Friday, 21 April 2017

Step-by-Step - Colouring Grass

I've had a problem with colouring grass for ages. I'm abysmal at it! Usually I colour it too olive-green and it looks almost burnt. When I colour it in pencil over a largish area it turns out patchy and boring. So recently I'd taken to using pastels to do the job. My range of greens doesn't seem to be quite right, and I also get annoying blobs and smears. Pastel is okay if you want a hint of greenish in the background, but when the grass area is quite prominent, it needs a different approach.
I was faced with this situation in my current colouring of Pictura Cats, a fold-out frieze, that has a HUGE amount of grass in it!

Here's a progress video before I started doing any grass at all -

So this week I did a bit of research on Google and I put together these ideas into a passable, if labour intensive, solution.

Here's a small section before I started "grassing" it -

I used a mix of Polychromos and Holbein pencils as I didn't have all the colours in Polychromos. However I'll give you the Polychromos numbers as well.

Step 1
This involves putting doing a light layer of a pale cream colour. You'll barely see it but it just takes away the whiteness and gives a gentle glow.
I used Polychromos 102 Cream.
Then take a fairly bright lemon and make tiny clumps with upright pencil strokes. It doesn't have to too close together but evenly spaced out.
I used Holbein 145 Dandelion but you could also use Polychromos 205 Cadmium Yellow Lemon.

Step 1

Step 2
Now we get into the greens and start with quite a bright, lighter green. Put in more grass clumps, quite thickly this time, and you can go over the yellow clumps.
I used Holbein 254 Evergreen but you could also use Polychromos 166 Grass Green.

Step 2

Step 3
Move on to a slightly darker green and do a lot of these clumps too.
I used Holbein 264 Holly Green or you could use Polychromos 266 Permanent Green.
You should have quite good coverage of clumps by now.

Step 3

Step 4
Now take a slightly different green and do some more random clumps and upward strokes. Also I use this colour to get into the edges around the leaves and rocks.
I used Polychromos 167 Permanent Green Olive.

Step 4

Step 5
I like this one. Take an olive green colour and make random upward strokes or clumps to give a bit of depth to the colouring and moderate all that bright greenness.
I used Holbein 189 Olive Green. An alternative is Polychromos 278 Chrome Oxide Green.

Steps 5 and 6

Step 6
You're almost there! Just an occasional random blade of dark brown. Go light on this or your grass will look burnt.
I used Polychromos 177 Walnut Brown.

You can repeat these steps again if you want a less open look.
To add in a patch of sunshines on the grass, stop after adding in Step 1 or 2 and continue around that with the darker colours. If you're colouring grass in the shade you will need to work out a palette of darker colours.

And here is the video showing the finished grass strip across the top of the frieze - 

You can see other posts in the Step-by-Step series - here.

You can read my review of Pictura Cats - here.

Here are some links to pencil brands, the largest sets and you can check out smaller sets from there.

Faber Castell Polychromos Pencils
Amazon US;(60 set)  Amazon UK (60 set);  
Mighty Ape NZ (36 set)

At Amazon you can also get the full 120 pencil set.

Holbein Pencils - 
Available at - Amazon US ( the full 150 set);
Amazon UK (the full 150 set)
Also check the price at Amazon Japan as it can be cheaper.

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Recent Reviews and Posts 

A Celtic Beauty - here.

Elegant Designs of the Ages  - here.

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