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Painting Lesson Videos Vs a Live Local Instructor: Which is Best?

Classical Painting & Street Art - Nomad

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Artistic painting lesson videos have certainly gained prominence in recent years because of their convenience, availability and low cost. But, are they any better or worse than the typical way of learning painting from a live local instructor in a classroom? This article will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches while giving some insight into the process of learning art.

The older and more traditional way to learn painting, short of going through a university program, has been to find a weekly class with a local artist turned instructor. The lesson topics are often narrowly focused due to time constraints. They might concentrate on one technique, medium and subject. A series of classes could revolve around impressionism, oil painting and outdoor scenes for example.

The Disadvantages of a Live Local Instructor

This type of program does not necessarily have the luxury of enough time to teach a novice student all of the theory, techniques, styles and media needed to produce a well trained and well rounded artist. The pace of live lessons are often dictated by the slowest students in the class.

It is almost like playing the lottery when it comes to finding a local instructor that has enough experience and teaching ability to present a balanced education. In the absolute worse case scenario you may learn to produce only a few specific paintings while just mimicking the instructor.

It is usually more expensive and less convenient to pack all of your supplies and drive to a classroom then it is to stay at your home studio and learn from a video instructor.

The Advantages of a Live Local Instructor

Instructor feedback can be important. Sometimes, while learning a new skill, we may be doing something wrong and not realize it. Other times a student may just get stuck and need a few suggestions to get moving again.

The Disadvantages of Painting Lesson Videos

Most video courses do not offer a way to for the author to critique a student’s work or to answer questions. There is, however, at least one exception where the publisher of a top painting course makes it possible to download student artwork photos to an internet based forum. The author of the videos as well as other students from all over the world are then able to offer feedback and answer questions.

Students of painting lesson dvds must be self-starters because they must work independently. Some people absolutely flourish in this environment but others need the pressure of a classroom setting to get any work done.

It can be difficult to determine which painting courses are of high quality and thorough enough before you buy. Only buy a dvd set if they offer at least a 30 to 60 day refund if you are not satisfied for any reason.

The Advantages of Painting Lesson Videos

Video technology makes it possible for the average student to receive lessons from some of the best, most celebrated, award winning, professional artists and gifted instructors on the planet. Without these dvd programs, this high caliber of teaching in a live setting would be unavailable and way too expensive.

Video also allows you to determine the best possible pace for your learning style. You can start, stop, rewind and review at almost any point in a video course. If you wish to refresh your knowledge from 10 lessons ago, just pop in that specific dvd. If you wish to push ahead and conquer many lessons in one week there is no reason to wait for a scheduled lesson time. In fact, if its 2:00 a.m. in the morning and you can’t sleep, you can just head on down to your home studio and dive in.

Dollar for dollar the best video courses are actually less expensive per lesson hour than live instruction.

So If You Could Only Pick One Method Which Should It Be?

Hands down the best video painting courses can be a more complete, thorough and logical way to go from a rank beginner to an advanced, polished artist.

The Ideal Method

Consider combining the personal feedback and encouragement of a competent local instructor with the advantages of systematically working through a complete video painting course. As mentioned previously, the painting lesson videos need to cover fundamental art skills and theories while practicing on specific projects utilizing many of the popular techniques and media. Some students may prefer to first get some experience with the video lessons in order to have something tangible to discuss with a live instructor.

One thing is for certain, however, any method of learning to paint, whether it is from a live instructor or from painting lesson videos, will always be far superior to no method at all. Now isn’t it time to take that first step?

John Mackinnon, having grown up in an artistic family, has had a passion for art for over 40 years. If you wish to find a good set of painting lesson dvds, John has posted a series of detailed reviews and comparison charts of some of the top courses. Learn which Painting and Drawing Lessons are gems and which to avoid before you buy.

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