Learning Art through Home Study

There comes a time when “self-taught” needs some assistance. Having had very limited formal art training, and having rediscovered my love of art several years ago—many years after completing my college studies—I have been pursuing the subject all I could on my own, gleaning information from friends, workshops, websites, blogs, books, and dvds.

Brushes in Brass Pitcher

I have watched tutorials, streamed TV programs on my computer, and scrounged for every bit of information I could glean. But I knew there were still major gaps in my artistic knowledge that needed to be addressed.

Enter the Virtual Art Academy. A home-study program, with an international student body and an on-line “campus” where we post and discuss our assignments, VAA has been an invaluable alternative to a more traditional brick and mortar art school. It has helped me recognize and fill in the gaps in my artistic studies. I have been a member of the academy for only four months and have already seen considerable growth in my work.

Since it is a home-study program, I can do the work at my own speed, select the areas in which I feel the greatest need to focus my attention, and post or rework assignments without limit … or fear of repercussions or undue criticism.

I still have a lot to learn. No matter how skilled I become, there will always be room for growth and discovery when it comes to artistic endeavors. But I no longer feel that I’m floundering, nor feel uncertain of how to aim for the next level.

Kudos to Barry John Raybould for developing the curriculum and making it so easily accessible to artists around the world. Since his curriculum has been primarily geared toward oil painting, he has done me the honor of asking for my input in his most recent revisions, as they relate specifically to watercolor work. It has been a real pleasure to share my knowledge with him while simultaneously learning even more from him. I look forward to continuing my studies with the Virtual Art Academy for a long time to come.

If you’re interested in learning more about VAA, check out www.VirtualArtAcademy.com.

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