About New Masters Academy

We’re changing the art world. Are you with us?

New Masters Academy is reinventing art education each and every day.
Learn from the best artists in the world for just $35* per month.

New Masters Academy is the Internet’s leading subscription-based art education website. We bring top quality art instruction to artists around the world for affordable prices.

The website was founded in 2012 by Joshua Jacobo along with a core group of instructors that includes master draftsman Glenn Vilppu, figurative painter Steve Huston, monumental sculptor Ed Fraughton, and Disney art director Bill Perkins.

The website launched with just over 100 hours of video content from twelve instructors, all experts at the top of their fields.

Since then, the website has grown to include over one thousand hours of content from over twenty instructors, including Juliette Aristides, John Asaro, Mark Westermoe, David Simon, Johanna Schwaiger and Rey Bustos. We have reached millions of artists online and we have educated tens of thousands of students from around the globe.

We also offer a first-of-its-kind 3D viewing application for artist references, as well as a photo reference library with tens of thousands of high quality, royalty-free images.

Years after our website launched, we are still honored to work to empower artists with the highest quality art instruction ever produced.

New Masters Academy Instructors

Stapleton Kearns

Stapleton Kearns is a professional painter, working in the New England landscape tradition. He is the recipient of many awards from the Rockport Art Association as well as the Guild of Boston Artists, American Artists Association. He attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, later studying with the atelier R.H. Ives Gammell and Robert Douglas Hunter at the historic Fenway Studios. His years with Gammell gave him respect for classical draftsmanship, through daily practice, and he now applies and adapts these lessons to his outdoor impressionist landscapes. Working directly from nature, Stapleton chooses scenes from which he knows he can make a painting with a poetic sense of place, while using his expressive brushstrokes to communicate ideas about beauty. “I try to present not only the appearance of the place but also a lovely arrangement of colors and shapes.”

Throughout his career, Stapleton has exhibited in many shows including “New England Impressions: Painting From Life,” The Attleboro Art Museum, Attleboro Massachusetts, a one man show at the Rockport Art Association, “Impressions of New England,” Miller Gallery, Ohio, “Great Paintings of New England Tradition,” Hammond Gallery, Ohio, The National Academy of Design, New York City, “Art in the Embassies,” Moscow, Russia, along with many others. As well as being a member of the Guild of Boston Artists, Stapleton also belongs to the Rockport Art Association where he is a former president and a member of the North Shore Art Association. Stapleton is currently living in New Hampshire.

Joseph Todorovitch

Joseph Michael Todorovitch is a contemporary painter, immersed in figurative subject matter, who is exploring painting through the lens of a naturalist perspective. His paintings are searching for a breathing sense of light, space, time, and subtle narratives that are personal but allow the viewer to ponder and create meaning. His concern for excellence of craftsmanship is balanced with a freedom to explore the playful side of paint application. He simultaneously pushes to create interest with surface abstraction and visual fidelity. The concert of the technical narrative, along with the implied narrative of the subject matter, requires the viewer to complete the experience of a Todorovitch work of art.

Jason Arkles

Jason Arkles is an American sculptor working in the traditional methods and materials one would normally associate with a sculptor in Florence. His large-scale figurative work in bronze, marble, terracotta, and wood can be found in public and private spaces, museums, cemeteries, and churches in Europe and America, including on the façade of Saint Mark’s English Church, here in Florence. Trained locally in the studio of Charles H. Cecil (the human figure in clay), in Studio Sem in Pietrasanta (marble), and in a Pontifical Academy in Rome (sacred art), Jason himself now runs a small teaching studio in Florence, Studio Della Statua, in tandem with his professional career. Regarding himself as a practitioner of sculpture rather than an academic, Jason nevertheless has presumed to self-publish two small books on sculpture; Sculpting From Life, a manual for sculpting in clay using a living model, and the other, a translation and commentary on Leon Battista Alberti’s Della Statua. he is currently working on his third, which will detail the history of visually-oriented sculpture technique as practiced in the ateliers of 19th Century France.

