Learn to Paint
Realistic and Stunning
in as little as 20 hours!!
Have you felt drawn towards painting but never really honed the skill because "something" keeps holding you back?
Ever been curious about how good you could get if you had the right instruction and really gave yourself the chance?
Yes?Well, then I'm glad you found me!
My name is Anna Mason and I'm an award-winning professional artist. I love to paint detailed, vibrant watercolours inspired by nature.
I started painting when I was 2 years old, did A LOT of it throughout my childhood, then left it behind, went off to university and got a “real job.” But, though it took a backseat for many years, my creative passion never disappeared. I expect yours hasn't either.
I was 26 when I made the decision to immerse myself in art again and began creating realistic watercolours in my spare time. I went on to win some awards, some of them quite prestigious, and I realised that I was onto something.
I've never taken a class. I'm entirely self-taught. And now I'm passionate about helping others to learn to paint just like me!
Here, I explain how the school works
Learn a proven method
that's suitable for all skill levels
I've refined my unique method for painting amazingly life—like botanical art over the course of my years as a hobbyist turned pro, and for the last 7 years, have taught this method to thousands of people from over 100 countries worldwide.
The work from my students that you see on this website is not touched up or altered in any way — these are real paintings done by people just like you! Many of the artists you see here were beginners with little to no experience yet they learned to paint with watercolours like someone who had been painting for years.
My clear, step-by-step video tutorials focus on STRUCTURED PRACTICE, which helps you to overcome emotional blocks and negative self-doubt, transforming the experience to one that's positive, empowering, and fun!
My basic principles of painting with watercolours can be applied to other subjects as well, so you can paint portraits of people or pets, landscapes, building and structures, and more. Once you know what to do, you can take this wherever you want to go!
How could I possibly learn this stuff in 20 hours?
As Josh Kaufman writes in his best-selling book, The First 20 Hours, rapid skill acquisition is possible if you have 3 things:
The ability to deconstruct the skill:
Each of my painting tutorials offers a clear and systematic approach to painting the subject matter, laying important foundational skills that you build upon as you become more proficient with the method.
The right tools:
A PDF listing my recommended set of paints, paper, brushes and palette is freely offered on my website (yes, even if you don't take one of my classes). Having the right tools when working with watercolour is absolutely essential!
Each class provides the structure you need to practice with ease, avoid common mistakes, and gain confidence in your work.
You might not be ready to hold your own exhibition after 20 hours — but, as I've seen time and time again, you could be well on your way and feeling great about your progress!
You'll have access to
A complete library of step-by step high-definition video tutorials with close-up footage and detailed, guided instruction (complete with subtitles).
sample of tutorials
Reference photos and outline drawings to get you started with each new subject
An additional video library called the Knowledge Base covering fundamental techniques such as drawing, brush skills, colour mixing, and much more
Sketchbook exercises for skill building and practicing, especially when time is limited
The support of a vibrant and engaged private community where you can receive support, get feedback, and share struggles and accomplishments. (In addition to “learning by doing” numerous studies have shown how we actually learn better in community.)
I am absolutely thrilled to have finally discovered a professional online course that teaches every detail - from how to hold the brush, mix the paint, the markings to make, and most importantly Anna's unique painting method. Sally Filer
My confidence has zoomed with high praise from family and friends. I am still amazed every time I look at the work I have accomplished thus far. Carole Jurack
Every tutorial I make visible improvement. In the photo I’m holding my first attempt at 3 of the tutorials. Husband’s so impressed he framed them. Kate Fletcher
After starting The School, I sold my first 2 paintings! I’m hoping to do a show next year. Diana Kropka
It is Anna’s belief in what her students can achieve and do achieve which is a fundamental asset to learning with her. Hilary O'Connell
The School is thorough, interesting, encouraging. Ruth Bosveld
I have learned more in the first tutorial than I learned in the 6 week class I took at the local college. Anna and her tutorials are the best out there! Margie LeRoux
Having now got to know her as a person, her guidance and determination to encourage every level of ‘artist’ reflects her kind, gentle and caring personality perfectly. Stella Baker
I’ve noticed that my paintings are much sharper and clearer than before. Chunyan Zhao
The School is fantastic, the videos are wonderful and Anna is a GREAT teacher. Bernie Bombardier
The improvement of my painting and understanding has progressed enormously in such a short time. Rosemary Soper
But your method has given me great confidence and I feel I have improved so much. People have been really impressed with my work! Nicole Howe
My confidence in using watercolours has increased. My paintings are looking more realistic, and I am very pleased with my progress so far. Keith Thompson
My confidence has grown hugely and I am enjoying learning more with each new tutorial. Susan Leishman
I am enjoying your watercolour school enormously. Tina Charnock
I’d recommend the School to everyone interested in watercolour, from budding artists to serious artists. You can jump in at whatever level you feel comfortable and the exercises allow you to progress at a rate you’re comfortable with. Janet Lundgren
Wow, I can actually paint! Thanks to The School I’m not scared of putting brush to paper. So when Anna says “relax, enjoy” I really do. Helen Armstrong
I have struggled for years and yet in a couple of months, with the help of the beautiful video instruction I feel my paintings have improved in leaps and bounds. Margaret Orchard
Sallyanne Filer, Wales, UK
I came across Anna's book in the local library – and her method of teaching watercolour was an absolute revelation! My progression using her online School in only 2 months is astounding.
