Virtual Art Academy
The Virtual Art Academy®  Online Painting Course

The Virtual Art Academy® Online Painting Course

Take Your Painting As Far As You Want To Go

✓ Instant Access to Structured Top-Rated Art Academy Lessons

✓ Learn To Paint Online

✓ Study Online Anytime, Anywhere

✓ Access to Both Beginner and Advanced Online Painting Classes

✓ Choose Your Painting Medium (Oil, Watercolor, Acrylics, Pastel, Digital)

Join the Virtual Art Academy Today

Why Our Online Art Academy Is Different

1. Comprehensive & Structured

our online painting course has the same curriculum as a traditional art school


The Virtual Art Academy® online art academy painting classes contains 192 painting lessons broken down into 16 workshops, and 350 focused assignments.

As a beginner, you will systematically learn to paint in oils, acrylics or watercolors, one step at a time, and see your paintings steadily improve.

You get the same structured learning experience you would get at a prestigious Art University or Art Academy, but you can learn to paint at your own pace, and in the comfort of your own home.

2. Information At Your Fingertips

comprehensive, well-structured four-year online painting course
eBook on how to paint

The reading information for the Virtual Art Academy® Apprentice Program is the result of a fifteen-year research project by professional artist Barry John Raybould. It contains information on how to paint you will not find anywhere else. 

As a result, by joining the Virtual Art Academy, you will save yourself months of wasted time searching YouTube videos, blogs, art books, and tutorials for quality information on how to paint.

3. Knowledge You Can Trust

The Virtual Art Academy® online art school curriculum was entirely authored by a successful professional artist with a long list of exhibitions, galleries, and top awards to his name.

Uniquely we provide advanced online painting classes and lessons for professionals as well as beginners to raise your art to the level of museum quality.

When learning how to paint you need to avoid getting into bad habits that will eventually slow down your progress. In our online painting classes you will learn the best working practices right from the start.

plein air painting
Barry Painting the top prize-winning oil painting at the Carmel Art Festival
top oil painting award for Virtual Art Academy Author Barry John Raybould MA (Cantab)

Learn More About Our Story

What Medium Can I Use?

You can use any medium you like to do your online painting course. This is because at the Virtual Art Academy you will learn the important underlying principles of painting that are the foundation of all great artworks.

Other painting courses online teach you specific techniques for how to paint a tree or how paint clouds or rocks. But you will only be able to copy the style of the teacher.

oil, watercolor, or acrylic painting medium

With the painting lessons from Virtual Art Academy you will be able to paint any subject in any medium, using any style you choose. As a result, your creative possibilities will be endless!

Here are some different painting media and techniques you can use.

You can change the medium you use at any time. Or if you like, simply stay with one medium throughout the online painting course.

Online Painting Lessons for Beginner Painters

If you are an absolute beginner who has no experience at all in painting, you can systematically build up your skills one by one by following our Apprentice Lite Program curriculum one lesson at a time in sequence.

The Virtual Art Academy®  Online Painting Course 8

When you have finished the beginner topics, simply move on to the more advanced parts of the program. In our early workshops you will learn these essential skills:

  • the essentials of notan – the underlying design structure behind all master-works.
  • all about values and how to see them accurately – an important prerequisite for achieving realism in your work.
  • the essentials of color and how to break it down into the three simpler choices of value, saturation, and hue – a critical skill for getting color harmony in your work
The Virtual Art Academy®  Online Painting Course 9

You will also learn:

  • how to develop an underlying concept for your painting that will make your work stand out from the rest.
  • the most important compositional skill you will ever learn, space division.
  • how to control saturation – a key skill for advanced color harmony.
  • best practices for doing color studies outdoors – the essential process used by the great colorists such as Joaquin Sorolla and the basis of Impressionism.

Request our prospectus for a full description of our curriculum and program of painting lessons.

Join the Virtual Art Academy Today

Online Painting Lessons for More Experienced Painters: The Apprentice Pro Program

The Virtual Art Academy®  Online Painting Course 10
The Virtual Art Academy®  Online Painting Course 11

Our Apprentice Pro Program contains all the information you would get if you attended a four-year program at a prestigious Art Academy or University. It includes lessons for more experienced painters, as well as for professional artists who are already selling their work.

Our advanced lessons include:

  • the skills you need to create incredibly beautiful color harmonies in your work.
  • how to create exciting compositions.
  • how to use expressive brushwork to bring your painting alive.
  • how to build your observations skills in drawing, form, and color to make your work look realistic.
  • how to create an underlying abstract design that will make your work stand out in a gallery.
  • how give your painting meaning as well as design to take it to museum level quality, and much more.

Need More Information On Our Painting Lessons?

Sign up for our Prospectus and Information Guides.

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The Online Campus

All registered members of our online art school get access to our members-only Online Campus. Here you can interact with other Virtual Art Academy students from all over the world.

Our online art school students tell us the encouragement and feedback from an enthusiastic and friendly community of like-minded artists will motivate you and help you learn faster. As a bonus, you can make wonderful friendships worldwide.

What Do Our Students Say?

The equivalent of a 4 year art education at a fraction of the cost

This is a great course for anyone who is serious about improving their painting. I have been a student here for several years. When I am finished, I will have… Read more “The equivalent of a 4 year art education at a fraction of the cost”

The equivalent of a 4 year art education at a fraction of the cost 1
Susan Hood

‘Ladder of Learning’ adds to overall positive experience of this awesome course

The VAA course is built on four main building blocks including PROCESS, REALISM, MUSIC AND POETRY. These are further divided into topics that are continuously developed throughout the cirriculum. Drawing,… Read more “‘Ladder of Learning’ adds to overall positive experience of this awesome course”

'Ladder of Learning' adds to overall positive experience of this awesome course 2
Marlene Gardner

No need to buy expensive art books…. Just do the VAA 4 year course. I still refer to it

I finished the VAA course a few years ago, but always refer to the notes, rereading the course many times. This is not a course the day you are finished, you… Read more “No need to buy expensive art books…. Just do the VAA 4 year course. I still refer to it”

No need to buy expensive art books.... Just do the VAA 4 year course. I still refer to it 3
Aurelia Sieberhagen

This is a far more superior school than anything I have seen being taught at colleges across the country

This is a far more superior school than anything I have seen being taught at colleges across the country and have learned much more from the Virtual Art Academy® than… Read more “This is a far more superior school than anything I have seen being taught at colleges across the country”

This is a far more superior school than anything I have seen being taught at colleges across the country 4
Steve Jorde

Barry gave me a fishing rod so I can catch my own fish

After weeks and even months of searching YouTube, “googling” and spending a fortune on art instructional books I finally came across the Virtual Art Academy®. When it comes to purchasing… Read more “Barry gave me a fishing rod so I can catch my own fish”

Barry gave me a fishing rod so I can catch my own fish 5
Dagmara Zaręba

The most comprehensive, in depth and well-organized painting course available online

After a thorough research, my personal conclusion is that the Virtual Art Academy (VAA) is, by wide margin, the most comprehensive, in depth and well-organized painting course available in the… Read more “The most comprehensive, in depth and well-organized painting course available online”

The most comprehensive, in depth and well-organized painting course available online 6
Bruno Villela

An excellent  foundation on so many aspects of painting

“I never had formal training in painting and my style has always been very realistic, slow and not at all artistic, just a copy of a photograph. When I got… Read more “An excellent  foundation on so many aspects of painting”

An excellent  foundation on so many aspects of painting 7
Jeanne Strohmann

Join the Virtual Art Academy Today