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How to Draw Grass

Learn how to draw grass from artist Rebecca Schweiger in this Howcast drawing tutorial.


I've prepared a landscape, which is a marsh, a freshwater in the front, and a green field of grass. I've basically added fields of color, and now I'm going to add these strands of grass. There are literally endless strands of grass. I'm not going draw every strand. What I'm going to do is just draw enough of them to show that it is grass.

I'm going to be using color pastels, and I'm basically making somewhat of a straight line, and I just let it go free at the top. It's this type of motion; I'm flicking my wrist and I'm just going to do it in some areas, enough so to show that in fact, it is grass. All you really have to do is show it in certain areas; little concentrated areas. You don't have to spend the rest of your life drawing every strand of grass.

I'm using a basic shade of green. I'm going to come in with a lighter shade of green. Because the light is hitting these blades of grass, so some of what we see is a darker shade, some of what we see is a lighter shade, and some of the grass comes straight in the water, because I'm going to add those in, as well. Again, it's just an up-and-down movement; I want to show maybe there's wind blowing or some motion. I can create that, as well. They're just very, very fine lines.

With pastel, if you make a mistake or you put on a color you don't like, you can always wipe it right out. With a marsh, there's actual grass growing out of the water, so I'm going to add that, as well. Again, it doesn't have to be solid, solid lines, but just these touches. I'm going to continue this, adding different shades of green along with the lighter greens. Instead of just one straight line, I'm almost making little dashes, just to show that the strands of grass, the blades of grass, growing out of the water actually have different highlights. Then if I want to show a specific area that has a concentrated color of grass, I can just use the side of my charcoal, or the tip, I'm using the tip right now, and in a fast up-and-down motion, almost scribbling right through the area to show a sense of grass.

I'm now going to use a pencil; I'm using a 6B pencil. I'm going to use the pencil and draw into the water. I want to show that the grass above is reflecting in the water; there's a shadow being cast. You can use pastel; I'm going to use a pencil. You have all these really beautiful long lines that intersect and intertwine. It really shows that the grass is reflecting in the water. I don't have to go everywhere with it, I don't have to draw every single line. I'm going to draw enough of the lines so that you really get a sense that this, in fact, grass.

You can see that you can combine drawing materials; you don't only have to stick to one. You can use as many different materials as you want, and allow them to work together. Just within this reflection, these very simple lines; I'm basically just doing this. When I do that right in the water, it gives it a feeling of grass and grass being reflected.

If I wanted to, I could continue this drawing. I would continue with some of the reflections, and I would continue drawing more and more detail. The last thing that I'm going to do is going to take a brown piece of charcoal, and in the top area, this yellow field of grass, I'm just going to hint at some little pieces of thicker, or darker, grass showing in the background, in the distance. I'm using the tip of my charcoal. I'm making just a very gentle upward line. There's an area here where the grass is blowing in the wind, so I'll allow it to move and have a little more motion. I can take my finger; I'm not rubbing it in, but I'm dabbing it, just so that the lines are not too, too detailed.

My last step is I'm just going to move through the drawing, because there are some areas that are much darker. Within the grass, I'm just going to use some black, and I'm going to bring that black right in. This up-and-down motion, like strands of grass, just to show that sense of dimension and depth, and then I'm going to rub it in slightly. This is how I would start. I would probably continue on with this drawing. I would continue bringing in more color, I would continue bringing in more strands of grass, I would continue bringing in an overlapping of colors and an overlapping of all of these different elements in the drawing. I've gotten far enough to show the sense of grass, and to show how one would draw grass.

In your own drawing, I would suggest continuing for as long as you want, and continuing, perhaps, to integrate pencil into pastel so that you can really show this movement of grass throughout your whole drawing. Most importantly, enjoy the process.

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