The Virtual Art Academy® Painting Lessons

Welcome to the Virtual Art Academy, a flexible and affordable alternative to taking a degree course in Fine Art and Painting at a prestigious Art University or Art Academy.

Our Virtual Art Academy® Apprentice Program is a structured four-year program for learning how to paint in oils, acrylics, or watercolors. Written and designed by a professional artist over a 10 year period, it is the only program of its kind available on the internet.

Painting is a complex task that requires a high degree of skill to do well — there are no quick solutions. We have broken learning how to paint into 200 key skills, and have developed a series of painting lessons and 350 assignments for you to learn and master each skill. Each assignment is simple and achievable. Complete all the assignments and your painting will rise to a much higher level of quality.

The program offers complete flexibility. You can learn how to paint at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home. There are no time deadlines or timetables. If you are a beginner, you can take the full four years to complete the curriculum. If you are a more experienced painter, you can complete the course in two years or less. The choice is yours.

Our Difference

Our students have told us that that they have found the Virtual Art Academy course of painting lessons to be more comprehensive and highly structured than anything else they have found on the web.

It is this structure and comprehensiveness that sets us apart. You do not get this structure from a website with a confusion of video tutorials from multiple artists. This is only possible if the program has been designed as an integrated program.

To learn more about the breadth and structure of our painting lessons and course, click Curriculum in the menu above. To learn how our online campus and community work, click on How It Works.

P. S. By the way, click on any image on our website to see a larger version. The artwork is by the author of this course, Barry John Raybould.

Is This Course for You?

This is a course for dedicated, committed, passionate, serious, goal driven students who are willing to invest their time in the best art education available on the internet. If you are willing to focus on your goals, and put in the time and effort to complete the assignments, you will soon see great improvements in your artwork. We have created this comprehensive, in-depth, highly-structured art course for those of you who are serious about improving your painting skills, and filling the world with high-quality art.

This is not a course for anyone looking for a quick fix, or an instant technique on painting a tree, cat, or portrait. Those kind of courses will teach a great technique, but you will only be able to paint that particular tree, cat, or portrait. Professional artists know that to become a master you have to put in the effort, and learn all the skills from the ground up. Once you have the knowledge, you will be able to paint whatever subject your like.


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"I’ve been “painting” on and off since I was a youngster and would repeatedly start to progress then get stuck for lack of knowledge, or possession of false knowledge, then quit. In December of 2010, I discovered Virtual Art Academy. After reading everything I could find about it, I committed to the program. I am able to study and do the assignments within the framework of my ever changing and often chaotic schedule. The cost of the study course, not high by any means, is worth many, many times what I paid. Truth is priceless. This is not a “paint-by-numbers” course of study where ones paintings are, or become, reasonable facsimiles of the instructor’s work. Rather one is taught the true essences of good painting, thus the development of my unique style as a painter. The lessons and course have far surpassed my expectations. My work steadily improves, as does my confidence. Barry John Raybould’s Virtual Art Academy is exactly what I was looking for."
Rick Harder, Los Angeles, CA, USA,
July 20, 2013


"I was long past college age and couldn’t imagine returning to a formal school setting to obtain a new degree in art; it would have been too disruptive to our family life. The Virtual Art Academy offered exactly the kind of program I needed — a thorough, home-based, self-paced program that would lift my skill level from “hobbyist” to “professional.” I haven’t regretted it for a moment. Since applying myself to the Virtual Art Academy assignments, my work has noticeably improved in technical skill as well as in range and maturity. I work confidently in more than a single medium now, and have developed a good-sized body of work. One of my assignment paintings hung in a national show last spring."
Charlotte Mertz, Fort Myers, FL
June 21, 2013


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