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      November 18, 2019

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Painting Lessons

  1. Udemy
  2. My Painting Club
  3. Learn & Master
  4. Virtual Art Academy
  5. Lela Harty Oil Painting

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Start Your Painting Lessons With The Virtual Instructor Today! Where can you find the best painting lessons? Not only is painting a great skill to have in your artistic tool belt, but it is also a therapeutic activity. Many of us grew up watching Bob Ross and the extent of our painting training included creating "happy little trees" and basic scenery.

Unfortunately, taking painting lessons in person from an artist can be costly as well as time consuming. Carving out specific times and making the drive to your painting lessons is not sustainable for most people. In addition, everyone has a different style, and it can also be hard to have someone watching over your shoulder as you try to express creativity in your own, unique way.

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Best Reviews

2019

Painting Lessons Reviews

5 stars
The Virtual Instructor

THE VIRTUAL INSTRUCTOR Visit Site

Cost:

$19/month or $97/year

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award The Virtual Instructor was started in 2010 as a way for artists to improve their skills through comprehensive videos and/or illustrated workbooks in a clear and concise way. None of the lesson content in the videos assumes any past experience and is great for beginner, intermediate, and advanced painters alike. The vast amount of lessons available allows users to choose the style, medium, and skill level that is right for them.

Lessons are taught in a variety of mediums including graphite, colored pencils, pen and ink, acrylics, pastels, watercolor, oils, mixed media, and more. Course subjects range just as wide by featuring classes like portrait drawings, pastel landscape mastery, basic Photoshop for artists, and many more. There really is something for everybody in The Virtual Instructor classes!

Prospective customers can try The Virtual Instructor for seven days by paying just $1. At the end of this trial period, you can either cancel or continue on with the monthly subscription of $19/month or $97/year.

With the subscription, you receive:

  • Access to over 1,000 logically sequenced, downloadable videos in HD.
  • Illustrated ebooks (available for print) with over 1,000 pages to reference while watching the video courses.
  • Weekly live streamed lessons where members can ask live questions. These videos can be saved and referred to later.
  • The ability to submit your art for critique and learn from the critiques of others.
  • Lesson plans including presentation materials, handouts, videos, and more.

If you start going through the course and decide it is not what you were hoping for, a 30-day money back guarantee is in place. You can contact The Virtual Instructor by either calling the number provided on their website or filling out a contact form.

We are impressed by the affordable price for so much top-notch content through The Virtual Instructor. We highly recommend this course to anyone looking to improve their drawing, painting, or sketching abilities. With the money-back guarantee, it is a risk-free option. The design of the website as well as the course content is modern and comprehensive enough to help anyone become a better artist. The Virtual Instructor is our number one recommended course when it comes to online painting lessons.

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4.5 stars
Udemy

UDEMY Visit Site

Cost:

From $0 to $199.99 (most classes cost $19.99)

Udemy is the epitome of virtual learning in the modern age. They have thousands of courses available on nearly every topic you can think of. These courses are available for individual purchase and are stored on your personal account through the Udemy website. The paint lesson options alone include over 3,000 results. Whether youíre a beginner or expert, there are many great choices for anyone wanting to improve their painting skills on Udemyís website.

When scrolling through what seems like a never-ending amount of painting course options on Udemy, several features are in place to help you narrow down what youíre looking for. You can filter by topic, level, language, price, features, ratings, and lesson duration. If you want to quickly find something by keyword like "painting a sky", you can simply type this in Udemyís course search bar and get instant results.

Each course comes with a detailed description to give you all the information you need before deciding to pay for the course. On the main display page, you can see how many lectures are included in each course, the duration of the content, and the skill level for the course. Once you click on a specific course, further information is given including requirements for the course, an overall description, course topics, durations of each lesson, a bio about the artist, and student feedback ratings. We really like Udemyís transparency: letting students leave honest, unfiltered reviews about any of the instructors or courses theyíve taken.

Most courses cost $19.99. There are some free courses, as well as extended courses that cost more money. Every once in a while, a spontaneous offer will be highlighted on the website offering courses at discounted prices. Udemy offers a 30-day money back for all purchases in the event you are unhappy with the course. You can easily request a refund from your course player portal or by contacting the Udemy support team.

Overall, Udemy is a great resource for painters who want seemingly endless options for new lesson content. Since courses are purchased individually, itís a bit more expensive than getting open access to a full database like our highest-rated painting course option. However, the wide range of professional lesson content makes Udemy a highly recommended option for painters wanting to take on new projects and get specific with the techniques they are trying to improve.

