Virtual Art Academy

Community News This Month

En Plein Air Pro palette

New Guide to Pochade Boxes

I have just done complete re-write of an article I wrote about ten years ago comparing pochade boxes. It includes all the latest plein air equipment, including both pochade boxes and other lightweight easels and palette...

J.M.W. Turner Neapolitan Fisher Girls Surprised Bathing by Moonlight

Gradations And Edge Notans Assignment

Here is an assignment from one of our more advanced lessons in Workshop J, submitted by Luz. The assignment is designed to help you understand an important aspect of notan: gradations. Comment from Luz: I found this...

Daily Tips for Painters

When things don't turn out the way you want them to 2

When things don’t turn out the way you want them to

As an artist our reward can sometimes be the satisfaction when the result meets our expectations, but when we struggle, when we don’t know anymore which way to follow, how do we keep going? Here is my way to go through...

Student Showcase

Panicale, by Georgie Rey 7

Panicale, by Georgie Rey

In Tuscany with Barry

Georgina really captured the lively spirit of the Tuscan Lunigiana hills here. I love the bold design and breakdown of spaces in the painting.

Barry

Woodland Scene, by Susan Hood 9

Woodland Scene, by Susan Hood

This is a delightful woodland scene by Susan Hood. It is full of light and air – you can just feel the atmosphere in this painting.

Barry

Alumni Showcase

Award Winning Painting: Primitive Pots, by Sue Downie 10

Award Winning Painting: Primitive Pots, by Sue Downie

The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours Award: Sue Downie from Virtual Art Academy Sue has been studying with the Virtual Art Academy now for five years. This painting recently won the award given by the Royal...

Visual Music & Poetry™ – Understanding Museum and Contemporary Works

Brushwork That Captures a Time & Place 13

Brushwork That Captures a Time & Place

Creating Poetry Armin C. Hansen (1886-1957), one of the founders of the Carmel Art Association in Carmel, California, was renowned for his ability to use brushwork to capture the vitality of life by extracting the...

Evening Calm, by Vladimir Karnachev

Evening Calm by Vladimir Karnachev

The interesting thing about this painting is the clever way Karnachev created a very simple four-value notan structure, then added detail and interest to that design using color spots of a different temperature, but...

Birch Grove, Algonquin Park, Tom Thomson

Birch Grove Algonquin Park, painting by Tom Thomson

This painting by Tom Thomson shows the principle of unequal space division. If you look at the spacing of the trees, they are all different distances apart. This variety adds more interest to the painting. You can also...

Painting Techniques

Avoid Over-Blending 18

Avoid Over-Blending

What is Over Blending? Over blending is what occurs when you mix your paint too much on your canvas. When you over blend you create problems within your work. Why should I avoid over blending? I usually avoid too much...

water soluble oils

Water Soluble Oils

What Are Water Soluble Oil Paints? Water soluble oils are the same as real oil paints with the difference that they can be mixed and cleaned with water. They are also known as water miscible or solvent-free oils. Note...

Unequal Space Division 21

Unequal Space Division

A principle of composition that relates to how you divide the space in a painting into different shapes. Having a variety of sizes of shapes rather than a lot of shapes the same size is a key principle...

The Nut Gatherers, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, (1882)

Glazing In Oils

Definition Glazing is the process of applying a transparent layer of paint over another dried layer of paint. It is similar to placing a sheet of colored transparent acetate over a monochrome photograph. When glazing in...

J.M.W. Turner Neapolitan Fisher Girls Surprised Bathing by Moonlight

Gradations And Edge Notans Assignment

Here is an assignment from one of our more advanced lessons in Workshop J, submitted by Luz. The assignment is designed to help you understand an important aspect of notan: gradations. Comment from Luz: I found this...

Secondary Color Harmony 24

Secondary Color Harmony

What is Color Harmony? Much of the pleasure from viewing a painting is derived to a large extent from the harmony of colors used in it. Creating this harmony is the key to beautiful color work and a major part of the...

Impasto 27

Impasto

What is Impasto? Thick paint. From the Italian ‘impastare’ – to make paste. Using an impasto technique often leaves visible brush strokes in finished paintings. I painted this during the rainy season in the old...

Interlocking Shapes 30

Interlocking Shapes

What are Interlocking Shapes? Space division in a painting is more interesting when you create two shapes that interlock, as in a puzzle or jigsaw puzzle. Example You can see the negative sky shape formed by the top...

color hue saturation value

Three Components of Color

What are the Three Components of Color? In order to be able to understand color harmony strategies, you need to understand the three key characteristics of color: hue, value, and saturation. Hue Hue is what most people...

Creating Color Maps 39

Creating Color Maps

What is a Color Map? A color map is a very quick small abstract painting that consists of just a few, perhaps four or five, color spots of approximately the right size and placement. Use the color map to: Capture your...