Why paint mushrooms and a squirrel? The mushrooms that grow on the rotting birch logs are truly things of beauty. They are a fantastic peachy colour with delicate spots on beautiful shaped ovals. These mushrooms provide a pop of warm colour in the greens, greys and browns of the woods. The logs themselves are peeling paper white with rich wooden hearts that enrich life even after they have fallen. A single squirrel scampers along the log before pausing just in front of us. For this painting I started on a white hard board. Starting with the background I glazed in a soft patterning to suggest distant trees.The top log is my main interest in this painting. It is has the focus details of the mushrooms, the bark and the dark wood.

Start of mushroom squirrel painting by Valerie Rogers

First colour is laid in a very basic way….then fine tuned.

Progress painting of Valerie Rogers of mushroom and squirrel

The approach is repeated with the lower log. Green leaves are first blocked in with white paint and then colour is added on top.

Partial completed Mushroom and Squirrel Painting by Valerie Rogers

The squirrel is blocked in dark and white lines indicate his interior shapes. The dark background will allow me to create the impression of fur more easily.

close up of half done squirrel in Valerie Rogers Painting

Here is a close up of what the squirrel looks like at the first ugly stage of this process.

Valerie Rogers painting of squirrel and mushrooms

After adding layers of glazes and improving the textures all over this painting it is finally getting close to being complete. That is most definitely the speedy telling of a in-depth process. I love to try to recreate the feeling of the places I paint. The magic of being in the woods looking at the beauty around you. Hearing the wind whisper in the trees and the joy of seeing the little creatures scamper along the forest floor. Nature is the most amazing inspiration and everywhere you look there is…..something wonderful to check out.