Joe Altwer

Joseph Altwer is a traditional realist oil painter born in California in 1984. Joseph began his studies in 2005, at the Florence Academy of Art, where he also taught for several years. Altwer’s style of painting has a foundation in traditional techniques with an impressionist palette, in which most of his paints, canvases, and mediums are made himself. Whether painting plein air or still life and interiors in his studio, Altwer prefers to work from life as he considers it to be the true source of beauty.

Leo Mancini-Hresko

Leo Mancini-Hresko is a Boston-based artist. During a study abroad program in Italy in 2001, Leo found The Florence Academy of Art, where he studied from 2001-2005 and subsequently taught until 2011. During his time at the school, Leo was the Director of the Drawing Program for Sculptors, taught workshops in Plein Air landscape painting, and lectured on Artist Materials. Since 2012, Leo has been working from his studio in Massachusetts, and travels regularly to paint, exhibit and teach.

Ben Fenske

Ben Fenske (b. 1978) although a native of Minnesota, and has been working and living in Sag Harbor, New York and Florence, Italy for the last 7 years. An oil painter in the spirit of the 19th and 20th century impressionists, he often chooses informal and contemporary scenes with an implied narrative.  His work, which features brash and suggestive brushstrokes, delights in light and color and is regularly exhibited in shows across the US. Fenske has been the subject of countless national articles, notably the American Artist Magazine which included him as one of the Best 25 Living Artists in 2012.


Russian Academy of Art
Florence Academy of Art
Studio of Joseph Paquet, Minnesota
Bougie Studio, Minnesota.


BP Portrait Award 2016 Exhibited Artist

Robert Bodem

Robert Bodem is a cum laude graduate from Boston University. He traveled to Florence to continue his art studies. However, before finishing his studies, he returned to Boston to obtain his MA and receive a highly prestigious art award. Once again in Italy, he started the Sculpture Department at the Florence Academy of Art which he has directed for the last two decades. He has now moved to Greece to open his own atelier: The Athens Sculpture Atelier.

Hollis Dunlap

Hollis Dunlap has been painting since the age of 14. He studied at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, graduating in 1999 after painting and drawing the figure extensively for four years. While at the Academy, he was the first painter to be awarded First Prize at New York’s National Arts Club student exhibition for two consecutive years. He has had numerous solo shows in New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Miami, and currently paints and teaches painting in Southeastern CT.

Iliya Mirochnik

Originally from Odessa, Ukraine, Iliya Mirochnik immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s with his family. From a young age, Iliya pursued training in the arts. In 2013, he completed his studies in St. Petersburg, Russia in the prestigious I.E. Repin State Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture with a Masters of Fine Arts degree in painting. In his paintings he aims to connect the Russian aesthetic with American sensibilities, creating images that go beyond their origins. He has been the recipient of a number of prestigious scholarships and awards both in the United States and in Russia, winning the “First Place” award in the American Portrait Society’s International Portrait Competition. Iliya has exhibited within the United States and abroad, including two solo exhibitions, in New York City and Salzburg, Austria. In 2015 Iliya was selected to develop his design for a public monument for Iconbay Residences in Miami, Florida in collaboration with The Related Group architecture firm. Iliya Mirochnik is currently a Visiting Full-Time Professor at Ringling College of Art and Design where he teaches painting and drawing in the Illustration Department.

Glenn Vilppu New Masters Academy Instructor

Glenn Vilppu is an internationally renowned draftsman, painter, and instructor whose books and DVDs are used by universities, art schools and independent students around the world. Vilppu has had at least 20 one-man shows, and is represented in collections throughout the U. S., Canada and Europe. Vilppu’s approach to teaching drawing has become the standard for professional artists and imitated by numerous teachers and applied by the tens of thousands of students of his teaching. Vilppu brought his approach to traditional figure drawing and composition to bear in the Animation industry for over 20 years on both feature and shorts for all of the major studios