How to

How to Draw a Realistic Mushroom

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Drawing simple shapes is an excellent way to kickstart your drawing skills. The circular “hat” and straightforward stem make it easy to draw cheerful-looking red mushrooms. In this step-by-step video tutorial, I’ll guide you on how to create realistic mushroom drawings using colored pencils.

Mushrooms have long been associated with symbolism and folklore. In parts of northern Europe, spotting a bright red toadstool mushroom is considered a sign of good luck. Siberian shamans would consume it to induce trance-like states, and it even has ties to the legendary figure of Santa Claus. The ancient Vikings utilized mushrooms to instill fearlessness during their fierce raids.

For this tutorial, we’ll use a captivating photo of a small cluster of Fly Agaric mushrooms as a reference. With three mushrooms in the composition, we’ll explore the aspect of composition as well. Our process begins with outlining the mushrooms using a regular pencil. After creating a watercolor base, we’ll easily transform our drawing into a lifelike representation using colored pencils.

One crucial aspect of creating realistic artwork is the utilization of imagination and creativity. Contrary to what you may expect, this practice greatly enhances your imaginative abilities.

Step-by-Step Tutorial:

In the video, we’ll go through the following steps:

  • Outlining the mushrooms with a soft pencil. No shading required.
  • Mixing colors for the watercolor base, drawing inspiration from swatches captured from the photograph.
  • Painting the watercolor base, covering both the mushrooms and the ground.
  • Allowing the base to dry (use a hairdryer for quicker results).
  • Adding detailed elements using colored pencils. This includes shading, texture, variations in colors, and highlights.
  • Enhancing the mushroom’s appearance by painting white spots with white gouache. Apply it sparingly to the stems for an enhanced trunk shape. Gouache, similar to watercolor, possesses a denser pigment, resulting in opaque paint.

If you prefer to skip drawing the shapes and proceed directly to painting the watercolor base, you can download a free PDF with the drawing to trace. (Members can find login details in the newsletter).

How to Transfer Line Art:

To transfer line art, follow these simple steps:

  1. Sketch the drawing using a soft B or 2B pencil on tracing paper.
  2. Flip the tracing paper over.
  3. Trace the drawing onto watercolor paper using a hard pencil.

It’s as simple as that. When you access the free PDF, you’ll understand why the process is straightforward. The drawing is horizontally mirrored, ensuring that when you flip your tracing over, it’s in the correct orientation. For a step-by-step tutorial on tracing onto watercolor paper, check out my article: How to Trace onto Watercolor Paper.

The free PDF includes the outline, color swatches for both watercolor and colored pencils, as well as the reference photo. (One Tree Art Club members can find access details in the newsletter).

Toolbox for Watercolor with Colored Pencils:

For this tutorial, I recommend the following tools:

  • Watercolor
  • White Gouache
  • Various colored pencils
  • White polychrome pencil
  • Hot-pressed, smooth 100% cotton watercolor paper
  • Medium-sized brush for the mushrooms, a thicker brush for the ground
  • Watercolor sponge
  • Watercolor tape
  • A smooth piece of wood or custom wood to mount the paper

When working with watercolor, it’s necessary to tape the paper onto a piece of wood using watercolor tape. This prevents the paper from warping due to water application. The tape ensures the paper remains flat as it dries. In a step-by-step tutorial, I explain how to mount watercolor paper.

Lastly, remember that I’d love to see your creations. Join our One Tree Art Club Facebook group by signing up for my newsletter and share your artwork with like-minded individuals.

Best wishes for an enjoyable and creative journey!

In this video tutorial, I demonstrate how to draw mushrooms, considering factors like composition and color mixing. We start with a watercolor base and then proceed with creating realistic mushroom drawings using colored pencils. If you’re interested in more realistic drawing tutorials, here are a few additional resources:

  • How to Draw and Watercolor a Realistic Bird
  • How to Draw Realistic: Kingfisher with Colored Pencils & Watercolor
  • How to Draw & Watercolor Four Colorful Butterflies
  • Create Art With Watercolor Pencils: Orchid Tutorial

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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