This bracket is usually a hard woody, semicircular bracket, but can sometimes form a rosette. It can also form overlapping tiers. The upper surface can be quite uneven and knobbly as it ages, and it has a mixture of browns, reds and ochres, with a white or cream margin. The underside has fine rounded pores, with a thin white or cream surface which when scratched reveals darker lines, hence its vernacular name as it can be used like a canvas to draw upon. Fruit body 10 to 60cm wide, 2 to 8cm thick.
It fruits all year round. It is a parasite on the trunks of broadleaved trees, found growing solitary or in tiers on dead or living wood. Widespread but occasional.
Photographs of Artist’s Bracket (Ganoderma applanatum), taken November 2012, Warley Woods, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2012. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.