There are some fantastic resources for people like me who have been trying to follow a broadly 'academic' programme of study. Essentially the method involves a series of distinct stages, beginning with copying "from the flat" (i.e. copying drawings by the great artists of the past), drawing and painting from antique sculpture and figure drawing and painting, moving on to portraiture, still life and culminating, traditionally, in independent work on large scale multi-figure historical, religious and allegorical paintings. The process is eloquently described in the You Tube video from the Angel Academy.
Without being surrounded by heaps of other students following the same programme, I've found it difficult (or, rather, boring) to be too rigid about following the stages in sequence. So, for better or worse, I've skipped about a bit!
Below are a selection of pages that I like to refer to in my studies, which may be of interest:
How an Impressionist Sees (Darren Roussar) (part 1 of 3 parts - parts 2 and 3 also available from same site);
Step by Step Figure Painting (Sofia Welch of LARA) (part 2 also available from the same site);
Sag Harbor Fine Arts Academy at Grenning Gallery - class notes;
Angel Academy of Art You Tube Video (part 1 of 3 parts - parts 2 and 3 also available from same site);
It has, to say the least, been a rather haphazard process for me, in terms of trying to find reliable information. There are lots of different approaches and variations on themes out there but these links are some of the ones that I have found to be the most comprehensive and comprehensible!
Aspiring artist, training in the classical tradition.