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The Virtual Art Academy Reference Library

Overview

The Virtual Art Academy Building Blocks

2005-2013 Barry John Raybould. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, these electronic materials are for your personal and non-commercial use, and you may not modify, copy, distribute, transmit, display, reproduce, publish, license, create derivative works from, transfer, or sell any information obtained from these materials without the written permission from the author.

Barry John Raybould, MA (Cantab)

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2013 Barry John Raybould

Overview

Table of Contents
About this Course Unit ...................................................................................................................3 Organization of the Virtual Art Academy Program .....................................................................4 Introduction to the Building Blocks................................................................................................ 6 Building Block: Brushwork .......................................................................................................... 11 Building Block: Color ...................................................................................................................11 Building Block: Composition .......................................................................................................12 Building Block: Concept .............................................................................................................. 12 Building Block: Drawing.............................................................................................................. 13 Building Block: Form ................................................................................................................... 13 Building Block: Notan ..................................................................................................................14 Building Block: Observation ........................................................................................................14 Building Block: Process & Materials & Equipment..................................................................... 15 History of the Virtual Art Academy ............................................................................................. 16 Acknowledgments ........................................................................................................................19

Edition 2.0

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2013 Barry John Raybould

Overview

ABOUT THIS COURSE UNIT


In this course unit The Virtual Art Academy is a highly structured and comprehensive program. The concept behind the Virtual Art Academy program is that you need to build up your skills in nine key areas in order to paint well. Many students are frustrated with their progress, and it is usually because they are lacking skills in one of these nine areas. We call these areas the Virtual Art Academy Building Blocks. The full program will build your skills in every one of these nine Building Blocks. This course unit contains an overview of the nine Virtual Art Academy Building Blocks. In this course unit you will find:
the structure of the four major components of the program: the Reference

Library, the Assignments Library, the Video Library, and the Online Campus.
the contents of the nine Building Blocks. how the visual music and poetry model relates to the Virtual Art Academy

curriculum.
a brief history of the creation of the Virtual Art Academy.

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Overview

ORGANIZATION OF THE VIRTUAL ART ACADEMY PROGRAM


THE FOUR COMPONENTS OF THE VIRTUAL ART ACADEMY PROGRAM

The Virtual Art Academy Reference Library

WORLDWIDE COMMUNITY THE ONLINE CAMPUS


The Virtual Art Academy Assignment Library The Virtual Art Academy Video Library

The Virtual Art Academy Reference Library

The Virtual Art Academy Video Library

The Virtual Art Academy Reference Library consists of the course units organized into nine Building Blocks. This is the background reading material you need to read before doing the assignments.
The Virtual Art Academy Assignment Library

The Virtual Art Academy Video Library supplements the Reference Library by providing extra information and explanation. It is based around the lectures that Barry John Raybould gives to his students in his live workshops.
The Virtual Art Academy Online Campus

The Virtual Art Academy Assignment Library is where the real learning actually takes place. Each assignment is designed to build a particular skill that is a necessary part of your foundation for learning how to paint.

The Virtual Art Academy Online Campus is an online forum where students from all over the world get together in the virtual world to share their assignments, providing both motivation and feedback on the assignments themselves. Students who take an active part in this part of the program learn the fastest.

Edition 2.0

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2013 Barry John Raybould

Overview

ORGANIZATION OF THE VIRTUAL ART ACADEMY PROGRAM (CONTINUED)


THE NINE BUILDING BLOCKS

Notes:

Materials & Equipment is a part of the Process Building Block. Visual Music & Poetry is an overview of all nine Building Blocks.

Building Blocks

Building Blocks (continued) Composition: the key ideas in how to develop

The Virtual Art Academy Reference Library comprises the nine Building Blocks shown in the above diagram. Each Building Block is a major skill area that you need to master in order to paint well:
Process: step-by-step procedures for how to cre-

the abstract design of your painting and make your work interesting to look at.
Color: how to develop beautiful color harmony

in your paintings.
Brushwork: how to add a deeper layer of interest

ate a painting.
Drawing: how to draw accurate shapes to repre-

and vitality to your paintings and make them far more interesting for viewers to look at.
Concept: how to give your paintings meaning

sent nature accurately.


Form: how to make things look solid and three-

and touch the emotions of your viewers.

dimensional.
Observation: how to learn to see values and col-

ors accurately the critical skill you need to make things look real and capture the true feeling of your subject or of a specific place.
Notan: how to create a beautiful foundation of

dark, light, and gray shapes as the basis of your composition.


