How to paint metallic shine in watercolour

If you’ve ever thought about painting something metallic and super shiny like a silver spoon in watercolour, you’d be forgiven for thinking you might need some sort of special metallic watercolor paints (they do exist).  

Not so!

Actually, what you need to do is to capture all the little shapes of colour in the subject – determined by the way light was falling on it.

If you get those in the right place and get how light or dark they should be correct, you only need a couple of bog-standard paints, as I show you in this little vid:

I hope you now feel inspired to paint your own metallic shiny subject! If you enjoyed the video, please leave me a comment, I love reading them.


Happy painting,

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  1. Helen on July 2, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    That’s wonderful, enjoy your little girl, hard work but they grow up so fast, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.
    I have just finished the pear, it’s okayish, but I am my best and harshest critic. I painted all sorts up until 20 years ago, when my brothers death at an early age threw me a curved ball. Have just got going again with landscapes. I am a fairly loose painter, so finding your way of doing things interesting to say the least.
    I don’t have all your colours and have just switched from W&N, gave those away and bought Daniel Smith, which I like, though they do seem somewhat bright and vivid.
    My sister is botanically trained and admits she cannot paint loosely, even though I said she just needs bigger brushes. I might just need to invest in your teeny things, though I have a few

    I shall carry on trying your method and hopefully spend out on at least a months worth subscription if I am doing okay.
    I had just stretched another sheet of paper when this video popped into the e-mail box, ha ! Only problem is it’s not arches hot pressed. I was about to paint a landscape, now maybe not. I have some arches HP from years ago, so that’s next on the stretching board

    Kind regards, and best wishes

    • Anna Mason on July 3, 2019 at 2:23 pm

      Have fun with your painting Helen! Thanks for taking the class. 🙂

  2. Pam on July 2, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Lovely video, Anna. You are always an inspiration, whether I currently have time to paint or not. And, of course, as an American, I love just listening to the cadence of your British accent!
    Congratulations on the birth of your precious daughter.
    Pam in New Mexico

  3. Susie Barnett on July 2, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Thank you Anna, enjoy your maternity time off. 🙂

  4. Gillie Ciriaco-Runge on July 2, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Very detailed works! I love to learn but I am limited because of my arthritic hands. For now, I only like to color birds and flowers only, no cmplicated and hard paintings. If you have like the hummingbirds, I like it. Thank you very much for sharing. Good luck to you and congratulations with the new baby.

  5. Jill Haldeman on July 2, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Hi, thanks for the video. Have been experimenting with shiny lately too…looking for that subtle gloss in water. Have you found it? Thanks. Enjoy that new baby. Being a mom is the best.

  6. Liz on July 2, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Congratulations on second little one Anna! So happy for you!
    All the best with the posts and business.. take it easy, don’t over do!
    I have a new little grandson, so busy helping our daughter!

  7. Betty on July 2, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    I love your videos. Thank you for making them and sharing them. I try to copy them, with reasonable success ( on some )

  8. Judy Porritt on July 2, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    You have a generous heart to help us learn to paint. Thank you.

  9. Ginger Kelly on July 2, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Congratulations on your precious daughter. Enjoy every moment with her as they do grow up much too quickly! Also thank you for your wonderful videos! So nice to follow!!!

  10. Chuck Slote on July 2, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    I love the video. It shows a nice to paint a difficult subject in an easy way. As with many watercolor subjects it is about lights and darks and shapes. Good job, Anna!

  11. Nand kishore Gupta on July 2, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing your valuable utube vedio . I will learn from it.and congratulations ; God gave a very cute baby to you.

  12. Lori Leclerc on July 2, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    That was very well done. I have a question for you, I have done art now for 26 years, I need your help. My husband LOVES wolves, and I would love to do a painting for him for his Birthday, but I am having a hard time getting the shape right. Can you do a traceable and a tutorial on line to help me out please. I have done a lot of your paintings, and I find it so nice that you go step by step. Thank you for your talent.
    Lori Leclerc

    • Anna Mason on July 3, 2019 at 2:21 pm

      I can add it to my list Lori but with the two babies at the moment I won’t be in the studio for a while, sorry- and good luck with it.

