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The Virtual Art Academy Reviews

The Virtual Art Academy image

Editor's Overall Rating:
Average User Rating:
(based on 11 reviews)

Category: Teach Yourself Painting Guides (AKA Painting Courses)
Website: http://www.virtualartacademy.com

Our Review Costs & Features User Reviews
No1Reviews.com's Bronze Award

The Virtual Art Academy Review

by No1Reviews.com.

We have awarded The Virtual Art Academy our prestigious Bronze Award in this category, having reviewed 13 Teach Yourself Painting Guides. Read our review below to find out why...

Editor's Star Ratings:

Teaching Effectiveness:
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Editor's Review:

Requiring four years of self-study, this painting and drawing course created for the serious amateur by Barry John Raybould, MA, is one of the more comprehensive products in this category.  The cost is divided into neat quarterly payments of $19.95 making this good value for money.  The total cost over four years would be $319.20.  Compare this with the instructor-led Famous Artists School Master course costing $1050 by instalment plan.  Because this product is not instructor led, the cost is much lower. Learn and Master Painting DVD/text book course is $249 full price, and does include some instructor feedback but not regular assignments as such.  The one advantage of The Virtual Art Academy over our no.1 rated product is that you may cancel your subscription at any time.  That said, there is a 60 day money back guarantee on Learn and Master Painting.  Barry John offers private tuition at an additional $75 per hour.  This works by sending him a copy of your painting by e-mail.  He will then send you a detailed written critique and a list of Virtual Art Academy course units you need to work on to improve.  He can only take on a limited number of private students at a time, so it is best to contact him first.

So, what will you be doing for those four years?  The course is based on studying the masters in a classical educational style.  Raybould offers this advice when choosing a course:

  • The Plan
    • Make a plan - chart your progress over the long term, even if it is just a little each month.
  • The Programme
    • Build your foundation of basic skills - process, realism
    • Find the music - rhythms and patterns of shapes in your painting
    • Create the art, poetry - how to put emotion and feeling into your work
  • The Painter
    • Find an instructor
      • do you like their paintings?
      • have they won awards?
      • are they a full time professional painter?
      • has their work been exhibited in a museum exhibition?

The course is based on these educational principles.  The media covered are oil, water color and drawing.  There is an excellent balance placed on both technique and individual artistic expression.  The course begins with an emphasis on technique and you are taught a good foundation of technical skills before you are expected to be able to create "poetry" in your work.  Plenty of examples of inspirational painters and their work are given, and you are encouraged to go out and see real art to help inspire you along your learning journey. Here is what you actually get delivered to your inbox each month:

  • 56 course units supplied in PDF format over a period of four years
    • a step-by-step series of lessons and assignments to gradually build your skills in painting
    • information gathered from the author's personal library gathered over many years
    • a lifetime's worth of tips and tricks learned by the author himself
  • 250 assignments to help you practice and assimilate the information - 4-10 per course unit
  • Online Campus - access for six months, where you can upload your assignments and discuss with other students
  • Free monthly course updates

This instructor is a professional working artist and the course reflects a high standard of teaching.  The difference here between the other more comprehensive products is the way that you pay, and how much is instructor led.  This is no paint by numbers course, it is based on serious development of skills and experience.  The author's enthusiasm shows through, making the learning experience fun as well as rewarding.

Check out our #1 rated site instead!
Why not check out Learn and Master Painting, our top rated Teach Yourself Painting Guide and winner of our prestigious Gold Award! You can also check out our Top 10 Teach Yourself Painting Guides here!

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