Virtual Art Academy
painting class year two

Academy Calibre Art Instruction

With our online painting course, our goal is to give you the equivalent or better education than you would get at a prestigious Art Academy or Art University.

Tuition and fees for an Art Academy such as the Master of Fine Art program at the Academy of Art University San Francisco will cost you  $20,797 per year.

If you travel long distance to learn from a top professional painter, just a single week-long workshop will cost you between $2000 and $3,000 taking into account the cost of tuition, air fares, car rental, food and lodging.


Membership Options



About Our Subscription Plans

No Commitment Needed. Cancel Anytime.

If the program is not for you, just cancel at any time and you will owe nothing more. The eBooks you have already downloaded are yours to keep forever.

✓ Use with any device

✓ 100% secure payment

✓ Comprehensive curriculum of 192 Lessons, 40+ Videos, 48 eBooks & 300+ Assignments

✓ Suitable for all levels

✓ Join our 4000 + Graduate Virtual Art Academy Members

Frequently Asked Questions

What methods of payment do you accept?
FastSpring is our payment gateway and you can pay via Credit card, Debit card or PayPal through them.
Is the additional amount charged by FastSpring, VAT/GST/Sales Tax?
Yes. FastSpring is our official reseller company and it collect taxes for customers who are located in specific countries. Note: If you are a business and enter your valid VAT/GST ID, then the additional tax is not collected by FastSpring. Individuals in Europe and some other countries will generally pay VAT/GST.
Is the Virtual Art Academy beginner friendly?
Yes! We teach artists at all levels. Whether you have never painted before, or you are a working professional artist, the Virtual Art Academy has appropriate painting lessons for you.
Can I cancel at any time during my program?
Yes absolutely. You can cancel your subscription at any time and owe nothing. The Virtual Art Academy works on a monthly subscription basis so you can stop at any time. You are not committed to completing all four years of the program. If you cancel, any eBooks you have downloaded are yours to keep forever.
Are there any cost reductions available on my monthly membership fees?
If you are an Apprentice Pro member, provided there are no gaps in your monthly payments, after just 24 months you will qualify for our low Graduate Loyalty membership rate.

Our Graduate Loyalty membership offers you a 50% reduction on the regular $20 per month Graduate membership plan. This means that after only 24 months you will pay just US$10 per month for your Virtual Art Academy membership.

Apprentice Platinum members qualify for the $10 Graduate Loyalty rate after the third payment.

The Virtual Art Academy offers far more depth than other online painting courses, and so is ideal for those of you who want to continue to improve your art over the long term.

Our mission is to be your long term partner in developing your painting skills. We will help you take your art as far as you want to go – all the way to professional level if you wish. And we are continually adding more and more professional level content to our already comprehensive program to help you achieve your goals.

This is our way of rewarding our long term members. We believe you will find no other course online offering a combination of this amount of depth and long term value.

What happens if I pause my Graduate Loyalty membership?
If you pause your Graduate Loyalty membership, you can rejoin at the regular Graduate Program rate of $20 per month.

After another 24 months, provided there are no gaps in your monthly payments, you will once more be eligible for our low Graduate Loyalty membership rate with its 50% discount, and pay only $10 per month.

We offer this reduction as a reward to our loyal members who do not continually stop and start their monthly membership.

We have a lot of fixed monthly expenses to cover. It is our loyal regular members who help us keep the Virtual Art Academy prices 20 to 30 times lower than traditional art schools and at the same time provide knowledge at the same or even higher level. Without our loyal members we could not afford to do this.

Can I join as a Graduate member without having been an Apprentice Pro member?
No. The reduced rate Graduate and Graduate Loyalty memberships are only available after 24 months of Apprentice Pro membership or 3 months of Apprentice Platinum membership.

How long does it take to complete the Apprentice Program?
Serious beginners will typically takes 4 years if you do the program at the rate of one lesson per week. You need about 6-8 hours per week to do the assignments. Intermediate artists who have more time and would like to move through the program faster can complete the program in two years. You would need about 16-24 hours per week depending on how much time you spent on the assignments. The more time you spend, the more thoroughly you will build up your foundational skills. The speed with which you do the program is totally up to you. You can go as fast or as slow as you like.

How do the Virtual Art Academy® online painting classes compare with attending a four-year program at prestigious art school?
We provide a much broader curriculum than you would get at a traditional art school or classical realism atelier. We teach not only the skills of the traditional classical realism curriculum that were taught in the French academies, but also modern impressionist color techniques and the principles of modern art and design. This means you are not forced into painting in just one style. You will get the skills to follow your own creativity and path and paint in any style you prefer. This is where we differ from other schools who generally focus just on one style.
How do the Virtual Art Academy online painting classes compare with attending a one-week workshop with a professional artist?
The Virtual Art Academy four year Apprentice Program has been divided into 16 workshops. Each workshop was designed to contain about the same amount of information that you would get if you attended an intensive 7-14 day workshop with a top professional artist. A single workshop with a top professional artist would cost you $3000 for just one week, including the cost of airfare, lodging, and tuition. For the same price, with the Virtual Art Academy, you get sixteen workshops, not just one. Barry designed the Apprentice Program to be a highly cost-effective way of acquiring a lot of information that can take you all the way from an absolute beginner to a top professional level. Plus you get the added benefit that you can fit your workshops into your own schedule. You have complete control over when you do the lessons and how long you take to do them.
How do the Virtual Art Academy online painting classes compare with other online courses?
The key difference between the Virtual Art Academy and other programs on the internet is comprehensiveness and quality. It is the only membership site that (a) offers a four-year comprehensive fine art curriculum, and (b) is authored by a working professional Fine Artist.

