Realistic Watercolors Step by Step 

In partnership with
Instructor Anna Mason, Expert Watercolorist
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4 out of 5
17 Reviews
70% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 4094
Video Streaming Included Free

What Will You Learn?

  • numbers Uncover the secret to layering watercolors.
  • numbers Learn the importance of order in watercolor painting and building up tone throughout the painting process.
  • numbers Learn to make darks richer and help details shine through with techniques for color correcting.

Course Overview

Learn how to paint watercolor flowers and more step by step with online video lessons from award-winning artist Anna Mason. Start with how to choose a reference photo, set up your workspace and outline your subject matter: a rose. With your outline complete, see how to create petals by layering tones from light to dark. Next, paint a lifelike stamen and build skills for balancing tones. Move on to rendering a lovely flower bud and get tips for avoiding muddy colors, increasing contrast and creating highlights that add depth to your work. Expand the number of greens on your palette as Anna guides you through painting convincing leaves, stems and thorns. Plus, discover tricks for finishing your painting beautifully by establishing crisp edges, using color-correcting techniques and refining the level of contrast in your piece.
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7 lectures
 |  Average 23 minutes each
  • 1
    Working With Watercolor
    Meet Anna Mason and get started discovering the simplicity behind painting with watercolors. Develop your painter's eye with watercolor basics as Anna helps you uncover the secret to layering watercolors. You'll also learn her brush techniques for painting fine details. Think small! x
  • 2
    Preparing to Paint
    Set up your workspace for success! Anna will provide techniques for taking the best reference photo to work from, no fancy camera required. Then get started working on a realistic pencil outline of a flower by either tracing or using Anna's measurements technique for an accurate rendering. x
  • 3
    Painting the Petals
    Start painting petals with Anna's layering technique. Begin by placing the lightest pink tones, then move to your darker pinks and finally your midtones to gradually build up color. You'll finish by filling gaps and refining your contrast. x
  • 4
    Painting the Stamen & Reassessing Petals
    Begin painting a realistic-looking stamen to add color variation to your painting! Learn the importance of order in watercolor painting and building up tone throughout the painting process. After finishing the stamen, you'll reassess the petal tones and balance the darkness of the petals. x
  • 5
    Painting the Bud
    Start painting a flower bud by layering tones light to dark. Anna will teach you how to avoid making mud out of your color choices. Use greens and reds to add tones to the sepals for clarity and deep contrast. Finally, gain confidence in your contrasts and explore how to use gouache for brilliant highlights. x
  • 6
    Painting the Leaves & Stem
    Create a variety of greens to cover the leaves, stems and thorns for a natural-looking finish. Layer the dark tones on top of the dried lighter tones using Anna's layering technique. You'll fill in the midtones to create the veins and juggle the rest of the hues to create a smooth, finished look. x
  • 7
    Finishing Details & Assessing Contrast
    Add final key details to make your painting look natural. Anna demonstrates how easy it is to make your details pop for a realistic finish. Learn to make darks richer and help details shine through with Anna's techniques for color correcting. Then assess the big-picture contrast of your painting. x

Lecture Titles

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 7 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course booklet
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 7 lectures on 1 DVD
  • 12-page full-color, printed reference materials booklet
  • Downloadable PDF of the course companion book
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
  • Closed captioning available

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 12-page full-color, printed reference materials booklet
  • Supplies & resources
  • Reference images for practice
  • Metric conversion chart

