I’ve been making some pencil studies of some strange species of fungi and lichen that I’ve found in Birnam Wood. Some of these drawings have been made with the aid of a magnifying glass, which has helped me to observe some of the very small details which I may otherwise have missed. I have purposely drawn these specimens as near to life size as possible, fitting them onto postcard sized paper, and have spent time carefully observing them to try to capture their forms and texture as accurately as possible.
Ramalina Fastigiata Lichen
Milk White toothed polypore
Oak moss lichen
Jew’s Ear Fungus
Black Jelly Brain Fungus
I haven’t done this type of detailed analytical drawing since I was at college studying Illustration over 20 years ago, when I remember doing a rather impressive drawing of a rabbit skeleton for a scientific illustration module. Although these drawings are small, they have taken many hours, yet there is something really satisfying about just drawing…especially to this level of detail. It is a process which requires intense concentration, observation and precise rendering, but the results at the end of it are very rewarding.
I am attempting to do 9 of these studies, and so far have completed 5. I was lucky to find some real glass petri dishes recently at a car boot sale, which are really beautiful objects compared to the plastic ones I have been working with. I would like to insert prints of these drawings into the petri dishes and mount them in a square formation, perhaps as an exhibit in my show. The petri dishes seem appropriate as a way of presenting the drawings, as they reference science, and the small aspects of nature which are often unnoticed or overlooked.
Above: Presented in a petri dish…the shiny, new glass dish makes a beautiful container for these weird species, trapping them and keeping a barrier between them and the viewer.