"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
"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.
"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
"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
The Beginner Course
The Beginner Course
1 year program in a
What is included in the
Beginner Academy Course?
The Beginner Academy Course is a program of self-study art classes for beginners. You get 48 of the 196 lessons in the Full Academy Course, which give you all the basic foundation topics a beginner need to know about, whether your prefer to paint in oils, acrylics, watercolors or pastels. Once you have mastered the Beginner course you can upgrade to the Full Course.
The Beginner Academy Course includes all of the following:
Information Map® layout
Each course is in PDF format (what is PDF?) so you can download and read them on your computer, or you can print them out on your home printer to use in your studio. You can put the printouts into a binder and if you get paint on a page, don't worry, unlike a book you can easily print out a clean copy!
The Beginner course units include:
a step-by-step series of lessons and assignments to gradually build your foundation skills in painting, so you learn better and do not get frustrated by a lack of progress
all the important and useful information gathered over the years from the author's personal library of over a hundred art books
all the tips and tricks the author has learned during his years of study with master artists
490 printable pages of
painting instruction in
easy to read format.
Each painting course contains about 15 - 20 pages of concentrated information covering a specific topic in painting in a high degree of detail, in a special easy-to-read proprietary format called Information Maps®.
Each art course unit contains four to ten learning assignments to help you practice and assimilate the information. If you follow them as directed you will soon notice a change in your art work.
Free Monthly Course Updates
All updates to our course materials while you are a member.
"I bought the Full course last year and have been slowly working my way through it - painting, thinking, looking. I find it straight forward and practical. It is full of essential information on techniques and materials that you wonít find elsewhere, certainly not scattered at various sites on the internet! My husband is an amateur photographer and also has used concepts from this excellent course. I find the photos of paintings placed throughout the course "worth a thousand words" because as artists we remember things better when we have visualized them. Painting is a complex endeavor! No wonder it is a life-long pursuit. With the help of these logically presented courses, you canít help but make progress in your art work. I highly recommend them."
The Beginner Academy Course gives you all the lessons in the beginner course units from the 9 Virtual Art Academy Building Blocks - painting knowledge & techniques you won't find anywhere else. You will get all these painting lesson course units for oil painting, acrylic painting, and watercolor painting:
A01 What Are Values?
A02 Creating A Value Scale
A03 Comparing Values
A04 Posterizing Images
A05 What Is Notan
A06 Creating A Two-Value Mass Notan
A07 Dominant Values
A08 Creating A Three-Value Mass Notan
A09 How To Match Values
A10 Color Mixing For Beginners
A11 How To Match Colors
A12 Creating A Color Map
B01 Visual Music & Poetry
B02 Shape Distinction
B03 Unequal Space Division
B04 Cropping A View
B05 How To Paint A Four-Value Study
B06 What Is Saturation?
B07 How To Make Grays
B08 Outdoor Color Studies
B09 Reference Values
B10 Hue, Temperature & Munsell Notation
B11 What Are Complements?
B12 Drawing Triangles
C01 Drawing The Envelope
C02 How To Use Biases
C03 Color Block Studies - High Saturation
C04 Levels And Plumb Lines
C05 Drawing Hand Position
C06 Developing Your Creativity: Exploratory Scribbles
C07 Creating A Four-Value Mass Notan
C08 Five-Value Studies
C09 Focal Point And Focal Area
C10 Secondary Focal Area
C11 Informal Subdivision
D01 Two-Value Statement
D02 Tangents And Boundaries
D03 Saturation Scales
D04 Contrast Of Saturation
D05 Contrast Of Light And Dark
D06 Directing Lines
D07 Organizational Structures
D08 Atmospheric Value Changes
D09 Atmospheric Hue Changes
D10 Alla Prima Painting Process Part One
D11 Alla Prima Painting Process Part Two
D12 Color Evaluation
How much does all this cost?
The Beginner Academy Program is a fraction of the cost of just a one week workshop with a professional artist that would cost you around US$2000 if you include the cost of tuition, travel and lodgings. Instead you get one year's worth of self-study material instead of just one week's worth!
"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."
How does it work?
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 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.
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.
Full Course Purchase Process
Buy Membership $24.95usd/month
You must complete Step 1 BEFORE Step 2.
Buy Beginner Lessons
Beginner Half Year Course: A01-B12 (24 lessons) $120usd
Beginner Full Year Course: A01-D12 (48 lessons) $240usd
If you find later on you want to go faster in your program, you can buy an upgrade.