Virtual Art Academy
Barry John Raybould and Bato Dugarzhapov

Painting With A Master: Bato Dugarzhapov

Here is a book created by Bato Dugarzhapov that summarizes some of his key thoughts on painting.

Bato Dugarzhapov’s thoughts on painting

Bato Dugarzhapov is one of the master painters of our time. I have been fortunate enough to spend time with him this year painting, and learning about his thoughts on what it takes to produce truly creative and masterful work.

It turns out his thoughts are very much aligned with mine, and in particular on the Visual Music & Poetry™ concept that I came up with when researching information on painting for the Virtual Art Academy online painting classes.

One of the core ideas behind the Visual Music & Poetry idea is that creating a master painting is not at all about making a faithful reproduction of what you see. Rather it is all about creating a beautiful visual experience, that is based on some fundamental truths of nature. It is the latter that makes the painting more powerful, since it relates to us on a human level.

This means that when you paint you have to do two things:

  • #1 Have Fun And Relax
    When you are painting you need to use the scene you are painting as just a starting point. Then play with your colors until you come up with something beautiful on the canvas. Do not think too much. It help to paint quickly. React to things in the scene that interest you and get their essence down quickly. Play with the paint on your canvas until something beautiful happens, even if its not completely true to the actual scene. In fact it won’t be. This is the Visual Music of the painting.
  • #2 Respect The Visual Truths Of Nature
    There are key things you have to know about the visual characteristics you find in nature. Things such as how colors change depending on how far away from you they are. And what are the color variations you see in every sky, no matter where you are in the world. These are the fundamental truths of nature. You have learn these things so that you can apply them while you are playing on the canvas. If you violate these truths, your painting will lose its Visual Poetry

The book includes some of the paintings he created in China with me and one of my students. That’s me on the right in his book. (Bato was painting behind us).

Barry (right) and his student Meng (left)
Barry and Bato Dugarzhapov painting in China
Barry John Raybould (in back) and Bato Dugarzhapov (front left) painting in China

An artistic legacy

When you are learning how to paint, whom you study with is one of the most important things to consider. The best knowledge on painting passes down from generation to generation, and from one master artist to another.

Barry has apprenticed in his early training with many of today’s finest painters and counts amongst his friends many more. He always shares his knowledge with other artists and engages in long discussions with these master artists about the finer points of painting. The process is one of mutual learning and exploration

When you study with the Virtual Art Academy, you get the benefit not only of Barry’s own apprenticeship with the many fine masters he studied with, but also of these advanced discussions on art and painting. His goal with the Virtual Art Academy has always been to make sure this high level of knowledge on painting is documented and preserved for future generations.

Some of the fine artists that Barry has studied with, and the artist friends who have most contributed to his own artistic development include:

Ultimately an art school depends on the legacy of its teachers. Very other online art school can claim such a pedigree.

Tip: When you sign up for an online art school, find out who taught your teacher (and not just from reading a book!)

What 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 the equivalent of a 4 year art education at a fraction of the cost. I can do the lessons anywhere and at my own pace.… Read more “The equivalent of a 4 year art education at a fraction of the cost”

Susan Hood
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 are done. No, you keep practising the assignments getting better and better over time. When I look back at my work when I had just… Read more “No need to buy expensive art books…. Just do the VAA 4 year course. I still refer to it”

Aurelia Sieberhagen
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 online I am always very careful how I spend my money. Especially when I already spent a small fortune on art books. They always seemed… Read more “Barry gave me a fishing rod so I can catch my own fish”

Dagmara Zaręba
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 word of the course available through Virtual Art Academy, I was very excited for the opportunity to learn what I never knew about painting.  VAA… Read more “An excellent  foundation on so many aspects of painting”

Jeanne Strohmann
The small steps are easy to do

I am extremely impressed with the process that Barry has developed for VAA.  Learning to paint can be intimidating, but when broken into many small projects it is very do-able.  I just did my first live model painting session- a 5 hour, one day session.  Thanks to VAA, I was able to break the painting… Read more “The small steps are easy to do”

Kim Stepney