How to paint strawberries (big ones) in watercolour

My watercolour method lends itself perfectly to painting  juicy, shiny strawberries, which is why they’re one of the subjects that I’m best known for painting. They’re also one of my favourite things to paint (and eat).

Building up watercolour paint in layers makes it possible to preserve the many primary and secondary highlights which give these berries so much shine and 3D form.

I often work larger than life so that I can capture as much detail as possible for maximum impact. 

But this time, I took scaling up to a whole other level to supersize these strawbs for added ‘wow’, painting them on illustration board measuring 1m x 75cm (39 x 29 inches).

Watch this video to find out how I went about painting these enormous berries, including the colours and brushes I used as well as how long the painting took to complete.

I loved that I was able to completely lose myself in the process of this huge painting. In fact, you’ll see in the video that I got so ‘in the zone’ at one point that I almost forgot to add in some important details!

I hope this video has tempted you to paint strawberries of your own. They are so much fun to paint, so why not give your own shiny strawberries a go, and supersize them for maximum effect?

If you enjoyed the video, please leave me a comment below, it is such fun to hear from you.

Happy painting,

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  1. Avril on July 21, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Anna, could you please indicate the equipment and method you use to transfer the drawing to the larger size? It would be very helpful. I am wanting to paint on my wall for a feature.

    • Michelle Lee on July 21, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      I’m not sure how Anna it does it but if you didn’t want to draw one, there is a program called rapid resizer. It will take a picture or a drawing and enlarge it to the paper size you specify. It is good to create a line drawing but depending on how big you enlarge something you will still have to draw in a lot of your details.

      • jessie on July 29, 2020 at 8:26 am

        Is this an app or a program for computer?

    • Elaine T Rutledge on July 23, 2020 at 3:18 pm

      Print the photo reference. Place it in a page protector that has a one inch grid drawn in marker. Draw, very lightly, a grid on your paper the size you want. Or draw the grid on paper and place under your paper on a lightbox. Draw the markings within each square until you have the complete drawing, enlarged.

  2. Michelle Lee on July 21, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    Hi Anna, you were painting this on illustration board and I’m wondering if you could do a blog on painting on this? What illustration board did you use? Did you take board and adhere watercolour paper to it? What are the ins and outs of painting on a board? Do you use water colour ground? Thanks Michelle

  3. Gail on July 21, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    This video which I first saw on Facebook inspired me to paint Peonies in a Breeze, in A2. I am glad you mentioned “getting into the flow” because I also wondered how I ended up starting somewhere and ended up somewhere completely different. Sticking to your method gave me the confidence to take on the task and kept me at it until the end (thank heavens ) as it was a gift for my sister in law! Off to do the strawberry now. Thanks Anna for your inspiration

  4. Teresa on July 21, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    I loved this strawberry video. It comes alive and jumps off the paper

  5. Donna Dancer on July 21, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Brilliant…and fascinating to see the effect of going supersize on colour differences ❤️

  6. Jane Parker on July 21, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Amazing, as always! I love your ultra realistic painting!!!

  7. Tricia Levack on July 21, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    This is so beautiful. I could eat these.

  8. Sue on July 21, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Love this painting. What do you use for these oversized paintings

  9. barbara on July 21, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    so beautiful
    I am inspired but hesitant
    need patience to go through all the steps
    maybe a class step by step would be helpful

  10. Rita on July 21, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    Hi Anna,
    Love the videos and have painted from your wonderful books. Right now I am battling cancer and not able to paint but love the videos. You and I paint the same way…..except you are the professional and I am the student in training!

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.


    • Maria Kellner on July 28, 2020 at 2:14 am

      I wish you strength and hope to beat it.

  11. sarah Forester on July 21, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    Very nice!!!

  12. Jo Ann Frommer Rom on July 21, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks so much for the video. I think I will paint the owl or robin in a larger version or maybe one of the gorgeous flowers like the blossoms. Your classes are so inspiring to watch and thanks for your skills that you share with everyone.

  13. Susanne on July 21, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Thank you for sharing, those lovely strawberries are mouthwatering. And your commentary is so helpful. I recently bought all of your books for inspiration. And the cost of all those strawberries would definitely be a business related expense and a tax deduction in the US.

  14. Mary H McCauley on July 21, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Dear Anna, This video arrived just in time. It taught me all I need to do a “portrait” of a barley floret. The actual floret is about 3mm tall, and I am doing it as 30 cm tall. The stigma and pistil are shiny, translucent, and muted gray colors – not as vibrant as the strawberry, but just as “juicy”. I had procrastinated because I was unsure how to get that shiny surface. It is the same process as you show with the strawberry! Thanks again, Mary .

