In my opinion if you want to render graphics then learn c++. I know you said you are a java guy but rendering is the land of native code, especially 3d. Even Microsoft's c#(managed) has dropped XNA support which says they agree.
After that you have a long road ahead my friend. This is the elite area of programming. I can give you plenty of c++ resources but only if you ask because its not worth the effort if you don't care about c++.
There are lots of artists around if you look in the right forums and/or classifieds. Ask around you'll find plenty of artists who need a programmer to work with.