Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Scarlet Elf Cups

Winter seems a strange period to go hunting for mushrooms. But there are a few that only can be found in this period of the year. The Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha coccinea) is one of them. It loves snow and freezing temperatures. This fungus grows on decaying branches in damp spots on forests floor. It's a rare fungus in the Netherlands... or so they say. Winter, snow, freezing cold and crawling under bushes isn't a very pleasant combination for most people, so it's not surprising it's not such a common sight.

Scarlet Elf Cups

I painted this little group of Scarlet Elf Cups like they were found. On the branches, with moss and dead leaves. I first painted the Fungi because I knew they loved the cold and damp.... not my dry and warm studio. The interior of the cups is bright red and very smooth. The outside is lighter and orange. later they turned even lighter, almost white. Maybe that had something to do with the dry, warm air. They are quite small, about 2 cm.
The hardest part was to paint the moss around the mushrooms. So delicate and fluffy. But I decided not to get into details too much since the focus should be on the fungi. I think I managed to do it. Creating this very tiny little world from the forest floor.


KWoolsey said...

the moss is perfect, such rich colors for a watercolor, I love the name scarlet elf cup . I can imagine elves and fairies sipping the morning dew.

Claire said...

oh they are beautiful Sigrid ,love them xxx,great fun to paint and knowing when to stop