Seeking expressions of interest for our new art studio space in Melbourne

We are looking to bring our artistic community closer and create a communal art studio with individual storage, and an exclusive mentor program.

From 2017, our additional space will have both teaching studios and a communal studio. We are so excited about creating a space for artists to create, connect and even collaborate.

To make this happen we are seeking expressions of interest from individuals who would like to be a part of our communal studio. As we get an indication of the interest, then we can further clarify exact costs and location.

Why join our shared studio space?

  • Our communal studio offers a cheaper alternative for artists than a rented private studio.
  • You will be able to connect with different artists and be a part of a new, creative community.
  • You will have 24-hour access to the studio and your personal storage space.
  • You will receive a 10% discount on all MAC courses whilst you are part of our communal studio.
  • You can also receive one-on-one art tuition and mentoring from our teachers.

 What is the communal student studio?

A communal studio which is available for individual use.  Each artist would have access to personal storage space.

Proposed Timing: 24-hour access

Cost: Approximately $30-$50 per week

In addition to this, Melbourne Art Class will also be offering one-on-one art tuition and mentoring in this space.

What is one-on-one mentoring?

One-on-one meetings with your tutor (one of our experienced artists/instructors), in the communal studio.

Proposed Timing: Twice weekly, about half an hour each session.

Cost: Approximately $50-60 per week

If you are interested in being a part of our communal studio, or have any questions or feedback, please email Lauren at and help our new project begin!


A marathon workshop using ink, shellac, charcoal and pastel

Last Saturday we held a Drawing Workshop using Ink and Shellac with Hilmi; we were very excited because it was our first of this sort and it proved to be very popular.

The workshop’s primary focus was on structural drawing techniques and describing value. Hilmi summed the experience up as a marathon day, where students worked from Still Life, beginning the day with a structural drawing, then introduced value with ink washes and then sealed this with a shellac layer. Pastel and charcoal was then used to further develop the drawing.

You can see their incredible process below! Unfortunately we do not have images of all our students’ works (if you are not featured here and would like to share your work with us – please email Lauren).

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Another Drawing Intensive sees brilliant work produced!

Over the ANZAC Day weekend we ran a small Drawing Intensive Workshop. Small because we had a smaller number of enrolments – however the result was an intimate workshop where Hilmi was able to focus on each student’s process, skill level and individual learning desires.

Incredible work was produced by each student, and we are proud to show it off! As you can see below, we had a range of skill levels, which is why we keep our classes small, so every teacher can provided one-on-one training. You can see the progress of each student over the three-day weekend:

Ivana has been attending our classes since late last year and has been challenging herself with drawing classes. As you can see, it pays to put in the effort!

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This was Jonathan’s first class at MAC and his progress over the three days was impressive.

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This was also Erin’s first class at MAC, and she has since enrolled in our six-week Drawing Course with Hilmi. She produced some incredible work. We also received some heart-warming feedback from here too, “I enjoyed the workshop immensely. Hilmi created an environment where we were all able to work at our own pace and develop as individual artists. We moved quickly through the curriculum but Hilmi’s precise articulation made it doable.

In the past I have done intensive workshops and they have left me exhausted and somewhat despiteful. This weekend, time flew and I looked forward to the next exercise. 

It didn’t take me long to book my next class package, for all the reasons listed above. I must also mention that the cost of the classes makes it very accessible. I did a lot of research before booking the intensive workshop and found Melbourne Art Class to be the cheapest – by far. But it wasn’t cheap value.

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These workshops are a good way to supplement ongoing study, and we had Katelyn, who is a VCE Studio Art student. She wanted to enhance her drawing skills and gain a greater understanding of tone and structure and produced some brilliant work!

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If you would like to attend an upcoming Drawing Class here at MAC, check out our classes, or join a waiting list! We’ll be opening enrolments for our next round of classes soon. We also want to thank everyone for their hard work and for letting us share their works!

Works from our Painting Students

Hilmi’s Painting Class for Term One focused on one composition with different Still Life objects. Students could choose what would feature in their work, including shiny porcelain vases, old books, pottery and painted wine bottles. They were also challenged with a backdrop of creased sheets.