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Your professor

Anna Mason

About Your Professor

Anna Mason, Expert Watercolorist
Anna Mason is a watercolorist specializing in big, bold, botanical subjects. After making a huge career change to paint full-time 10 years ago, she's been honored with an RHS Gold Medal for Botanical Art and the Grand Prize by International Artist Magazine. In recent years, Anna has made it her mission to teach her unique watercolor techniques in an easy-to-understand way by contributing to Artists & Illustrator Magazine in...
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Realistic Watercolors Step by Step is rated 3.9 out of 5 by 17.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Realistic Watercolor Bought as a birthday gift for my mom. She’s loving it!
Date published: 2020-08-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed I purchased this course 11/24/18 and now it is June 2020 and I've just watched. I love The Teaching Company courses and I get so enthusiastic I order too manyat one time and then don't watch them immediately. I find Anna speaks quite fast for me. I don't have an iPad and stand which would make this painting easier to do. I think her instructions and technics are very beneficial. However I'm afraid I will not benefit from this course but I am going to recommend it. Too much time has passed to request a refund. Sincerely KEM
Date published: 2020-06-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Never was able to use it This is the worst example of ripoff software I have ever been associated with. The 800 support is a joke, and their chat professionals are very unprofessional. I got my money back after wasting 8 hours trying to down load this course
Date published: 2020-02-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thhe title speaks for itself. This course fits the bill for those who want to learn the basics of water coloring. The finished product of the teachers painting was beautiful. Selection of a subject, correct composition, attention to accurate sketching, and learning the art of mixing colors for realistic application were covered, and the importance of much practice to attain satisfaction were all covered in this course. I suggest to anyone who is serious about learning to paint, to take a course in learning to sketch, as I have. It's a good foundation to start on the right footing. This course gets you started. You must learn to have patience, work slowly at first,have plenty of practice in sketching and mixing colors to obtain the desired results. Paying attention to details is the key if you want a realistic ending. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2019-08-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This watercolor course is different!! This course shows how to exactly reproduce a picture of a beautiful rose, each step well-described and illustrated. Other watercolor courses apply the paint to convey a feeling rather than a picture-perfect replica. I have enjoyed painting both ways, so I think it depends what you like. But realize that these two techniques are quite different!
Date published: 2019-04-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Good Start for Botantical Watercolor I am a beginner water colorist. I am currently exploring different styles of watercolor art. Before I took this course I did a another course on the color wheel, how to mix color, watercolor papers, brushes and basic techniques. So, when I began this course I did have some basic knowledge. I not only learned a great deal from Anna regarding botanical watercolor especially tones, highlights, form and color. I thought her process of painting light then dark tones and working the tones in between to be enlightening. I was especially pleased that her work was step by step and she explained clearly what she was doing as she was doing it. I did find that I would have like to have her color choices and brushes available to me but the color course gave me a basic understanding of how to mix the colors I needed. I did do a color study prior to her course on the rose. I hope to take more of Anna's classes. I think I am in love with watercolor!
Date published: 2019-02-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I was actually rather disappointed in this course. I'm an artist and not at all a beginner, and realism is my particular forte, so to be fair the information may be more valuable to true beginners. But I didn't think the instructor did a very good job of explaining why she made choices she did as she went along, and how to apply that in later work. I'll allow for differences in technique and working style which can vary greatly among all artists, but there wasn't enough explanation in what to look for when checking values (extremely important in realism); she just constantly bounced around merely mentioning that she was correcting as she went. I didn't see any real instruction on the extra attention necessary for true realistic representation (and frankly thought the final work looked awfully flat and was missing quite a bit of detail, which was jarring when seeing much more highly detailed work in the background scene). I think the entire course needed to be twice the length to give any real value to the supposed subject. It was far too rushed to be helpful. It really felt more like a ride-along than step-by-step instruction. If you just want an intro to botanical painting, it's worth a look--maybe. If you're looking for real instruction, I wouldn't recommend it at all.
Date published: 2019-01-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not happy! The teacher is painting on a larger scale. The sample that is sent is 4 by 5 and really doesn’t allow for the preciseness that she demonstrates. I traced from the picture and she doesn’t give the other colors we can use if we don’t have the same colors, U.S. colors vs Britain. She is a fabulous artist, but if we are watching her, we are beginner or intermediate colorists. She doesn’t allow for that possibility. Telling us we should make a larger print or trace is my biggest complaint.
Date published: 2019-01-14
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