How to create real-looking grass
Let’s start with a first article about one of the first secrets that eludes many people who try their chance in modeling:
How to realize the grass in a realistic manner.
Tools of the trade: you will need a couple of medium-sized brushes, some glue for wood (vinavil), water, synthetic (fiber) grass, latex gloves, and some acrylic colors.
How to start:
Once the model has been painted fully, you need to mix water and vinavil (80% vinavil, 20% water). This is due to the fact that the water will break the superficial tension of the vinavil, thus preventing it from creating a thin layer of dry glue that would stick immediately to the grass, which would prevent it to glue to your diorama in a suitable fashion afterwards.
Mix the two, to allow the vinavil to be more fluid.
Once the mixture is done, use a brush to spread the vinavil in all the areas where you want to put the grass.
It should be remembered that grass doesn’t usually grow on walls.
Once you have laid the vinavil, take the grass into hand and let it spread on every related area. Don’t hesitate to use a lot of grass this way, more than it seems reasonable: the excess grass won’t glue anyway, and you will be able to retrieve it for later use afterwards.
Of course, to be able to retrieve easily the excess grass, I would advise you to first put some newspaper under the model, so to facilitate its gathering once the work is done.
Once all the areas of vinavil are covered with grass, put your latex gloves on, and press with your palms the grass on the vinavil.
Once the vinavil is dry (it will take approximately 6 hours), use a big dry brush to move away all excess grass.
The result you will obtain is very interesting as you can see in the picture, but not fully realistic yet …. the grass has still a somewhat vivid and phosphorescent green color…
Get on to the next step: make the grass get a realistic color.
Take some acrylic colors: golden yellow, beige, and dark skin.
With a medium-sized brush, color the grass using the dry-brush technique (put the color on the brush, then take away the excess color by rubbing the brush on a cloth/rag, and then pass/paint rapidly the grass with it).
This process does not only paint the grass, but helps it stand upright, in case you did flatten it too much when you pressed it with your hands.
Once the grass is painted, the final result is the one next shown in the picture.
It is better to use very few color, than to put too much on the grass due to a completely colored-full brush, so be careful and check that the color on the brush is at the bare minimum.
In the end, it is not so complicated to make the grass real-looking, on our diorama.
The main and only delicate step is the dry-brush, but you can always train yourself first on some other areas built for training purposes, where you put some grass on.
Soon, we will write about how to make realistic bushes.
Cheers, Lorenzo – Maniachouse – Marchetto