The class focused on oil painting techniques and students were encouraged to develop drawing skills, conceptual understanding and technical proficiency in painting using a classical approach modified for contemporary use. Hilmi used some of the elements of Flemish Painting technique, which he has previously taught in a three-day workshop, with a faster contemporary, approach.

We are very proud of what our students have achieved! Below are their works in progress – we hope you enjoy them!

Enrolments are now open for Term Two Painting and we welcome people of all skills levels. You do not have to have attended Term One to join us – Hilmi will help you wherever you are on your artistic journey! You can enrol and find out more via our course page:


Award-winning artist Irene Ferguson joins MAC

We are extremely fortunate to have artist Irene Ferguson in our rank of professional artists/teachers here at Melbourne Art Class!

Irene is currently teaching our popular six-week General Drawing Course, and her Sunday Studio Art Course begins this weekend (enrolments are still open!).

Irene was born in New Zealand and we are very lucky she has chosen to cross the Tasman after wandering all around the world. She completed a Master Fine Arts at the New York Academy of Art, (cum laude) and also has a Diploma of Fine Arts, with Honours (printmaking) from Otago School of Fine Art, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Irene Ferguson with Blue Girl

Irene has had over thirteen solo exhibitions and a number of group exhibitions in her career, and has worked as studio assistant for both Jeff Koons and Louise Bourgeois.

A highly-recognized artist, Irene has been a finalist in many prizes, including the BP Portaiture Award at the National Gallery in London.

Irene is best known for her portraiture work. In 2008 she won the Adam Portraiture Award with her work, The Blue Girl, Johanna Sanders in her Back Yard (pictured).  She travelled to Italy in 2010 to the Charles H. Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy to complete her training in portraiture. And Irene will soon be taking a portraiture class here at MAC!

We currently have one class with Irene with places still available – our Sunday Studio Art Course, where we invite all artists, whether you are a complete beginner and would like to learn how to draw or paint, or if have your on project you would like to work and receive critical feedback. The nine-week course begins this Sunday April 17th, and you can enrol and find out more about the course here:


I learned to mix black – this may have changed my world

Ivana’s inspiring experience during our Summer School

Ivana was one of a few students who undertook the challenge of completing both our Painting and Drawing Masterclasses in-between Christmas and New Year (not to mention the challenge of the heat)!

She has had previous experience in painting, however it was the first time she had ever experienced life drawing. We gratefully received her feedback and detailed experience below, and hope you also find it helpful and an insight into the classes we hold here at MAC. Thank you Ivana for allowing us to share your wonderfully candid account! This is why we love what we do.

“My objective in these classes was twofold. To refine my eye and hand; to learn specific technique and refine accuracy in representation as these are areas where I am poor. Also to dive into the Flemish technique as I’m obsessed by light and form but am yet to represent them in a way I find satisfying. The class was a remarkable opportunity to do that.

I see an immense difference and again, must say I’m thrilled with the result. I think I’ve come a long way in a short time. At home, I paint something I am more often than not unhappy, sometimes to the point of wanting to go all ninja on it, beat it with nun chucks and chuck ninja stars… You’ll be pleased to know that these works remain safe from Japanese implements of combat. J

…I’m also practicing Flemish technique on some small canvasses at home (I’m intent on capturing that light, dammit!) and am happy to share those once done and if I’m happy with them.

Ivana Dash, Still Life Imprimatura
Ivana Dash, Still Life Glaze (work in progress)









My focus was on learning; the technical in these two specific areas (refine my eye and hand; to learn specific technique and refine accuracy in representation) and that goal was achieved. I am thrilled with the results.

I think it’s also important to point out that these are my first still life and portrait paintings. Ever.

Now, with my drawing skills they are significantly less progressed and in respect to the drawing class, I think I was probably on a par with the others. I spoke with Hilmi about this before signing up as it was a Masterclass, and he encouraged me to do so as refining skills in this area would only be of benefit to my painting… even if I was slow and didn’t totally rock the class.

He was right.

First time working with charcoal, first time life drawing – I Loved It!