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Overview

INTRODUCTION TO THE BUILDING BLOCKS


Brushwork This building block concerns how you apply the paint to your working surface. If you look closely at a painting with good brushwork you see a small abstract painting that is nothing like the painting when you look at it from a distance. This is the wonderful thing about good brushwork - one painting becomes dozens or even hundreds, depending on where you look! This is the near music of a painting. Brushwork is another of those aspects of painting (such as accurate observation of hue changes on forms) that distinguishes the great masters. Exciting brushwork adds interest and vitality to your painting, and is what makes a painting a painting and not a photograph. Color Color is what creates excitement in a painting. This Building Block is concerned with the design aspect of color how to use it effectively in the abstract design of a painting to create the music in your work. This course starts by giving you a review of all the basic knowledge you need to know about color, including its attributes of hue, value, and saturation, the key color wheels including the Munsell system, and the basic color harmony strategies for simple analogous and complementary schemes to more advanced schemes such as the double split complementary scheme and the adulterated primary scheme. Building on this knowledge you will learn more advanced principles used by the master colorists, such as the principle of mouse colors, color vibration and optical mixing, and value compression using constant saturation scales. I have heard many people say that color is personal and that you need to discover your own feeling for color. There is some truth to this but I am not so sure I believe this entirely. One of my earliest influences was one of the most famous landscape painters in England, John Constable. I like this quote of his: Painting is a science and should be pursued as an inquiry into the laws of nature.

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Overview

INTRODUCTION TO THE BUILDING BLOCKS (CONTINUED)


Composition Composition is the key to successful painting. Without a strong composition, you can spend an enormous amount of time on crafting an accurate representation of your subject, but you will never end up with a work of art. It is the composition of a painting that makes it interesting to look at and keeps the viewers attention. Composition is a major part of the music of a painting. Sometimes I find a painting in a museum that I can just sit and stare at for half an hour and always find new things to look at and enjoy. In fact, one of the criteria by which I judge the quality of a painting is how long you can enjoy looking at it. A painting that you can enjoy looking at for a half an hour to me has far more quality than a painting that you can only find interesting for 30 seconds or so. Much of this quality is due to how you deal with focal points and eye movement, two of the key units in this Building Block. Space division plays a big part in eye movement, as does the use of line and contrast. These topics are also covered in detail in this Building Block. The second key element in the visual poetry and music model is the music of a painting or its abstract design. Although your inspiration for a painting usually (but not always) comes from nature, it is very rare that you find a perfect composition in front of you. To make the painting interesting for your viewer you need to design, or compose, the shapes and colors in front of you in order to create an aesthetic arrangement that communicates the concept of your painting. This Building Block describes the key principles of composition, including the top level principle of unity and variety, one of the most important principles in composition. You will also learn about the key ideas of space division, contrast, focal areas and eye movement as well as how to use organizational structures to give your paintings unity.

Composition is a convention founded upon wide principles. If it is not


yet demonstrated why certain arrangements of form and color give pleasure and other arrangements give pain, it is not a question for us, but for the scientist. We know that it is so, and therefore, without going into the origin of the pain or pleasure, we must accept the facts as we find them. Sir Alfred East, R.A., P.R.B.A., R.E.

To say to the painter, that Nature is to be taken as she is, is to say to the
player, that he may sit on the piano. That Nature is always right, is an assertion, artistically, as untrue, as it is one whose truth is universally taken for granted. Nature is very rarely right, to the extent even, that it might also be said that Nature is usually wrong: that is to say, the condition of things that shall bring about the perfection of harmony worthy a picture is rare, and not common at all. James McNeill Whistler, Mr. Whistlers Ten OClock 1885.

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Overview

INTRODUCTION TO THE BUILDING BLOCKS (CONTINUED)


Concept In this Building Block I talk about those things that turn a painting into a work of art, and that make the difference between an ordinary painting and a masterpiece. I will introduce you to a whole new way of looking at paintings, and explain why you are learning all the individual skills that are included in each of the other Building Blocks. When you learn to become aware of the poetry in a painting you will begin to see paintings in a new light. You will also start to understand why certain master paintings in museums are considered a masterpiece. It is this element of poetry in addition to the music of a painting that distinguishes a master painter. When you master the ideas in this course unit, your paintings will start to communicate much more emotion and feeling, and come to life. They will become much more meaningful. Drawing There are many different techniques for learning drawing gesture, contour, envelopes, scribble line, mass, and so on. But with all these techniques to choose from, where do you start to learn how to draw? How do you decide which technique to choose? In these drawing course units you will learn all the individual techniques, and will I explain how to put it them together so you will learn how to draw better. Although I've taken numerous drawing classes in my career over the years, I did not find out about some of the most valuable techniques until much later on. If I had known about some of these techniques earlier, it would have saved me a great deal of frustration! So I've included all these for you in these course units. This course will teach you a basic drawing procedure that you can use to draw accurate shapes. The emphasis in this course is in getting the proportions correct, in contrast with some other drawing courses that focus initially on expression. I believe that unless you draw the shapes fairly accurately in the first place, no amount of expression will result in good work. On the other hand, if you have a solid foundation of accurate shapes, then you can build expression on top of this foundation and produce truly powerful work. Form Knowing how to make things look three-dimensional is fundamental to making your painting look real. Course unit 1 includes an important technique called the two-value statement which is used for capturing the basics of form in a few minutes. Course unit 2 expands on this to include more detailed knowledge about the different planes of the light and shade. Course unit 3 contains some valuable information which was almost lost to art schools, on the hue changes that occur on a form when light hits it - the secret to beautiful color work.

