When I retired I knew I wanted to paint, but I had no idea how to start. It seemed like there were a million “How to Paint” videos on YouTube. I realized, after a while, they were, in fact, “Watch me Paint” videos. There was no, or little, teaching.
I bought a lot of art supplies and got frustrated when I tried to use them. Like most beginners, because I bought cheap art supplies, a big part of my problem was poor quality paints and brushes. I bought DVDs and tried to follow along. I was painting pretty pictures, but I wasn’t learning to paint.
I tried a class one time, but something came up at work and I had to drop out. Anyway, having taught for years, I realized that a class only goes as fast as the slowest student.
When I became associated with Alexander Art, we decided that no student should have to go through that ordeal. We decided to create a path to excellence. That path would take students, step by step, from a beginner to an advanced artist. It would be an easy to follow format that we would tailor to our students’ own needs.
“Paint with Bill” art course
We started creating this path when we launched our updated website about a year ago. Bill had created a video, which Alexander Art sold for years, teaching his method of oil painting. We decided to give that video away, for free, so that the whole world could learn to paint with Bill’s method. We built an online art course around that video. We segmented the video into individual lessons. We added two complete painting videos so that students could try out their new skills. We even offer a certificate of completion to “graduates”.
Late last year, we launched our Silver Membership. We are posting every one of Bill’s videos that we own. There are also videos of other artists that Bill made famous on his Emmy award-winning television show, “The Magic of Oil Painting.” These are all master artists and master teachers. You can view these videos twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Silver members can also download the videos for offline viewing. We also have hundreds of art project files. In short, a lifetime of learning awaits a Silver member.
Most of the videos we post are the twenty-eight-minute videos from Bill’s television shows. We’re, also, including videos never released for television. Many of them run longer than twenty-eight minutes and are much more detailed. Examples are paintings like “Redwoods” and “Sunset Seascape”.
We are breaking these longer videos into small, bite-sized segments. We call this process a “deconstruction”. That makes them easier to watch and easier to isolate and study Bill’s techniques. Over time, we will do this with all the videos.
Bill created special technique videos that were never seen on television. They included techniques on how to paint light and the wind, how to paint animals, how to paint using a palette knife and much more. We are also posting technique videos from Buck Paulson (Seascapes-Still Life), Robert Warren (Landscapes-Portraits), and Lowell Speers (Florals).
Our “You Can Paint” Master Class will be launching in April. We will offer both a home study course and a live mentor training course which is in beta testing right now. Taught by Alexander Master Artist Tom Anderson, students will learn the hidden secrets of Bill’s technique. These are techniques used at the highest levels of the wet-on-wet method of oil painting. Bill couldn’t teach these because they were too advanced for most students. No one has seen techniques, before, because no one has spent more time viewing and analyzing Bill’s work. This course will take students as far as they want to go in developing their art career.
We’ve talked about the four levels of learning and how they relate to finding a competent teacher. We’ve talked about The Gap and how it is important to build a body of work to improve your skills. We’ve talked about learning to see the world as an artist sees it and how learning to paint can help you do that. We’ve laid out a plan to help you on your own path to excellence – from our free “Paint with Bill” art course to our Silver membership to our Master Class.
We want to help you realize your dream of becoming an artist. We want to help you discover the joy that Bill knew as a successful artist. We are here to help you every step of the way.