. Using an adjustment layer like this means I can turn that on and off. Then its actually quite saturated. These colors are more even. Just bring the saturation down a little over all to have this bit more and natural effect on the final color scape. Great another hue and saturation layer and use this one as my gauge for values. So I am seeing that there is a lot of midtone, little bit muddy. I'm going to introduce some more shadows to deepen that. The shadows will be most concentrated in the center here. So I'm to start by going on to my base, and then add it shadows. Turn this off. My shadows layer are going to pick. This color makes my shadows is all multiply. I'll turn on my hue and saturation layer. When its turned on because this is on a separate layer, I need to worry about this being destructive and come back and make changes. I just want to get in this dark, it needs to be darker. I think we need some more lights in here as well, am seeing perhaps this [inaudible] I just want to make this have a highlight. Make sure my brush is on normal. Doesn't continue to [inaudible] "Multiply." There could be some highlights on this here mushroom as well. [inaudible] I'm going to actually go with the straight white. So we could go along and add some highlights to each of these mushrooms, here. This is seeming much more balanced with the lights and darks now. Turn that off. Go back to my full color. Clear everything else off the screen and have a little look at it. I'm feeling pretty happy with this now. So I'm going to save it as another iteration of the file. Next up we're going to be talking about fresh eyes and taking a break from your work. I'll see you in the next lesson. 11. Fresh Eyes: Now, I always find more things to fit it with in my app. I think most people do. That's totally normal and you can actually make it work for you. The best advice I can give right now is go and take a break, go and have a stretch, have a cup of tea or coffee. Just don't look at your work. Move away from the screen and you'll come back with fresh eyes and you'll see new things that you can do to it. You might actually think that's a lot better than I remember. These are all really good things to come back with that fresh mind, fresh eyes. Go away, pause the video, take a break, and I'll see you back here in just a few minutes. Welcome, back. I hope after taking a little break and coming back with some fresh eyes, looking at your artwork, you can say some new things that you might like to work on. It's really important to be honest with yourself, but also a kind. Don't beat yourself up too much about your artwork. I think we all tend to do that but make sure you focus on some things that you really like about the art as well. When you're making changes, focus on little nudges rather than sweeping changes. Have a look at what you can change. It will bring the piece together as a whole. Coming back to this piece with some fresh eyes, I'm firstly struck by the lightness of these gills here. I remember talking about the contrast between this steam and the gills being the gills looked quite dark and the stimulant quite light. I have not really achieved that here and this is quite glaring brightness in the middle here that I'm not really happy with. I'm going to start there. I might hear, feel, and I've got my shadows layer. Just turn all these off. What have I gotten on there? Nothing presently. Alright, so I might actually just work off of the hearer clipped shape and just add some dark colors in there. This will be below all of these detail because all this detail is on all of these layers here. So that means that I can come underneath and not affect these brush marks that I've made earlier, and as we mask out some of his highlighted wash brush strokes that have made. I've used this icon here making sure it's not the artwork itself at the mask that I've got selected. Ultimate inking thick and thin down here in foreground background color, black and white for a mask. So black hides what's there and what reveals,currently the mask is all white, so it's revealing everything. But with my black brush, I'm going to mask out steps and that is white. I will actually, I'm not drawing dark strokes, I'm revealing what's below it. Back to my art, I feel like I'm going to continue on with this brush. Which layer is that? That's the shadows layer, I'm starting to to clash with these layers. I'm going to put a layer above the gills but below the cap margin and I'm going to call it detail. Just checking my values. Now, I can use my hue and saturation or you can screen to it, either your screen or your paper. This definitely darker here on the left, but there's a little bit uneven. I'm going to fill my details layer, zoom-in here. I'm feeling like they need to more dark colors underneath the margin of his cap. I'm seeing a little patch there, much darker shadow here in the reference image, not to multiply lane. Now the trick is to make your artwork quite a bit smaller and just have a look and see if that makes any difference to perception of it. There's a lot of texture in this top mushroom and I'm not sure if that's really working with that site to be a little bit confusing visually. We talked about busyness and calm. I think this needs to be more calm, bring this damn right up there in that stack because it's getting a little over painted and I didn't want that. I'm feeling perhaps this is a little empty behind here as well. Depends how I'm going to use this file if I'm going to print it. For example, on some apparel, I might actually want the fabric below to come in these areas. But if I'm printing on paper, perhaps I might actually want to fill this area with some ink to add a new some purple and yellow, opposite on the color wheel. So they will provide the most amount of contrast. So I'm going to start with yellow. Suddenly. Behind this mushroom. Really working the texture, this larger brush, the outside edges, like it darker same color. Contrast behind these yellow and yellow. That actually looks better. I like that. That gives you a kind of an anchor, a sense of place. But darker in line is now a bit to light in the background. I'm just going to sample this foreground. Then I can come and just apply that to a line in the back. A little bit more or too much modifiers to blend entirely. Actually, that's competing lists for attention. So I'm going to do that. I think that's feeling pretty good. I'm going to turn on my adjustment layer for this desaturation and just one last time. If you're working traditionally or if you're not in Photoshop, you practice, you squinty, squinty at the screen and squinty ,squinty at the Canvas. Just as a last measure of checking, I'm going to rotate that Canvas flip horizontal to see how that's feeling. This area here is a little blank. Let's get that detail back in there. I'm going to go back to my brush. This area here might bleed. I'm actually going to erase an odd bright-line there. I'm going to get a shaving under soft eraser. Let's go back to a ground pressure size eraser. These cups, I'm going to like looking a little bit odd, I think I failed to give them the actual cup part of their cup shape. I've got the opening and am missing the cup. Before I go on there, I'm going to put my canvas back to its original orientation. Dive right in there. That's feeling pretty good. We say that as an iteration of the file. Next, we'll move on to finalizing the file types. We can go, what are you going to do with your mushroom illustration? I'll see you in the next lesson. 