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!

21 Comments
  1. Cheryl Hall 1 year ago

    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 1 year ago

    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 1 year ago

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

  4. Vita 1 year ago

    Thank you Anna l love your helpful tips.

  5. Smiley 1 year ago

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

    God bless.

  6. Sherry 1 year ago

    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.

  7. Darlene 1 year ago

    Thanks for sharing your video!

  8. Coral 1 year ago

    Thank you Anna, beautiful, I love your work

  9. Sheila Harris 1 year ago

    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 1 year ago

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

    • Author
      Anna Mason 1 year ago

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

  11. audrey morgan 1 year ago

    Lovely Lovely!!

  12. Jufy 1 year ago

    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 1 year ago

    Thank you for sharing. Your work is always stunning.

  14. suzanne linch 1 year ago

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

  15. Kathy Valeri 1 year ago

    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 1 year ago

    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.

    • Author
      Anna Mason 1 year ago

      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 7 months ago

    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.

    • Author
      Anna Mason 7 months ago

      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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