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Overview

INTRODUCTION TO THE BUILDING BLOCKS (CONTINUED)


Materials & Choosing the right equipment and materials is important to making your life Equipment easy while painting. Painting is difficult enough without having to struggle with your equipment. Therefore it is a good idea to spend some time to get yourself organized with the right equipment. The effort will pay off in the long run. A lot of the information in this building block is from my personal experience, and tips that I have picked up from many experienced painters over the years.
Tip: buying materials and equipment

Where I am aware of a supplier for a particular item of equipment, or some particular materials, I have put that information in the Glossary. You will see that there is a glossary entry for an item, if you see the word italicized in the text. An italicized word means that there is a corresponding entry in the Glossary. Notan Why does a certain painting win first place in an art competition? The answer lies a lot in its notan structure. Of all the parts of a painting that enhance its abstract design, the far music of a painting, the notan structure is the most important. I created this painting Sunset over Sand City in the industrial district on the Monterey Peninsula in California. This particular painting took first place in a landscape painting competition and won an award in the Carmel Plein Air Art Festival in the same year. This was about two years after I started to paint full time. There was no magic to this I was just lucky enough to have discovered someone teaching a course in notan the year before, and I applied the principles I had learned to create a solid notan foundation for this painting. A well organized arrangement of dark and light shapes creates an impression of beauty, regardless of either the colors used or of the subject matter. This is called notan from the Japanese word that means dark light harmony. Just about every successful master painting has a very strong notan structure. Notan is such a powerful factor in the success of your painting that it is one of the first things you should study. The process may seem simple, but it takes a lot of practice to do well. In this Building Block Ive put all of the tips and tricks Ive learned about this subject over the years since I first learned about it, and I am continuing to learn more each year. Most students have found that studying this Building Blocks pays off very quickly in improving their paintings. That is as true for experienced painters as it is for beginners.

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Overview

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INTRODUCTION TO THE BUILDING BLOCKS (CONTINUED)


Observation This Building Block is all about accurate observation. The realism in your painting comes from accurately depicting in paint what you see in front of you. You do not need to learn how to paint trees, skies, rocks, water, and so on. You need to learn to see trees, skies, rocks and water. Once you see it, painting is easy. When a student says I cant seem to mix the right color, the problem is rarely in the mixing but nearly always in an inability to see the color. Not only is realism affected by your ability to observe color accurately, but so too is color harmony. The color of sunlight together with the effects of atmospheric perspective and reflected light often (but not always) produce a natural color harmony. If you can observe this harmony accurately, then your painting will have automatic color harmony. The color problems in our paintings are often our left brain taking over and telling us what the color should be as opposed to what we are actually seeing. Process The Process Building Block covers the step-by-step mechanical procedures of creating a painting. I have put these course units into a separate Building Block because, whereas all the other Building Blocks are mostly independent of the medium you are using, this Building Block is specific to oils, acrylics, or watercolors. Visual Music In this section of the course I talk about those things that turn a painting into a & Poetry work of art and that make the difference between an ordinary painting and a masterpiece. I will introduce you to a whole new way of looking at paintings, and explain why all of the nine Building Blocks that comprise this program are important to the creation of a true work of art. In a sense, this discussion is at the highest level of painting and can only be appreciated when you have a feel for each of the nine Building Blocks. However I think if you are an absolute beginner you need to understand these main ideas right away so that you know how to evaluate paintings when you see them in galleries or on the internet. As you progress through the program, this topic will become clearer and clearer.