I've been on at least 14 Adult Education art courses over the last 20 years and bought numerous watecolour books – all of which resulted in extreme frustration as none of them actually taught me ‘HOW’ to paint. I was considering doing a fine-art degree just to try and get some actual tuition.
I am absolutely thrilled to have finally discovered a professional online course that teaches every detail – from how to hold the brush, mix the paint, the markings to make, and most importantly Anna's unique painting method.
I am so excited by Anna's course I feel evangelical about it!
My confidence has zoomed with high praise from family and friends. I am still amazed every time I look at the work I have accomplished thus far.
Of course the best thing about the School is the instructor, without whom I would never have reached this level of accomplishment in such a short time.
Anna's method of teaching, the well-prepared and well-presented assignments and your six-step work process is a sure-fire recipe for successful tuition.
I've lost my fear of making mistakes in watercolour because you can always correct it in the next wash. This fear used to stop me from finishing a picture. So it's all more fun from start to finish.
Every tutorial I make visible improvement. In the photo I'm holding my first attempt at 3 of the tutorials. Husband's so impressed he framed them.
I had no idea how realistic artists do that!
I didn't know how to start, much less the process. Anna has shown me the process!
After starting The School, I sold my first 2 paintings!
I'm hoping to do a show next year.
I so enjoy Anna's classes because of her unique style of combining a very concise and clear set of instructions of what to do with an informed explanation of how to achieve it and why.
Even down to the colour mix of paints, the consistency of the wash and the size of brush used.
She shows you how to achieve the end result in incremental steps, by us watching her demonstrate exactly what to do.
In the end you always finish with a ‘work of art’ to be proud of. I have even framed a pear I finished, which in itself is proof of the improvement in my work and my growing of confidence.
It is Anna's belief in what her students can achieve and do achieve which is a fundamental asset to learning with her.
After doing a few tutorials I feel much more confident. Follow the steps and a good outcome will be achieved.
Practise will improve my work, too.
I just retired and wanted to take up watercolor as a hobby. I am so lucky to have found Anna and her tutorials.
I have learned more in the first tutorial than I learned in the 6 week class I took at the local college. Anna and her tutorials are the best out there!
I term my painting as Zen Painting because after listening to the lesson, I am able to enter into a Zen state of mine when painting. My mind is not analyzing what I am doing, instead I am painting from a calm and peacefulness state, applying what the lessons had taught me.
It is not only very relaxing but then when I look at what I have painted I am WOW’d.
Thank you Anna for sharing you knowledge and skills.
Anna has given me SO much confidence. Her 'method' is infallible and I no longer ever feel the need to 'start again' if something goes wrong, as it can always be rectified by the addition of more layers, tones and contrasts. That is what I like best with this process.
Most of all Anna's teaching is incredibly clear and inspiring. It is so easy to follow and repeat over and over again.
Having now got to know her as a person, her guidance and determination to encourage every level of 'artist' reflects her kind, gentle and caring personality perfectly.
I can only thank her so VERY much for giving me such a rewarding and pleasurable pursuit.
I’ve noticed that my paintings are much sharper and clearer than before.
My friends and family have been very impressed about my progress. And this has boosted my confidence.
The School is fantastic, the videos are wonderful and Anna is a GREAT teacher.
I am thrilled with what I am doing.
I've been looking for subject matter to paint for a long time but after doing some School tutorials, my mind is racing with subject matter!
The improvement of my painting and understanding has progressed enormously in such a short time.
I now know where to start and how to go about a painting rather than trusting to luck.
I’m now much braver.
I used to be scared of painting with watercolours as you can't go back once it's on the paper.
But your method has given me great confidence and I feel I have improved so much. People have been really impressed with my work!
It was your strawberry that convinced me to do your school! I actually would not have touched watercolours had it not been for that strawberry. And I’m so glad i did!
I actually tried to paint it before doing your School and it was a total disaster! I thought you might like to look at the 'before' School and 'after School' pictures.
Makes me laugh!
My confidence in using watercolours has increased. My paintings are looking more realistic, and I am very pleased with my progress so far.
I would like to thank Anna for starting this tutorial site, and for treating me as an individual, and with respect regarding my progress so far.
My painting now has the impact and zing that was lacking in previous botanical attempts.
My confidence has grown hugely and I am enjoying learning more with each new tutorial. I'm loving having so many finished paintings that I can be proud of!
A huge thank you, Anna, for giving me something I can enjoy for myself.
I am enjoying your watercolour school enormously.
The online tutorials are the perfect way to learn - I can go at my own speed, do laundry during drying time, come and go as I please, and leave everything until the next day if necessary - perfect for a mother of 3 with a new puppy!
After seeing Anna's artwork, I enrolled in the School with no hesitation at all.