    • Karin Anita on July 3, 2019 at 4:41 pm

      Hallo Lori,

      there are some Apps wich you can use. It is the princible of a „camera lucida“. I use the App „Tracing Projector“ you can find it the App store of Apple. If you use an other devise you have to search of after an tracing app.

      I hope you have luck. I used it for my Tiger. it was an gift also to my husband.


  13. Loni Stoelting-LaQuill on July 2, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Enjoy your videos and I continue to learn even at 75. wishing you good health for you and your unborn child.

  14. Jill on July 2, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    I love your videos. Thank you one day I will make to time!!

  15. Ross Howlett (for Jan) on July 2, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Dear Anna, Just to let you know I have removed my wife from your emails simply because dear Jan passed into the presence of her Lord on June 5th 2019. I miss her terribly, but I know she appreciated your information while she was with us. Blessings to you–Ross

    • Anna Mason on July 3, 2019 at 1:24 pm

      I’m so sorry to hear this Ross. Wishing you strength and love at this time x

  16. Art Faelnar on July 2, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Amazing how you see colors and shapes the way you do. Thanks for the video.

  17. Jacqueline Konechne on July 2, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    I love your teaching video’s. They are so helpful for someone like me. Who has never been able to take a class., You do a great job! Please keep making them

    Thank You!

    Jacqueline Konechne

  18. Amina vierk on July 2, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Thank you Anna, i’ve enjoyed your video and have a beautiful time with your baby.

  19. Bernie Kennedy on July 2, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Thank’s so much Anna it’s inspiration in a tea spoon, appreciate all the videos . Good luck with your new little bundle of joy.

  20. Sally on July 2, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    I love to see what you see! But the patience required to do watery layers like you teach is so helpful, as I would want to complete it faster! Sooo…thanks for pulling me back to be patient, tks for sharing cheers Sally

  21. ann williams on July 2, 2019 at 11:24 pm

    Thank you so much for these videos there very inspiring!

  22. Susan Lyon on July 2, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    Your amazing!! Enjoy your time with your “littles”, they grow up way too fast. Your films are helping me greatly. May the Lord bless you and yours. Thanks again!

  23. Tina on July 3, 2019 at 2:02 am

    Thanks for sharing !! love your books too x

  24. Kathleen Michael on July 3, 2019 at 3:40 am

    Thank you. Very informative. Enjoy each now moment with your family – even the frustrating ones become fond memories;, time moves so fast.

  25. Satendra Sharma on July 3, 2019 at 6:20 am

    That is really awsome.

  26. Everett leeds on July 3, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Many congratulations on having your No: 2.

  27. Anita visram on July 3, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Thank you Anna.
    Truly you are a ‘Master’ at your art work.
    Your work really has WOW!!
    Blessings on all your family. Xx

  28. A Davies-Patrick on July 3, 2019 at 11:58 am

    First off congratulations to you and your family on the new member of the family tears of joy x,
    The clip on the spoon was welcome, but don’t worry I plenty to fall back on to keep busy I keep in my art memory file. So enjoy xx arthur

  29. Frances White on July 3, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Thank you much much. Your work is extremely beautiful.

  30. Michelle on July 3, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    You are so great! Very nice video and hope to see more and more. Thanks!

  31. Mrs Ludmila Staltsova-Read on July 3, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Hi Anna. First of all congratulations, your little one is now your whole life. Enjoy it. They grow so fast! And thank you for your video and great tips xxx

  32. Dawn on July 3, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Anna, your work is gorgeous and you are so generous to share your videos! I can’t wait to have a go at painting a shiny metallic spoon! Congratulations on the birth of your precious little girl! Enjoy your time with your babies. We will be here waiting for you when you return. Thank you so much!

  33. Hilda Barone on July 4, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    You are always an inspiration Anna. Thankyou for you video……so helpful and generous of you to share your beautiful talent.
    Enjoy your beautiful new baby girl and your little boy. Be blessed always xxx

  34. Eileen on August 29, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    Yes I enjoyed the instruction for the silver spoon. I would like some instruction for painting an Egptian Tutankhuman golden mask in watercolour.

  35. Teresa Tipton on September 8, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    I love watching your videos. The spoon video is mesmerizing! I’ve tried painting a silver cream pitcher but the reflections were difficult to photograph to use for reference. I shall continue to try! Maybe a cute dessert fork will be my next try.

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