Oil Painting Lessons & Watercolor Lessons Curriculum

The complete Virtual Art Academy® program of online oil and watercolor painting lessons contains:

  • 192 painting lessons. Each painting lesson covers a critical skill that you need to master in order to paint well and is organized into a logical learning sequence.
  • 350 learning assignments to help you fully master each skill.
  • 30 focused oil and watercolor painting quick videos to make difficult concepts easy to understand.
  • 58 eBooks that will become a Reference Library that you can download and keep for ever as a resource to look up information from the course after the program is finished.

The program will take you through the painting lessons in a logical sequence, and after each lesson you will feel you have made another step forward in becoming a better artist. Each online painting lesson builds on the previous skills you learned in earlier lessons. In this way your skill level gradually increases until you have all the skills you need to become a competent artist.

You can take as long as you want to do each lesson. The schedule is completely up to you. This lets you fit the program more easily into your own schedule and let you do the course at your own natural pace.

Read the following lesson plan for more information on how the Virtual Art Academy® course is organized.


Our Approach: Apprenticeship from Barry

Most oil painting lessons and watercolor lessons are demonstrations by artists showing you how they painted a specific painting. The problem with this approach is that when you try to paint your own painting, you will get frustrated.

This frustration happens because you lack the foundation that professional artists need to paint well.

Our approach is different. We help you build this foundation. We teach you the fundamental principles that underlie all great paintings. Then we give you the opportunity to put these principles into practice, so they become second nature. Once you have learned these principles, you will be able to paint any subject you want to paint, and in any medium you choose, whether that is oil painting, watercolor painting, acrylic painting, or pastel painting. The medium does not really matter. It is the principles that are important.

The knowledge in this course is the same knowledge that took its author, Barry John Raybould (whose paintings you see on this website), from amateur to professional artist. He has documented everything he learned over thirty years, and now he is sharing that knowledge with you in the Virtual Art Academy® Apprentice Program. It is the closest thing you can get to being Barry’s personal apprentice.

This approach is both fun and satisfying. We give you small assignments that are simple enough for you to succeed. Each assignment only takes two to three hours. When you master an assignment, you have one more (out of the 200) skills under your belt. When you have mastered all the skills, you will start to see significant improvements in your own paintings.

Detailed Curriculum: Building Blocks



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