Ellen Michel

Art School


the oily hinge of the doorless door,
open the door, there may be a breeze,
or even the Painters Eye to seize.
a life changing experience.
– Ellen Michel –  pass-i-on, teacher and artist


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What To Expect From Art Classes?

When you join painting classes at the Ellen Michel Art School, you will learn to embrace your rich artistic expression, cultivate your ability, build confidence, and gain knowledge of the time honoured tradition of oil painting.

You will cultivate the ‘eye of the painter’, a rich and rewarding experience, that stays with you, inspiring you to paint, to see a painting in a tree, a rock, a vase, an apple, a face, – you will decide. You will also decide which technique and colour palette you will use to render the expression of that visual story. In short the visual world becomes alive with detailed observation that inspires you to paint and you find you have the power to do so.

Whether you are looking for a short abbreviated glimpse of painting or wish to pursue a longer indepth study of painting, Ellen Michel Art School will accommodate you. Whatever your individual need, we make you welcome and embrace the opportunity to serve you. We work with you to design a program of painting suited to your goals and aspirations, guiding you to achieve your full potential.

  • Learn to develop a broad base of knowledge in Western art history, to not only enrich and empower an individually creative painting life but deepen the understanding of the connection between the making of art, social, political, philosophic and historical viewpoints. This rich diverse history provides a vital link to contemporary painting and a vehicle to imbue the student with a sense of ‘what it is to be an art maker in the past while being in the present’.
  • Learn to develop skills in oil painting with step by step techniques for application of paint, colour theory and principals of composition within the discipline of Western art history with reference to Eastern art disciplines such as Zen. At Ellen Michel Art School, there is no prerequisite for students to have prior knowledge of painting or drawing skills to be accepted into the studio.

Teacher and working artist, Ellen Michel has pass-i-on as her mantra and gives candid insights into the process of creating. Working in the studio with personal consultation Ellen openingly discusses with her students the experience and the inner workings of the practising artist.  Visit my ART SHOP to enrol online.



READ what art student Jay says about Ellen Michel

I am fortunate to have found Ellen Michel, the artist, as my art teacher and that also later in my life when I received a redundancy payment and had some free time to indulge in a hobby. I have to thank Ellen for instilling in me the confidence to call myself an artist and now I am like a ‘runaway train’ when it comes to oil painting. Rather than collecting paintings, I now paint my own. I also enjoyed the time spent in her art classes mingling with a diverse group of individuals from all walks of life.

Any painting is not complete without a description of the artist. Ellen deserves the recognition as an accomplished artist and a creative soul of incredible talent because of the colours she brings to life and the meaning it adds to the canvas. She is a consummate artist and a person of passion, integrity and generosity, not forgetting  interesting when you indulge in a conversation with her.  Ellen is above all a wise and caring human being.  As a tonal specialist, Ellen teaches her students including me, to “see” and to just let go.

Art is a mirror to your soul and the depth and intensity Ellen adds to her paintings is wonderful to see and there is unparalleled beauty when you look at it intensely. She brings colours and shadows to life in her paintings which is something you can’t miss.  She is also an ardent poet who expresses her gift in her words besides her paintings.  I am also struck by her words I am mostly fascinated with the idea of the painter being an instrument, whose work reveals something universal, something that touches what it is to be human.”

I was fortunate to have my children gift me on my birthday with a painting done by Ellen titled Wildflowers.  It has a special place on the wall in my home. Ellen captures the essence of life in her paintings whether it is the Pilbara Dreaming, Peach Blossom  and scenes from across the world which she captures in her travels like her My Moroccan Caravan, Alhambra, Verona Morning or Under the Banyan Tree.  Art is a manifestation of our feelings of the world we live in, the people we encounter and the lives we cross paths with and Ellen’s art epitomizes that.

It is a privilege for me to be Ellen’s friend.

On the website

Ellen’s website is easy to navigate. It bespeaks of joy and the contemporary times and is very informative in an interesting way. With one click you can enroll in her classes, purchase her paintings or just browse around. It also introduces a lot of topics like Poetry, Art Therapy.  It is also a user friendly site where you can view all her beautiful paintings.


Enrol Portraiture Art Classes Here

Read Ellen’s Poetry here

Poetry Corner

A backyard inspiration

Learn how to paint life as you see it and experience it … 

Setting up the painting on a lovely sunny morning...

Here in the backyard I have set up a little still life. A chair, a table , a hat , a scarf and a teapot under the Callistemon trees flowering with bottle brush. The scene is set.

Covering the canvas...

Although there are varying tones of green – it is a good start to cover the canvas with one of the green tones to get rid of the white canvas.

Shaping the Light...

Now to bring the lighter green foreground and start to shape the shadows of the background and distant trees.

Emphasise the focal points of colour, light dark ...

Now bring in more yellow for the scarf and the extra light on the bright green grass at the focal point.

The End!

It’s done. Capturing a moment in time. What joy.

Refine, position, sharpen the light and dark shapes...

Using a rag to rub off and position the light tones of the focal points of the painting.

Continuing to refine and sharpen the dark shapes of the tree trunks and hair and table and rub off for the light table hat 

Discover the confidence to appraise and practice painting through knowledge and awareness. All students are encouraged to find their own path, accelerate learning through practice, to pursue their own painting career in any direction they wish to take. 

Accented flourishes...

Some accented flourishes of strong darks, bright reds and lights on the trees.

Now, final detail with colour and light on the focal points of the painting. 


Can I learn to paint?

It is possible for you to learn to paint.  You have the capacity to create your own beautiful painting.

Over the years when perspective students have contacted me, there is a very consistent theme in their enquiry…


Want to Create Paintings Like This?
Come Take Classes!

The oil paintings below are by Ellen Michel Art School Students  (view more students’ work in Galleries)

Who is Ellen Michel?

Learn to paint from celebrated working artist and art teacher with over 40 years experience.

Get In Touch


206 Cape Street

Heidelberg  VIC  3084


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+61  (0)  418 504 811