I am a retired professional ceramicist. I decided to branch out and began dabbling in oil painting about 5 years ago, but have had no formal training.
This year I decided that it was time to put that right.
I have taken some short online art courses in the past, and they improved my understanding, but I also felt that there were some really basic gaps that needed filling. I also have a Masters degree in teaching online, so I am really fussy about the the methods used for this type of learning experience.
I’ve only been using Virtual Art Academy for about 2 weeks, but so far I’m impressed by what I’ve seen.
The course, written by Barry John Raybould, is extremely structured, and broken down into bite sized pieces at increasing levels of difficulty. The student is free to work through the material at their own speed. Assignments are posted within the online community and you are encouraged to make constructive comments on each other’s work. There are constant references to the Old Masters in relation to the assignments, and I see that as a wonderful thing.
The other students (from around the world) appear to have a wide variety of painting experience, from beginners to artists selling their work. Many seem to be generous with their time given to sharing within the VAA community.
I am determined to give this course a few days a week for the coming year. I’m hopeful that it will go a long way to plugging those gaps!