Virtual Art Academy
The Virtual Art Academy®  Painting Course: Take Your Painting As Far As You Want To Go

The Virtual Art Academy® Painting Course: Take Your Painting As Far As You Want To Go

An Academy-Calibre Academy® Online Painting Course in Oils, Acrylics, and Watercolor

by professional artist, Barry John Raybould MA (Cantab)

With our comprehensive four-year online painting course you get the same education you would get at a traditional Art Academy or University.
✓ Learn How To Paint and How To Draw
✓ Study Online Anytime, Anywhere
✓ Access to Both Beginner and Advanced Material
✓ Choose Your Medium (Oil, Watercolor, Acrylics, Pastel, Digital)
✓ Try Us For Just $1 For Three-Days

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Why Our Online Art School Is Different

1. Comprehensive & Structured

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


The Virtual Art Academy® four-year online painting course will give you the same structured learning experience you would get at a prestigious Art University or Art Academy. This means you can get a quality art education but 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

When choosing a painting course or painting lessons from online art schools, you need to make sure you don’t get into bad habits at the beginning of your art journey. Those bad habits will eventually slow down your progress and lead to frustration.

To solve this problem, the Virtual Art Academy® online painting course was entirely authored by a successful professional artist with a long list of exhibitions, galleries, and top awards to his name.

In short, if you are an absolute beginner, you will systematically learn how to paint in oils, acrylics or watercolors one step at a time. As an experienced artist you will get professional painting lessons to help raise your art to museum level quality.

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)

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What Medium Can I Use?

oil, watercolor, or acrylic painting medium

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 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. 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 by following our Apprentice Program Year One curriculum, one lesson at a time in sequence.

When you have finished the topics in Year One, simply move on to the painting lessons in Year Two and so on.

To find out what you will learn, see the Apprentice Program Year One Curriculum

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Online Painting Lessons for More Experienced Painters

If you are an experienced or intermediate painter, or a professional artist already selling your work, you have two choices. You can:

  • systematically work through the four-year program to make sure you don’t have any gaps in your knowledge that are holding you back, or
  • use our online campus software to create a custom learning plan for you.

To find out what you will learn, see the Apprentice Program Curriculum

Join the Virtual Art Academy Today

The Online Campus

Virtual Art Academy online campus for both beginner & professional artists

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 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 2
Bruno Villela

‘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 3
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”

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”

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 6
Dagmara Zaręba

Join the Virtual Art Academy Today