How to Paint Grass: Painting Tips and Techniques

Painting grass is always a fun and challenging project. There are many different ways to paint this subject, but the best way is through experimentation. How do you want your painting of grass to look?

Choose what colors you want, how much detail you need, and which mediums work best for the finished product. This tutorial will show some tips on how to paint grass on canvas so that it looks realistic!

Before You Start a Project

The grass is one of the most common subjects in landscape paintings along with trees and clouds, so it’s no wonder that many artists are looking for advice on how to paint grass oil, watercolors, or acrylics. There really isn’t any magical trick or technique you can use to make this subject easy; it takes time and practice like everything else. However, if you follow these simple tips below, they will help smooth out your learning curve quite a bit (and save some paper!).

Grass has two very distinctive features: its round shape (like blades overlapping each other) and soft color gradation from dark green at the base to light green towards the top.

If you want to paint a meadow, landscape with grasses, or vegetation in the ground plane, painting grass can help sell that idea. Not only does it add detail and color variation but also depth to the scene.

The grass is a great texture for paintings because of how easily it blends into surrounding colors while laying on top of other layers at the same time. This helps blend together all objects in your picture.

Paint grass if you are looking for something fun yet simple enough to complete quickly! When finished properly, this type of project will give an elegant touch to any art piece!

Color Scheme for Painting Grass

There are several different ways that you could go about choosing your colors when painting grass: full-color or just green; detailed with every blade drawn out or flat shapes with no details; dark greens for shadows, mid-tones in the center, light greens on top; etc.

There is no right or wrong way to choose colors for your picture. However, depending on what you’d like the mood of your painting to be and what mediums you’ve chosen will determine which colors work best.

Some people like dark greens for shadows, others prefer bright lime-yellows – do whatever works best for your project or personal style!

Color Schemes For Painting Grass

  • Natural green
  • Browns and tans
  • Cool colors (blues)
  • Bright/light brown or tan with dark greens mixed throughout
  • Shades of yellow and light green with pops of blue here and there depending on your reference photo
  • Blues and browns mixed together
  • Shades of green, yellow, and red for a fall feel
  • Vibrant oranges with little pops of blue in between

How to Mix Green Color for Grass

Mixing green is simple! There are generally three shades of green that you’ll want to use when painting grass.

  1. Dark Green. Use this color for the majority of your areas where grass will be seen in large patches or as a ground cover throughout your picture. This shade should really pop out and give great contrast against other colors within your work.
  2. Light Green. The second shade which can be mixed from either dark green or yellow paint, use this color sparingly on top of darker greens only if necessary because it’s pretty bright by itself depending on how much you mix with it. If so desired, try using light green over some parts of the darkest shade instead to create more variation in your painting!
  3. Yellow. This is the third and final shade which should be mixed from either dark green or light green. Only mix a little bit of this color into your mixture because it can become very bright over time depending on how much you use. If necessary, experiment with different shades until you find a perfect one that will suit your needs for creating realistic grass in your paintings!

Read more about blending acrylic paint in our Detailed Beginner’s Guide.


As with all paintings, it’s important to know how the elements in your piece will interact and where they’ll be placed.

The grass is flat by nature so make sure that when you’re placing a patch of grass or blades within a certain area that there isn’t too much going on around them which would distract from their appearance.

You can utilize your painting’s composition in order to convey a story or mood.

For instance, if you want the grass to seem as though it is blowing in the wind then try having some parts of it curl upward! This will give off the illusion that your vegetation is being blown by gusts of air coming from one specific direction which ties into what you may have wanted your picture to be about.

Things You’ll Need

Be sure to have all of your supplies ready! Painting is a fun and fast process so it’s important not to miss any part because you’ll want to know how to paint grass in watercolor or acrylics without interruption if possible!

Paper or Canvas

Choose canvas or paper if you’d like to paint grass in acrylic or watercolors. Oils can be painted onto most surfaces including wood!

Reference Photos

Having a reference photo will help produce your painting. Take as many reference photos as you’d like. These can be used to paint grass in realistic or abstract ways.

However, don’t let the image restrict how you approach this subject matter! Instead, use it as a guide and create something uniquely yours by adding in personal touches you feel improve the overall picture!


There are a few different mediums that can help achieve the look of realistic grass: oil, watercolor, or acrylic.


This is a great medium for beginners or those who want to paint grass quickly since it dries so fast! There are many colors available as well which makes these an appealing choice if you’re looking for bright hues in your painting.

Acrylic paint’s formula has been improved over time making brighter hues ideal for grass especially if using acrylic paints! This can produce very vibrant pieces due to their fast drying times so make sure each section dries before adding to your painting!


