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Learn how to paint
Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor & Pastel
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Course Options
Building Blocks
 
 
Student Comments
 
"Thereís no
way your
paintings canít
improve after
this course"
"Iíve been painting on my own for a while and thought I was doing okay. Now that Iím taking this course I see so many things I can learn from that will make my work so much better. This is the stuff you canít get in art school anymore, sadly. Thereís no way your paintings canít improve after this course. Thatís how strongly I feel about it." ... Bob Akers., Crystal Lake, IL, United States
 



"...really superb"

"I find your courses really superb in two ways: first they are very complete and comprehensive, and second they go straight to the point, to the essentials. Both my wife and I paint and we both agree that these art instruction courses are one of the best sources of education for people who want to learn to paint in a direct or alla prima style" Bernado Martin, Alicante, Spain.
 

Erika is
following
her dream
"This course is truly well run, professionally handled -- and I can only echo the great comments of other students: I am glad, I enrolled in this course!! I got so much out of it already -- lots of explanations, areas to study up on, other artists to learn from. AND I am not at the end of the course, yet. I am getting more and more confident and bold enough to follow my dream -- to become a proficient and sensitive artist. Erika, USA, 2009
 
"...already noticed
improvement
in my work"
"In my opinion, your material is the best I have found. It builds the basics, from the ground up, recognizing that there are no short cuts.....Your course puts all the right info into one package, and even more important, it gives me an organized, building block way to get these things into my head, and I have already noticed an improvement in my work," George, USA
 
 
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Building Block: Process

Process
Successful organization for painting.
 
How do successful painters organize?
 
 
Inefficient processes and working habits take up unnecessary time and get in the way of your art. All successful professionals have well organized equipment, both in their studio and outdoors. As a beginner, you should get organized since it will make your painting time much more enjoyable and less frustrating.
 
 
Some of the things you will learn:
 
How to create your personal learning program.
   
Equipment setup: What equipment to buy and how to get setup to work outdoors and in the studio.
   
Colors: Which colors to use and why.
   
Outdoor painting and travel: How to lighten your load for outdoor painting, and what to consider when painting and traveling by air.
   
How to paint from photographic reference.
 
 
Plein Air Painting
 
To capture the essence of a landscape or outdoor (plein air) still life where the light is constantly changing, you need to work quickly. In a short time you have to capture the important essence of the mood and feeling of light in your painting. This is the essence of plein air painting. The process for oils and acrylics is called the "plein air alla prima painting process". There is also a similar step-by-step process for watercolor artists.  
     
Here I describe in detail the 9 step
plein air painting process
I use for my plein air paintings. This plein air painting process is quick and efficient and will help you get the best results. Best of all, the same plein air painting technique is equally applicable to studio work where you want to get a nice loose feeling and want to complete a painting in one or more sessions and to figure work when the figures are likely to move. Plein air painters usually work light, often using a pochade box . A pochade box is a small lightweight box used for painting outdoors.
 
 
 
 
How does it work?
 
Buy Membership
  Academy membership costs $24.95 per month and gives you a private account on our system where you can download the lessons and assignments you buy in Step 2. You also get access to the Academy Online Campus where you can upload your assignments and share them with other students, as well as access to supplemental learning materials such as videos and examples. In addition you will get three months' worth of lessons free to get you started. After the first month of membership you will automatically be reenrolled for the following month. You can cancel your membership at any time.
Buy Lessons
  Buy the full program or beginner program. We will then add these lessons to the account you set up in Step 1. This process should be complete within 48-72 hours.
Do Assignments
  Read the lesson materials, do the assignments, and (optionally) upload them to the Online Campus.
 
 
No Risk Trial
Try it for one month to see if it works for you ó you have nothing to lose. You can cancel at any time during the four years, even after the first month, and owe nothing. Just contact us to cancel your subscription.
 
Jacqueline
Spain
 
"The material is very well presented and easy to understand - no lengthy explanations but short and condensed paragraphs with a load of very valuable information. Along with plenty of illustrations, this makes it a fun and easy study."
 
Erika
USA
2009
 
"This course is truly well run, professionally handled -- and I can only echo the great comments of other students: I am glad, I enrolled in this course!! I got so much out of it already -- lots of explanations, areas to study up on, other artists to learn from. AND I am not at the end of the course, yet. I am getting more and more confident and bold enough to follow my dream -- to become a proficient and sensitive artist."
 

What is included in each course unit?

 

Unit 1 - Alla Prima painting

   
This course unit describes in detail the nine-step plein air alla prima painting process for oil and acrylics. This plein air alla prima painting process is quick and efficient and will help you get the best results. Best of all, the same plein air alla prima painting technique is equally applicable to studio work where you want to a nice loose feeling and want to complete a painting in one or more sessions and to figure work when the figures are likely to move.
Each of the plein air alla prima painting steps are illustrated with examples of two different paintings, and include about 30 important tips that will be extremely helpful to you when painting outdoors (plein air).It also describes 18 common problems that you are likely to run into when you are plein air painting and what to do about them. The course unit finishes with a detailed discussion of two award-winning plein air alla prima paintings, and what made them work.This course unit also describes eight key ideas that will make the most difference to helping you improve your plein air alla prima paintings and help make them stand out.
 

Unit 2 - Watercolor Step-by-Step

   
This course unit describes the nine-step plein air painting process as above, but adjusted for the different steps need when you are using watercolors.  
 

