Grass, though simple, is an abundant and often underestimated plant. While drawing a single blade of grass may seem manageable, capturing the essence of a patch or field of grass is a different story. Many beginners find themselves facing unexpected challenges when attempting to draw grass realistically. If you’re in this boat, fear not! This tutorial will guide you through the process and restore confidence in your drawing abilities.
Materials Used in This Drawing
Before we begin, let’s go over the materials utilized in this tutorial. While these specific items are recommended, you can still achieve satisfactory results with a regular pencil and eraser. Remember, it’s essential to get started even if you don’t possess all the materials mentioned. Should you wish to purchase any of the recommended items, they can be found at your local art store or via the links provided. Please note, these links are affiliate links, and I may receive a small commission from purchases made through them.
- Graphite pencils (2H, HB, and 2B)
- Drawing paper
- Kneaded eraser
Video Tutorial: Drawing Realistic Grass
To provide a comprehensive understanding of the process, I have created a full-length video tutorial exclusively for members of the Let’s Draw Today Club. This video offers step-by-step explanations, guiding you through the entire process of drawing realistic grass. If interested, you can access the complete video tutorial and many others by following the links below. Already a member? Head straight to your course!
Drawing the Initial Blades of Grass
To begin drawing realistic grass, start with a simple yet crucial step: sketching lines resembling individual blades of grass. In this demonstration, I’m utilizing an HB pencil. Similar to drawing hair, ensure that the strokes follow the natural growth direction of grass. Begin at the bottom and create upstrokes for a tapered effect, with the base slightly wider than the tip. Alternatively, experiment with both upstrokes and downstrokes, as I’ve done here.
Next, draw a few additional blades of grass in the opposite direction. Vary their lengths slightly and experiment with the spacing between them. Remember, realism lies in the details. To build volume and depth, revisit the initial row of grass blades and add more alongside them. Consistency and layering play a significant role in achieving a realistic outcome.
Layering for Realistic Grass
Now, it’s time to draw a second row of grass blades. Notice how I’ve added a few sprigs on the left side, loosely interpreting the concept of “rows” in this tutorial. As you progress, the individual rows will blend seamlessly, creating a cohesive grassy landscape. To maintain loose and light pencil strokes, carefully choose your pencil grip. In the initial stages of drawing grass, I prefer an overhand grip.
Continuing with this approach, introduce a third row of grass in the foreground. Embrace the overlapping of marks; it enhances the authentic appearance of grass. Revisit the already-drawn grass and layer additional strokes. Remember, building layers is key to achieving realistic grass.
Shading Between and Around the Grass Blades
Now, let’s add depth and dimension to the grass by incorporating light and dark values. Look for areas between the blades of grass where shadows naturally occur. Shade these areas to create a contrast that enhances the overall realism. Use the image below as a reference for this shading process.
Continue shading between the grass blades to add darker areas. It’s best to follow the path of individual blades of grass while maintaining loose strokes. Focus on the negative space created by the surrounding grass rather than meticulously outlining each blade. Afterward, switch to a 2B pencil to intensify the shading closest to the ground.
Gradually shade the lower portion of the grass, emphasizing the areas between lighter blades. As light reaches the ground floor of grass minimally, shadows should feature prominently here. Continue the shading process, primarily focusing on the lighter blades to create depth and dimension. Although individual blades don’t require excessive detailing, consider shading directly next to a few to highlight their presence. This technique of shading around individual blades results in a realistic collection of grass without drawing each blade separately.
Highlighting the Grass
Throughout the layering process, you may have inadvertently covered some of the highlighted areas. To address this, use a kneaded eraser’s wedge edge to brighten those highlights. Identify faint areas of light and gently erase in an upward motion to reveal these highlights. Reshape your eraser between each swoop, discarding accumulated graphite and facilitating the lifting of new highlights.
Adding Tone for Realism
To enhance the defined edges of the highlighted grass blades, employ a 2H or HB pencil to touch up and reshape those areas. Feel free to add a few thin blades here and there using swift upstrokes. Alternate between HB and 2B pencils to shape the negative space surrounding the grass blades, imparting the desired thickness and volume. Concentrate on the final layers of shading between the grass, particularly near the base where it meets the ground. Use a kneaded or regular eraser to tidy up any smudges at the bottom or elsewhere. If you were drawing an extensive field of grass, the process would continue. However, for the purposes of this tutorial, you can conclude here. Should you wish to continue, please do so!
Summary of the Tutorial
For a visual recap of the tutorial, refer to the image below. It presents a step-by-step summary progression of the process of drawing realistic grass.
Tips for Your Next Realistic Grass Drawing
Before we conclude, here are a few key takeaways to keep in mind for your future grass drawing endeavors:
- Maintain loose and light pencil strokes, particularly in the initial stages.
- Emulate the growth pattern of real grass blades when sketching.
- Utilize layered overlapping strokes to build volume and depth.
- Focus on shading the negative space between grass blades, rather than meticulously drawing each individual blade.
- Apply these tips to draw other subjects featuring grass, such as plants surrounded by grass, animals in grassy habitats, or various landscapes.
I hope this tutorial has made drawing realistic grass a more approachable task for you, and perhaps even inspired you to share your work. If you feel you need additional guidance beyond the words and pictures provided, remember that the Let’s Draw Today Club offers a full video version of this tutorial within its member area. Keep practicing, and soon enough, drawing grass will become second nature to you!