Artist Technique to Depict Ground Texture

Hello Everyone,

Remember the last time we used acetate to make wall texture? This time we are going to use it to create ground texture. Please come along with me as I show you how to make ground texture using acetate.

You may recall in my last video/blog “Technique for Wall Texture” that we must wet our board first before beginning to paint. We wait until it dries to a low sheen, not a high gloss.

To the left is the high gloss look we do not want.

We lay in the paint starting from the lighter colors to our darker color areas. Make sure there is a lot of pigment because the wet board will disperse or thin out the paint. Once we get the lights to the darks completed, then we can start manipulating the paint. In this case we are using the acetate to create ground texture. I will put some paint (slightly darker pigment than my shadow area) on the acetate and drag it in the direction that I want the ground to flow. I drag some of the dark areas into the light areas and the light areas into the dark area. This is what creates a natural ground texture that’s not so contrive, but has a loose and natural feel to it.

I’m painting in brush strokes that have the appearance of tire or directional treads, as if a wagon is constantly using a road in a certain direction. It leaves those little ruts in the ground. So we’re creating that look of ruts in a road. I’m giving in a few more dark areas with my brush. Next, I’m going to do some cross shadows as if the shadows are crossing the road from the right side of the painting. Then I’ll go back in to add more directional tire threads or ruts because I lost some of that with my shadow strokes. Now I have the basic overall texture.

My board has dried now, which requires me to airbrush water onto it and re-wet it again. Wetting the surface allows me to drag my acetate over it. I will put some more paint back on the acetate and then drag it in the same direction of my ruts on the ground. It’s going to be a little darker pigment to define the ruts more.

I’m keeping it wet by utilizing my airbrush to do that. This gives you a quick method of getting all of those textures into the ground without overpainting them. Just to break up the ground a bit, I’m putting some grassy spots onto it. I’m not necessarily focusing on the grass because I’m going to do another video showing you a technique to do grass in the future.

My next focus is to put lighter spots on the ground as if the sun is coming from the left hand side and hitting some of the ruts on the ground. This gives more dimensionally to the ruts. I’m picking out spots to help accent that the most.

Once I have done that I’m using a toothbrush to give myself tiny, little pebbles. I rub the tips of the toothbrush in the paint (darker pigment for the light area & lighter pigment for the darker area) and scrape my fingers over the toothbrush to cause the paint to splatter onto the board.

Then I’ll paint in some larger pebbles, little rocks, into the ground as well. I will give them some shadows so it feels like they’re attached to the ground and this will basically complete the look of a finished ground. I focusing on getting that natural texture look into the ground by using a piece of acetate. Here you can see the finished painting.

That’s my method for doing ground texture. It’s amazing what you can do with a piece of acetate. Give it a try. If you find this interesting, please subscribe. Hope you are enjoying the blog or videos demonstrations! See you next time.