Any online art instruction recommendations for a new painter? [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Any online art instruction recommendations for a new painter?

Rocco Malgiero
02-11-2018, 03:38 PM
I’m stuck in a rut: I’ve made time, bought supplies, and secured a space to begin my training to be an oil painter. However, I’m idling while I decide on an online training course. I was going to use Mark Carder’s Draw, Mix, Paint course (and haven’t ruled it out, yet), but I’ve since discovered other venues that I worry might yield faster results, more versatile skills, more fundamentals, more comprehensive study, etc. Though I could always stop one and start another, I worry that I might learn bad habits or a poor method that will be hard to shake if I start a different course. Too, there’s always the concern of wasting time and money, neither of which I have in abundance.

My short-term goal is to be a good painter in 12 months with the possibility of earning commission work (unrealistic, perhaps, but I need to set goals to achieve success). I have some untrained skill and am a quick study. I seek well-rounded skills on a solid foundation of fundamentals from which I can adapt as I grow and meet challenges. I’m not looking for a paint-by-number course, or Bob Ross-style method, I want something rooted in the classical tradition, but (and I know this is asking a lot and will seem contradictory to most) I’m looking for the fastest route possible and the most affordable route possible.

I’m aware of the mantra: “Good, Fast, or Cheap. Pick two.” I do expect this to be a lifelong endeavor of learning, but I also want to get as many good results as possible as soon as possible. Mark Carder’s primary video course is $100 and I’ve seen the results in his student’s work; it’s impressive. I worry, however, that it is not comprehensive enough. I plan to devote at least 4 hours per day to practice and studies, etc., so, I don’t believe I’m asking too much by an online course--I’m putting in the time. I am simply looking for something that offers quality substantive instruction on solid techniques as a basis for a well-rounded vocation as an artist oil painting realism (with my own voice, of course).

These are the courses I’m considering:

• Draw Mix Paint Videos – Realism, Landscape, Portrait, $100 each. I’ve been watching his YouTube videos for years now and I really like Mark’s manner, personality, and encouragement, but is this a good system, well- grounded in classical fundamentals? Or is it a quick-learn method that will leave me handicapped if I try to develop.
• Art Camp - 1, 2, & Landscapes. At $250, $250, and $500, respectively, this is pretty affordable. But is it Comprehensive and of a quality of instruction that will give the results I’m after?
• Virtual Art Academy - $39.00/month for as much as four years can quickly get expensive. Obviously, this is still less than a four-year college, but not by much and without the degree (for whatever that’s worth).
• Virtual Instructor – Secrets to Drawing, Portrait Drawing, Oil Painting. At about $30 per class, on a level with Draw, Mix Paint video 1, but perhaps more rounded with the attention given to drawing fundamentals. Perhaps less quality than Art Camp or (definitely) VAA?
• Watts Atelier – Online Drawing, $99 per month, Online Painting, $99 per month. These are on par with Draw Mix Paint as well, price-wise and in the self-directed, -paced nature of the video format. That one of these focuses strictly on drawing, perhaps this is the better path?
• Master Oil Painting – Bill Inman’s 6-week online course starting at $267. Again, no focus on the drawing fundamentals, and perhaps not much focus on color, tone, light, and value, etc.

If anyone, since the previous threads on the topic were engaged, has any experience with any of these courses, could you please comment on your experience, good or bad. Or if you can recommend a different one I haven’t mentioned (that is equal to or superior without requiring a second mortgage to attend), that would be much appreciated. I’d like to begin soon and am chomping at the bit to get painting. I just want to be sure I pick valuable instruction and begin properly.

Note: I’m posting this on several forums I belong to, to get the most help I can. If you see it elsewhere, please don’t feel compelled to comment twice, I’ll check all of them.

02-28-2018, 08:32 AM
I just found out this guy:

M Winther
03-02-2018, 07:51 AM
I am skeptical toward learning painting in terms of knowledge and technique only. Why not start out by smearing paint on a canvas, or oil pastels on a paper, to develop the instinct of painting. What's essential is the enjoyment of the creative process itself, the appreciation of the different pigments as such, the texture and optical effects that oil paint creates, as well as the fascination with the various forms and lines, as such. Picasso said that he spent his whole life trying to paint like a child. So you do not need to be idling. Start out by doing some Asger Jörn paintings (

Anyway, to be a good oil painter of realistic motifs, one needs to be good at drawing and seeing. That's probably the most important thing. So there is no reason to dally. Make at least one drawing each day of any objects. Teachers of oil painting emphasize that one should keep drawing. Stefan Baumann has published many good videos on YouTube:

(But don't follow his example in using lead paints.) As a besides, James Elkins (What Painting is) thinks of oil painting as an alchemical process of transformation, a spiritual discipline. It is an interesting point of view that serves to mitigate the fixation on the result as a mere artistic creation that has pecuniary value. The painting process itself has spiritual value.

Mats Winther (