These tend to be very vibrant yet transparent due to their water-based formula. They also dry much faster than oil paintings, but they don’t offer as much depth as oils do as acrylics do.

Watercolors offer no smell which makes them ideal for younger artists who may not like painting with smelly paints such as oils and acrylics!

Oil Paints

The slow drying time of this type of paint will help create more layers and color intensity with each stroke! Oils work best on canvas or wood surfaces.

Oil paintings will give a smooth finish and great color depth, but they take longer than other media because of the drying time between layers.

These paints are very complex due to the mixing involved in creating shades and hues, but this is a great medium for those who want to take their time.

Don’t know what to choose: oil or acrylics? We compared both mediums in this article.


Brush type can vary based on your goals for the painting.

If you’re going for a smooth finish then use oil brushes or just regular watercolor brushes that have been cleaned thoroughly after each session of painting.

For acrylics, choose synthetic bristles if possible because they hold more color than natural hairs which will cause streaking throughout the finished product.

Watercolor brushes are also good choices due to their softness which makes them easy to blend with colors together smoothly without harsh lines appearing in the final piece! However, keep in mind these types of brushes may be harder to clean than oil brushes.

Be sure to choose a brush that won’t damage your painting when you’re applying paint! This is why it’s advisable for beginners to use softer types of bristles that are able to bend and move with the surface without damaging or marking up the paper.

If you have hard and sturdy bristles, they can cause unwanted creasing in your work if pressed too firmly into a certain area.

Other Tools

There are many tools that can be used to create grass texture! Check out these suggestions below which will help you approach this subject matter in many different ways while achieving your goals!

  • Palette Knives. If you’re looking for realism when it comes to how foliage such as leaves appears on trees then palette knives can be used as an alternative way of applying paint onto paper instead of using traditional, round brushes as most artists do! For instance, try using different shapes such as triangles and rectangles which mimic the look of real leaves.
  • Toothbrushes. Artists use toothbrush bristles for painting fine lines and details on their paintings – you’ll want some with soft bristles if possible.
  • Sponges. These can be attached directly onto the end of brushes for interesting effects like spattering or blurring colors together!

Grass Painting Techniques

The process of painting starts by choosing the right medium for your painting goals! After that, you can choose color choices based on what hues work best for you and go straight into painting.

When painting grass, keep in mind that there are many different types of plants. Some have very large leaves and others have smaller features. How does your plant look? There is no right or wrong answer for this question as it all depends on what you want to achieve with the end result.

There are many different ways to approach this subject matter depending on how you want your painting to look in the end!

Wet on Wet

Wet on wet is a simple technique that can get beginners started with easy grass paintings. It involves using watercolors over an already painted background of any color, usually dark green or brown mixed together.

Then, while that’s still wet use light green and yellow paint onto another paper surface for creating some areas where grass will appear bright against darker backgrounds.

After allowing both colors to dry completely then brush away excess paint residues with a soft bristles art brush dipped into clear water before proceeding back to your initial reference photo/painting again if necessary.

Continue repeating these steps until all desired grass areas are painted and the picture is complete!

Wet on Dry

Wet on dry techniques involve using watercolors or acrylics onto a completely dried painting, usually of dark green or brown backgrounds.

This method may be easier for beginners because it involves less clean up after if you’re not as familiar with using brushes yet but will require more time to allow your initial base coat to fully dry before moving forward again towards adding grass.

After allowing enough time for that step, mix light green and yellow paint together until you achieve desired shades then apply them over only selected portions of already made grassy areas by tapping some bristles against their surfaces first.

Continue repeating these steps all around the previously added grasses until they reach your desired brightness then paint even more grass using the same technique over any areas that may need them until your picture is complete!

Dry Brushing

Dry brushing uses acrylics or oil paints onto a completely dried painting.

The process itself involves dipping only the very tip of bristles against an already made base coat, usually dark green or brown backgrounds to create darker shades of grass than usual before adding lighter ones afterward for making brighter patches depending on how much water you added into each mixture beforehand.

After allowing enough time for step one, mix light green and yellow paint together with soft brushes before applying it anywhere you desire by tapping some bristles first then repeating if necessary because dry brush strokes are less noticeable when done gently at first instead of all at once!

Continue repeating these steps until your picture is complete and you’re satisfied with its final result!


This means applying thin layers of paint over one another until you’ve successfully created realistic-looking grass! Depending on what mediums you decide to use for this painting technique, try using soft bristles such as sable brushes for oil paints, large-sized rounds for acrylics and watercolors…etc. These types of brushes may be harder to come by but they will help to blend layers together easier than other brushes which have stiffer bristles.


