N asked to take art lessons when we relocated back to Singapore, so after doing some research, I signed him and the twins up for a trial class at heART Studio. (Do note that trial classes are chargeable.)
The twins weren’t three years old yet at that time, but the staff at heART Studio kindly allowed them to do the trial class as they were turning three soon. (Little Botero classes are for children aged between 3 to 4.5 years old.) Didi had some separation anxiety initially, and I felt that the twins weren’t quite ready for art classes yet.
N, on the other hand, absolutely LOVED his trial class. The lessons are theme-based, and stretch over a few weeks per theme, and the Little Picasso (6 to 8 years old) class was working on self-portraits made of modelling clay at that time. I was worried initially, as N specifically said beforehand that he wanted to learn how to draw properly, but he said it was really fun using modelling clay. I peeked into the classroom sporadically, and was glad to see him working so diligently on his self-portrait.
The self-portrait made out of modelling clay was part of a 4-week module, and you can really see the progress made each week. He worked on his face, hair and neck during the trial class, then moved on to complete his torso and arms in the next week. I thought the clenched fists were quite detailed!
In the final session, he added his facial features and background, as well as the minion on his tee. I deliberately got him to wear the same t-shirt for this session, so that he could take a photo with his completed piece. He was quite proud of himself, as you can see!
Teacher Syafiq usually spends some time at the end of each lesson telling us about what they did, which is something I really appreciate, as I have absolutely no knowledge about art at all. Anyway, he shared that the children learnt how to select different colours to create a particular colour or shade of the colour, then used a hairdryer to soften the modelling clay, and then blended them together to produce the shade that they wanted.
The next module was titled ‘Moving My Mannequin’ and the kids were tasked to manipulate their own mannequin, before drawing what they observed (including the shadow), and colouring it with oil pastels.
I like looking at the portfolio and detailed explanations on the table outside their classroom, because I can learn about what they do in class too! I had no idea there were so many ways to use oil pastels.
In his first class, N drew and shaded his picture of the mannequin. Teacher Syafiq also gave them the option of doing “homework”, and although it took some cajoling and nagging, N eventually completed his drawing of six different mannequins. I thought they looked really good!
Next, he learnt how to blend similar shades of oil pastels together to colour his drawing, and drew two more mannequins. He chose to use the same technique to colour the first two mannequins, before trying the stippling technique for the last one.
Teacher Syafiq also gave him some pointers on how to improve his sketches of the mannequins, and asked him to add more details to his work. I really love how they turned out at the end!
N’s next “homework” assignment was a praying mantis, as he told teacher Syafiq that he wanted to learn how to draw a mantis properly. Teacher Syafiq sat down with him after class to demonstrate how to sketch it, and told him to add his own details as well. N was quite motivated to work on this piece of homework, and added a moth “for the mantis to eat”. He enjoyed the process so much that he started working on his own piece of work: a shark and two velociraptors. Teacher Syafiq also gives him feedback on that, and has been teaching him how to layer his colours, using coloured pencils.
The Little Picasso class has most recently completed their Aboriginal Art module, and I was bowled over by what they learnt and did. The children were given some background about Australia as a country in the first lesson, as teacher Syafiq showed them a video about Australia. He then got them to draw the outline of Australia, then identify where some of the states and landmarks are, before selecting their favourite Australian animal.
N learnt how to blend paint together to get his desired shade of colour for his thorny dragon, before outlining it with black paint, and adding details to complete his aboriginal artwork.
N has never attended formal art classes before this, and I’m really glad that he is thoroughly enjoying his sessions at heART Studio. He can be easily distracted in class, but teacher Syafiq has never once lost his temper with N. He always gently reminds N to look at his own work, and/or to continue working on his own piece, instead of checking out what his classmates are doing.
I usually wait at the studio for N to finish his classes, and I’ve observed how the teachers know the different students by name, and interact easily with them. The teachers are all very passionate and talented, but most importantly, they genuinely care about the kids. This is something that matters to me, as I feel that teaching isn’t just about imparting skills, but also about nurturing the child as a person.
I’m really thankful that N is learning so much about art here at heART Studio, and that he really looks forward to his weekly sessions with teacher Syafiq. It’s been about three months since he started classes, and I’m very impressed with the work that he’s done so far. If you’re looking for an art studio for your child, do contact heART Studio for a trial class (chargeable) soon, as they have limited slots available. They’re also running a holiday programme, so do ask for details on that as well.
Special Discount Code for Readers of Growing with the Tans! heART Studio is giving a $30 discount to readers of Growing with the Tans who sign up for art lessons from now till 30th November 2019. Simply quote ‘Growing with the Tans’ when you register and make payment!
heART Studio Address: 1 Charlton Lane, #01-04, Singapore 539631 Tel: 65547563 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://heartstudiosg.com/ Opening hours: Wed-Fri 10am to 830pm; Sat 930am to 6pm; Sun 930am to 430pm