What Does the Virtual Art Academy® Apprentice Program Cost?

The four-year program is organized into 16 workshops. Each workshop contains about the same amount of information or more that you would get in a one-week workshop with a professional artist.

The typical costs for a week-long workshop with a professional artist is around $2,000 – $3,000 per workshop including the costs of travel and lodging. So 16 workshops with a professional artist would cost you around $32,000 – $48,000. This is how I personally learned how to paint.

I started to write the course because I was frustrated when teaching live workshops how little time there was. To give you the information you need to paint well in just one week was just not possible. You have to study with the same artist for many workshops over a period of years to truly benefit – just like the apprenticeships the Old Masters had.

I had learned a tremendous amount of information during my studies with master artists over the years as well as from the hundreds of art books I have in my collection (well over $3000 worth). Many of the best of these books are now out of print.

In the late 90’s I started to capture all of the information on painting from the workshops I had attended and from my vast library of how-to art books, organize it logically, and format it using desktop publishing software. Over a five year period, this grew to a library of 30 self-study eBooks on painting.

In 2003, Virtual Art Academy 1 was born.

In 2009 we launched the first version of the Online Campus using Ning to allow students from all over the world get together to discuss the course materials online. This was the start of our vision to create a high quality international university to teach painting using a self-study model.

From 2009 to 2013 I continued to capture more of my knowledge as my own personal work improved and I gained new insights into painting. The number of books grew to over 50, with more than 1400 pages of highly condensed information on painting, and the number of learning assignments grew to 340.  We also released 20 short videos on the most important topics for beginners.

We then took the 1400 pages of information on painting and structured it into a four-year program of 192 easy to follow lessons.

Because of the vastly expanded scale, we soon realized that the old online campus based on the Ning community software was inadequate, and that we needed to develop our own custom software to make the new academy a reality.

In 2014, the new Virtual Art Academy 2 (VAA2) was born.

This development effort had ended up taking up a total of over 20,000 hours of effort over a 15 year period.

Because of all the development effort needed to produce a professional level program like this, prestigious art academies typically charge around $20,000 to $30,000 per year. Tuition at the Academy of Art University San Francisco for their online painting course is around $18,500 per year. That is $74,000 over 4 years.

If you want to become a professional artist, of course you could spend 15 years to dig out all of this information yourself and spend a thousand dollars on art books, and over $30,000 on workshops with professional artists as I have done. And then spend ten years organizing all your notes electronically so they were at your fingertips when you needed them. Or you could spend countless hours on YouTube instead of painting, and then just hope that you are not picking up bad habits from information that is not correct (yes there is a lot of poor quality information out there). 

My vision was to save you the time of doing that, and to provide high quality information at a cost that everyone can afford. I know that paying $2,000- $3,000  for just one week of live instruction (including tuition, travel, and lodging) with a top professional artist is a lot of money. And that $74,000 over four years is a lot of money. My goal was to provide a better alternative.

You do not have to commit to doing the full program at the start. You can stop and start your membership at any time. So there is no absolutely no risk to you.

There are three membership options:

Annual Membership – US$19.90 per month
billed annually at $239.
Immediate access to all 48 Year One Lessons – 22 downloadable eBooks

Quarterly Membership – US$21.65 per month
billed every three months at $64.95.
Immediate access to 12 lessons – 3 eBooks

Monthly Membership  – US$24.95
Immediate access to 4 lessons – 1 eBook

Subscriptions renew automatically until canceled. 

Our authorized payment partner supports MasterCard and Visa. Your membership will automatically renew at the end of each period. You can cancel your membership at any time and owe nothing.  Pricing is in US dollars.

Click the Join Now button to join our community and start your new journey to improve your paintings. You will see the pricing in your local currency.  For customers in Europe, VAT will be added at the appropriate rate for the EU country you’re in at time of purchase (determined by IP address).

You can be assured our servers are secured with the most sophisticated encryption software available today to protect all your information, including credit or debit card numbers, personal address and order information.

Remember you have nothing to lose. If the program is not working for you, you can cancel your membership at any time and owe nothing more.

If you are serious about your art we know you will be delighted. Just read what our current students have to say. In these testimonials you will find links to these students’ personal websites. You rarely see this on course vendor websites. It is a testimonial to the professionalism and dedication of our more senior students. You can also look at the student’s work on the About Us page, as well as find many independent reviews of our program around the web. Just Google Virtual Art Academy reviews.

If you have any questions please see our Help page. We will be only too happy to help you.

For Experienced Artists and Professionals

If you consider yourself an advanced, or professional painter, you might want access to all 16 workshops in our four-year program, and to the complete Virtual Art Academy® Reference Library of 58 art eBooks .

In this way you can pick and choose which parts of the course you want to focus on, giving you complete flexibility in your learning program. We have a simple way of doing that. Just take out any subscription and then you can pay jut $60 to access any workshops you do not have access to.



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