Virtual Art Academy

Congratulations VAA Alumni Student Alex Long: Selected for this years Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition

Late Evening, West End, Witney by Alex Long
Late Evening, West End, Witney by Alex Long

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Well done Alex Long

It’s always nice when a graduate of the Virtual Art Academy has a major success. So our heartfelt congratulations to Alex Long for being accepted into the ROI Annual Exhibition, 2022.

Comments from Alex

“Just found out today that my painting Late Evening, West End, Witney has just got through the final round of selection for this years Royal Institute of Oil Painters annual exhibition being held in London 24th Nov – 10th Dec. I am quite shocked to say the least as there were apparently several thousand entries and only 130 non member paintings selected.

This painting was quite a simple plein-air sketch I did in about an hour down in the fields near my house in Oxfordshire. I did almost zero planning for it, just happened to see this scene while out with my paints and quickly tried to capture the mood as best I could. I think I managed to follow quite a lot of principles either subconsciously or working it out as I went. So as Barry always says eventually all the lessons filter into your paintings. 

I think it’s almost 3.5 years now since I started the VAA lessons as an almost complete beginner, which just shows you how good the info here is. I think I might well have given up painting by now in frustration if I had never found the VAA.
So thank you Barry!”
Alex Long

How Alex got there

The secret to Alex’s success is quite simple. He worked hard at acquiring key skills that are critical to great paintings. He worked systematically through the extensive learning assignments in the Apprentice Program to master the key principles of painting and built up his skills one-by-one.

One of of the problems with a lot of painting instruction is that it relies too much on watching videos, or reading. Those are useful, it is true, but you don’t actually learn much that way. Read this article I wrote on the fundamental problems with art video instruction to learn the underlying reasons why.

The secret to learning is in directed, and focussed, skill based assignments.

It’s not a quick path to success and it will take quite a bit of work―at least a couple of years. You will steadily improve bit by bit. But it will ultimately lead to success.

Other approaches might be fun, but your paintings won’t get much better and you will start to get frustrated with your progress―and you can waste a lot of money in the process by not having a structured approach to your learning.

There is no silver bullet to becoming a good painter, I’m sorry. But there is a way you can achieve success. Alex has proved that.

Well done Alex!


P.S. Here is Alex Long’s website and story

… and some of his wonderful art work

Invest in his work now before he gets too famous!

P.P.S. Read about another Virtual Art Academy student, Meng Qing Sheng, who has had major success with a national exhibition in China.

I started learning oil painting with VAA from scratch. Just one year later my paintings started to sell

The Virtual Art Academy program is really comprehensive and gave me all the information and directives to learn painting in one package. The material is very well organized, just beautiful

Thomas Ruckstuhl

Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. If you are interested in a structured approach for learning how to paint, and want to learn more about my Visual Music & Poetry® model, take a look at my online painting classes.

Happy painting!

Barry John Raybould
Virtual Art Academy

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