The best thing about the School is valuable instruction offered in a variety of ways. The Knowledge Base, Sketchbook exercises and videos are clear and well thought out walking you through all the steps to produce a lifelike piece.
I have a new ability to produce realistic botanicals has given me the confidence to move forward with subject matter I've only dreamed of.
I'd recommend the School to everyone interested in watercolour, from budding artists to serious artists. You can jump in at whatever level you feel comfortable and the exercises allow you to progress at a rate you're comfortable with.
I couldn't be happier.
Wow, I can actually paint! Thanks to The School I'm not scared of putting brush to paper. So when Anna says "relax, enjoy" I really do.
When I look back to my first step-by-step and compare it to my oriental poppy painting I'm amazed at how much I've developed. So thank you so much Anna for bringing out the botanical artist in me.
I would recommend the School because people of all abilities and experience are here learning, not just from Anna, but from each other too. I'd say to anyone 'just give it a go’
I would recommend Anna’s School to anyone who is struggling with watercolour. I have struggled for years and yet in a couple of months, with the help of the beautiful video instruction I feel my paintings have improved in leaps and bounds.
I really look forward to the new tutorials each month. It is lovely belonging to a community of like minded people. Art can be quite a lonely hobby at times but with "the community" you can share ideas, offer suggestions and it is really encouraging to receive comments about your work when posted on-line from other members.
Past Student Work
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Frequently Asked Questions
- How long do I get access to the video tutorials for? Can I keep them?
The videos are hosted on the School website and can only be streamed (watched when you are connected to the Internet), not downloaded to your own computer. So to access the video tutorials you need to be a member of the School website, with an active subscription.
As a member, you have access to ALL the video tutorials so you can access all of them the whole time you’re a member.
- Can I download the videos to my own computer?
No, the videos are streamed, but so long as you have a high-speed internet connection and are a member of the School, you can watch them as many times as you like.
- Are the videos subtitled?
Yes, the videos come with English subtitles which you can switch on or off. Perfect if you are hard of hearing or if English is not your first language and you want to be able to pause and look a word up.
- What if I can't keep up with the classes?
There really is no way of getting ‘behind’ in The School. Although Anna releases new tutorials regularly, all the previous tutorials remain available, so you are not rushed to complete them, and can do so at your own pace.
If you find yourself struggling to get down to a painting session, Anna's weekly emails will help spur you on – as will your fellow members in the School.
- Will I get feedback on my paintings directly from Anna?
This is a self-directed, group learning experience. Support and feedback from fellow members is readily available.
The School content is designed by Anna and while she’s is active in the School community, we cannot guarantee individual feedback from her on paintings you upload.
- What happens if I sign up and find that it's just not a good fit for me?
We want you to be happy in The School. If you join and decide it’s not for you, please contact us within 7 days for a full refund.
- I've not joined an online 'social network' before and feel apprehensive, will it be for me?
The School is PRIVATE, and therefore everyone who is there is there to learn and to encourage others. There is guidance on navigating and using the site but it is pretty intuitive.
I have always been reluctant to join any online forum before, but once I saw the work people were doing, and the friendly interest which Anna and the other members showed to each other I lost my apprehension! Wendy Kind, Norfolk, UK
- Will I be good enough? The work students seem to be producing is very high quality but I am a beginner.
The School really is suitable for ALL levels of experience. If you are a total beginner, you will be shown EVERYTHING you need to know to start. All that is required is that you make sure you are KIND to yourself and don’t expect yourself to produce masterpieces from day one. The atmosphere in the School is one of support so you will receive no harsh critiques – We insist on it!
I'd recommend the School to everyone interested in watercolour, from budding artists to serious artists. You can jump in at whatever level you feel comfortable and the exercises allow you to progress at a rate you’re comfortable with. Janet Lundgren, Canada
- How are the subscription payments made?
We now use trusted online payment processor Stripe to process the School’s subscription payments.
Types of payment methods accepted
Stripe will accept payments by all major credit cards, including Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover, and JCB.
Using your credit card through via our website and Stripe is totally safe. Our website is SSL certified and we do NOT store your card details, Stripe does. They are PCI compliant to the most stringent standards.
If you ever have a problem with the subscription process, you can get help and resolution by emailing us via firstname.lastname@example.org
- Can I pay in my own currency?
You can pay in any one of 18 major currencies, so the answer is probably yes! This means you’ll know exactly what you’ll pay each month and payments won’t vary due to changes in exchange rates.
- How can I cancel my subscription?
You’ll be able to cancel your payments whenever you like via your Account page of the School website.
- Can I buy a subscription as a gift?
You can give a 6 month membership as a gift. Find out more and buy here.
- Bringing back tube paint on a plane
- Hello from New York
- What to do with palette paint between sessions
- Brush Source
- Laying out a full pallet
- Selling our paintings – questions galore!
- Hello from Cambridgeshire
- Primary Colors
- Anna's YouTube Channel – How to sign up?
- Missing painting
- Inspiration from Anna squash video
- Add highlights or not? Baby Racoons painting
- Paint from tubes
- Tips for getting details crisp when tracing