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Overview

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Course Unit 1 - Techniques

BUILDING BLOCK: BRUSHWORK

variety thick & thin thin darks, thick lights impasto large to small point, line, and mass glazes feathering palette knife carving out contrast eye movement
Course Unit 2 - Descriptive Brushwork

directional brushstrokes texture movement emotional mood perspective


Course Unit 3 - Focal Areas

focus & detail mop/rigger freehand vs. control hand strokes


Course Unit 4 - Suggestion

suggestion selective rendering simulation of detail pentimenti transparent pigments silhouette accurate color spots

The character and feeling of your brushwork goes a long way to increasing the pleasure and delight of the person viewing your work. How you apply the paint also determines how much carrying power and luminosity your painting will have. Whatever your media, brushwork (or mark making in the case of pastel painting), is what makes a painting a painting and not a photograph.

Course Unit 5 - Edges

hard and soft edges lost and found edges color changes
Course Unit 6 - Optical Color Mixing

optical color mixing complementary, triadic, analogous color mixing wet-in-wet adjacent brushstrokes multicolored brushstrokes layered washes thick weton-wet layering multi-layered wet over dry

BUILDING BLOCK: COLOR

Course Unit 1 - Key Concepts

color wheels complements triadic color wheel munsell color wheel tints & shades secondary colors vivid colors & biases
Course Unit 2 - Palettes

choosing a palette thirteen palettes from monochrome to vivid full spectrum organizing your palette
Course Unit 3 - Grays

making grays low saturation fields complementary contrast Godloves principle darks, lights, grays middle value ranges
Course Unit 4 - Color Harmonies

balanced complementary analogous hybrid

Color is why many people love painting. This Building Block will help you understand your pigments better, decide which palettes to use and when, and create beautiful harmony in your paintings.

Course Unit 5 - Poly-Isochromes & Spectrum Palettes

Birren color triangle mono-isochromes and chiaroscuro poly-isochromes Ostwald/Munsell tone scales tonal influence composing on the palette
Course Unit 6 - Advanced Color

luster iridescence luminosity color preferences color threads color bridges nine-pile gradations glowing whites keying whites camouflage

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Course Unit 1 - Unity & Variety

BUILDING BLOCK: COMPOSITION

visual music principles of composition unity & variety developing compositions harmony dominance shape variety redesigning nature linear sketch
Course Unit 2 - Space Division

unequal space division informal subdivisions inequality threes odd numbers negative space boundary relationships tangent avoidance viewfinder cropping rabatment shape simplification baselines foreground overlapping forms right angles symmetry rhythm tie together
Course Unit 3 - Organizational structures

organizational structures
Course Unit 4 - Contrast

You can do a great copy of your subject, but without a strong composition, your painting will have no impact. All the key principles of composition are covered in detail in this Building Block. Principles are explained by using examples of the authors own work to break down how they are constructed, as well using example of old master paintings. This is probably the most comprehensive treatment of this important topic you will see anywhere.

shape saturation value temperature line brushwork texture size active & passive mix
Course Unit 5 - Focal Point

focal point secondary focal point directing lines isolation one thirds
Course Unit 6 - Eye Movement

eye pathways repeating color spots guiding lights & darks entering point density of space division
Course Unit 7 - Line

graceful line interrelationship transition counterpoint


Course Unit 1 - Types of Concepts

BUILDING BLOCK: CONCEPT

emotional aesthetic descriptive narrative complex message


Course Unit 2 - Creating a Concept

subordination relationship emphasis concept simplification exaggeration choosing subject matter developing a style creating a concept

Simply creating a good representation of a subject is not the same thing as making art. Although necessary, a good representation is not enough. You need to communicate something to your viewer some emotion or idea, or your painting will be nothing more than an illustration. This is what is called the Visual Poetry of a painting, and is what distinguishes the great master painters.

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Course Unit 1 - Gesture

BUILDING BLOCK: DRAWING

setting up your environment drawing hand position quick sketch glancing scribble line gesture mass gesture
Course Unit 2 - Accuracy

angular transfer triangulation envelope glass drawing level & plumb lines comparative measurement midpoint establishment
Course Unit 3 - Contour

right brain switching contour drawing straight line approximation


Course Unit 4 - Putting It All Together

using the mass drawing approach step-by-step using the linear drawing approach step-by-step

The old saying goes that you can paint only as well as you can draw. Here are some of the secrets the author discovered along the way that will greatly help your drawing. One of the course units will help to de-mystify the complex topic of perspective and make it easier to understand, and another one will teach you how to draw those things that are very difficult, such as arches, wheels, and complicated street scenes.

