My watercolour method explained

In this video I wanted to give you a clear walk-through of the watercolour method I use for ALL of my paintings.

I’m completely self-taught so this method came about through trial and error (otherwise known as ‘play’) when I was a child.

I hope you enjoy it:

If you’ve tried this method before and it’s helped you with your painting, I’d love to hear about it so please do leave me a comment.

Happy painting,

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  1. Emily DeFrance on August 10, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Thank you so much for this video. I, indeed, have struggled with the more realistic style of painting, which I naturally move toward. Your layering technique has been so helpful, that I’ve experienced a “break through” and am much more confident in learning how to use watercolors. I am just now taking up painting at age 72, after a long and satisfying career as a psychologist. Because watercolors are such fun and relaxing (now!), I wish I had had your video years ago.
    Again, THANK YOU!

    • Anna Mason on August 11, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      Really glad to hear about your break through Emily and very happy I could help!

    • Renee on October 27, 2019 at 5:47 pm

      Hi! I’m 70 and just started using watercolor so it’s never too late for us.

  2. Hilda on August 10, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Thankyou so much. Since trying your method it has helped me greatly.x

    • Helen David on August 10, 2017 at 4:08 pm

      Oh, have I struggled with watercolor. It is a medium that has eluded my abilities, but I’m reinspired with your videos and process. I bought your new book on painting flowers for a friend (she loves it) and also forward her all your e-mails and provide her U-Tube videos (she’s 80 and a fab watercolor artist). Thank you for so generously sharing your awesome talend and methods.

      • Anna Mason on August 11, 2017 at 1:01 pm

        You’re welcome Helen!

  3. Vilma Parenti on August 10, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Ho acquistato i libri e seguito i tutorial. Questo metodo mi ha consentito di ottenere risultati buoni con la tecnica dell’ acquerello che non conoscevo per nulla .Ho imparato ad avere il controllo del colore che non avavo mai sperimentato

  4. Marcela on August 10, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Ho Anna is very intersting what you explain about your method I will try it in my next watercolor. Thank you so much

  5. Oxana Vorontchenko on August 10, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Thanks so much Anna! I like it and will try use your method. I think to join your class soon.

  6. Francie on August 10, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    I would very much like to try one of your Free Class’s I signed in on your site a long time ago but I have been learning Colored Pencil which is taking a lot of time but I really do like your style and would like to give it a try also please tell me in American terms of how much it will cost to take you Class and can you pay by the month…..Senior Girl!

    You really do Beautiful work.!


    • Chaira on August 11, 2017 at 2:14 am too.. I am trying wTercolor pencil coz no watercolor palette here..

  7. Judy on August 10, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Thank You. I love detail and your method has really helped me in my watercolor paintings.

  8. Gail May on August 10, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    I love your watercolour method, however I am a pensioner living in France and unfortunately cannot afford your monthly course. Thanks for all your freebies!

  9. comoco on August 10, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    I’m in the middle of packing to move. Will try when I’m settled.

  10. Judy Giannettino on August 10, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Anna, thank you for sharing your technique. I have your Craftsy class and will have to start painting! Love your work!

  11. Svetlana Rytova on August 10, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Thank you Anna, by using your method of painting I finally start to control and as the result to enjoy watercolour as medium. It works for me perfectly! Thanks again.

  12. Lorraine Damm on August 11, 2017 at 12:00 am

    After using Anna’s method, I now feel in control and am confident in capturing all the detail I want in my watercolour paintings, not only botanicals but other subjects to. Joining Anna’s on-line school was the best Christmas present I gave myself.

  13. Pat mcelwee on August 11, 2017 at 2:39 am

    Love it and so true. I tend to go to dark to soon. Not good. I’ll practice some more. Thank u. Pat

  14. suzala on August 11, 2017 at 4:46 am

    Can’t help by saying how terrific you are looking. HOpe you are feeling equally as well. Good luck with your end result!

  15. Liz Bentz on August 11, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I have found your method to be so helpful. It’s like a great little “road map”, going from light to the darkest and then tackling the mid tones. It gives me a “direction” which helps me to tackle a painting in a more straight forward way. I love your videos and your enthusiasm!

  16. Karina on August 11, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Thank you so much for al of your videos, I am new in watercolour and love your way you paint, but are a little bit afraid to start, I have sign up for your free classes but have not yet the right colours, so I wait for my new paint to arrive.

    • Anna Mason on August 14, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      Good luck Karina! I hope you enjoy it!

  17. Michelle on August 12, 2017 at 1:18 am

    Ive loved learning by painting along with your tutorials! Many thanks for your efforts to share your painting method.

  18. Chiqui on August 13, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Thank you agaian ms anna…

  19. Diane Petersen on August 17, 2017 at 6:13 am

    ANNA, I tried my first, the lovely poppy. a few days ago, It does not look as thin as yours, but I am getting there. Today I did the tulips, they came out great I did the cherries, 4-5 times, not hapy at all, but still trying… .I am trying your method, of lights, darks then back in with the mid tones. I think this is really helping, I am retired with two little pups for company, so when they sleep, I paint, sometimes all day. You are a great instructor, you explain things better then most, I love it. I have been going to a watercolor class for 3 yrs, ( You are better). I am just trying to get the method down, If I can get it into my brain to keep doing it this way , I may finally be happy with what I am painting, again. I am a realist and I have been trying to loosen up, but its just not me. .So if you dont mind, I am trying to follow your method , I just may start hanging pictures again. I jumped in with both feet, not sure of what was easiest to start with, Any ideas would be appreciated… Love it all.
    Diane P.
    Houston, Tx

    • Anna Mason on August 18, 2017 at 10:21 am

      Delighted you’ve found your type of painting. I don’t think you’re actually a member of my online School are you Diane? If not, I’d really recommend you join as I have a series of more simple tutorials which are great for learning the method. Plus the tutorials are far more in depth than any of these shorter videos I make available publicly. AND you get the benefits of a really supportive painting community too. You can find out more here:

  20. Kathy Crocker on September 9, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    I finished the pear but do not know how to post the photo of it for you, It was a great lesson and I will apply it to other things too.

  21. John Hammond on February 9, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    I have just got the equipment needed to do the trial painting and started but unfortunately your email got deleted by mistake and unable to recover it. Could you please resend it.

    • Carrie (Team Anna Mason Art) on February 11, 2018 at 6:39 pm

      Hi John – did you mean the free class email or the equipment email? Please could you send me a quick email with your question so that I can answer you directly? Email address is [email protected] Many thanks!

  22. jknmimi on April 14, 2018 at 5:31 am

    I’ve sent a few of my paintings to my family. They’re absolutely amazed. My favorite response was from my sister who was talking to the wife of our Vice President here in the US about her illustrations in her daughter’s Marlon Bunny book. My sister told the VP’s wife that I did not start watercolor painting until my sixties and that it is all due to your wonderful online course. Thank you!

  23. jknmimi on April 14, 2018 at 5:38 am

    Wait. The book is Marlon Bundo-not bunny

  24. Natasha luder on March 24, 2019 at 12:11 am

    Hi Anna, I’m new to painting as I usually just do drawings. When I seen your realistic watercolours I got excited as I like watercolour but didn’t like that it didn’t look as realistic as I wanted. After looking at a few of your videos I was able to complete my first realistic painting and now I’m hooked. Thank you so very much
    Ps-have you tried doing a portrait in this style of watercolour

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