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How to create real-looking grass by Manorhouse Workshop


  • How to create real-looking grass by Manorhouse Workshop

    Hi everyone
    Letís start with a first article about one of the first secrets that eludes many people who try their chance in modelling; 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 (fibre) grass, latex gloves, and some acrylic colours.
    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.
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    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 doesnít usually grow on walls
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    Once you have laid the vinavil, take the grass into hand and let it spread on every related area. Donít hesitate to use a lot of grass this way, more than it seems reasonable: the excess grass wonít glue anyway, and you will be able to retrieve it for later use afterwards.
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    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
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    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.
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    The result you will obtain is very interesting as you can see in the picture, but not fully realistic yet Ö. the grass has still a somewhat vivid and phosphorescent green colourÖ
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    Get on to the next step: make the grass get a realistic colour.
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    Take some acrylic colours: golden yellow, beige, and dark skin. With a medium-sized brush, colour the grass using the dry-brush technique (put the colour on the brush, then take away the excess colour 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.
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    Once the grass is painted, the final result is the one next shown in the picture.
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    Be careful! It is better to use very few colour, than to put too much on the grass due to a completely coloured-full brush, so be careful and check that the colour 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.
    Cheers, Lorenzo Ė Maniachouse Ė Marchetto
    Manorhouse Workshop

    • Ulfgrimr
      Ulfgrimr commented
      Editing a comment
      Nice little article Shane, thanks for posting. BTW It's showing on the home page, although not able to comment or rate.

    • Endor
      Endor commented
      Editing a comment
      Nice tutorial, thanks for sharing! I've never painted the grass for scenery before, only on bases for models. But it does take it up a few levels for sure. Do you apply the chosen paints randomly in different areas of grass? I would think it could look a bit weird if it was too uniformly applied on larger areas of scenery pieces.

    • No Such Agency
      No Such Agency commented
      Editing a comment
      Nice. Painting static grass was a big epiphany for me, it makes all the difference between it looking fake and bad, and it looking like real plant material! Fun fact: grasses grow from a "basal meristem" meaning that even dead-looking brown grass is usually still alive, just growing up from below the soil. This also keeps grazing animals from killing the grass as they eat it.
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shanerozzell Live in Alpraham with Partner Sarah. I'm the guy that also designs Portal magazine.
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