Lil white mushroom

This is my entry for the Botanical Art month long “fungus” challenge. I’m sorry to say that here in desert dry Southern California we have a hard time keeping mushrooms fresh in our fridges let alone finding any growing wild … so this painting is from a photo I took of one harvested in January or so, after a very long rainy season. I’m sorry I don’t know the name of it, but I drew it in this position hoping that maybe someone can identify it. It had a few little brown “flaps” along the white cap.

This is watercolor with a very small bit of colored pencil and gouache for the white mycelium “root” (I think it’s mycelium, not sure.) This was painted with just two colors – van dyke brown and ultramarine blue. It’s 7.5″ x 11″


  1. Kate (Cathy) Johnson
    August 30, 2006

    I think the technical term is “little white mushroom.” The Latin binomial is Fungi miniblancus. :-) Seriously, I think you’d need to tell us about what size you mean when you say little…

    And yep, mycelium is right…if I remember correctly!

  2. TeriC
    August 30, 2006

    You made a beauty out of a ‘simple little mushroom’! I never knew using two colors could create such a wonderful painting-well, I knew but you proved it!!

  3. Toni
    August 30, 2006

    Wish I knew more about fungi Karen but I don’t.
    I love the fact that you used two colors. Sometimes the best paintings are done with very few color choices. This is beautiful.
    Hmmm I thin I will have to try and do some research for info on the next challenge.

  4. Malinda
    August 30, 2006

    Lovely composition Karen! So simple and still full of the details of the mushroom and it’s shadow!

  5. Tami
    August 31, 2006

    Karen, will ya please push up my jaw that just dropped. This is stunning is its simplicity! Here I am, buying more paint and you are turning out these beauties with just two colors! I love the composition!

  6. buzz
    August 31, 2006

    One of my favorites.

  7. Jana Bouc
    August 31, 2006

    I love the velvety textures and colors–it all says mushroom and this little guy looks like he’s dancing. I also really like the gills(?) no…that’s fish…(it’s late)–well whatever those little fluted things are called at the bottom. They look so realistic and freely done at the same time..

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