Process of the Mushroom-village

Just like it took me longer than it should to realize that I could use my current interest for mushrooms to make art, so did it take a while for me to start combining the mushrooms with my love for tiny houses.
I don’t know what took me so long. Mushroom houses are already a big thing, and I’ve drawn some before I got interested in the fungi-species. Oh well, at least it hit me eventually.
Here’s the steps I took to make my latest mushroom-painting.

Starting out with a little sketch in my notepad.
At first it was a quick drawing of only the shrooms, that’s where the idea of tiny houses hit me, and the architecture came along, and finally I added some people. It all looked really messy, so I had to use my colored pencils to be able to see what’s what.scan0030

I liked the idea, and made a bigger tryout-version. You can see how much the paper has buckled, it’s because it’s made on a regular paper, and not the one made for watercolor. It was only supposed to be a pencil-sketch, but again it was so hard to tell the objects apart, so I was only going to use a little bit of colour, but got carried away, and both colored and outlined the whole thing. It’s almost a finished piece all by itself, but not good enough to stop there.

From there, I traced that picture onto another regular paper. Changed the houses, added and took away a few details, all that stuff. I went back to including people in this one (you can see them in pencil where I haven’t drawn over them with ink) but I changed my mind. If I were able to make the painting bigger I would’ve kept them, but with the current size they would end up too small, and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make them as clear as they needed to be in order to make a good addition to the piece. So I ignored them, and outlined the rest with ink, mostly just so I could see it better when I traced it onto the thick watercolor paper.

After that, it was all in pencil on my fancy-paper thanks to a homemade lightbox. Any window plus daylight would’ve worked just as well.
I drew over the outlining with a brown pencil- the kind that won’t erase – and removed all the gray. That makes for a more colourful picture.
Then it’s finally time for the watercolor! Here’s the first layer of paint, with a pencil sharpener for scale:
I’m so happy to finally have a phone with a camera on it, so I can document this stuff with ease. The only downside is that the photos don’t make justice to the reality. Maybe it’s the cloudy weather, but it seems like no matter how I try, the photos turn out very gray and pale compared to the actual painting.

Looks like it’s about to be finished here, but it’s really only halfway through:

And then, finally finished!
I struggled a bit with the surroundings. I realized too late that I had only planned for the actual mushrooms, and not the back/foreground. Those parts were improvised, and I wish I had spent some time on that. It could’ve been worse though, and I’m quite happy with how it all turned out.

I’m really looking forward to the day I get to live in a real house, and have enough space to make big paintings. Then I can make this one over and include the villagers.

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