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4 stars
My Painting Club

MY PAINTING CLUB Visit Site

Cost:

Free 7-day trial, then $20/month

My Painting Club has over 100 online painting lessons and is continually adding more. You can browse their database of lessons by keywords such as abstract, acrylics, figure, landscape, oils, still life, and many more. My Painting Club gives artists the ability to find a lesson that intrigues them, rather than sticking with rigid teaching material that teaches step-by-step techniques pre-determined by the instructor.

With a free 7-day trial, you can test out a few of the different lessons available in the My Painting Club database. We liked that you donít have to provide a credit card number in order to sign up for this trial. Itís absolutely risk-free and will give painters a good taste of what they would receive by subscribing to the premium membership for $20/month.

With the premium membership, painters also receive:

  • Over 100 online painting lessons
  • Regularly added new lessons
  • All ebooks and lesson notes
  • Monthly group workshops
  • All student critiques
  • All online tools
  • All DVDs at cost

A generous unlimited money back guarantee is in place in case you subscribe and end up not using the lessons or find them disappointing. My Painting Club is more concerned with having happy customers than locking them into a subscription and making as much money as possible. By filling out the contact form on their website, you can ask for a product swap or refund from any portion of your subscription without question.

If you choose not to subscribe monthly, you can still get access to the painting lessons in the My Painting Club collection by purchasing them individually. You can purchase either DVDs or online lessons. They do not currently have an app for downloading the lessons, but everything available online is compatible with all major devices. Another way to receive information and material without subscribing is by adding your email address to their newsletter subscription to receive 52 painting tips weekly for a year, along with 2 free ebooks and access to upcoming offers.

For painters who want to explore painting topics and subjects at their own pace, My Painting Club is a good option. It is not necessarily geared for beginners, but rather for painters with some experience who want to dabble in new paint projects. Not only is the collection priced fairly, but the generous money-back guarantee makes these painting lessons low-risk.

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3.5 stars
Learn & Master

LEARN & MASTER Visit Site

Cost:

$249 one-time fee

The Learn and Master painting course is one of the most thorough we have found. The lessons apply to oils, acrylics, and water-mixable oils. There is one painting instructor throughout the series named Gayle Levee. She has been teaching art classes since 1995 as an expert in theory, brushwork techniques, and impressionism. Gayle takes novice students and teaches them everything they need to know to become an accomplished artist.

The Learn and Master painting courses are comprehensive in that they start out slow but gradually get more technical as each lesson builds on itself. Advanced students can get a refresher on the basics of painting or skip ahead to the more technical parts of the training.

Some of the topics covered in the 20-lesson DVD course include:

  • Setting up a studio/workspace
  • Brushwork technique
  • Color theory
  • Understanding composition
  • Understanding perspective
  • Using photographic reference
  • Varnishing your paints
  • Color temperature
  • How to plan an original painting
  • And more!

The painting styles and techniques taught within these topics are alla prima, impressionism, chiaroscuro, realism, impasto painting, scumbling, and wet into wet. If you are unsure of what any of these words mean, then youíre headed to the right place! Everything in the lessons is gone over in great detail with plenty of practice time. At the end of each lesson there is an assignment where you incorporate all of the dayís concepts into a piece of art.

By providing your email address and name through the website, you will receive the free "Tip of the Brush" email series. Instructor Gayle will send painting tips straight to your inbox to boost your artistic knowledge. To purchase the entire course, you pay $249. The cost can be divided into three or four installments through a payment plan, with a surcharge of $4 with each payment. A generous 60-day money back guarantee is in place if you are not satisfied with the product you receive. If you run into questions about the Learn and Master painting course during your shopping experience, you can chat online with a customer service representative or call their toll-free number.

Learn and Master is a great option for beginner, intermediate, or advanced painting students. The video quality of each course is not as sharp as the HD lessons in our highest rated painting course, but they arenít so outdated that itís painful to watch or learn from them. We like that sample painting videos are displayed on the website to give you a feel for the overall course content, so you know what youíre getting before choosing to buy the Learn and Master painting course.

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3 stars
Virtual Art Aacademy

VIRTUAL ART ACADEMY Visit Site

Cost:

$49/month for beginners package

$79/month for beginners, intermediates, and professionals

$99/month for professionals who need professional coaching

The Virtual Art Academy Apprentice Program is divided into four separate yearsí worth of course material. In all, there are 192 painting lessons divided among these four years. A breakdown of the curriculum structure for each year is provided on the website.

