There are plenty of benefits when you become a student at Digital Art Academy.

Instructor Support

I am here for you through your entire learning process. I am always here to answer your questions, and I take the time to work with you to identify areas for growth in a positive and encouraging way.

The DAA Community-Dedicated To Students

The Digital Art Academy Community is a vibrant and supportive community of fellow artists who share a passion for digital art. Engaging with this community allows you to connect with like-minded individuals, exchange ideas, seek feedback, and receive constructive criticism to help you grow as an artist.

Stay Informed

To ensure that you feel confident moving forward, we at Digital Art Academy and Digital Art Academy Community work hard to keep you informed and educated about all the new updates to the main software we use.

Are You New To Digital Painting? THERE IS A COURSE JUST FOR YOU!

Find The Perfect Course To Begin Your Journey

Are You A Beginner?

If you are new to digital painting, you should sign up for enjoyable classes that will assist you in learning the software. Remember that I am here to support your journey.

Are You an Intermediate Painter?

You will want to keep pushing yourself while picking up new skills.

Master Painter

You are ready to take your skillsets to the next level.

Learn, Create, Inspire

That's Digital Art Academy

Since opening our doors, we’ve been committed to helping students master and paint with Corel Painter and, most recently, Rebelle. Digital Art Academy provides a unique and highly personalized method of learning, creating an environment to nurture, educate, and encourage creative individuals to achieve the highest level of success. Browse through our site to learn more about what we have to offer. Digital Art Academy is a senior-friendly site!

Our Courses

Learn, Create, Inspire

Your Instructor

Your Instructor Karen Bonaker

Karen Bonaker is a passionate and experienced digital artist who loves to share her knowledge and skills with others. She is a certified instructor for Corel Painter and Escape Motions Rebelle, two of the most powerful and versatile software programs for creating realistic and expressive paintings. Karen has been teaching online courses and workshops for over 20 years, helping thousands of students unleash their creativity and discover their own artistic style. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced painter, Karen will guide you through the essential tools and techniques of digital painting as well as inspire you with her own stunning artwork.

Karen believes everyone has the ability to draw and paint, but they need to learn how to progress. She saw a need for digital art education, so she founded the DAA in 2007 to help students achieve their artistic goals.

Looking for Karen's personal website, Visit!

See What My Students Are Saying

Read what my amazing students are saying about Digital Art Academy!

Lana Frye

Student and Long Time Heartfelt Artist

If you are a digital artist, DAA is the perfect place for seasonal as well as unseasonal artists. Every course offers something unique to explore with clear, concise instructions. The most fulfilling component for me is the camaraderie and support given by staff and fellow artists. However, I would be amiss without mentioning the fabulous critiques given by Karen.

Michelle Webb

Lion Art Studio

I came to DAA about 5yrs ago, when I decided to try digital painting & in particular Corel Painter. Karen was a wonderful tutor, & through her classes I learnt Painter quickly & then felt confident to go out & expand on this. Karen is an amazing landscape artist, I specialise in concept, character & portrait art.. but I learnt about L environments which helps me to this day with backgrounds for my subjects. Learning Painter much faster than I would have on my own, I was able to achieve my goal of working professionally as an illustrator earlier. Karen also encourages her students to submit their work for Painter call-outs, & through this I have become a Corel Painter Master & gained a seat on their advisory council. I’m so thankful for the early days of my digital journey spent at DAA.

Bob Fisher


I've found Digital Art Academy to be a rich haven for those wanting to get into digital art. It is full of friendly and helpful folk, students and instructors, who are brilliant. Patience and kindness abound. The artwork produced, and the instruction given are superb. Digital Art Academy is a superb place to grow your skill in digital art.

James Ranka

Student-Digital Artist

Karen’s videos have elevated my artistic journey to heights I could only dream of reaching in a very short time. A fantastic artist in her own right, Karen’s teaching methodologies are thorough and enjoyable.

Raquel Bigby


I started at the Digital Art Academy back in 2012 when it was called Open Studio. This has been the best way to learn digital painting coming from a traditional art background. I started using Painter IX trying to learn Painter with books but ended up spending most of my time learning Photoshop. After I found Karen Bonaker classes, I never turned back. Half the fun is not only learning Painter and different methods of how to work with Painter with art instruction, is the interaction with the other students. I love seeing all the improvement of their artwork over the years. Karen has also started teaching Rebelle, software that traditional artists will feel at home with. All I can say is I highly recommend the Digital Art Academy.

Theresa Ruby


My art has progressed tenfold from taking Karen’s and Skip's DAA classes. One reason is that Karen and Skip are able to give specific just-in-time feedback. Another reason is that they teach a large variety of styles and techniques using different mediums. Usually artists can only teach one technique or style so you end up copying their style, but not with Karen and Skip. As a result, I have benefited far more with Karen and Skip’s classes than with traditional art classes. Another huge benefit is that you learn the Painter software while painting. In this way, you learn the software features in service of your work. For me, it makes it much more meaningful and “stickie.” In addition, since you own the courses forever and you can take them anytime it allows me to keep progressing with a busy work schedule. I still have a lot to learn, so I’m glad the Digital Art Academy is here to help. Karen is also the host a fabulous art community where we learn from each other. She has made it a safe and fun environment where I've developed other artist friends. Without her, there wouldn't be such a great community.

Richard A. Koch


Hi, I’m Richard, an 82-year-old retired Psychoanalyst. I’m an amateur painter and glass blower. One of my undergraduate degrees is in Fine Art: Drawing and Painting from the University of Maryland and the Maryland Institute College of Art. I have been taking workshops in that field since I was 25. I tell you this because I believe the education, I receive at the Digital Art Academy(daa) is as good or better than those mentioned. I have been taking daa courses since April of 2010. From then on, I have taken all the courses except for a few that did not interest me. I use the courses in a way that encourage, influence, stimulate and fertilize my individual goals as an artist. I only officially completed, i.e., submitted the homework assignments, for approximately half a dozen courses. At my leisure, I have studied 85 to 90 percent of the rest. The instructors, Karen Bonaker and Skip Allen, are stellar. Their support to me when in the ongoing courses or now for any of the courses I took has been, dare I say about a word I never use, perfect. They care about teaching Corel Painter and care about me, their student. They will never know how much they have contributed to my growth as a Digital Artist. The choice to go digital was hard and over the last 10 years I have questioned giving up traditional art, except for drawing and glass blowing, but because of the support from daa, “it is what it is”, and I am satisfied. I am open to questions if you please. Richard Koch [email protected]

Nancy Zeltvay


I have been using Corel Painter for many years but I just played with it once in a while until Karen opened Digital Academy. I started with it when it first opened and have continued up to the present time. If it had not been for this academy, I am sure I would have quit using Painter a long time ago. I am constantly learning new things as well as correcting bad habits..

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