Ellen Grael

Ellen Grael

Star Of The Week

Ellen Grael

I am a Dutch artist living and working in Amsterdam. My artistic career is influenced by several masters in different epical times; the many famous Italian, French, and Japanese art masters.

I started drawing at a very early age. When I was eight years old, I made my first attempts at serious model drawing. In my teens I followed private classes with a number of different artists, they gave lessons in all kinds of techniques like oil-painting, landscape-drawing, and most important the washed ink technique.

When I was seventeen, I went for a study–trip to Italy for the first time visiting Rome, Florence, and Milaan, admiring the artworks of Renaissance artists like Michelangelo, Botticelli, del Sarto, and other famous artists.

I was impressed by the overwhelming beauty
and a new world opens my artistic eye and it was of great influence on my techniques, career, and my inner world of experiences. – Ellen Grael

At eighteen I went to the Academy of Art at Groningen, a good old classical Academy where
I learned to make my own oil paints, acrylic, and inks. During Art-school I studied the Japanese ink wash techniques and made a thesis about the 17th century Ukiyo-E time and was especially focused on model drawing and etching techniques.

I graduated with a 9 for drypoint etchings. Invited by the Academy we went as students to Florence and Paris. I was impressed by the many 18th and 19th century French masters, like Degas and Redon with their strong-bodied bright colors of artworks on paper.

“The Waters of Venice”

Ellen Grael
Ellen Grael
Ellen Grael

Inspired by this master’s I finished art school with myself invented technique on paper, a mix of washed ink, charcoal, and pastels. A technique with a picturesque effect I’m still using today. Since my time at Artschool my affinity is with paper because of the specific characteristics of paper, I cannot translate to other materials such as linen.

Besides the Italian Renaissance artists, another strong influence on my artworks is the well-known 18th-century pastel masters like the Italian Rosalba Carrièra and the French Maurice Quentin de la Tour. And famous Japanese Ink wash masters from the late 15th century like Toyo Sesshu and Hasegawa Tõhaku continue to impress me.

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Written by Viviana Puello

Viviana is a Colombo-American Artist, Curator, Writer and Advocate for the arts. Founder of Vivid Arts Network, Create 4 Peace, Artists For A Green Planet, Author of the book “Just Be Inspired,” and an awardwinning director and producer. Viviana Puello founded ArtTour International Magazine in 2011. Since then, she has served as the CEO, Editor-in-Chief, and the face for ArtTour International Magazine.


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