If you don’t want an even layer or are looking for more texture within particular areas of your picture such as grass blades poking through snow or a dirt path, a scumbling technique can be used. Using a dry brush and an off-white/light brown color of paint, dab your brush on the canvas repeatedly without smudging it too much as you go along. This will create different shades within your grass so that it appears more realistic!

Painting Realistic Grass

To create realistic-looking grass, be sure not to use too many brushstrokes when applying paint. For acrylics, try using a palette knife to apply paint. It is great for spreading out large areas of grass or creating grasses that look like they are blowing in the wind!

To create this type of movement, try using light colors on top and darker shades below it. This technique will help give dimension to your painting as well!

Creating Depth

To add more depth to your picture, use dark greens at the bottom with lighter green hues toward the top. Be sure not to cover up all darkness under different blades because this creates flatness in an artwork which can be undesirable when trying to achieve realism!

Remember you want the viewer’s eye to travel through each blade so some variation needs to remain present throughout your piece. When finished properly, these types of techniques with grass can make for a great finished product!

How to Paint Grass Acrylic or Oil: Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1

Choose a medium that best fits the type of painting goal. If oil or acrylic paints are chosen, mix green hues together on your palette which will give color for each blade of grass.

Step 2

Assign colors randomly throughout the paper or canvas.

You may use a palette knife to place paint onto your surface. This will be faster without using too many brush strokes which can keep it looking natural!

Step 3

Make sure all grass blades are not touching.

Allowing space between each blade is important for realism in painting grass. If they touch, no light gets through and this effect does not work as well because you do not want flatness throughout your painting!

Step 4

Add definition by creating shadows/light around different blades.

This step should mimic what occurs naturally with grass growth where some areas have more sun exposure than others which causes lighter patches on parts of the plant itself. These effects show up nicely when painted over with lighter greens!

Step 5

Add final touches by adding detail and color variation to the grass.

The final two steps involve using a small brush. These are great tips that can help you get started on your own project so be sure to try them out if needed!

15 Grass Painting Tips

  1. Mix the paint using a very small amount of water. Using too much will result in weak colors and if you do not use enough, it may be difficult to get the desired tone or color later on when painting grass. You can also add some white paint mixed with other colors so that you have more options for lightening your green base coat.
  2. Paint around five layers of different shades of green to create realistic-looking grass blades. The final layer should be blending between darker greens at the top and lighter tones towards the bottom where sunlight falls (when painting outdoor scenes).
  3. Paint over dry areas first before wet ones.
  4. Avoid creating two-toned blades as this makes them look unnatural and unrealistic; there are no such patches of bright green against the dark brownish-green grass.
  5. The paint should be applied thinly and gradually to create a smooth gradient. Use thicker layers of color near the bottom.
  6. Make sure you leave no areas of white between the different shades as this will ruin your image, resulting in an almost black or very dark green patch where light is not supposed to reach (or at least not much).
  7. Using pure white will give your grass a fake “stark” look without any depth to it.
  8. There are three options for blending: dry-brush effect; wet on wet technique; and washes/glazes. The first option makes it easier to see what parts have been covered but requires more paint while the latter two require fewer layers yet may result in some patches looking “muddy” or uneven if done incorrectly.
  9. It’s always best to paint grass with a limited color palette because too many hues can create muddy colors that don’t look good together.
  10. For more realism, you can paint small blades of grass growing in different directions. This requires a lot of patience and good control over the brush but adds that extra something to your work which makes it look alive!
  11. It is also important to make the blades very thin so that there are no areas where thicker patches form together or with the rest of the grass blade itself (unless this is what you intend).
  12. Use white paint mixed with yellow for lighter tones while using green for darker ones; do not use black as this may create an artificial “black” patch instead of making shadows within existing blades themselves.
  13. Pay attention not only to how much detail is included but also where it is placed throughout the painting process. This will help keep consistent depth and flow in your artwork as well!
  14. Try different techniques until you find what works best for you when attempting to paint grass. If one method isn’t producing desired results at first, try another way of achieving that look because there are many ways of approaching this subject matter!
  15. Experiment with colors and types of brushes/knives.

Final Thoughts

The grass is easy to paint, creating a beautiful balance of detail and simplicity. It can also be used as an underpainting for many types of projects! The process of painting grass is very simple but the finished product will make you look like a professional painter. The grass always adds depth and visual interest to any project or scene!

By following these simple tips, anyone can learn to paint grass using any medium they choose. Painting is a rewarding hobby since it allows us an escape from our busy lives by creating something new and beautiful!

Leave a Comment