Lesson 3: Applying Construction to Plants
While this lesson primarily focuses on leafy plants, there are a number of plants and fungi that serve as an excellent introduction to working with basic organic forms, and mushrooms are a great example of this.
The demo video includes full audio and discussion of the concepts demonstrated in the drawing.
Step by step
To start with, I lay down some ellipses to establish cross-sections along the length of our mushroom's stalk. Being that this is very much like a cylinder, the same principles do apply. For example, we certainly would benefit from aligning these ellipses to a single minor axis line - and if you struggle at all with keeping them aligned to each other, I would definitely recommend this.
A less optional point to follow is the fact that the degree of these ellipses shifts visibly as you move from top to bottom. The topmost ellipse is more in line with the viewer's eye level, so we see less of its surface. As the cross-sections move further down, the angle at which we see it becomes greater, resulting in more of that surface being visible to us.
Next, using a similar technique to the branch construction exercise, we build the outlines of the mushroom stalk's silhouette. Because these curves are rather complex, I've built them in segments, doing my best to keep them overlapping and flowing directly into one another so as to avoid any visible ends peeking out in between.
Now we start to move into the territory of detail. To start with, there's a lot going on directly underneath the cap, along the top of the stalk.
Before we get into anything too complicated, I did notice several strong, dominant valleys coming down along the length, so I decided to block these in first with a few simple lines, establishing how they flow downwards.
The rest is simply a matter of applying the principles covered in lesson 2. Observe your reference, identify specific elements present and transfer them one or two marks at a time before looking back at your reference to refresh your memory. Don't rely on your brain's ability to remember large amounts of information, because it will disappoint you. Instead, build a rhythm of looking at your reference, drawing briefly, then looking back again to study it once more.