Unit 3 - Working from Photographic Reference

 
If you like to work in the studio rather than outdoors, or a combination of both, it is important to get good images of your subject so that you can more accurately depict a scene. This means buying the right equipment for the job.
In this course unit you will learn:
  • how to work from digital images and print images
  • how to store digital images so you can find them again
  • which digital and film equipment works best
 
 

Materials & Equipment Unit 1 - Paints and Pigments

     
This course unit outlines the basic properties of paint colors. It gives you all the information you need to get started painting with oil, acrylic and watercolor paints.
You will learn:
  • the relative advantages and disadvantages of oils, acrylics, and watercolors
  • which pigments you need and the properties of each type of pigment
 
 

Materials & Equipment Unit 2 - Mediums & Varnishes

     
This course unit discusses the various mediums you can add to your paint when painting with oils or acrylics to change the properties of the paint. In addition you will learn about how to protect your paintings with varnishes
You will learn:
  • which mediums you can use with oils paints and why you use them
  • which varnishes to use
  • how to varnish a painting successfully
   
 

Materials & Equipment Unit 3 - Oil & Acrylic Painting Supports - Studio

     

In this unit you will learn:

  • the different types of
    painting supports and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • how to make your own cheap painting supports.
  • how to stretch your own canvases

 

 
 
Materials & Equipment Unit 4 - Oil & Acrylic Painting Supports - Plein Air
     
Traveling to paint with oil or acrylics can present many challenges, particularly with regards to the weight and bulk of your painting supports. In this course unit are some great tips and techniques that I have learned over the years from various experienced artist travelers for how to deal with this problem.  
  • what are the four main choices for lightweight
    painting supports for oil and acrylics, and the advantages and disadvantages of each
  • which supports to use when you are travelling
  • how to make drying boxes storing your wet paintings
  • how to make panel carriers for longer painting trips
 
Materials & Equipment Unit 5 - Watercolor Painting Supports
     
This course unit covers information on painting supports for water-colour artists.
You will learn:

  • what are the three grades of watercolor papers and which to use
  • the pros and cons of watercolor blocks versus loose paper.
  • how to stretch watercolor paper before you use it
 
 
 
Materials & Equipment Unit 6 - Oil & Acrylic Brushes
     

This course unit describes the oil and acrylic brushes and palette knives you can use in the studio. You will learn:

  • which types of brushes to use for which applications and effects
  • the choices for brush cleaners, the pros and cons of each, and how to use them to clean your brushes
  • the three types of palette knives that are most useful for cleaning your palette while working and for scraping the paint off your painting support

 

 
 
 
Materials & Equipment Unit 7 - Watercolor Brushes
     

This course unit describes the typesof brushes you can use for watercolor painting. You will learn:

  • which types of brushes to use for which applications and effects
  • some options for holding water that will lighten your load when painting outdoors

 

 
 
 
Materials & Equipment - Unit 8 - Oil & Acrylic Easels & Palettes - Studio
     

This course unit describes your options for easels and palettes when you are working in the studio, You will learn:

  • the top choice for professionals working on large canvases
  • the different types of materials you can use to make a large studio palette and which is the easiest to clean
  • what to use for storing your oil painting palette under water to prevent the paintfrom drying out

 

 
 
 
Materials & Equipment Unit 9 - Oil & Acrylic Easels & Palettes - Plein Air
     

This course unit describes two systems for oil & acrylic painters when painting outdoors. It describes the various types of easels or pochades you can use, and the various palettes you can use with them:

  • Car painting travel system
  • Superlightweight travel system

 

 
 
 
Materials & Equipment Unit 10 - Watercolor Easels & Palettes
     

This course unit outlines the various options you have for easels and palettes when working with watercolors. You will learn:

  • what options you have for studio easels for watercolor
  • what lightweight portable easel systems you can use for traveling and paintingoutdoors or "plein air"
  • what is the smallest pocket sized system you can take anywhere for small watercolor sketches.

 

 
 
 
Materials & Equipment Unit 11 - Organizing Your Studio
     

This course unit describes how to set up and organize your studio. You will learn:

  • how to layout and light your studio
  • how to protect yourself from chemicals and polluted air
  • how to catalog your artwork and frame them for display in a gallery

 

 
 
 
Materials & Equipment Unit 12 - Organizing Plein Air Painting
     

This course unit describes the various pieces of equipment (apart from paintingsupports, easels, palettes, and brushes) that are useful when painting outdoors or "plein air". You will learn:

  • two checklists for what to pack when travelling by car or plane
  • how to shade your painting when you are working outdoors
  • the critical items of clothing you need to wear when painting outdoors
  • essential pieces of lightweight equipment.

 

 
 
 
Our comprehensive 4 year program of study for all levels   A 1 year program of study in painting for beginners

If you are serious about improving your painting skills and you want to become an excellent artist and you are looking for a comprehensive in-depth program of study that's expertly organized, then look no further.
You will get immediate access to:
 
Designed for beginners, but also with the busy professional in mind, this shorter course gets you started on a simple series of exercises and assignments so you make progress quickly. You can upgrade to the Full Course anytime.
You get access to:
     
192 Lessons
340 Assignments
   
  Learn More >>
 
48 Lessons
80 Assignments
   
  Learn More >>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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