How to paint realistic iridescent coloured feathers in watercolour

It’s fair to say I’m a bit obsessed with hummingbirds and I love the challenge that is painting all their tiny iridescent feathers.

A while back I painted a Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird (you can check that Tip Video out here)

But I thought it would be fun to paint her male partner with all his showy splashes of colour (what a show off!).

So in this tip video I wanted to give you my pointers for painting colourful, iridescent feathers.

I hope you enjoy this video and feel inspired to create your own little piece of beauty.

Be sure to let me know in the comments!


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  1. Stephanie Fenake on March 17, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks Anna,
    You inspire me

  2. Jackie on March 17, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Thank you Anna you have given me lots to think about ,WoW

  3. pamela on March 17, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    you have also inspired me. i am a 63 year old grandma, and i must say just watching the quick videos (i will sign up later when i can afford it) has taught me more about drawing and painting than i have ever learned in art classes in school. i forwarded your email with quick video to my grandchildren. one of them loves to draw, and the quick videos really capture everything an artist needs to digest. thank you!!!
    I am writing and illustrating my own children’s books (i guess not good enough to be picked up by a publisher, yet. my first is at Now i am writing and illustrating a series of “The Roy G Biv Family) to teach young ones about the colors of the rainbow…via a little dragon family). since watching your “Pear,” i really started doing MUCH better with the illustrations. again, thank you!

    • Anna Mason on March 17, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      Oh that’s great news Pamela! Best of luck with your book project – sounds like a lovely story. Glad you feel my videos have been of use helping you improve 🙂

  4. Daniel on March 17, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Es una belleza, felicitaciones. Sos una excelente artista.Saludos

  5. Christine Davies on March 17, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Thank you for the lovely video’s. You make it look so easy. Hopefully I will get round to putting into practice what you have demonstrated. 🙂

  6. Judith Stauter on March 17, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Anna, your paintings are so glorious. You have inspired me to take the plunge into watercolor. I’m a porcelain artist for many years. Have always been intrigued by your medium. Will take a few classes locally here in Montana, to learn my way around the palette, and will be joining you in your school. Can’t wait to get started! Thanks for your inspiration..

  7. Hilda on March 17, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    The video is very helpful will try to paint a bird. Thank you x

  8. Marie on March 18, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Thks for sharing Anna! I attend a weekly painting get together & I am always promoting your beautiful, detailed art. I really appreciate your tips that get sent to my in box.

  9. mohd ilyas on March 18, 2016 at 2:38 am

    Ann I want tern water colour flower painting .i am70 year old textile designer Iet me know how I learn from you thank you

  10. karla kay hull on March 18, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Thank you for this video! It was extremely informative, and I can’t wait to try painting from some of my hummingbird photos. Did you purchase the watercolor set you were using in this video, and if so, where? I liked the array of colors.

  11. diana on March 19, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Dear Anna
    I loved this video

  12. Fatma DAĞLI on March 22, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Thank youu so much :)(:

  13. Mary on March 22, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Anna thankyou for your videos. You really are inspiring.

  14. Grace on March 23, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Beautiful Great teaching also!

  15. Carla Austen on April 1, 2016 at 3:10 am

    Dear Anna,
    I have only ever painted with acrylics and now have a love of using coloured pencils. After seeing your absolutely stunning art and what a fabulous teacher you are I have signed up for your free lesson, ordered your book from Amazon and cannot wait to start painting. I bought Dr. Ph Martins Hydrus watercolour concentrates because I love vivid colours and I had bought them just before I found you. I will use them the best I can without having all the materials you recommend. Thank you so much for all that you offer. Perhaps when the Canadian dollar is not double British sterling I will sign up for your online classes. I used to live in Sussex when I lived in England, if I still did I would be able to learn from you in person. I wish I could:) I now live on Vancouver Island and see hummingbirds all year round on our hummingbird feeder whilst I paint or draw.

  16. JANEY on April 20, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Thanks Anna. Your art is amazing!

  17. Sue Kenny on August 23, 2016 at 5:18 am

    Thank you Anna you have inspired me to learn more about water colour painting. I did the female and now working on the male. Your instructions were very helpful!!!!!

  18. Jane Jacobs on October 27, 2016 at 1:27 am

    This is gorgeous!!! But you can buy iridescent water colors. I love those.

  19. Robert on January 19, 2018 at 2:58 am

    Thanks for sharing. I am going to try this technique with a wood duck photo.

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