Course Unit 5 - Basic Perspective

horizon lines vanishing points perspective center drawing ellipses drawing cylinders hemispheres & umbrellas fixing a complex drawing
Course Unit 6 - Advanced Perspective

streets upright objects tiles dividing spaces centers of circles & ellipses drawing cylinders accurately drawing ellipses accurately

BUILDING BLOCK: FORM

Course Unit 1 - Two-Value Statement

light & shade two-value statement selecting a viewpoint geometric forms general to specific simplifying complex forms
Course Unit 2 - Planes of the Light & Shade

how to paint the form shadow & cast shadow light half tone center light reflected light highlight dark accents and edge planes squaring off forms painting trees as geometrical forms middle value shadows
Course Unit 3 - Hue Changes on the Form

cool light warm shadows warm light cool shadows hue changes in the light saturation changes in the light adding color to half tones color changes from colored light sources modeling the form with color

An understanding of form is essential for giving your paintings a three-dimensional quality. If you do not have a solid understanding of the material in this Building Block, your still lifes will not appear three-dimensional, and you will never be able to make figures or portraits look real.

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14
Course Unit 1 - What Is Notan

BUILDING BLOCK: NOTAN

two value notan three value notan four value notan notan design planning your notan mass notan notan sketch transfer notan pens notan pastels exploratory scribbles
Course Unit 2 - Basic Notan Design

dominant values shape distinction linking lights linking darks


Course Unit 3 - Advanced Notan Design

flattening values analyzing values four-value study middle values counterchange alternating lights & darks spotting keys high key paintings
Course Unit 4 - Contour Notan

This is the structure of the dark and light shapes in your painting. A good notan structure is the hallmark of all great masterpieces. In this Building Block you will learn all the skills you need to build the value structure of a painting, in order to give the design a solid foundation. This is the aspect of painting that most beginners, and even more experienced painters, do not understand well.

mass versus contour notan interesting silhouette creating a contour notan in ink
Course Unit 5 - Gradation and Edge Notans

gradation edge notan


Course Unit 6 - Notan Sketchbooks

examples of two-value, three-value, four-value and edge notan sketches

BUILDING BLOCK: OBSERVATION

Course Unit 1 - Values

value scale comparing values value finder black mirror limited value study seven-value study reference values black & white images posterizing images exploratory scribbles
Course Unit 2 - Color

saturation hue & temperature Munsell notation matching colors matching values color maps color studies color dragging colored light sources block studies
Course Unit 3 - Atmospheric Perspective

depth & atmospheric perspective diminishing size baseline receding lines overlapping forms dark accents changes in value changes in saturation changes in hue

Much of painting is not about how you put paint on the canvas but about how to see. This Building Block will teach you the critical skills of how to see color and values. With this knowledge your paintings will automatically become more realistic. You will also learn how to give your landscapes depth and mood using atmospheric perspective, as well as tips to make your trees, rocks, water, and skies, look much more realistic.
Edition 2.0

Course Unit 4 - Land & Sky

dome of the sky clouds fog moonlight reflected light cast shadows
Course Unit 5 - Water

oceans & lakes reflections waves


Course Unit 6 - Itness

what is itness observing the itness of different objects trees rocks buildings 2013 Barry John Raybould

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Overview

15 Process:
Course Unit 1 - Alla Prima Painting

BUILDING BLOCK: PROCESS & MATERIALS & EQUIPMENT

nine step alla prima process notan painting oil and acrylic quick color sketch
Course Unit 2 - Watercolor Step-by-Step

eight step watercolor process watercolor quick color sketch


Course Unit 3 - Working from Photographic Reference

Materials & Equipment:


Course Unit 1 - Paints and Pigments

properties and types of pigments choosing acrylic paints choosing watercolor paints tube wringer
Course Unit 2 - Mediums and Varnishes

This Building Block gives you detailed step-bystep process for how to create a painting. It will show you how to paint in the alla prima or direct style, using oils, acrylics or watercolors. An alla prima painting is one that is created in one session.

oil mediums solvents varnishes reworking paintings oiling out retouch varnish
Course Unit 3 - Oil/Acrylic Painting Supports - Studio

types of painting supports stretching canvas gluing supports to mounting boards preparing supports sizes primers grounds cutting panels old painting supports drying racks
Course Unit 4 - Oil/Acrylic Painting Supports - Plein Air

lightweight painting supports loose canvas masking tape drying paintings quickly drying boxes painting support carriers stretched canvas carrier brackets
Course Unit 5 - Watercolor Painting Supports

watercolor paper preparing canvas and linen for watercolor stretching paper
Course Unit 6 - Oil & Acrylic Brushes

types of brushes brushes for travelling brush holders brush cleaners brush cleaning pots palette knives
Course Unit 7 - Watercolor Brushes

types of brushes brush holders and cleaning pots frisket


Course Unit 8 - Oil/Acrylic Easels & Palettes - Studio

oil and acrylic painting studio easels palettes water trays organizer box
Course Unit 9 - Oil/Acrylic Easels & Palettes - Plein Air

