How to draw grassland
Grasslands are tricky to map. They're large empty open expanses. But if you just flood fill an area with light green it'll stand out like a sore thumb against your beautifully rendered mountains and lovingly painted rivers and forests. The colour is tough too - you want it to be a light green without being fluorescent.
I've found that the following works well for grasslands:
1. Lay in the base colour
Take two shades of mid-green and turn on colour jitter with Foreground/Background jitter set to 100% - this'll give you a nice varying green, which helps to break up the monotonous uniformity of a green expanse.
Use a large grungy brush (such as this case: [link]
) and set it to low opacity (20-30%?) and block in your grassland. This should give you something that looks a little like 1 in the attached image. This is a little dark, and a little solid green for my liking - I like to let the background texture bleed through.
2. Play with some blend modes
Duplicate the layer
Set the bottom layer to 10% with Normal blend mode
Set the top layer to 100% Overlay.
(if that makes no sense, see yesterday's post on Blend Modes: [link]
- that should give you a nice mid green colour with some good colour variation, that should look something like 2 above. Honestly, you can leave it at that, and it'll look fine. But if you want to switch it up a bit more:
3. Add some detail
Create a new layer over the top and set the blend mode to Overlay. First block in a dark blue with roughly 10-20% opacity. Use horizontal strokes - this will help to reinforce the isometric perspective of your map.
Now go over the same layer with a very light yellow (almost white) also with horizontal strokes, and again at low opacity
- this should give you some nice light/dark variation in your grassland without breaking anything.
Finally finish it off with a few dark green grass tufts scattered around using a thin brush (2-3 pixels, or 5 px if you're using a pressure sensitive stylus).
If you'd like to check out the psd file for this, you can get it here: [link]
Feel free to share this around to anyone who might find it useful. As always, you can check out previous tutorials over on the Tutorials page of my site: [link]