Created with Mushroom Ink
I first discovered the value of painting with mushroom ink some time ago when we first moved into our cottage. I found mushrooms in our woodland garden that resembled judges wigs. When I read up about them I was thrilled to learn that this fungi was used by monks years ago for calligraphy and after reading up on the subject I decided I would try painting with the same ink. The above painting of a cat is created using mushroom ink from inkcap mushrooms.
I have now learnt how to prepare the ink from the mushrooms and how to avoid any fading of my finished work. I have also discovered mushroom ink really does create the most gorgeous effects just like purchased inks. They are fascinating. You can lift the ink colour, make fabulous watermarks with it and have fun experimenting to gain all manner of effects with this soft and interesting fluid mushroom ink.
Rather than appear as black on paper even though the liquid certainly looks black, a brownish shade is usually gained at places in my results/
To avoid fading I now apply two coats of mushroom ink building up my painting very gradually. I often allow the first layer of mushroom ink to dry and then add detail on top, so the softness of my muted background shade acts as a base for my stronger more prominent detailed brushwork which is added finally to complete my composition.
This natural ink is so much fun to experiment with and what better month to try this idea than Inktober?
There are many natural dyes to try, this is just one.My blackberry paintings always involve the juice of staining, real blackberries for example. So here is a challenge, How about finding something from nature that you can paint with?
I double dare you and perhaps you could share your favourite dyes with me.