Illustrating Fungi: Create a Sketchbook of Observations

Illustrating Fungi: Create a Sketchbook of Observations

Actions and Detail Panel


Date and time


Rokeby Farm - Quadrangle Classroom

8622 Mill Reef Road

Middleburg, VA 20117

View map

Refund policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

This one-day workshop will educate participants about foraging for mushrooms, and learn some techniques to draw or paint them!

About this event

About: The Oak Spring Garden Foundation is thrilled to invite you to this one-day workshop during which participants will learn about foraging for mushrooms, and learn some techniques to draw or paint these mycological wonders! Participants should bring their own art supplies, and the focus of the class will be sketching and painting in a sketchbook. This course is well suited for experienced or novice artists, and the only prerequisite is an enthusiasm for mushrooms!

This event will take place on the Rokeby Farm portion of OSGF. The event will not include a tour of the formal garden, or main residence. Participants should be prepared for moderate walking across hilly fields and similar uneven terrain. Participants should arrive with proper footwear, sufficient water, and rain/sun protection.

Workshop Overview: The workshop will begin with introductions, and a presentation about foraging and harvesting mushrooms from the instructor, Margaret Saylor. Attendees will then forage and gather mushrooms from specified areas of the OSGF’s Rokeby Farm. After lunch, Saylor will lead two demonstrations; one on how to draw mushrooms, and one on how to paint mushrooms. Participants will be able to work in their sketchbooks, observing, drawing, and painting the mushrooms.

What to bring: Please be sure to pack a lunch to eat picnic style, a water bottle, and please wear comfortable weather-appropriate clothing.

Recommended supply list from Margaret Saylor:

Materials Used in Demonstration

  • Sketchbooks: Hahnemuhle Toned Watercolor Book A5 ( Vintage Paper Co; walnut sketchbook filled with handmade rag paper, hot pressed (; PrintUrchin Press & Bindery, Wales, handmade sketchbook, Arches 100% cotton paper, hot pressed ( any good quality sketchbook that pleases you, such as Stillman & Birn Zeta series, or a sketchbook with hot pressed watercolor paper in it
  • Watercolors: Greenleaf & Blueberry Adventure Micro Palette ( or any selection of watercolors
  • Brush: Raphael #8408 Kolinsky Sable Watercolor Brush or any good quality sable brush
  • Graphite: HB with lead holder
  • Blackwing pencils (
  • eraser

Reference materials: My major mushroom influence from the very beginning was Beatrix Potter. See any of the many published books for examples of her fungi field studies. For mushroom identification, arm yourself with best quality field guides specific to your area.

About OSGF: The Oak Spring Garden Foundation (OSGF) is a philanthropic foundation based at the former primary estate of the late Paul and Rachel Mellon, who were major philanthropists in the U.S. of the arts, humanities, and sciences in the second half of the twentieth century. OSGF is located in the northern Virginia Piedmont and Blue Ridge Mountains region (ca. one-hour drive from Washington, D.C.). Led by Sir Peter Crane, the Foundation’s inaugural President, OSGF provides short courses and supports residencies for artists and scholars. Its celebrated Library comprises rare books, manuscripts and works of art relating to horticulture, landscape design, botany and natural history. It is becoming a new center of stimulation of all things botanical, from fundamental research in plant evolution and conservation, to horticultural and plant conservation practice, to the history and art of plants, gardens and landscapes.

About the instructor: Botanical artist Margaret Saylor’s signature subjects are mushrooms and fungi. She forages for specimens in her native Berks County, Pennsylvania, and on her travels throughout the east coast of the United States. Margaret delights in finding the perfect subjects and then portraying their distinctive characteristics and unique beauty in watercolor, graphite and egg tempera on vellum and gesso board. For more than 10 years she has taught both in-person and online classes at many venues, including public gardens, art institutes, and botanical art societies. Margaret feels that observation, good drawing skills, and enthusiasm are key to any botanical work, and her goal is to convey these skills to her students in a fun and engaging manner. She was awarded a Certificate with Distinction in Botanical Art and Illustration from the New York Botanical Garden and exhibits her work widely. Margaret is the Editor/Designer of The Botanical Artist, quarterly journal of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA.)

Availability: This event will be capped at 14 participants. Registrations will be accepted on a rolling basis through Eventbrite until full.

Illustrating Fungi: Create a Sketchbook of Observations image
Illustrating Fungi: Create a Sketchbook of Observations image
Illustrating Fungi: Create a Sketchbook of Observations image

Share with friends