I came across this Geastrum (earthstar) mushroom in a coniferous forest by the end of November. Geastrum is a species of inedible and saprophage fungus, it obtain its nutrients by decomposing green matter. The fruit body develops at first underground (hypogeous) in the form of a small ball. As it matures, it pushes up through the soil and the outer layer of the body (exoperidium) splits open to form between 4 and 8 rays. They initially point inward, then the outer layer begins to turn in down with bent tips so that it lifts the spore sac from center. The spore sac is a spherical egg-shaped structure called endoperidium.
In this month`s Patreon Live session I started a new page on the Botanical Journal with this image in my mind: in the middle the earthstar mushroom and next to it a row of purple green leaves of Lysimachia nummularia (moneywort), maybe some mosses and liverwort. I want this page to suggest a dark, wet forest with the deep greens and browns of late November-beginning of December, before the snow starts to fall. I always have these mood images in my head before I start a page or a painting, I think a lot at them, and I believe this helps create a unified composition.
In the video I will talk about the art materials I use in my botanical journals, I will take you through the steps of how to draw a subject from scratch using construction lines and how to paint it in ink and watercolour technique.