In the Materials & Equipment part of this Building Block, learn all about how to organize yourself and your equipment. It includes information on paints, pigments, easels, painting supports, and all the other materials and equipment you need for painting. Another section covers everything you need to know about how to set up your studio and also how to work outdoors or en plein air in comfort. Organization is key to becoming a successful artist.
Edition 2.0

oil and acrylic plein air painting easels superlightweight systems palettes palette carriers storing wet paint
Course Unit 10 - Watercolor Easels & Palettes

watercolor easels palettes


Course Unit 11 - Organizing Your Studio

studio lights mirrors taboret trash can air cleaner gloves hand cleaners cataloging paintings photographing your work framing
Course Unit 12 - Organizing Plein Air Painting

packing list umbrellas stool mirrors clothing mahl stick medium cup trash can paper towels carriers 2013 Barry John Raybould

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HISTORY OF THE VIRTUAL ART ACADEMY


How the course was From the early days of my art career I have been fortunate enough to have created studied with some great artists. To capture this valuable information I have always kept detailed notes. The more I learned, the more notes I accumulated, until I had a very large and good body of knowledge. The only problem was that it was becoming extremely difficult to refer back to them. The notes were scattered about dozens of note books and sketchbooks. Finding them when I needed them was becoming next to impossible. In addition, over the years I have gathered a personal library of over one hundred how to art books. Although many of them contained some valuable nuggets of information, they were usually buried deep in long paragraphs of text. This meant that it was almost impossible to go back and find these valuable nuggets of information when I needed them. Also I had found that some of the best information was in books written fifty to a hundred years ago. In those days, there was not so much commercial pressure for the quick fixes and simplistic step-by-steps you find in many contemporary publications. Consequently, many of these old texts included much more detail and discussion about the finer points of painting. Because of their age, many of those books were out of print and extremely difficult to find. Because I usually had to return these books to friends or libraries, I had to copy out the important information by hand more notes to add to the dozens of notebooks I already had! For all these reasons I started trying to organize this knowledge in such a way that I could easily refer back to it again when I had a particular painting problem. During the late 90s and early 00s I started to run workshops in California. My students found that the way I analyzed paintings was novel to them and urged me to write a book sowing the seeds for what was to become the Virtual Art Academy Reference Library. I started to organize the knowledge I had gathered, and a one-book project grew to ten books, then twenty and by 2003 I finally had around thirty course units, each covering an important specific topic in painting. Because the regular art book publishers have a rigid standard format for their art instruction books of 175 pages with mostly illustrations and very little in-depth discussion of painting I decided to self-publish, and the Virtual Art Academy was born. Edition 1 was published in 2003 and included around 30 course units. Within a couple of years the course expanded to around 50 course units, and International Artist Magazine endorsed the program and offered me a regular monthly column. From 2006 to 2007, twenty short video lectures were added to the course. The lectures were the basis of the methodology I taught my students during my week-long workshops. A couple of years later, when I discovered that almost half of my students were watercolor painters, I began to add more specific information for that medium.

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HISTORY OF THE VIRTUAL ART ACADEMY (CONTINUED)


How the course was The course never remained static as I continued to learn more myself, and I created (continued) produced continual updates every month or so from 2007 onwards. These were released to members of the new Online Campus, which was started around 2008/9. By 2010, the course had grown so much that it was due for a re-organization. In the process of organizing Edition 2, I added many more new examples to further explain the key principles of painting. To make these principles clearer, I used extensive examples of paintings of old masters (including late 18th and 20th century masters), as well as new examples of my own work, which had matured considerably from the time I wrote the first edition. In parallel with the reorganization of the reference library, I also created a new sequenced program of instruction that beginner artists could use to gradually built up their skills over a period of years by starting with the basic topics then moving to more advanced topics. This became the new Virtual Art Academy Apprentice Program. More experienced artists were able to select the areas of each Building Block that they wanted to focus on and build their own custom learning path by jumping ahead in the program to the third or fourth years. The reorganization took three years, and Edition 2 was released in 2013. Much valuable knowledge on painting that was taught up until about a century ago has been nearly lost as a result of the 20th century modernism movement in art. My hope is that with the Virtual Art Academy project, that knowledge will now be saved and preserved for the future. Not only will this classical knowledge be rescued from obscurity, but it will be integrated with the innovations in painting discovered during the 20th century, to form a new body of advanced knowledge on the art of painting for the 21st century. Barry John Raybould

