Four-Year Curriculum

With our comprehensive four-year curriculum you get the same education you would get at a traditional Art Academy or University.


But with the advantage you can learn at your own pace, and in the comfort of your own home.


There are no time deadlines or timetables. You can complete the course in as much or as little time as you need. The choice is yours.

What Medium Can I Use?

You can use any medium you like to do your painting lessons. We are completely flexible. This is because you will learn the underlying principles that are the foundation of all great artworks, whatever the medium.


Once you have mastered these key principles, you will be able to paint any subject and in any medium you choose. Here are some alternatives:


  • Regular Oil Paints
  • Watercolor Paints
  • Digital Media
  • Water-Soluble Oil Paints
  • Acrylic Paints
  • Pastels
  • Colored Crayons
  • Mixed Media
  • Photography


​You can change the medium you use at any time. Or if you like, simply stay with one medium throughout the course. The choice is up to you.


For more information on which medium may be best for you download the free guide in our Prospectus.

Lesson Content

With the Apprentice Program you get access to the complete Virtual Art Academy® four-year curriculum of 192 online oil, acrylic, and watercolor painting lessons.


Each lesson covers a critical skill you need to master in order to paint well.

All lessons are organized into a logical learning structure and sequence to ensure you make steady progress.


In each of the 192 lessons you get:


  • Background reading material from our Virtual Art Academy® Reference Library


  • Short video segments to make difficult concepts easy to understand (100 video segments in total)


  • Focused learning assignments to help you fully master each skill (350 assignments in total)


  • Sample assignments to help you progress quickly and solve common painting problems

A Unique Approach to Learning

Visual Music & Poetry™ Model


A part of our program is dedicated to helping you evaluate painting in a new and interesting way.


We have developed a unique Visual Music & Poetry™ Model that will help you understand paintings in a whole new light.


Applying these Visual Music & Poetry ideas has helped Barry, the author of this course, win many top awards for his work.


Each year more and more Virtual Art Academy students are having similar successes, with exhibitions of their own, and being juried into prestigious art associations.


By mastering the use of this model, you will understand master paintings in much more depth, and at the same time know exactly what you need to do to improve your own paintings.

Spiral of Learning™ Philosophy


Many artists search for a magic bullet in order to improve their paintings, and go from one workshop to another.

But this strategy does not work. To become a great artist, the secret is not about learning more, but in learning how to strengthen your foundation skills and take them to a higher level.


The way we designed our Apprentice Program and Online Campus uses our Spiral of Learning™ philosophy to help your reach a deeper level of understanding of the core principles.


By strengthening your foundation in this way, your paintings will see steady improvement, and if you are relying on selling your work to earn a living, your sales will go up.

Building Block™ Approach


The Virtual Art Academy® Apprentice Program is based on a series of nine skill Building Blocks™.

These Building Blocks form the core of our Virtual Art Academy® Reference Library, which all full members receive with their registration.


Most painting courses teach you how to paint a particular tree, how to paint a particular rock and so on. But at the end of those courses when you try to paint a different tree or rock, you're lost.

Instead we give you the core skills you need in order to be able to paint any subject using any media.

Below are our three of our main points of our unique approach to learning and all of the information can be downloaded in more detail from our Prospectus

Who's the Author?

Want to know more about who designed all the lessons? See our team members section for more.

Not a Member Yet?

Join us now for instant access to our lessons and online campus.

Need to know more?

Take a look at our Student Reviews and see how Virtual Art Academy has helped artists excel.

Advanced Material For Professionals

Join us on a voyage of artistic discovery.

Monthly Graduate Challenge


Each month we give you a master painting to analyze based on our unique Visual Music & Poetry™ model.


In this way you will develop a much greater understanding of composition and a deeper knowledge of what makes a masterpiece a masterpiece.


Over the course of your Apprentice Program we will study and analyze 48 master works to help take your work to a higher level.

Monthly Master Artist Profile


Here we introduce you to those master artists throughout the centuries that we think have special knowledge you need to study.


Each month you will get a new artist profile, with instructions for specifically what to look for in their work. This is designed to help strengthen your core skills and find your own particular artistic voice.


We also include information on how to analyze paintings from the Renaissance, to Classical Realism, to Abstract Expressionism, including both Western and Eastern art styles.


Join us on this monthly voyage of artistic discovery and learn art history in a brand new light.

VAA Special Interest Groups


We have special interest groups for oil painting, watercolor painting, pastel painting, and digital painting.


We also have groups dedicated to plein air painting, as well as for figure painting and portrait painting, abstract painting, and artistic photography.


In these special areas, you can post your work, ask for peer feedback, and get answers to subject-related questions.

The Online Campus

All registered members have access to our Online Campus where you can interact with other Virtual Art Academy students from all over the world.


"The online campus is a wonderful place to meet other artists and receive critical feedback on my progress."

Thomas Ruckstuhl - Switzerland


Read full review here.

Our students tell us the encouragement and feedback from an enthusiastic and friendly community of like-minded artists helps motivate them and they learn faster.  As a bonus, you can make wonderful friendships worldwide.


"The feedback and community spirit on the online campus has been vital."

Joanne Scerri Valentino - Malta


Read full review here.

Site Map

About Us



Student Paintings

Follow Us!

Have a Question?


Contact Us or use the Search articles to see FAQs.

Copyright © 2004-2017 Barry John Raybould, Virtual Art Academy, Inc., Panama City, Panama