Comprehensive Painting Lesson Curriculum

With our comprehensive four-year curriculum of painting lessons, short videos, and assignments, you get the same education you would get at a traditional Art Academy or University.


You can learn at your own pace, and in the comfort of your own home. There are no time deadlines or timetables. You can complete the course in as much or as little time as you need. The choice is yours.

View Our Curriculum Explainer Video:

What Medium Can I Use?

You can use any medium you like to do your painting lessons. We are completely flexible. This is because you will learn the underlying principles that are the foundation of all great artworks, whatever the medium.


Once you have mastered these key principles, you will be able to paint any subject and in any medium you choose. Here are some alternatives:


  • Oil Painting
  • Watercolor Painting
  • Digital Media
  • Acrylic Painting
  • Pastels
  • Colored Crayons
  • Mixed Media
  • Photography


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


For more information on which medium may be best for you download the free guide in our Prospectus.

Painting Lesson Content

With the Apprentice Program, you get access to the complete Virtual Art Academy® four-year curriculum of 192 online oil, acrylic, and watercolor painting lessons.


Each painting lesson covers a critical oil, acrylic, watercolor painting technique you need to master in order to paint well.



In each painting lesson you get:


  • Background reading material on painting techniques and principles from our Virtual Art Academy® Reference Library


  • Short painting video segments to make difficult concepts easy to understand (200 video segments in total)


  • Focused learning assignments to help you fully master each painting technique (350 assignments in total)


  • Sample assignments to help you progress quickly and solve common painting problems

A Unique Approach to Learning How To Paint

To learn more about our unique approach to learning how to paint in oils, acrylics or watercolor download our prospectus.

Building Block™ Approach


The Virtual Art Academy® online art school program is based on a series of nine skill Building Blocks™.

These Building Blocks form the core of our Virtual Art Academy® Reference Library, which all Apprentice Subscription members receive with their registration.


Other online painting lessons just teach you how to paint a particular subject such as trees, rocks or other objects. They also only teach you how to paint in one medium such as oil or watercolor. But at the end of those lessons when you try to paint a different subject or use a different medium you will not know how.


Instead, we give you the core skills you need in order to be able to paint any subject using any media.

Spiral of Learning™ Philosophy


Many artists search for a magic bullet in order to improve their paintings and go from one workshop to another.

But this strategy does not work. To become a great artist, the secret is not about learning more, but in learning how to strengthen your foundation skills and take them to a higher level.


The way we designed our online art school is based on our Spiral of Learning™ philosophy which you continentally deepen your understanding of the core principles.


Professionals will see a continued improvement in their work and in their sales.

Visual Music & Poetry™ Model


As a member of our online art school, you will learn to evaluate painting in a new and interesting way.


We have developed a unique Visual Music & Poetry™ Model that will help you critique art in a more objective way.


Applying these Visual Music & Poetry™ ideas has helped Barry, the author of this course, win many top awards for his work.


Each year more and more Virtual Art Academy students are having similar successes, with exhibitions of their own, and being juried into prestigious art associations.



Our Online Art School Students

Take a look at some of the work created by our online art school students

Not a Member Yet?

Join us now for instant access to our lessons and online campus.

Need More Information On Our Painting Lessons?

Sign up for our Prospectus and Information Guides.

Advanced Painting Lessons For Professionals


Join us on a voyage of artistic discovery.

Monthly Graduate Challenge


Each month we give you an advanced painting lesson in which you analyze a master painting based on our unique Visual Music & Poetry™ model.


You will develop a much greater understanding of composition and a deeper knowledge of what makes a masterpiece a masterpiece.


Over the course of your online art school Program we will study and analyze 48 masterworks to help take your work to a higher level.

Monthly Master Artist Profile


As a member of our online art school, you will be introduced to those master artists throughout the centuries that we think have the special knowledge you need to study.


Each month you will get a new artist profile, with instructions for specifically what to look for in their work. This is designed to help strengthen your core skills and find your own particular artistic voice.


We also include information on how to analyze oil and watercolor techniques from the Renaissance, to Classical Realism to Abstract Expressionism, including both Western and Eastern art styles.


Join us on this monthly voyage of artistic discovery and learn art history in a brand new light.

VAA Special Interest Groups


We have special interest groups for oil painting techniques, watercolor painting techniques, pastel painting techniques, and digital painting.


We also have groups dedicated to plein air painting, as well as for figure painting and portrait painting, abstract painting, and artistic photography.


In these special areas, you can post your work, ask for peer feedback, and get answers to specific questions on painting techniques.

The Online Campus

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


"The feedback and community spirit on the online campus has been vital."

Joanne Scerri Valentino - Malta


Read full review here.

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


"The online campus is a wonderful place to meet other artists and receive critical feedback on my progress."

Thomas Ruckstuhl - Switzerland


Read full review here.

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Copyright © 2004-2018 Barry John Raybould, Virtual Art Academy, Inc., Panama City, Panama

Visual Music & Poetry, Spiral Of Learning, and Building Blocks are all registered trademarks of Virtual Art Academy