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About the Virtual Art A key feature of the Virtual Art Academy course materials is the way they have Academy teaching been professionally mapped into a structured format to make your learning materials format easier. The format is compact, without an excess of words, and written in such a way that does not allow for vagueness and ambiguity. This is done through the use of clear definitions and numerous examples to make the concepts clearer. As a result, the Virtual Art Academy materials are much easier to understand and learn from than traditionally structured books. This is particularly important when the underlying ideas and principles are complex, as they are in painting. The reason I have been able to do this is because in a previous career I was fortunate enough to have acquired extensive training in a proprietary, structured writing methodology called Information Mapping a methodology that is, in fact, used by hundreds of major US and international businesses to help their employees learn more quickly. (Information Mapping is a trademark of Information Mapping Inc.). In this earlier career, I was a frequent speaker at many international conferences on how to use computer technology to help people learn faster and more effectively. In the early 90s I was the founder and president of a consulting company called Ariel PSS Corporation (later to become Ariel Performance Centered Systems, Inc.), which was a leader in a new field called Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS), a revolution from traditional Computer Based Training (CBT). All the advanced methods of teaching that I learned through this experience were incorporated in the Virtual Art Academy materials. This makes them unique.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Brushwork I would like to acknowledge the following artists as sources of knowledge for parts of the Brushwork Building Block:
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), whose oil and watercolor works I have stud-

ied first-hand in the National Museum of Art in Washington and in the Sargent in Venice exhibition in Venice in 2007.
Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923), whose works I have studied first-hand at his stu-

dio museum and a major exhibition of his work in Madrid in 2009.


the Chinese landscape painting old masters, whose brushwork techniques I

have studied in museums in China.


the contemporary masters, Ovanes Berberian, David Leffel, and Daniel Sprick,

all of whom are experts in different approaches to brushwork in oils.


Martin R. Ahearn (1918-2009), my watercolor painter teacher. Emile A. Gruppe (1896-1978), author of the now out of print classic book,

Brushwork for the Oil Painter.


Ken Auster, for showing me the mop and rigger technique. Jean Dobie, who wrote an excellent book on watercolor techniques. The California Impressionists, whose work I studied first hand in the 90s and

00s in California in the Monterey Museum of Art, the Irvine Museum, the Oakland Museum as well as in galleries in Carmel, California where I used to live.
The Russian Impressionists, whose works I have studied first-hand in various

locations.
Various drawing teachers, who taught me the free-hand and control-hand tech-

niques through direct observation of master painters at work.


and finally, Jove Wang, a contemporary master, who was my greatest influence

in showing me the importance of brushwork.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (CONTINUED)
Color I would like to acknowledge the following artists upon whose knowledge I have drawn in order to put together the Color Building Block:
Faber Birren, for some hints that helped me develop my ideas on the more

advanced aspects of color harmony. The original reference source for the discussion of mono-isochromes and the equation approach for creating these scales (included for interest only) was based on a (somewhat difficult-to-follow) text by Faber Birren (1961). The discussion about poly-isochromes however, (and the term itself), was based on my own observations and research into color. Birren also had suggestions for how to create the effects of luster, iridescence, and luminosity,
Jeanne Dobie, who introduced me to the power of mouse colors as well as the

idea of color threads, complementary half tones, and techniques for how to reduce emphasis on parts of the painting.
Ovanes Berberian, for showing me the possibilities for creating beautiful grays

and explaining to me the importance of preparing your palette correctly.


Daniel Sprick, who showed me the technique of Nine-Pile Gradations.

The palettes described in course unit two of this Building Block have come from many sources, in particular I would like to give credit to:
Kevin Macpherson palette numbers two, three Ken Auster palette number one Ovanes Berberian palettes number zero and thirteen Dan McCaw palette number six Ron Grauer, Lois Johnson palette number seven

Composition I would like to acknowledge the following artists as sources of knowledge for parts of this Building Block:
Composing Your Paintings by Bernard Dunstan. St. Vladimirs Seminary

Press, 1979.
The Art of Color and Design, Second Edition, Maitland Graves, 1951 Joaqun Sorolla y Bastida (1863 1923), the Spanish painter from whom I

learned much by studying his paintings.


Composition of Outdoor Painting by Edgar Payne. Derus Fine Arts. Henry R. Poore. The original source of organizational structures that was later

further developed by Edgar Payne.


