When paint and Ella Byass collide you can be sure there will be spectacular result and this year it has taken the Kyneton local to the Young Archie finals.
The year nine Braemar College student is one of five finalists in the 13-15 age group, announced in July.
Her artwork will be on display at the Art Gallery of NSW in an area next to the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman exhibitions until October 22.
For the past five years Ella has attended weekly art classes at the 'Folio Club' Woodend Railway Station after school. It was there that she had lessons by a wonderfully talented and encouraging teacher, Jennifer Barnett.
In late 2016, Jennifer organised a Sunday workshop with one of last year's Archibald finalists, local artist Daniel Butterworth, and it was at this session that Ella painted the portrait of her older brother Harry.
In her artist's statement for the portrait, Ella wrote: 'I decided to paint my older brother Harry. I'm not sure why I had a real interest in painting him, maybe it is his raw expressions, or that to overcome all our fighting this was the way that we could make a special connection. These days he hates having his photo taken, but surprisingly he let himself be the subject of my first painted portrait.'
Ella still attends weekly classes at the Folio Club and now has a new teacher renowned artist, Tim Jones.
Her mother Sophie said the family would be travelling to Sydney in September to see her painting hanging in the gallery and to hear the announcement of the winners.
"We are very excited that she is a finalist and that is wonderful enough for us. To see her painting hanging in the gallery will be a real thrill," she said.