I don’t think my drawings will be hanging anytime soon, however even I could see the progress as the days progressed. See what you think:

Day 1: Still Life Gestural  
Ivana Dash








Day 1: Still Life, Charcoal. Structural. Dark Base w/ shellac and Day 4 painted highlights
Ivana Dash








Day 2: Still Life, Charcoal. Structural. Light Base.
Ivana Dash








Day 3: Life Drawing #1. Pencil + Black Charcoal:
Ivana Dash






Day 4: Life Drawing #2. Pencil + Black & White Charcoal:
Ivana Dash






Once again, I was thrilled by the results and have become slightly obsessed with life drawing. I need to do more. Soon!

I also learned to mix black. I think this may have changed my world.

I really enjoyed Himi’s teaching style. He’s quiet and confident, firm and precise but also gentle. I think one of the most important things in a learning environment is to have the freedom, comfort and latitude to feel free to make mistakes; countered with a confidence in your lecturer that they can pull you up on these without making you feel like an arse and have the skill to pull your work back from the brink so you can move forward. That’s a tricky balance.

Hilmi did this with me many times and I am hugely grateful and inspired to continue.”

We are very appreciative of any feedback we receive and also encourage students to share their work with us so we can share it with everyone at MAC!

We have two painting courses beginning this Saturday, running for seven weeks – Painting from Still Life with Hilmi Baskurt and Painting from the Life Model with Marco Corsini. These classes are open to all skill levels and our teachers will focus on drawing fundamentals in the beginning for those of you who are new to painting. We also have students in the class who have been returning for many terms. If you are interested in joining these classes, you can find out more information and enrol here:

What happens every week in Marco’s Studio Art Class

Marco Corsini’s Studio Art is a term-based course and has tended to be an eclectic fusion of talks and presentations by Marco (about four or five per term), guest speakers (one per term) and studio time.

We have a range of students attending this course; from dedicated, practising artists who have been with us for over three years, high school students supplementing their in-hours art classes, to creative people who just need an outlet.

The skill level is extremely varied as well – students tend to either be beginners who are guided through the fundamentals, or more experienced and ongoing artists who work on their own projects with Marco’s guidance. That’s the beauty of our Studio Art program – you can be the creative individual that you are, in an encouraging, non-judgemental environment, and also receive critical and professional artistic guidance if that is what you seek.

Lauren Ottaway, Red Kitchen, acrylic on canvas, 2015. Completed in Studio Art Class

We have had individuals on a Tuesday, arrive inspired with a new set of stamps and a stamp pad and stamp on huge pieces of paper all night, whilst others work painstakingly at an oil painting they have been focusing on for weeks. And we always have one or two beginners working on exercises set by Marco with his still life arrangement. The mix of people and their combined creativity is truly inspiring.

This class nurtures creativity and expression, and many students also find it an oasis from the “daily grind”. I was part of the class for three years and it was like a breath of fresh air where I was able to access that creative flow where time does not exist. Having this in my busy, corporate week was invaluable.

Marco’s Studio Art class is where I began to take my art practice seriously. Many of the materials are provided for beginners so the program allows a cost effective entry into art practice.

The class is limited to ten students to allow one-on-one tuition. Enrolments are now open for next term:

Why is Still Life so important?

Still Life – a collection of inanimate objects – does not inspire everyone, and after drawing the same curved vase ten times, beginners often want to move on to “more exciting things” like the human figure, portraiture, landscapes, abstract work etc. However, Still Life is an important genre for every artist; through it you explore line, composition, value or tone, space and nearly every type of texture, just to begin with. It can be the foundation of your art practice, or a complete and fascinating subject in itself, plus many of technical problems in painting can be resolved with Still Life practice.

If you study the Masters – both modern and classic, many works are Still Life paintings. In other works, Still Life plays what you think may be a minor roll, but as you begin to study them, you begin to realise how important it is to the painting as a whole. Artists such as Giorgio Morandi dedicated himself to working with Still Life throughout his own life with the enigmatic results still delighting viewers today. Picasso famously commented on the anxiety in Cezanne’s apples being what held his interest in the work.