Drawing Scenery: Seascapes and Landscapes by Jack Hamm. Perigee Trade.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (CONTINUED)
Concept I would like to acknowledge the following artists as sources of knowledge for parts of this Building Block:
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475 1564). It was seeing his

Pieta in Rome and his statue of David and the Sistine Chapel in Florence when I was seventeen years old that moved me to become a professional artist. All of these works had an enormous emotional impact on me, because of their sheer beauty and emotional power.
Charles Movalli (1945- ), who had a very humorous way of making his stu-

dents focus their paintings on one subject. Drawing I would like to acknowledge the following artists upon whose knowledge I have drawn in order to put together this Building Block (there are many sources):
Rex Vicat Cole Nicolaides Betty Edwards Phil Metzger Joseph D'Amelio Glenn Vilppu Bridgman Peck Jove Wang Stephen Perkins Cedric Egeli

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (CONTINUED)
Form I would like to acknowledge the following artists upon whose knowledge I have drawn in order to put together this Building Block:
Craig Nelson, a fine artist and illustrator, for introducing me to the term: two-

value statement.
Luca Cambiaso (1527-1585), who used the two-value approach in his studies

for his large paintings.


David Leffel, who has studied Rembrandts working methods and art in great

detail, and who taught me much of the detailed information on the planes of the light and shade.
Frank Reilly. Much of my investigation into the theories in course unit three

were based on work by Frank Reilly (1907-1967), who was one of the most respected teachers in the first half of the 20th century, and who taught one of my teachers.
A. Dorian, who documented much of Frank J. Reillys teaching program of the

1930s and from whom I learned the scientific approach to observing color changes across a form.
Joaquin Sorolla (1863-1923), and many of the Russian Impressionists, whose

paintings I studied to identify hue changes on forms


Sergei Bongart (1918-1985) Henry Hensche (1899-1992)

Notan I would like to acknowledge the following artists, upon whose knowledge I have drawn in order to put together this Building Block:
Arthur Wesley Dow (1857 - 1922) The idea of an edge notan is one I came up with many years ago after studying

the paintings of JMW Turner.


I first picked up the idea of a quick color sketch in which the drawing was not

important, many years ago on a workshop with the artist Kevin Macpherson. He did not use the term color map, but it was basically the same idea.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (CONTINUED)
Observation Color unit For the content of the color course unit in this Building Block, I would like to acknowledge:
Several of the diagrams on value progression in atmospheric perspective were

based on the work of the early to mid-20th century teacher Frank J. Reilly, who taught many of the top US illustrators of the 20th century.
Henry Hensche (1899-1992), who in turn learned from Charles Hawthorne

(1872-1930), and
Sergei Bongart (1918-1985), whose knowledge was passed down to me by

Ovanes Berberian. The use of block studies was the color teaching approach used by Henry Hensche. Studying color using still life setups outdoors was the approach used by Sergei Bongart. There were basically two schools that were teaching this color skill in the United States in the mid 20th century. Both of these schools were very successful. One school was run in Massachusetts, on the East Coast, by Henry Hensche (18991992), and the other in Los Angeles by Sergei Bongart (1918-1985). Both of these teachers were responsible for teaching many of today's better contemporary artists and painting instructors, and each has their own group of enthusiasts for their particular teaching methods. I have experienced both methods because one of my teachers, Ovanes Berberian was a scholarship student with Sergei Bongart, and another of my teachers was Cedric Egeli, one of the top portrait painters in the US, and he studied with Henry Hensche. Of the two artists, I prefer Bongarts work because of his use of bravura brushwork. In my opinion, Hensches work is sometimes a little overworked since he used a lot of palette knife work. Sometimes he laid down color spots directly. At other times he seems to have painted wet-over-dry to obtain an optical color mixing effect (or maybe just to gradually work up to the correct color?). Hence Hensches paintings have relatively little near music compared to Bongarts work. Be aware though that I think both Bongarts colors and Hensches colors can sometimes appear too saturated and a little garish. Just as it has been for centuries in the art world, the best knowledge passes from generation to generation through a relatively small number of artists. I have combined the most useful approaches from both teachers in this course unit to show you how to learn this skill.
Itness unit

Much of the information on trees was derived from the work of Rex Vicat Cole

in The Artistic Anatomy of Trees, Their Structure and Treatment in Painting, published in 1916.
The concept of itness was first described to me by artist and friend Rodney

Winfield.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (CONTINUED)
Process I would like to acknowledge the following artists upon whose knowledge I have drawn in order to put together this Building Block:
My principle teachers for oil painting: David Leffel, Ovanes Berberien and

Jove Wang.
Frank, who taught me acrylic painting in the style of John Constable in my

twenties.
Various other professional artists and friends with whom I have taken work-

shops and from whom I have learned important techniques such as Daniel Sprick, Kevin Macpherson, Gregory Kondos and Ken Auster.
My teachers Martin Ahearn and Jean Dobie for watercolor.

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