Virtual Art Academy

Online Art Community News

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

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...

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John Singer Sargent at The Morgan Library, New York

John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) was one of the greatest portrait artists of his time. While he is best known for his powerful paintings, he largely ceased painting portraits in 1907 and turned instead to charcoal...

Daily Tips for Painters

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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...

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. Why do you varnish oil paintings? If you want to protect your paintings it is a good idea to varnish them. Varnish protects the painting...

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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...

Student Success

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Well Done Sheila

Sheila donated four 6 x 6 inch “tiles” to an annual fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association. They sold three and this one was selected to be framed and put into their silent auction.

plein air painting

Plein Air SIG – Donald Burrow

A beautiful river scape by Donald Burrow that he posted in our Plein Air Special Interest Group. “Alpine Stream”. 9x 12inches. Oil on Canvas. “I have had 4 weeks on the road largely in the Australian...

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Plein Air SIG – Filippo Memmi

A beautiful landscape by Filippo Antonio Memmi, 10x15cm oil on board, in our Plein Air Special Interest Group. I started the VAA in April 2018 and worked on Workshops A to C until November 2018. At the moment I am...

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...

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Congratulations Susan!

I want to share that I sold one of my plein air paintings in the Oregon Lavender Festival Paint out show.  This felt so affirming of all the hard work of studying others work, color harmony, composition, itness of...

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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...

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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...

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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.


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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

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Night at Cafe Hapina, by Motti Shoval

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 Qing Sheng

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...

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Xinjiang 2019, by Meng Qing Sheng

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...

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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

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

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...

Online Art Community 53

Madonna with Child and Two Angels, by Fra Filippo Lippi

Visual Poetry In this painting Lippi took a traditional holy image and gave it a strong sense of humanity, both through the emotion in the expression of affection between the family members, and in the choice of clothes...

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...

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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

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...

Focal Points in Rocks at Javea by Joaquin Sorolla

Focal Areas

Focal areas are an important part of a painting. Read all about them here.

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. Damage to oil paintings from exposure to sunlight or a heat...

creating form with a two-value statement

Two-Value Statement: The Secret To Quick Form

What Is A Two-Value Statement? It is really quite easy to give the impression of form by using just two values. This is called the two-value statement. In fact, that is all that is needed to create a convincing illusion...

oil painting colors

A Guide To The 15 Pigment GOSP Oil Painting Colors

I need a wide range of oil painting colors to get the color harmony I want in my work but it is always a problem carrying a lot of tubes of paint when you travel. This is even more of a problem when you travel by air...

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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...

painting lesson on saturation

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...

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