  15. Victoria B. Renner on July 21, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Fantastic strawberries Anna. I love the way you created those shines on the fruit (very tempting to bite them ). Thank you so much for showing how it can be achieve. All the best wishes, please stay well and healthy.

  16. Nicola Jordan on July 21, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    You are such an inspiration. I love that you share your technique and colour palette. Your lessons inspire professional painters and those learning like my self.

  17. Denise Pocock on July 21, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    Wow, Anna, your giant strawberries are magnificent! I am inspired to give large a go…..probably not quite as large as yours though. You are going to need a mighty big wall!

  18. Jocelyne Beaudry on July 21, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Anna:

    Thank you for this video. You make it look soooo easy…
    Your painting looks so realistic and yes it does have that WOW factor !

    Presently looking at how I can budget in one of your online classes.

    Stay safe and thanks again

  19. Linda Mirth on July 21, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    Loved this! Can’t wait to get to the confidence level to try

  20. Suzanne Matthews on July 21, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    So happy you found a comfy enough way to paint so large! Love it! I will try these soon. Thank you!

  21. Liz on July 21, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    Liking this a lot – just off to watch on TV which should be even more amazing.
    Will try this when I get a ripe strawberry from the garden if I can resist eating it.

  22. Elaine on July 21, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    Thank you for a very informative video clip of how you paint strawberries!

  23. Debbie on July 21, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    I am definitely going to attempt this, I did your pare tutorial, posted it on my Instagram. A friend immediately said she wanted to buy it! I have just been allowed to start working again as a make up artist so I’m quite busy getting things covered friendly but when that’s done I’m going to join your online course because I think your method is quite incredible, I’ve never painted like this before. Thank you so so much, this is the kind of teaching I have been looking for it since I started painting.

    • Anna Mason on July 22, 2020 at 3:17 pm

      Wow, your make-up artistry probably means you have good brush skills!

  24. Lorie Williams on July 21, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    Anna I just love ALL your videos! Your style of painting is exactly what I hope to be able to accomplish when I get the time to practice. Please keep these wonderful videos coming, if nothing else they’re a joy to watch.

  25. phyllis on July 21, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    I got your video just after we picked 5 strawberries from our 5 year old grand daughter’s plant. How you started the painting had me in awe. While watching I got a chuckle of the size relationship of the strawberries to your arm. Your painting technique is amazing. thanks for your happy videos

  26. Nigel rumble on July 21, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    Wonderful painting Anna was it hot or cold pressed . Need a big frame and a large wall.

  27. Simone Ribeiro on July 21, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Amazing! Thank you!

  28. Ayyaz Hussain on July 21, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    Wonderful work. I love doing botanical art myself and I am inspired by you.
    By the way we lived in Coverdale Court, London Road, East Grinstead From 1971-1973 when I worked at Queen Victoria Hospital as anesthetist. Had wonderful time.

  29. Anubha on July 21, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Hi Anna your strawberries painting was delicious. But I didn’t understand what red and other colours you used no names . So please I would like to know the name.
    Thank you

  30. Shrimpscampi on July 21, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    Beautiful!! Just like all your paintings. Thank you!

  31. Diane Hunter on July 21, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    Beautiful Painting

  32. heather kaiserlian on July 21, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    Loved this. How can I watch this video in full and learn?

  33. Emma Marcellin on July 21, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    Beautiful strawberries. It nice to see it all come together. Sometimes the ugly duckling stage can be so discouraging. It’s easy to give up then. Watching you go layer after layer and seeing it all come together is very inspiring.
    I already did the strawberry tutorial which does take some time.
    Looking forward to trying some more.

  34. Eve Tan on July 22, 2020 at 12:27 am

    Hi Anna

    I really enjoyed this huge strawberry painting. Thank you


  35. Liandre Hawkes on July 22, 2020 at 12:47 am

    Inspirational, Anna! Thank you!

  36. Vivian on July 22, 2020 at 1:43 am

    Amazing! I love this strawberry video.Thank you so much!

  37. Katherine Klem on July 22, 2020 at 4:33 am

    Hi Anna

    You make it look so easy and delicious. They look good enough to eat. My learning to paint time is a time to destress and I’m so pleased I found your school.

