Hi Angelic - My credentials in the art world are about the same as yours. Almost everything that I know is self taught. I will give you my 2 cents worth if you like.
It really doesn't matter if you learn to draw/paint with burnt sticks, crayons or expensive oil colors. The main thing is to jump in and practice, practice and then practice some more. Art Rage makes a lot of sense for learning to paint because yourr material cost is zero, or close to it if you buy the full version! There is no smelly thinner or dusty chalk or drippy paint to deal with. You can set any kind of painting surface you like and mis-steps are gone with the <ctrl + Z key> or the handy eraser. You can also set up a tracing image and trace it onto your canvas and use the colors from the reference photo.
I like to watch art videos or read books that have some instruction and practice their work exercises. You might want to check out Youtube.com for art instruction videos (Bob Ross is a good start) and try out what they do. The more you use Art Rage the better you will get. Honest! Don't be afraid to post your work in the forums. The people here are very kind and really enjoy watching new users come along and develop their art skills. You can always try 'traditional' art materials later if you want to, but it really isn't necessary to make stunning work.
So get busy painting, and let us see your stuff - no one will laugh, really!
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day - Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day! Joe V.