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 to you step by step; how to paint grass with watercolors using only two different 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

Although different types of grass can be colors other than green, such as red or yellow; most of the times we paint grass it’s usually the green kind.

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

  • 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

Step by step process of painting grass

Make sure you first 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 establish the base. Then using the tip of the brush I added thick vertical strokes resembling the general shape of the grass towards the top. Remember this is the first stage so no need to dive into details yet. You can see which strokes I created in the picture bellow

Background of painting grass

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

step two of painting grass

Make sure not to completely 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 bellow.

step three of painting grass

Now its time to switch to a smaller size round brush (I used a size 1/2). Begin painting thin line strokes using light green, then later 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 its floating. In order to make it appear as though its growing from the soil, begin adding soft dabs of light and dark green paint at the bottom (like we did at the start). Refer to the images bellow:

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

Next you are going to add the grass flowers at the top (this step is optional). Simply paint dots around the very tip of a single grass.

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

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 simple scene of long grass growing near the edge of a lake.

Outcome of using this grass painting techniques

That’s the end for this tutorial to 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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