“It’s not what the artist does that counts, but what he is. Cezanne would never have interested me a bit if he had lived and thought like Jacques-Emile Blanche, even if the apple he painted had been ten times as beautiful. What forces our attention is Cezanne’s anxiety – that’s Cezanne’s lesson.”

Clearly, Still Life can be a extremely powerful genre in the right hands.

Why should you draw and paint Still Life?

Paul Cézanne, "Fruit Bowl, Glass, and Apples" (1879-1882)
Paul Cézanne, “Fruit Bowl, Glass, and Apples” (1879-1882)



Did you begin drawing cylinders and cylinders and more cylinders until they began to resemble cups and vases and wine bottles? Think about all the lines in a Still Life – the fragile petals of a flower; the curve of a lamp in front of a hard-edged wooden box. The smooth skin of a dotted pumpkin, with deep grooves all meeting at one point; the tiny crosshatches on a folded piece of hessian on which a delicate teacup sits. This is where you learn how to draw a wealth of lines and render different surfaces and textures. It takes discipline but these skills can then be transferred to Life Drawing and portraiture, or whatever you would like to explore.

Lights and darks

A Still Life composition is where you can truly learn how to render lights and darks; value, also called tone. It is challenging but a place where every beginner should start and every seasoned artist should return. You can explore tonal range in Still Life – from the crisp white folds in a cloth to the deep, dark shadows cast upon it by a vase – and all the values in between. This is where you really learn how to “see”. A tip from our teachers is to squint at the subject in front of you – this can help you see the difference between the lights and darks more clearly. When painting Still Life, you quickly learn about colour mixing and how to mix a black (which you find out in our painting classes), and how to handle paint.

Francisco de Zurbarán, Bodegón or Still Life with Pottery Jars (1636)
Francisco de Zurbarán, Bodegón or Still Life with Pottery Jars (1636)


In art classes the Still Life is often arranged for you, although you may have the opportunity to choose which part of the composition you want to draw. Drawing and painting Still Life will help you identify how a composition can be modified for a particular effect. You can experiment with different compositions, create focal points and guide the viewer’s eye through compositions.

Still Life classes at Melbourne Art Class

This term we are offering Painting from Still Life with Hilmi Baskurt. In the class, students are encouraged to develop conceptual understanding and technical proficiency in painting. This seven-week course will be held on Saturday afternoons from January 30th. You can find out more information and enrol here:

In Marco’s Tuesday night term-based Studio Art Class, you have the opportunity to work from a different Still Life composition every week. You are free to use any medium you wish, or work on your own projects in the class. You can enrol or find out more here:

2015 reflection – Growing into the creative mystery

A message from MAC Director and teacher, Marco Corsini

Melbourne Art Class has had a massive year.

Marco Corsini, 2015
Marco Corsini, 2015

We have more students working at a higher artistic level than ever, with some magnificent achievements during the year. I’d like to thank all of our students who have trusted us to guide them and everyone that has followed us, liked us, enquired, enrolled or even curiously looked sideways at us as they pass the studio window.

Thank you to Lauren, Fenja, Althea, Carolyn, Jesse, Hilmi and Adrian for being the MAC team for 2015. I think we did marvellously and the feedback we receive confirms this.

Thanks especially to Lauren who has become the backbone of MAC, always giving a bit extra, always innovating and thinking ahead, also increasingly taking responsibilities from me and allowing me to focus on being a good artist and teacher. A little secret; Lauren has been working from Nagoya in Japan for much of this year, making the level of service she delivers even more remarkable.

Thanks to Hilmi who has taken MAC by storm with his Four Elements of Sketching courses and the technically thorough, Painting from Still Life course. Hilmi has a solid foundation in painting and we will ramp up access to those skills in 2016.

Carolyn has continued with her popular Floral Design courses for another year and most recently has brought us her Art Therapy and Mindfulness Practice, with which she had been working in schools in the region. In doing so, she takes MAC back to its early origins, with my focus on developing a creative sanctuary.

