In this post, I will describe how to draw grass and wild flowers with pen and ink. Grass or any kind of ground cover is part of any landscape and drawing them in pen and ink is very easy as I will show below. Keep following 3 important points in mind when drawing grass:
- Per perspective, things get smaller with distance. Draw grass and other shrubbery that is farther out smaller than the one that is nearer to the viewer.
- Keep size of different elements in your drawing in proportion. Grass is usually much smaller than, for eg, a stone on the ground, and draw their size as such.
- Distribute grass or any ground cover in irregular pattern. Emergence of any specific pattern in drawing grass with kill the effect.
To draw grass, use short slightly curved lines with a ‘root‘ as shown below. Make distant grass smaller than one closer as per perspective. Also, vary their density to add more interest to the drawing.
Above, grass is drawn without a ‘ground form’, i.e. there is no indication of ground plain. It is always more effective to create ‘ground form’ and draw grass on it. To create flat ground form, use horizontal parallel lines as shown below. Also vary the horizontal length of these lines with their length increasing towards the viewer. This reinforces feeling of distance in the drawing. Draw grass on these lines. These lines give more definition to the ground and add overall interest in addition to giving sense of distance in the drawing.
Remember not to over do it. It is the ‘suggestion’ of grass that matters. You don’t have to cover the whole ground with grass. Instead, aim to give ‘suggestion’ of grass as shown above and the mind interprets it appropriately. You can find many other examples in Mini-Landscapes. My workbooks also contain additional content and hands on exercises to practice drawing ground cover.
Drawing Grass: Use ‘Suggestion’
In pen and ink drawing, a hint or ‘suggestion’ is often used to convey presence of certain element. This is often done with grass where mere suggestion of grass is enough to give feel of grass covered ground as shown in drawings 1 and 2 below. Drawing 3 below is often not needed.
Add some variations in tone of grass as shown in middle drawing above to add interest to the drawing. When doing so, use ‘organic’ shapes as shown below. Don’t use a straight line or regular shape like circle or ellipse as this destroys the effect.
Drawing Wild Flowers:
To draw a wild flower, simply draw a slightly curved line representing stem. A simple flower can be drawn as shown below. Always remember to ground the stem by drawing a wiggly line at its base.
Hint of grass can be used at the base of stem to further ground them and add more interest as shown below.
Leaving White to Differentiate Different Elements:
In a black and white pen and ink drawing, colour can’t be used to separate different elements that overlap each other. In this case, leave a small amount of white around the edges of element in the front to create separation. In the last drawing below, grass is draw very lightly around the flower and stem to make them stand out.
Following are some examples of use of wild flowers with other elements. In all these cases, first flowers are drawn and then hint of grass is added at the bottom. In the first drawing, some white is left around the flowers at the base of stones to make them stand out.
Drawing Wild Flowers at a Distance:
Use following technique to draw wild flowers on the ground at a distance. Essentially, an overall feel or ‘suggestion’ of flowers is given.
Following drawing shows use of above technique to draw a simple spring landscape.
Following technique for flower can also be used. This is especially useful when the background is darker and you want the flowers to stand out.
Use Different Types of Ground Cover:
Use your imagination and observation of your surroundings to draw different types of ground cover in a drawing to add interest as shown below. This may include small shrub, stem with some leaves, bare stems etc.
Step by Step: Drawing Ground Cover
Quiet pleasing drawings can be done by just using grass and ground cover as shown below. This is further explained here, These are quite fun drawings that can be quickly attempted in your breaks. Try some now.
This should get you started. My drawing workbooks are a great resource for additional content and hands on exercises. Easy pen and ink drawings page has additional drawings to learn from. My YouTube Channel has many videos that demonstrate the use of techniques discussed above.
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