Understanding colour for realistic painting

Have you ever found that the colours in your paintings appear to change as your painting progresses?

If so, you’ve probably been experiencing the way that colour is RELATIVE.

In this little video I explain a way to think about colour that will help you work with this, and inject realism into your paintings:

I hope this helps you on your painting journey.

If this video makes sense to you I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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40 Comments

  1. Marlys Jacobson on December 28, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Always love your tips and instructions. So helpful! Holiday busyness over, Recovering from flu now, but looking forward to being away for a month again where I’ll have lots of time to paint!

    • Anna Mason on December 29, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Enjoy that break Marlys!

  2. Tricia Kelly on December 28, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Great job Anna!

  3. Karen on December 28, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Thank you. This is very helpful.

  4. Linda Val on December 28, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Outstanding video Anna! Thank you for helping me to understand the meaning of hue and tone.

  5. Ayyaz Hussain on December 28, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Wonderful!

  6. Mizelle Jane on December 28, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    I love all your tips

  7. Taisa on December 28, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Hello Anna! Thank you for the video. This will help me to be more attentive to the color and shades of watercolors. I congratulate you and your family on the coming New Year! Sincerely, Taisa.

  8. Gail on December 28, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Great tips, thanks!

  9. kirk on December 28, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Thank you Anna , I am 85 , fit and healthy. Really enjoying embarking on your lessons.. you have inspired me.

    Usually find it difficult to relax and now spending hours enjoying myself learning something new and creative.

    My wife is happy to see me still still and loves the results.

    Christmas blessings to you and yours.
    Don

    • Debbie E Connett on December 28, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      KIRK, I THOUGHT OF GRANDMA MOSES, AND AMERICAN FOLK ARTIST WHO ALWAYS DABBLED IN ART AS A CHILD ETC…BUT, NOT UNTIL SHE WAS 76 SHE GOT HER RIGHTFUL PLACE IN THE ART WORLD…AND MADE IT A SUCCESS IN HER 80’s. HER FIRST BIG SHOW CAME ABOUT WHEN THE LOCAL DRUG STORE OWNER PUT SOME OF HER WORK IN HIS WINDOW AND WHA-LA HER CAREER BEGAN!!! SHE LIVED TO 101 YEARS OLD. SHE LOVED HER ART AS WELL AS MILLIONS AND STILL DO!!! THINK OF IT HER FIRST PAINTING SOLD FOR $3000 ( US) THAT WAS LIKE A MILLION BUCKS THEN!!!! SORRY FOR GOING ON AND ON ABOUT THIS…..YOUR LITTLE POST REMINDED ME OF HER RIGHT AWAY!!! IM 65 AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A WILDLIFE ARTIST IN GRAPHIC PENCIL AND INK AND AT 65 IM JUST NOW LEARNING HOW DRAW WITH “COLOR”….KEEP ON PAINTING!!! LOVE TO SEE A POST ON HERE WHEN YOU ARE 100!!!! 🙂 HAPPY PAINTING!!! DEB 🙂

      • Anna Mason on December 29, 2017 at 10:00 am

        I LOVE Grandma Moses! Total inspiration.

  10. Alice Gruenwald on December 28, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Hi Anna. I am at a point in my life where I have time and I am delving deeply into the things I have always wanted to do. I never realized all there is to know about watercoloring, so your videos and classes are very helpful and i m very much enjoying. Happy new year to you too

  11. Rabea on December 28, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Thanks Anna for this video, my problem is the shadow especially the lesson of the rose (Pink).
    Too many petal.

  12. W,A. Gibson on December 28, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Thank you Anna beautifully explained …I am. nearly 80 yrs , your chats are begining to swing me back pick up my W/col brushes again .
    I love your work and pleasant manner of tuition .
    My best regards to you and baby and hubby for success in 2018 .
    Bill / Cambridge UK.

    • Anna Mason on December 29, 2017 at 9:59 am

      Thanks Bill – you’re never too old to get back into it! 🙂

  13. Cheryl Adelmeyer on December 28, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Thanks, good information.

  14. Mike Strickland on December 28, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Your technique of painting light layers, then dark layers, then mid-tone layers along with tone juggling has been a real eye opener for me!

    I’m doing the flower in your Craftsy class and with your help, this is the first time I’ve been happy with painting in watercolor! Your instruction is great!

  15. John Jong Kyu kim on December 29, 2017 at 3:21 am

    Hi Anna
    I appreciate you that you show wonderful painting through video.
    john JK Kim

  16. Jennifer Mitchell on December 29, 2017 at 3:29 am

    Thank you Anna, I now understand how critically important tones/values are to my paintings and will NO longer stress over hue, phew!

  17. Rita Watts on December 29, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    You are one of the best.

  18. Rita Watts on December 29, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Your the best.

  19. Sandra De Marchi on December 30, 2017 at 4:41 am

    Thanks Anna, it is always good to have a reminder about tone and hue as to seems to be easily forgotten when I am painting.

  20. Carissima on December 30, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Wonderful. Thanks Anna. I realized it, while painting the champignons. Tone and hue are very important.

  21. Yvonne Ward on December 31, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Hi Anna,
    I used to draw and paint when u was a child. My mom was a fashion designer and illustration. She was passionate about her art. I am now 62 years old and have rediscovered my passion for art and in particular watercolor. THANK You For All Your WONDERFUL Tips . I liked your lesson on tone and hue. I am also on craftsy. I enjoy taking your craftsy classes. Your easy teaching style has given me confidence. And I have finally discovered my passion for painting.

  22. Everett Leeds on December 31, 2017 at 9:31 am

    To an amateur like me, that post Colour & Hue was most interesting-something I had not thought about at all. Hope baby is doing & behaving well!

  23. Tülün on January 1, 2018 at 11:41 am

    .
    Thank you so simply explained yet so useful. Best wishes to you and your family.

  24. Clayre on January 3, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks to your DVDs and tips regarding values, I have turned the corner in my watercolor painting. Thanks so much, Anna, for the time you devote to teaching others. You are the best!

  25. Noelle on January 4, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Thank you, Anna ! Just love your videos ….you’re a real pro ! Love and light be yours

  26. June Mitchell on January 9, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Very helpful thank you xx

  27. Learner on January 24, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    Thank you, Anna! Excellent video. Your a wonderful teacher. This is a great online School! Lots to learn and grow. Grateful!

  28. Anita on January 26, 2018 at 10:39 am

    That’s the best explanation I’ve seen, very clear, great teacher! Thank you.

  29. Elizza on February 1, 2018 at 3:44 am

    Thank you, is a great explication

  30. Susan on February 1, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    Anna, I love, love your art! I am a big fan! I am going to sign for lessons soon!
    Kindly,
    Susan from Colorado

  31. Ranita O'Neill on January 6, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    Hi Anna, when you showed the 2 squares with red and blue I think, you said their tones were the same- I did not get that. How do you know or see that the tones are the same? How can two totally different colours(hues) have the same tone. This may sound really dumb but I don’t know what you are seeing.
    I do love your tutorials and any trying to follow them but am having difficulty seeing what you see.

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