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Any online instruction recommendations for a new painter?

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Any online instruction recommendations for a new painter?

Postby Rocco Malgiero » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:45 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 be 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. http://www.drawmixpaint.com/
• 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? https://artcamp.com/
• 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). https://www.virtualartacademy.com/
• 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? http://thevirtualinstructor.com/artvideocourses.html
• 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? https://www.wattsatelier.com/
• 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. https://masteroilpainting.com/6-week-course-landing/

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.
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Re: Any online instruction recommendations for a new painter

Postby CarlOwen » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:16 pm

Good evening Rocco. It sounds like you have arrived at your midlife crisis. While it is compelling to help you find what you want, I will not. You have far to many speed through everything to get to making money issues. If that makes sense then I suggest you hire someone to enhance your job applications and seek more satisfying employment as you will not make a living doing art. Of course if you already have the degrees, the portfolio and past employer recommendations you just might get a low paying entry level job as an illustrator somewhere.

Now to what I see as your need. You can start with looking at "Let the games begin" I posted. Then look at any other posts I have made. It is all free. Know that you must address your level of panic and slow down a bit so you have time to evaluate your personal options. Developing art skills from learning from others is time consuming and requires a heart felt sincere desire to produce art. It even takes longer to develop the brain cells to deal with it. I will leave it here as I suspect you don't want to waste your time reading what you don't want to read. Slow down and have a pleasant evening.
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Re: Any online instruction recommendations for a new painter

Postby Rocco Malgiero » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:46 pm

Yes, Carl, I suppose this could be what they call a midlife crisis, though I consider it a midlife reassessment. My labors up until now have only just provided me an opportunity to pause and apply the wisdom I've gained to adjust a course set by a younger, less experienced man. I've been reflecting on my adult years and see that I've made some unfulfilling choices. It was art that I'd always fallen back on as a repast and even as self-therapy. A poor academic student, I could not afford art school after taking art classes in high school; besides, "there's no money in it". I went the practical route and got a normal job, right away. I continued to paint and draw over the years. Last November I finally threw out a dozen half-finished canvases I had been carting around since 1998. I've got boxes of sketchbooks filled with amateurish doodles and drawings; there is a progression of skill, albeit self-developed. Most of these were done while sitting on the couch after slogging at a full-time job I detested but, at least, brought a meager steady income.

I've done some work-for-hire now and then, designing t-shirts for friends' or tattoos for other friends, I even designed a few textiles that might still be adorning a futon or two that survived the '90s. I've given finished drawings as gifts. It was always fulfilling and led me to think that I should be doing it as a career, but I always opted for the more practical option. When the opportunity came at the end of my twenties to go to school and learn a trade, I considered art, but decided it was too impractical as a career. So I opted for another interest: cooking (everybody needs to eat). With 10 years experience in the field, I went to culinary school, graduated top in my class and went on to cook in some of the best kitchens in our area, quickly climbing from line cook to head chef. I even ran my own company for a bit (people still tell me how much they miss my cooking). But after several years of 16 hour days in 120 degree kitchens, I became burned out. There isn't much pay in cooking when you look at the time:income ratio. So I took a few years off, found temporary work in sales, and gathered my thoughts. Temporary turned to six years, during which I restored our home, sold it and moved to Florida for a change of pace.

It is now, after years of reflection and revaluation, that I, we, decided that the practical choices aren't necessarily the wise choices. We have learned to be content with meager means and enjoy life for what it is. What I am is an artist, though not a formally trained one. I seek now to train as one, but to do so within my meager means and in the time I have left to see the fruits and enjoy them. Time has become my most valuable commodity. I will commit myself fully to learning as I have done in the past, but this time, my vocation will be that activity that I do naturally and with joy. I will no longer work at a trade that brings no fulfillment when all the while I desire to do nothing else but paint and draw.

So, yes, I would appreciate a beneficial way to "speed through everything to get to making money", and I don't apologize for it. I need to eat, clothe and shelter myself; I wish to pay for such with my talent; my talent is art. I merely need guidance in honing it. I seek reviews of the venues I've listed. I'm looking for recommendations for online classes, books, videos and other resources that other artist have found valuable in their striving for success in their chosen vocation. I believe that I can use said resources to develop as an artist and create works in which people find an emotional connection and would like to own for themselves. I will then exchange the fruits of my labors for the fruits of theirs, making us each happier than we were before. If this exchange happens too infrequently to provide an income on which to live, then I will cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, however, I must start the journey or I will never get there. Can you direct me to a map?
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Re: Any online instruction recommendations for a new painter

Postby Rocco Malgiero » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:05 pm

CarlOwen wrote:You can start with looking at "Let the games begin" I posted. Then look at any other posts I have made. It is all free. Know that you must address your level of panic and slow down a bit so you have time to evaluate your personal options. Developing art skills from learning from others is time consuming and requires a heart felt sincere desire to produce art. It even takes longer to develop the brain cells to deal with it. I will leave it here as I suspect you don't want to waste your time reading what you don't want to read. Slow down and have a pleasant evening.


I enjoy both Let the Games Begin and Let the Games Begin II; I've been following since I found the site. I'm a voracious reader and often read even that which I abhor.
I do have a heartfelt desire to produce art, Carl. Desire isn't even the right word--it's a natural compulsion that produces almost subconsciously, on its own. I simply see no reason to not profit from it (not get rich, mind you, simply profit). And I hope, as i progress, to learn from you as I consult these forums and eventually give my own two cents. I've been reading your posts and comments for some time now, and do find value your insights.

Thanks for responding with sincerity to my post.
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Re: Any online instruction recommendations for a new painter

Postby CarlOwen » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:08 pm

Can you direct me to a map? Short answer is No, because there is no map based on your comment that you wanted to keep your own individuality. And, anyone telling you there is one is stupid, lying or trying to sell you something for hundreds or thousands of dollars you could simply look at online for free. So, if you have the passion and can give attention to all the nuances from technique, composition, canvas size, proportionality of subject matter within that canvas size and most importantly, make a beautiful pictorial statement that others also find beautiful then I can help put you on your own path of discovery; for free of course on this website so that others may learn also. That is just who I am. Now, let me see some of your work on this site before either of us commit to this dance of wills down this path filled with success, failure, doubt, mistrust and trust.
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Re: Any online instruction recommendations for a new painter

Postby Rocco Malgiero » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:28 am

Fair enough, Carl. You're a principled man and I respect that. I will return with some work and we'll continue then.
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Re: Any online instruction recommendations for a new painter

Postby CarlOwen » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:17 am

Well, it appears you are also forthright and can express yourself very well with your writing. I have closed my studio and am busy packing everything to move back to California. Finding someone to keep my artist's brain alive for the next few months is actually a boon to me. Creativity is not easy as you already know and to keep the brain tuned is very important. I await your posts.
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