We'll be drawing ellipses in class this week. They come up so often in still life painting - the tops of pitchers, jars, bowls, plates, cups, vases, flower pots - not to mention when your painting includes bikes or cars or anything with wheels. (There is even a landscape painting method that uses ellipses - remind me, and I'll post information about it later, when we're talking about landscape painting.) It's a good thing to practice.
As usual, the internet is a wonderful resource for learning more. Here are a couple of helpful online tutorials on drawing ellipses:
Here's a great tutorial on drawing ellipses, on the internet, explained by artist Mike Sibley, at http://www.sibleyfineart.com/tutorial--draw-ellipses.htm
And here is another tutorial on drawing ellipses by animation teacher GlennVilppu, from Animation World Magazine: http://www.awn.com/mag/issue3.11/3.11pages/3.11vilppu.php3
You'll be surprised how spending a little time practicing now, even sketching small ellipses on scratch paper, will serve you well later in your painting.