Painting grass can be tricky, it needs to be natural looking. In this new watercolor tutorial video I demonstrate how to paint dune grass. All levels of painters can learn and successfully use this painting technique for all types of grasses.

Watercolor Tutorial Video


Usually I wet area where I want the grass. I drop in a variety of colors into the wet area. I use a variety of colors from the palette, such as, raw sienna, yellow ochre, quin. gold, burnt sienna, indian red, ultramarine blue, cerulean and indanthrone blue. Letting the colors blend in the wet paper.

After the paint has dried for a few minutes and is glistening I start scraping the blades of grass from the area. The white of the paper should show on each blade. If the color bleeds back into the area the paper is too wet. Let paper dry a little longer and try again.


I use a small pocket knife. The blade is strong and stiff, in contrast, try a palette knife. Depending on the style, you may get a nice variety of grass blades. Some brushes have a scraping end on the handle.


Don’t be too gentle, specifically, use a strong sweeping motion. Pull the blade from inside the wet paint right out to a dry area. Some of the paint will be pulled right out and it will look great.

The Arches paper that I use is strong and I don’t have any problems with tearing. Some softer paper may not work as well. Thus, practice with different watercolor papers on scraps or backs of paintings.

After the area has dried, add negative painting in the grass with darks. Use a liner brush for details, such as, branches and leaves.

In Conclusion

In watercolor painting sometimes a suggestion is better than too much detail. Natural looking grass can be achieved with a variety of colors and techniques. This watercolor tutorial is fast and easy. Practice scraping out blades of grass in your next painting and let me know how you like it.