The stage floor of the show we are currently working on has to look like a sad, suburban lawn. So Sheri and I are in the process of teaching ourselves to make said sickly lawn.
We ordered six hundred square feet of raffia matting (known in the trade as "funeral grass") and an assortment of textile inks, and have been working on color samples. Our pathetic grass has to look as realistic as possible.
Since no dying lawn is complete without bald spots, we are also experimenting with ways to create fake dirt. Of course, our dirt has to be the kind that doesn't soil the actors' costumes, and it can't be the home to bugs. As you see from the above photos, we are very methodical in our research.
Strangely, this isn't the sort of thing that I learned in Art School.