Jesse has continued in his quiet yet powerful way as our main Life Drawing teacher; with almost three years in this role, he has raised the bar and introduced an Advanced Life Drawing course. With so many students having passed through Jesse’s courses in these last years, we would like to offer the opportunity to access Jesse’s incredible skills at an advanced level.

We have welcomed Adrian Stojkovich this year as our newest drawing teacher. Adrian will continue to teach with us from time to time. Adrian is extremely talented and extremely well grounded in his training. It is very exciting to have him at our studio.

We are running more courses, with more diversity and more students than we ever have. If I take traffic at the MAC website as our indicator alone, then we have doubled our engagement with people in the last year. Each of our teachers continues to deepen in their area of specialisation as we get better and better at what we do. Each of our teachers continues to forge their way in their own practice with outstanding results.

As busy as this time of year is, Christmas remains very special to me and the vulnerability of the Christmas child in the manger reminds me of our own vulnerability, of creativity and of love. I saw that same vulnerability in a child I watched come into the world recently. I wasn’t there for the birth, but I have been fortunate enough to be at the births of all of my children, so I felt connected to the journey taking place. The child was a heartbeat and little feet pushed against the womb and out into the world, and then soon, she was in our arms. Last night she was tired and crying and I held her and soothed her as I had for my own children, until she fell asleep. She lay in my arms completely helpless, yet completely secure. Perfectly made, perfectly innocent, perfectly helpless. It will be a while before she knows what many of us know about living, before she knows indignity or violence. If we can believe in perfect love, then perfect love must be in such a child, a love which trusts and would never, could never hurt another.

I think most of us retain some part which is as vulnerable, and yet able to trust and love, as the new child. As a teacher I want to release creativity with art processes and the rich history of art providing a good vehicle for this. We can be receptive to creativity in a similar way to composer Phillip Glass’ description of being able to listen for the hidden underground river which eventually becomes a composition. I would like to think that we can create an environment where people can feel safe and an inner child can feel the joy of trust, an element of vulnerability of listening and then giving to the world through their creativity. I believe that when this occurs, we get closer to our own origins and to the heart of the creative mystery.

Happy and safe holidays everyone!


Students’ life model work from Painting Term 3

We had a full class for Term 3 Painting and our students produced some incredible work which we are very proud of and would love to share.

Four sessions over the ten weeks were dedicated to painting from one life model, in an ongoing pose. Painting the figure is difficult but a wonderful way to develop as a painter. Marco is able to guide students through the drawing foundations of the painting through to the final techniques. The focus in these session was on establishing fundamental processes for painting in a short time. Marco helped students create fleshy tones, finding the lights and darks, and using colours you wouldn’t normally associate with flesh.  He was also aware of the different painting techniques of his students, and made sure his tuition only enhanced their personal style. You can see the different works produced below:

Long-time student Felice has a background in folk art which meant that she has a good mastery of certain brush techniques which have gradually expanded with her recent participation in the course.

Felice, Term 3 Painting, 2015
Felice, Term 3 Painting, 2015










Megan has been with Melbourne Art Class for a couple of years now and is a prolific oil painter. Megan returned to painting after many years away and has become an extremely effective painter.

Megan, Work in progress, Term 3, 2015
Megan, Work in progress, Term 3, 2015










Monika is a Graphic Designer by day but maintains a love for painting and continues to develop her painting technical skills. She has a natural disposition to describing the figure through painting.

Monica, Term 3, 2015
Monika, Term 3, 2015













Learn how to paint the Figure with Marco Corsini

This term we have introduced a short painting course – Painting from a Life Model with Marco Corsini. During this seven-week course, students will be encouraged to develop drawing skills, conceptual understanding and technical proficiency in painting.

When: Saturdays, 7th November to December 19th, 9am – 11.30am

Where: Enderby Studio, 314 Church Street, Richmond.

Cost: $375

Read more about this course and enroll here.

“Marco teaches traditional/proper painting techniques and methods from the basics, taking time to explain all facets of painting. I find the content inspiring and extremely beneficial to my art practice. I trust in Marco’s experience and knowledge and appreciate his very personable style of teaching.”

Monika, Term 2, 2015 student