Virtual Art Academy

Online Art Community News

Well Done Chantel on Completing Workshop H

In “Bouquet” Chantal incorporated the principles of Workshop H for her summary painting: contrast of brushworkcontrast of shaperight anglestie togethercomplementary or balanced color harmony “I cannot...

Daily Tips for Painters

Make Your Paintings Sing: Add Near Music

Portrait of Moerai Matuanui,by Kehinde Wiley In workshops F,G, and H in the Virtual Art Academy Apprentice Program we go into some detail on how to create Near Music in your painting. This is an approach to using...

Alumni Showcase

Inspirations, by Lorraine

Inspirations, 25x35cms, Watercolor A beautiful art museum scene by Virtual Art Academy alumni student Lorraine. “Trying a different technique with this one by laying complementary colour first and painting final...

Night at Cafe Hapina, by Motti

Another great cafe scene by Virtual Art Academy alumni student Motti Shoval. This painting “Night at Cafe Hapina”, was awarded an Honorable Mention award in the 2019 CMPS National Juried competition. The...

meng qing sheng

Village in China, by Meng

Here are some closeups showing the juicy brushwork in this painting: You can see a video of Meng’s technique in the Apprentice Program lesson on brushwork: N02 Tree Masses See more of Meng’s work from his...

Sue Downie, Hinds

Good Luck Sue

“I submitted paintings to the Society of East Anglian Watercolourists exhibition and heard that these two paintings had got in.”Sue These watercolors have a beautiful texture and an interesting design. Our...

Xinjiang 2019, by Meng

Some recent landscape work by one of our advanced Virtual Art Academy alumni. Meng has a great loose abstract realism/impressionist style. He has been studying with the Virtual Art Academy for four years now. Great work...

Award Winning Painting: Primitive Pots, by Sue

The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours Award: Sue 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

Critiquing Art: Frank Carmichael, Autumn Hillside

Autumn Hillside, oil on canvas Franklin Carmichael (1890 – 1945) was a Canadian artist. He was the youngest original member of the Group of Seven, a group of painters I like very much. He studied at the Ontario...

Claude Monet, Path in the Wheat Fields at Pourville, 1882. Oil on canvas

Critiquing Art: Claude Monet, The Truth of Nature

The Denver Art Museum will be home to the most comprehensive U.S. exhibition of Monet paintings in more than two decades. The exhibition will feature more than 120 paintings spanning Monet’s entire career and will focus...

Barry John Raybould and Bato Dugarzhapov

The Art of Bato Dugarzhapov

Bato Dugarzhapov is a contemporary painter from Moscow, Russia. He is arguably the foremost painter in the new contemporary style known as neo-impressionism. This approach to painting combines both realism and...

Critiquing Art: Giovanni Boldini, Pencil Sketches

What can you learn from the sketchbook of Giovanni Boldini. A surprising amount really …. Table of Contents Giovanni Boldini brief biographyGiovanni Boldini pencil sketchesKey lessons Giovanni Boldini brief...

Sunny Day by Daniil Volkov

Critiquing Art: Daniil Volkov, Sunny Day

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...

Evening Calm, by Vladimir Karnachev

Critiquing Art: Vladimir Karnachev, Evening Calm

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...

Birch Grove, Algonquin Park, Tom Thomson

Critiquing Art: Tom Thomson, Birch Grove Algonquin Park

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

oil painting colors

The Best Nine Oil Paints for Beginners

If you are a beginner just starting out, one of the first questions you have is which colors to use? Here is a brief guide to some of the things to think about if you are just starting out. It applies equally well to...

Cat. No. 1319 Arset el Mellak, Marrakesh detail

The Secret To Painting Luminous Shadows

Table of Contents The problem of dead shadowsHow to create luminous shadows The problem of dead shadows One of the common problems beginners have is to paint shadows so they look ‘dead’. If you look at these...

Snow Falls in Pianello

Using Thick Oil Paint to Enhance Light Areas

Cat. No. 1126 Snow Falls in Pianello – 23cm x 30.5cm – Oil on Board When using oils, paint your darks using thin oil paint and your lights using thick oil paint (referred to as “impasto”). This enhances the...

Straight to Curved Lines

Curved shapes are important in many paintings, not only in paintings with figures in them but also if you are trying to capture the gesture of a particular tree, an archway on a bridge, or a vase. Many drawing books...

water soluble oils

Oil vs Acrylic Paint: A 2020 Beginner’s Guide

Table of Contents Oils vs Acrylic Paint: How to Choose? Factor #1: Ease of Clean UpFactor #2: Problems With Fast Drying TimesFactor #3: Color Shifts When DryingFactor #4: Drying Time when Traveling Common Myths About...

colored blocks high saturation primary colors

Block Studies

Learning color is one of the basic skills an artist needs and is often one that is the most neglected. Many beginners use either too much garish color, or go too far the other way and do not use enough color in their...

How To Paint Water So It Doesn’t Look Like A Wall

When you are painting a body of water there is one thing that most beginners miss. The end result is a lake or ocean that just doesn’t look right. It looks more like a vertical wall than a flat body of water. The...

contrast of temperature war cool

Contrast of Temperature

There are several ways to emphasize the focal point or focal area in your painting. This key discovery shows you how to use contrast of temperature to focus the eye. In this painting the flower head, which is the focal...

oil painting damage in sun

Does Direct Sunlight Damage Oil Paintings?

Many students ask if they can put their oil paintings out in the sun to make them dry more quickly. Whilst you can do this, there are good reasons not to. Table of Contents Damage to oil paintings from exposure to...

varnish oil paintings

5 Reasons Why You Need to Varnish Your Oil Painting

This article talks about how to varnish an oil painting and why you should do it. Table of Contents Why do you varnish oil paintings?How do you varnish an oil painting? Why do you varnish oil paintings? If you want to...

How to keep your oil paints from drying out

Want some valuable tips on how to save money on paint? and how to cut down on all that weight you have to carry when painting plein air? Then read this article … When I go out plein air painting, I don’t...