With each lesson you receive:

  • Background reading material covering the painting materials and techniques you need
  • Short painting video segments (200 in total) to break down difficult concepts
  • Focused learning assignments (350 in total) to assist you in mastering and internalizing each painting technique
  • A tip of the day to help you solve common painting problems

The cost of access to this course is divided into three membership options. The beginner membership, Apprentice Lite, is the least expensive at $49/month ($2,352 for the total course). For $79/month ($3,792 for the total course) you receive the Apprentice Pro package that is designed for beginners, intermediates, and professionals. For $99/month ($4,752 for the total course), you get access to the Apprentice Coaching package for professionals who want personal instruction.

Unfortunately, not all of the lessons available on The Virtual Art Academy are immediately accessible once you purchase your membership. Depending on the membership you purchase, a certain number of lessons are added to your account every few months until you have received all 192 lessons at the end of four years. There is a 30-day money back guarantee for Virtual Art Academy, but within that 30 days, you will have received limited material. To complete the entire course, you will need to pay monthly for the full four years.

Some free guides and painting techniques are available on the website to help students with things like choosing an oil painting palette, critiquing master paintings, working on contrast of color, block studies, and a few other topics. Unfortunately, the website doesnít provide anything by way of sample lessons to see what the course is actually like. An archive of student work is viewable, but that doesnít necessarily reflect what your lesson experience will be.

Virtual Art Academy appears to be professional and exceptionally thorough with the lesson plans available with a subscription. However, for beginner painters looking to just start with the basics and paint some fun artwork, this course is very costly and overly in-depth. We suggest going with one of our higher-rated painting courses before locking yourself into this 4-year painting course.

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1.5 stars
Lela Harty Oil Painting

LELA HARTY OIL PAINTING Visit Site

Cost:

$119.95 + $4.99 shipping

The web designers of the Lela Harty Oil Painting course could not have made a more basic, vague user interface. There is a short "About the Course", "Reviews", and "Order the Course" page and nothing else. On the "About the Course" page, we learn that the course is taught by Lela Harty herself who has been teaching oil painting since 1972.

Lela's goal through the lessons is to get beginner painters on the right path and make practiced painters better. The page also states that all the information, instructions, and techniques you would need are contained in the video course, but gives no specifics about the style of painting, length of lessons, or amount of content.

To purchase the Lela Harty Oil Painting DVDs, the "Order the Course" page automatically links you to a third-party site, which is the only place the painting lessons are sold. There you finally learn there are 8 lessons and 4 DVDs in total for the purchase price of $119.95 + $4.99 in shipping. Customer feedback from only one person can be found through this ordering page, in addition to four short reviews that are posted directly on the website. All of these reviews give positive feedback, but they arenít the most reliable gauge of the course since most are hand-selected and there are so few of them in total.

There is nothing mentioned about a money-back guarantee for this course. There is also no way to contact the company with questions or issues with your purchase. If a DVD comes scratched or missing, you would have to work it out with the third-party site you ordered from, rather than the creators of the Lela Harty Oil Painting DVDs.

There is not a lot to go off of when purchasing the Lela Harty Oil Painting course. From what we can tell, it is quite a few years old and will likely have an outdated feel as you watch the DVDs. We suggest going with a higher-rated course that provides customers with more information and a clear idea of what the painting lessons are like.

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Continued from above

But, what if, like watching TV, you could learn to paint at your own pace from the comfort of your own home? With painting programs available through the internet, you can do just that! When you learn with at-home paint courses, you can follow the instructorís style closely or loosely as you create your own masterpieces.

The ability to become a painter from home will likely turn into a lifelong hobby. The chance to learn a skill and continually develop your talent at your own pace and in your own way is priceless! Through virtual painting courses, you can comfortably enjoy making paintings of places and people you love that will become artwork you treasure forever.

When searching for the best at-home painting lessons, also consider the following things to ensure a pleasant experience:

  • Cost. How does the cost of a particular painting course compare to the competition? Be sure youíre saving money by doing these courses from home by comparing the prices to in-person lessons as well as other online content.
  • Course material. How long are the painting courses? Do they cover the style of painting youíre wanting to learn? What additional resources do they provide to help you sharpen your skills?
  • Return policy. If you purchase the painting course and are let down by the content, check to see if there is a return policy that allows you to receive a full refund.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online painting lessons available today. We hope these reviews help you find the best painting courses for your learning style and artistic goals!

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