F is for...


Today’s project is about turning letters into fungi and mushrooms. Mushrooms are wonderful simple yet dynamic shapes and they are ideal to experiment with dimension and depth.

The process is explained in the video. If you find it a bit daunting, try using only the letters from the word mushroom at first. If you can, study a mushroom from your local vegetable shop or supermarket: it is a beautiful delicate structure with the umbrella, bulbous or funnel shape. This simple design lends itself to play with fine lines, shading, hues of grey and rendering.

Have a look at this Pinterest link for mushroom inspiration:


Use this project to explore detail and marks. I find pigment fine liner suitable to draw the fine lines required.

Creative Process

The letters of the alphabet are written on a sheet of paper or a sketchbook. Now turn the letters into mushrooms!

The letters can be used in different directions, the mushrooms can be upside down or sideways. If you get stuck just move onto another letter or repeat the same letter to practice.

This project might take a bit longer than previous ones as there are aspects of depth involved.

If you find it challenging to begin with, use the simpler letter forms to create basic mushroom shapes. If you have created a number of mushrooms in pen, maybe look at rendering in pencil or neutral watercolours. This project is also ideal to try out the Inktense pencils or other aquarelle pencil. Pick two or three letters and draw the musrooms a bit bigger than your regular handwriting. The thicker black line and pigment creates a different effect. Once drawn use water and a paintbrush to fix the black lines to the paper by painting over them. Shading and hues of grey can be explored.


This project is focused on creative problem solving - turning letters into mushroom shapes. At the same time the shapes lend themselves to to look at surface detail, shading, and practicing with watercolour medium and soluble pencils.

© 2020 Esté MacLeod

© 2020 Explore Colour