Virtual Art Academy

Online Art Academy News

Tips for Advanced Painters on the Online Campus 2

Tips for Advanced Painters on the Online Campus

The Virtual Art Academy has been designed to help both beginner and more experienced painters. If you are a more experienced painter, or a professional artist, we have a system in which you can create your own custom...

En Plein Air Pro palette

New Guide

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...

Daily Tips for Painters

The 7 Habits of Successful Artists 3

The 7 Habits of Successful Artists

An interesting presentation given by Andrew Price called: “The 7 habits of highly effective artists”. The subject, inspired by the popular book of Steven Covey: “The 7 habits of highly effective people”, shows how...

Paul Signac Juan-les-Pins

Art Heals: A Potential Cure?

That’s the philosophy behind a new initiative from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, which allow doctors to be able to prescribe a visit to a museum. It has been proved that a visit at the museum increases our level of...

When things don't turn out the way you want them to 4

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

Exhibition Selected Paintings, by Oksana Melenevska 6

Exhibition Selected Paintings, by Oksana Melenevska

Congratulations to Okasana for having four paintings accepted into 67th Open Annual Exhibition of Hertford Art Society, UK. She also sold one a watercolor “Old Port, Liverpool”, so we can say she is now a...

Award Winning Paintings, by Jane Haskins 8

Award Winning Paintings, by Jane Haskins

It is always nice to see so many VAA students winning prizes for their work and getting recognition. Congratulations to Jane this month for not only one, but two prizes! Both are very nice pieces of work. The first has...

Margate Harbour Arm by Rachel Jane Boxall

Margate Harbour Arm by Rachel Jane Boxall

I painted this from a photo as I did not have the weather or inclination to stand outside. I used most of the aspects of the workshop F section: the warm/cool palette (which is my favorite).base linesI simplified the...

Panicale, by Georgie Rey 15

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.


Woodland Scene, by Susan Hood 17

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.


Alumni Showcase

Notre Dame 18

Notre Dame

Cat. No. 1248 Notre Dame Fire “Tribute to Compassion” – Oil on Linen – 60cm x 60cm – 2019 I painted this today because I have a very personal connection to Paris. It was the French painters...

Award Winning Painting: Primitive Pots, by Sue Downie 22

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

Sunny Day by Daniil Volkov

Sunny Day by Daniil Volkov

There are some great critiques of this beautiful work of Daniil Volkov by the Virtual Art Academy students Michal, Susan, and Rocio this month. Michal said it all when he said: “Study of this painting is amazing...

Brushwork That Captures a Time & Place 32

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

how to paint trees

How To Paint Trees: 3 Brushwork Tips

To learn how to paint trees you need to understand the anatomy of a tree and master different techniques for using brushwork. This is student painting in which several important techniques are shown: How to paint trees:...

Notan design 38

Notan design

The impact a painting has on the viewer often does not depend on how much detail you put in, but on how much you simplify the scene in front of you. This painting is a good example of that principle. In this article I...

Avoid Over Saturating Colors In Nature 40

Avoid Over Saturating Colors In Nature

Saturation is a property of color that measures how intense or pure that color is. Grays are low saturation colors, and vivid colors are high saturated colors. Another name for saturation is ‘chroma’. For...

Avoid Over-Blending 42

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 45

Unequal Space Division

There is one principle of composition that will help your paintings look more interesting to your viewers more than any other technique. The secret lies in how you divide your painting into shapes. The key design...

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 48

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 51


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...