Most other online membership sites are run by amateur artists (even though sometimes they market themselves as ‘professional’). The sites look very professional because they nearly always have a large marketing team behind them to promote them.

We recommend you always check out the bio or resume page of the author of the course you are buying. Some good indicators you are dealing with a professional Fine Artist are: (a) a personal artist website (not just an online teaching website). (b) documented exhibitions with other professional artists (professional artists will only exhibit with other professionals), and (c) multiple exhibitions held in museums (museums will only exhibit professional work).

If your time is valuable to you, it makes sense to invest wisely in your own education. Otherwise you could very easily pick up bad painting habits from amateur sites that you will find very difficult to get out of in the future.


What is the value of the information in the Virtual Art Academy program?
Over a period of thirty years, Barry personally invested over $40,000 on his own art education. To this day he still continues to invest in acquiring even more advanced information. A good traditional art academy will cost upwards of $60,000 for a four year program. His vision with the Virtual Art Academy was to be able to share all of his information with you. In this way you get the same high quality art education, but at a fraction of the cost, and in a much more structured form. Our students have usually done a thorough search for online painting classes. They consistently tell us they have found no other online painting course as comprehensive or as high quality as the Virtual Art Academy program. You can see what our students say about the online painting classes on our student review page.
Is my credit card information secure?
We do not store your credit card information on our server. All of our transactions are handled by FastSpring, Bright Market, LLC of Santa Barbara, California and Bicester, England who adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and are regularly audited to ensure the highest levels of data security.

FAQ relating to Apprentice Pro

When will I get the remainder of my lessons with an Apprentice Pro membership?
Year One lessons will be available to you immediately (Workshops A,B,C,D).

Year Two lessons will be available to you after 6 months of membership (Workshops E,F,G,H).

Year Three lessons will be available to you after 12 months of membership (Workshops I,J,K,L).

Year Four lessons will be available to you after 18 months of membership (Workshops M,N,O,P).

With an Apprentice Pro membership, when will I receive my eBooks to download?
With the Apprentice Pro membership you will also be able to download the first two eBooks immediately.

After your second monthly payment has completed, you will be able to download another 2 eBooks.

After your third monthly payment has completed, you will be able to download another 2 eBooks.

… and so on.

You will continue to receive two eBooks each month until you have all 48 eBooks (after 24 months of membership).

FAQ relating to Apprentice Platinum

What is the main difference between the Apprentice Pro and Apprentice Platinum membership plans?
With the Apprentice Platinum membership you have the full four-year program available to you immediately. This means you will be able to work on any of the online painting classes from all four years of the Virtual Art Academy® Apprentice Program (Workshops A-P) as soon as you join.

With the Apprentice Pro membership you will be able to work on any of the online painting classes in Year One (Workshops A,B,C,D) as soon as you join. You will not be able to work on years 2, 3, and 4 until 6,12, and 18 months later respectively.

With an Apprentice Platinum membership, when will I receive my eBooks to download?
With the Apprentice Platinum membership you will be able to download all 24 eBooks for Year One and Year Two of the program immediately.

After your second monthly payment has completed, you will be able to download the remaining 24 eBooks for Years Three and Four of the program.

This is great if you are a more experienced artist or if you who would like to read an overview of the 4-year program before you start.

Can I change my subscription plan from one membership type to another at any time?
Absolutely. You can upgrade your memberships at any time. Just go into the My Account areas in our members only site. (Note: there are no refunds on previous membership fees)

FAQ relating to Apprentice Lite

With an Apprentice Lite membership, when will I get my lessons?
Workshop A (consisting of 12 lessons, A01 to A12) will be available to you immediately.

Workshop B Part 1 (lessons B01, B02, B03, and B04) will be available to you after 3 months of membership.

Workshop B Part 2 (lessons B05, B06, B07, and B08) will be available to you after 4 months of membership.

Workshop B Part 3 (lessons B09, B10, B11, and B12) will be available to you after 5 months of membership.

Workshop C Part 1 (lessons C01, C02, C03, and C04) will be available to you after 6 months of membership.

… and so on …

Every 3 months after that, you will get 4 new lessons every month until you have all 16 workshops (after 48 months of membership).

If you would like to continue with your studies after 4 years (or even before if you wish), our Graduate Program is available for purchase at any time as an add-on for $474.

With an Apprentice Lite membership, can I download the eBooks?
No. Downloads of all 48 eBooks are not included with the Apprentice Lite membership plan.

Downloads are only included with the Apprentice Pro and Apprentice Platinum membership plans. With those two plans, the downloaded eBooks are yours to keep forever as a comprehensive and high quality art reference library for future use, even if you cancel your membership.

Apprentice Lite members will however be able to view the eBooks online in order to do the lessons.

Click here for more questions and answers

If you still have any questions that are not answered by clicking on the link above we will be only too happy to help. Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.