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How to paint a vibrant Kingfisher bird (forget the limited palette!)

I know that a lot of artists favour using a ‘limited palette’ – ensuring that they mix the majority of their colours themselves.

But as I show you in this little video – where I paint a vibrant Kingfisher bird, that’s not always the best strategy when you are aiming for a realistic looking result.  

Instead, to achieve realism, you need to capture ALL the many colours in a subject like this as closely as possible, using vibrant paint colours wherever they’re needed:

If you enjoy the video, and have any colour mixing tips to share, please let me know in the comments below!

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22 Comments

  1. Cheryl Hall on January 25, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Anna, I loved this video. I recently painted a kingfisher I wished I had seen this earlier. I will try more layering next time and using more colors. Thanks

  2. Carissima on January 25, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Thank you very much for this video. I painted the Kingfisher already, it was really a challenge finding the “right” colors, if you depend upon the watercolors you have, but I am quite satisfied with the result. Did you see my Kingfisher already?
    You teaches so well, that it is a pleasure to join your tutorials.

    Thank you very much, Anna.

  3. David on January 25, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    The video ran 4 minutes and 19 seconds……a marvel of spot on content and precise editing! Bravo!

  4. Vita on January 25, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Thank you Anna l love your helpful tips.

  5. Smiley on January 25, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Thank you Anna, may just try this bird soon. I’m looking forward to many more tutorials with you too 🙂

    God bless.

  6. Sherry on January 25, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Hi Anna. I love your style and techniques. I do love to join your patron but I am so busy with my life right now. I have 2 questions:
    1. Can I cancel the patron membership any time I want?
    2. In your videos, do you show what color you pick or mix from your palette each time you need to? It is important for me to see it on your pallete before you put it on the paper.
    Best wishes.

    • Anna Mason on January 28, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      It’s a yes to both of those Sherry!

  7. Darlene on January 26, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Thanks for sharing your video!

  8. Coral on January 26, 2018 at 2:23 am

    Thank you Anna, beautiful, I love your work

  9. Sheila Harris on January 26, 2018 at 5:32 am

    Dear Anna

    I realize that I will never paint this exacting style but I do so admire your work. You get amazing results.
    I have decided my style is a bit more loose.
    In the meantime I send you best wishes and would love to see that lovely baby of yours. I hope all is well.
    Sheila

  10. Carol Blyth on January 26, 2018 at 8:04 am

    I do a lot of birds and animals for charity and find watercolour pencils ideal…do you ever use them?

    • Anna Mason on January 28, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      I haven’t used them for years and years Carol but I love the simplicity of the paint.

  11. audrey morgan on January 27, 2018 at 1:03 am

    Lovely Lovely!!

  12. Jufy on January 27, 2018 at 2:06 am

    Every time I look through pintrest water colours I fall in love with all your paintings. I will be a happy artist when I paint like you Thankyou Judy from New Zealand

  13. Mel on January 27, 2018 at 3:30 am

    Thank you for sharing. Your work is always stunning.

  14. suzanne linch on January 27, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Wonderful colours, thank you.
    Hope you and Little one are well.

  15. Kathy Valeri on March 3, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    I am inspired by your amazing paintings. I have recently painted a picture of a Wilson’s Warbler. I can see from this video where I need improvement. You have helped me move on to the next phase of learning how to achieve the look I want in my paintings.

  16. Aditi on April 26, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Hi Anna,
    I would love to join your online school.
    I would like to know how many tutorials are there in a month’s subscription?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Anna Mason on April 27, 2018 at 9:27 am

      Hi, we have over 60 tutorials and you get access to them all the whole time you have an active subscription – even if you sign up for a monthly one and cancel before you renew (though I hope you’ll stay longer!) 🙂

  17. Tim Daley on December 13, 2018 at 12:33 am

    Hi anna,
    I am a beginning watercolor painter and I bought your book for the wonderful paintings and the inspiration. In the back of the book you have several drawings to use for practice. Do you have any suggestions on how to transfer the images to paper other that just drawing them? Thanks.

    • Anna Mason on December 13, 2018 at 3:19 pm

      You can trace them Tim – you’ll just need some tracing paper. You may want to enlarge them – in that case you can always enlarge them using a photocopier at a library etc. Have a look on YouTube for tips on tracing. Best of luck with your painting!

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