Painting a country-side mural is the perfect way to bring the outdoors into your family room, and you and your artistic child are ready to go . . . as soon as you figure out how to make the grass on the village green look like grass. Whether your mural features a meadow, a forest, or the shore, there are several painting techniques that will bring your grass alive. Follow the steps below to paint the grass on your mural.
Rough out grass areas in pencil or chalk. Before you begin to paint, decide whether your grass areas will be hilly or flat --- for hilly areas, you might want to sketch out areas that rise or dip.
Look at outside grass areas, especially in the kind of light you plan to bring into your mural. You will discover that grass on a hill reflects light in different ways than does a flat lawn. Even on a flat lawn, you are likely to see areas that naturally get more water than others. Use your discoveries to augment your rough sketches.
Look at some grassy areas close up. From a distance, you might see even, lush green. Close up, you will find that blades are different colours, all the way from tan to dark bluish green. You will add what you see close-up to the way you paint your grass.
Using your practice paper, dip tips of your brushes into paint and experiment with making your grass look the way you like. Pouring or squeezing a thin layer of each colour of paint onto a paper plate prevents you from applying too much paint; the bristles on your brushes work more like blades of grass when they don't hold too much paint.
Brush in your blades of grass from bottom to top. As you have learnt from close observation, blades of grass are thicker at the bottom and thinner at the top. Brush strokes that leave more paint at the bottom than the top will give your grass a grassier look.
Layer on colours to increase depth. Not all grass is perfectly mowed --- experiment with strokes of different lengths. Increase contrast by adding a few weeds or wildflowers --- just a dot here and there will give the impression that nature is alive and flourishing.
Step back from time to time to assess the results. Just like real grass, painted grass looks different from close up and from a distance. Perhaps your hill looks a little too bumpy, or not quite bumpy enough. Your tree is beautiful, but there's no shadow on the grass. Your delicate wildflowers look like an indelicate rash. Stepping back frequently will tell you how your grass is really growing.
Dispose of the rags or towels and the paper plates. Step back one more time and admire!
Things you need
- Tubes of acrylic paint in several shades of green (light, dark, blue-green, olive, yellow-green)
- Tube of brown or tan paint
- Several brushes, 1/2" to 1 1/2" wide
- Narrow artist brush
- Rags or towels to wipe brushes during painting
- Paper plates for paint (if desired)
- Pencil or chalk
- Sheets of practice paper
- Outdoor grass areas resembling what you wish to paint, if possible