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Painting Grass

By August 22, 2016Uncategorized
Ruthie V, Edison Slough in Snow (detail)

Ruthie V, Edison Slough in Snow (detail)

This is the beginning of a collection: examples of painted grass.

When I paint grass I usually start with large shapes first, light swathes of masses break the canvas into smaller segments. I use a rag sometimes to form the first shapes, then a bristle brush so the bristles scrape away the paint as much as they apply it, leaving hair-like light lines in the color. Upward strokes starting from the top (the farthest away) and working down the canvas helps the lower grasses cover the blunt feet of the brushstrokes higher up, and the overlap gives the illusion that the lower forms are closer. Masses, or swatches, vary slightly in color so I don’t end up with a wallpaper effect, and grass in the background is heavily mixed with the sky color so atmospheric perspective can help me get some air in there. The second layer has a bit more definition, here and there an upward stroke in dark (shadows), then color (bold), then light (highlights) on top. Foreground has the most contrast. Don’t do every blade. Let the viewer’s eye do the work. When it comes to detail like this, less is more.

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