It has rained nearly every day for a week straight. This is not good if you like summer or swimming or outdoor dining or if you want to cut the lawn every now and then. It’s not good if you like painting outside or if you want your watercolor paints to dry inside without using a hairdryer. What all the rain and humidity is good for is mushrooms. They are fruiting like gangbusters in a myriad of colors, forms, and variety. I went out to sketch them during a blessed break in the rain and managed to get a first layer of paint on before another round of storms rolled in. Alas, there are more to discover, but since it is raining again I will have to be content with these.
Tips and Techniques– When you are sketching mushrooms, making field notes right on the page is a useful way to capture some of the information you will need for identification. Mushrooms are bafflingly difficult to identify to the species level, even with a decent field guide. Note the size and shape of the cap and stem, type of gills or pores, and the texture. Making a spore print and cutting the flesh to see what color is inside is also important. Or you can skip all that and simply enjoy the shapes and colors of these fascinating fungi.