Painting Workshops

The following workshops are available for 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.

Most people say “awe, abstract is easy! My kid can do that with their eyes closed.” And I say, yeah, but they didn’t. All jokes aside, developing meaningful abstract work is not as easy as it looks. It is more than dribbling paint and letting the paint do the speaking. Whether you want to create an abstract from form (landscape or still life) or you want to create intuitive abstract (painting from only intuition and the heart) you have to understand how to abstract from something. You have to simplify form or feelings into expressions with paint and colour. The key is to learn how develop the skills, internalize them so that you don’t “have to remember it”, so that you can paint freely. The real magic lies when you express your ideas so clearly that people connect deeply with them.

This workshop is the first of it’s kind and invaluable to my process and encompasses what I learned during fine art school, and working as an artist over the past 20 years. It has guided me as a designer and painter, and clarifies my vision for my work to this day.

In this 4 hour intensive workshop you will learn how to paint abstract from form, breaking down and simplifying what is important, understanding composition, working with values to create depth, abstracting and painting techniques, and learn to develop colour studies. All which can be applied to further enhance your skills as a painter.

In addition to learning to abstract from form you will learn techniques that will quiet your inner self critic that often inhibits artists from creating their best work. This skill will give you an introduction to intuitive painting where you paint from the heart and not reference form.

This workshop will give you a hands on experience at creating abstract work you can apply to your interest in painting. You will begin the process of internalizing the “art” of creating abstract. This workshop is appropriate for all levels.

Participants will have an opportunity for personal Q & A to follow, and join a private Painting Facebook group moderated by Michele Luminato.

HOMEWORK TO BRING: Gather inspiration that interests you. Photos, tears from magazines, colour chips from bunnings, sketches from your own work, anything that you are already inspired by that you can show on the day.

> Pencil
> Sketchbook (small is fine)
> Paint (acrylic based: white, black, blue, red, yellow (these colours at minimum – bring more if you have them)
> Paper (A4 or A3 size in 320 gsm)
*my favorite is Canson Cotton Mixed Media | Dual Surface

> Ink (optional)
> Stretched canvas (optional)

> Bring in any art supplies you currently enjoy working with and I will also have supplies on hand to fill in the gaps.

Supplies can also be purchased on day if you come 15 minutes early.


Saturday, 22 April
11am – 3pm

COST: $90 each session
Limited spots to 6 people. Reserve your spot email

SPEAK COLOUR an advanced look at colour and application

The opportunity with colour is endless and can therefore be overwhelming. The basics start with colour theory in the traditional ways of mixing the colour wheel; understanding complementary colours, harmonious colours, values, and the list goes on.

Then there is colour in application, how colour works in certain situations, how it fits in with concepts, context and fills the need. Understanding colour as a tool, colour as a message, how colour makes people feel. This is the application tested beyond theory. This is where the last 25 years of colour have transformed my perception of colour. Without this you can’t use colour with intent.

Although I learned colour theory at art school, it wasn’t until I understood the practical application and context that I truly started to feel confident with colour. This was the difference of me feeling nervous (actually absolutely terrified!) and unsure to going completely confident in every application of colour.

The defining difference.

My career path has led me to play with literally thousands of colour combinations in context of art and design, context of a buying market, and learning when to push it and when to let it be simple. After years of applying colour to product, I became the Footwear Colour Director for Nike influencing thousands of products and sitting on an exclusive committee that selected the colours for the international seasonal palettes. This experience trained me to study colour as a trend researcher as well as a creative who wanted to innovate with colour. After Nike, I went on to use colour in the boutique stationery company I started by designing and producing thousands of paper products for number of years. The volume of colour I have touched has filled me up with a deep understanding of colour, a confident partner in all that I do. Now it’s my time to help others feel that way too.

Whether you use colour in product or fine art paintings, colour is a weapon and a message if you use it intentionally. Colour is innovation if you know it’s history and where it’s going.

This is the difference I bring to colour. It’s more than mixing a palette. It’s understanding subtlety in colour. Choosing with intention.

I am happy to announce the following workshop where I share this information.

Colour Vision // a two part workshop

Part 1: Study of Colour foundations + Colour exploration

Part 2: Understanding YOUR palette and what you will use to mix. Painting practical applications, learning complex colours that will add value to your work. Deconstructing a current palette from your inspiration.

