Either side of my Cornish holiday, in late September and early October, I've been working on a unit of Cretan archers for the Republican Romans. The unit(s) comprises four bases of three archers each in a mix of firing and loading poses. They are from Aventine Miniatures with the bases from Warbases, as ever.
It seems to take me ages to get all the base colours on the figures, painting them three at a time, but no time at all to do the highlights. I'm sure that's a subjective viewpoint myself, but it's how it seems to me.
The bases are textured using a mixture of Woodlands Scenics Buff Ballast. It's in three grades: Coarse, Medium and Fine in a mix of about 1:1:2 or 3. I coat the MDF bases with Hobbycraft School grade PVA and then put the base in the mix and rock the box back and forth until the base is buried. I wait a few seconds and then take the base out, turn it upside down to remove the loose texture and out it aside to dry, usually overnight. For these bases first I've added a few random larger rocks in groups or singly to create more interest.
When the texture is dried hard I wash it with a diluted coat of Crafter's Acrylic Country Maple, about 50:50 paint to water. When this is thoroughly dry, and it may take a while, I apply the static grass to a pattern of PVA, rather like aircraft camouflage. I add clumps of larger grasses to taste, usually in three or four shades of green. For these bases I've added a larger clump here or there and a small clump of more obvious weeds. Overall I find the effect pleasing as well as having the added bonus of distracting the eye from my painting efforts!