  38. Tess on July 22, 2020 at 5:32 am

    Anna – I love how your strawberries shine. Even though I’ve watched you paint them, the shine seems so amazing for a watercolour painting. Will have to try them soon.

  39. Jan on July 22, 2020 at 7:15 am

    I am so glad I found your webpage and get your emails. I am new to watercolor but am loving learning from you. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent. I love the strawberries. You did a fabulous job. You have a true talent for teaching as well.

  40. prakorb Saenmunkongkul on July 22, 2020 at 7:40 am

    Good VDO for learning, thank you.

  41. Judy Walker on July 22, 2020 at 8:02 am

    Hi Anna I really enjoyed your video and it has inspired me to have a go at painting my own strawberries using the tutorial video but I think painting at such a size needs masses of confidence as any error will be magnified, I need loads more tutorials under my belt to have the nerve to go to a large canvas and interested were to buy paper that size as I normally use blocks? I loved the way you left the leaves till last so you could concentrate on the layers, a great lesson in its self. Thanks Judy x

  42. Yvonne Whitehouse on July 22, 2020 at 8:26 am

    Hi Anna, a big thank you from me, I am having a go. It really helps me as I am alone and isolated so far away from my grandchildren. Starting out with watercolours has been a real challenge as it is so different from oils. I hadn’t painted for years and my first watercolours were dreadful but with your clever videos I have really enjoyed getting to grips with how to use them. It has been enormous fun and a great source of comfort in these difficult days. I am hoping to get back to the UK safely one day but in the meantime loving your videos.
    Such a big thank you from me.

  43. Stella on July 22, 2020 at 8:59 am

    Ciao Anna, queste fragole così lucide e succulente sono favolose! Non vedo l’ora per provare a dipingerle

  44. Genelly on July 22, 2020 at 11:37 am

    Absolutely stunning. I’ve learnt a lot from your free online tutorials so thanks so much for sharing your passion for painting and your techniques with us x

  45. Margaret Axford on July 23, 2020 at 7:14 am

    Hi Anna,
    Just love watching you work those strawberries look delicious. Don’t know if I could work that big but I could try.

  46. Mary Greer Raymond on July 23, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    I joined your school in early June when a friend told me about you and started right in with the two free tutorials. It is something I’ve longed to get back to after years of studying with Marilyn Garber who found the Minnesota Botanical Water Color Museum and School. Her style is 15th century and will use calf skin on occasion. I’m a Botanist myself and enjoy studying all the aspects of plants and flowers. I’m impressed with your knowledge and terminology of the anatomy of a flower as you instruct. I’ve been a Judge for the Garden Club of America and National Garden Club flower shows both in Horticulture and Floral Design. As I move into my golden years getting back into this wonderful art form is a pleasure during these difficult times. I’ve completed a dozen of your tutorials most recently the enlarged Apple Blossoms. The Sketch book exercises are perfect studies as I prepare to do something on my own…Thank you Anna

  47. Geraldine Owen on July 25, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    Wow Anna this strawberry painting is amazing as are all your art works. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful talent 🙂

  48. Nguyễn Thùy Dương on July 27, 2020 at 2:48 am

    Beautiful!! Just like all your paintings. Thank you!

  49. Mary Lynn Best on July 27, 2020 at 4:16 am

    I enjoyed the video. You do such beautiful work. Thank you.

  50. Judy O’Toole on September 4, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    I want lipstick that beautiful color. Well done Anna.

  51. Jill Mitchell on October 18, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    I did the pear tutorial, and bought the book. Studied your method carefully.

    Yesterday I did these two strawberries from this short video. There were many stages where it was a mess, and I thought I had wasted a sheet of good paper. But I kept on.

    I took a picture of it anyway, and studied the picture carefully this morning. There are a few things I can adjust but overall, it is spectacular!!

    • Anna Mason on October 23, 2020 at 2:42 pm

      Delighted for you Jill! 🙂

  52. Judy Oberto (aka PortLudlowJude) on June 3, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    It’s funny, yesterday I was thinking about your huge paintings and wondering what it would be like, then here today is this demo video. I see by the date you did it a year ago, but I have only just found it with the reference from your weekly newsletter. I loved watching you actually painting clear though the process like that with your running dialog explaining the reasons behind each decision as to where, why and when you painted each part. Different than your tutorials, but very helpful for those of us trying to paint our own images and wondering how to approach them, separating out different sections, colors, seeing values, etc. Thanks Anna! So glad I watched it

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