TBD / Saturday @ 11-3
Cost: $90

Limited space to ensure quality of workshop // 6 spots available
Email: to reserve your spot

Learn the thinking process behind developing your own creative voice. Deconstruct your unique vision, deepen your visual vocabulary, learn to eliminate what isn’t true to you, ultimately helping you unlock your true self and painting from the heart.

This workshop is the first of it’s kind, invaluable to my process and encompasses techniques learned during 4 years of art school, and as a working artist over the past 20 years. It has guided me as a designer, painter, student, and clarifies my vision for my work to this day.

At the end of this workshop you will have tools to deepen your own style and a direction to develop over the next 6-9 months. (This process is something I redo every 6-9 months at minimum.) To make the most out of the session you will need to do homework and bring it to the workshop that we reference during our session. It is imperative you bring your work with you!  This will be hands on – specifically about your work, and offers one on one mentoring as well.

This workshop compliments the other abstract workshop I teach by digging deeper into techniques, composition, and adding depth and richness to your work. Knowing your true sensibilities, combined with a great composition can be the difference between an average painting and a great painting. This critical component is the core of the workshop.

The content of the workshop is listed below.

  • Build your own mood board of influence for a season or series (learning how to focus your work based colours, shapes, lines, textures, value, music, places and objects that inspire you.) Deconstructing, eliminating, seeing what is missing, and what needs to be added.
  • Learning strong composition rules in context of your work (we will spend at least an hour on this)
  • Learning a technique that allows you to paint with your heart when you feel stuck or unable to let go
  • Introduction to visual tools that will help you identify your ‘style’ based on art school fundamentals
  • Colour curiousity development
  • Creative practice// Paint 3-6 paintings based on what you learned about your influence and using new techniques
  • Introduction to work flow, creating a creative practice that is consistent, tapping into developing depth in your work through quantity
  • Balancing your own mind vs pleasing others
  • Market realities: Commercialism vs do your own thing (short game vs long game)

Gather inspiration (more instructions to follow in email for those in attendance)

Photos, tears from magazines, colour chips from Bunnings, sketches or small paintings from your own work, anything that you are already inspired by that you can show on the day. Preferably to have them grouped in colour or textures that go together into an inspiration board you will bring. My fav way is to photograph things that inspire me and print them at Office Works in their photo print station for .08 cents. Cutting up mags, what ever works. The idea is to bring in YOU, what you LOVE, how you SEE, any texture, colour, technique, subject matter. The only rule is that you get excited about it, or are drawn to it for some reason. Your own explorations in painting, sketches, writing, drawings would be great to include.

SUPPLIES: Scissors, Glue stick, tape, paint, ink, paper, whatever you can pack up easily. Bring in any art supplies you currently enjoy working with. I will also have supplies as well. I will supply any additional paper you need.


COST: $90 each session
Limited spots. Get notified of the next one, email

(*This workshop is only available for those who have taken the Speak Colour workshop that covers mixing basics and deconstructing a palette.)

In this workshop we will spend 2 hours on developing colour combinations based on current palettes you are working on. We will create multiple colour studies that deepen the current work you have and look at how the colours work together in a whole composition. We will also cover more indepth training on how colours respond in form and plane and how you can more effectively use it in a composition. This is a small group of 4 people so individual feedback will be the primary method for teaching. You will also have a chance to work in Michele’s personal studio and learn more about her colour tools.

Date: TDB
Time: 2 hours
Place: Michele’s home studio
Cost: $45

Supplies: Bring paint and paper for mixing and any inspiration or work that you can refer to as you develop your studies. Paper plates, and misc tools will be provided!

To reserve your spot email Michele:

Michele is an American born contemporary painter living in Melbourne with her husband and two children. She has her BFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland Oregon, USA studying foundation fine art with an emphasis on graphic design and photography.

Prior to starting her painting practice she worked in the design industry for international giants such as Nike, Imagination, and her own boutique stationery company Cielo Blu, as well as having a freelance design practice. Michele’s extensive study of art, design, and practical application allowed her to push the limits of industry captains leading the market in products she helped produce.

The volume and breadth of commercially successful projects has given her insight in the current context of the art and design world. She has an indepth understanding for abstracting ideas in intuitive forms, a love for minimal design, and how colour can impact one’s emotions. She has tackled her own inner self critic and learned how to quiet it to create her best work.

Michele’s abstract work explores conceptual themes related to her life experiences using intuitive techniques combined with mixed media mediums. She has skillfully taken her design and fine art background and reinvented herself as a fine art painter worth following, collecting and learning from.