How to paint grass with watercolors

The key to painting grass with watercolors lies in creating the right brush strokes and lines, not to mention the right variations of color.

In this post, I am going to demonstrate step by step how to paint grass with watercolors using only two shades of green.

Characteristics when painting grass

When painting or drawing anything it is important to observe the object of interest and point out the few important characteristics that will help guide your painting in perspective.

  • Lines- Painting grass is mostly about what type of lines you paint. Create lines that are thicker at the bottom and narrower towards the top.
  • color- Beginners often times, make the mistake of using one shade of green, try to create subtle variations in color.
  • Direction of stroke- not all grass grows in the same direction, some may be shorter in length, or bent/damaged.

Color Scheme

In the demonstration below, I used the following color mixtures:

  • For the grass, I added prussian blue to make the green darker, and I added lemon yellow to make it a lighter shade:
    • lighter shade: Permanent green light+Lemon yellow
  • For the dirt:
    • Burnt umber

Darker shade: Emerald green+prussian blue

Below is a color chart that shows you different shades of green that you can mix:

Related: How to mix stunning landscape greens

Step by step process of painting grass

Make sure you read the color scheme I mentioned above before you begin the tutorial.

  • In order to paint the background, I am using a size 8 round brush. You are going to use the wet on wet technique, so lightly pre-wet the lower area of the sketch.

Working from light to dark, I began by dabbing the light green along the bottom of the painting in order to paint the background.

Then using the tip of the brush I added thick vertical strokes resembling the grass shape. You can see which strokes I created in the picture below:

Background of painting grass

Next begin dabbing the the darker shade of green using the point of the brush as shown below:

step two of painting grass

Make sure not to cover up the first layer of paint, remember you want to add variation in tone and color to create depth. Instead, blend the two colors like in the image below.

step three of painting grass

Now it’s time to switch to a smaller size round brush (I used a size 1/2).

Begin painting thin strokes using light green, then switch to dark green. Remember to paint lines going in different directions and lengths:

step 4 of painting grass

Painting the light green grass strokes

Painting the dark green grass strokes

  • After painting the vertical strokes, the grass will look like it’s floating. To make it appear as though it’s growing from the soil, add some soft dabs of light and dark green paint at the bottom. Refer to the images below:

While the paint is still damp, blend the light and dark green so it looks like this:

Next, you are going to add the grass flowers at the top (this step is optional). Paint some dots around the top of the blade of grass.

The next step is to paint the soil. Keep it simple by softly dabbing and blending burnt umber at the bottom:

Finally, it is time to create more depth by mixing a very small amount of burnt umber and dark green. You are going to paint very short vertical lines at the bottom in order to create depth:

final step of painting grass

Using the same method above, I painted a scene of long grass growing near the edge of a lake.

Outcome of using this grass painting techniques

That’s the end of this tutorial on painting grass with watercolors. If you enjoyed it, found it helpful or you have any questions feel free to leave a comment down below or contact me!!

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