Once you know how to do it, its easy.
The secret lies in the range of colours you use.
You will need:
- a photograph to copy from
- a large flat paintbrush
- a small rounded paintbrush
- a palette or makeshift palette (foil quiche case!)
- a range of green acrylic paints
Do not use greens in the emerald spectrum.No Hooker Green, no Phthalo Green.It will make the grass look artificial, or like it has spent too much time hanging round a nuclear power plant!
Although this is one of my better paintings, I really regret the grass…
but I hadn’t yet learnt my golden rule.
The result is that it looks slightly artificial.
You live and learn…
Instead, choose Sap Green, Olive Green and others in that spectrum.
- a range of brown acrylic paints
I love Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber and my secret weapon Flesh Tint!Flesh Tint is great as it adds white tones and brown tones which blend naturally with green.I also like to use gold paint to make the grass glint.
- Burgandy / Deep Violet acrylic paint
Purple blends really well with browns and greens to create areas of shadow. Next time you look shadows you will notice that they are never ever black.
- Mars Black acrylic paint
You can use this to mix with other paints, but try not to use it neat.
- White acrylic paint
- Masking tape
- Draw out your design on your canvas. It may be helpful to put a line of masking tape along edges to stop the colour bleeding into the wrong areas.
- Do a colour wash in Sap Green over the entire grass area, using a large flat paintbrush. This makes sure all areas have a layer of paint. Please paint the sides of the canvas, there is nothing less professional than leaving unpainted sides… see my previous rant!
- Use a small paintbrush and mix up various shades of brown and green in your palette.Be adventurous, using purples and blacks too to create lots of natural shades.
- Using a small repetitive motion, create lots of small strokes in varying shades across the area.
- Make the grass darker at the bottom of the painting – potentially to near-black, and lighter at the top with whites, greens and gold shades.
Do not worry about making it too perfect. I assume you will paint something in the foreground, which will no doubt spoil your grass background slightly.
You can neaten this up later, using the same colours and the same technique of small repetitive strokes with a small paintbrush.
But… don’t rush either. Give it attention, care and patience like you would the foreground, and you will be onto a winner.
Click here for my guide on how to paint long grass in acrylic.