12. Finalise the Files: Well, we're done. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Now, have a think about what are you are going to do with this mushroom artwork. Are you going to print it? Are you going to share online? There's slightly different approaches to those two in terms of exporting your files. If you're printing the resolution that you would use is 300 DPI or PPI. That's generally what printers would recommend to get a high quality print without that [inaudible]. If you're sharing online, screen resolution 72 DPIs, so you can save down the file size and when you're sharing it, it won't be such a big file which is important for people that are going to be downloading it and viewing it. It'll be either their data or their Wi-Fi could cost them money. That's always good to think about. It's really important to note that if you're making changes to your file size and your file resolution, especially if you're going down to say 72 DPI, that you either save a copy of your source file or export outlet that smallest size and don't save the changes to your original file. Pretty much, once you've lost those pixels, you can't get them back. If you're going to do something small, make sure you've saved the original at your high resolution, the resolution that you created at. Let's save out these files, go to save as save on your computer and perhaps start a new folder called X-board. Now if we are saying perhaps this is going to be print version, and some printers will accept the PST file, so you could send this file to them. Another way to export is as a chief file, save as TIF. That's a high quality file that would be accepted for printing. It's fine to choose the LZW compression. Now you get this warning and creating layers will increase the file size. Most likely be sending it to print it doesn't need to have lots of layers because it's not being edited. Let's go back in there and actually this check box down here, we can turn off the layers. We're not saving layers. Print, TIF, save, LZW. We've saved a copy as a TIF file. You'll see that I've saved this file as underscore finalized files. Final. My high resolution, I can export a few options in here. I quite like to use the save for Web legacy. I like it because it has the option to have or we can just look at the original, you can just look at your optimize or you can have two up and that gives you the original and the optimized side-by-side, can zoom out a little bit here with the tools. Using DNA,it allows you to save this quality, but also gives you the file size. It's gone down from 11.4 megabytes to 733 kilobytes it's still quite large for the internet and somebody viewing our images is most likely going to be using my data. If they're using their Wi-Fi is probably not so bad, but if they're out and about using their data and there are small plan, maybe 733 might take a lot of loads, they might just click away. Another thing that it's good to do is actually change the file size or the image size, so we can start with changing the resolution from a print resolution to screen resolution. You can see that as we resample, this comes to a smaller pixel size. Which is actually quite small for modern web and say that's the size of a 100% Min [inaudible] , you start seeing that pixelation. I'm going to undo that. I don't want it to be 480. I'm going to go to the image size again, which is Alt control I, 72 DPI but actually I want it to be a 1,000 by 1,000. This is half the pixel size, I created the app so that's probably fine for Facebook or Instagram. I'm going to take my shortcut back to save to web. Again, we can see that the file size now is 230 kilobytes. File types that you can export out here. GIF isn't great for images that have a lot of detail, they tend to get distortion that happens. JPEG is great for photos. Large areas of flat color is quite good for the PNGs. If you want transparency, definitely like GIF or a PNG 24, PNG 8's don't have a great transparency on them as GIF. They have a halo effect happening but because I don't need this to be transparent. I am happy with JPEG, and that gives me a really nice small file size, progressive, and quality 80. Eighty is probably fine for most users, Facebook does compress images when you upload them. Actually you might want to export at a 100% and let the loss of detail happen at Facebook upload level. I'm going to save this and I will call it WIP. Now, because we changed the file size here in the history panel, we do not want to save over the top of our final, which was the original resolution because once you lose those pixels, you can't get them back unless you've saved a backup file. I'm going to go back in my history tree or I can just close this file and not save. 13. Wrapping Up: Thanks so much for coming along with me on this mushroom illustrating journey. Congratulations for reaching the end of the class. We've covered so much, from mushroom anatomy through to getting a good composition, coloring a piece using a common source of light and where to place the shadows and highlights and what to do with your file when you're ready to print or use it online. I hope you got a lot out of this class. If there's one thing I'd like you to take away, it would be seek a balance in your work. A lot of the techniques that I've shared with you in this class are about striking balance. Whether it's between the light and dark values, the heaviness or lightness of the parts of the canvas left or right, and seeking a balance between busyness and calmness. I can't wait to see your art in the project gallery. Don't forget to upload your final piece, so I and the other students can take a look, provide some feedback, and be inspired by your medley of mushrooms. I'm just starting out as a Skillshare teacher so if you have some ideas for classes that you'd like to see, please leave those in the discussions tab and follow my profile if you like the class, and don't forget to leave the class a review. Until next time.