The process of becoming an artist is a fascinating one. Nobody just pops up, starts throwing around paint and - SHAZAM - their an accomplished artist. Some of us go to college, art school, or some other formal institution. I did that, but, honestly, I learned a whole lot more when I had to learn enough about an art idea or technique in order to teach someone else. Teach effectively, that is.
LIVE AND PERSONAL
I know U Tube has many videos available; stores (on-line and on the street) have stacks of "how to" books; and you can walk into museums and galleries. I have used all of the above, but the most effective way to learn is to work under another artist who is better than you are. To see live demos, have a chance to ask questions and get an immediate answer, and have the instructor critique your work is invaluable.
HOW TO STEP UP
Most famous artists have worked under a mentor or two. In today's world we probably won't be able to work one on one, but it is possible to take workshops and classes, information passed from one artist to another. I have worked under many fine instructors and learned from them all. I try to take one workshop a year from someone who works in mixed media or watercolor. I highly recommend it!
The painting above was a class demo done by the last instructor I worked under,
John Salminen, www.johnsalminen.com, an excellent artist and teacher. The painting below is the one I did in his class - well worth the time and effort!