Monday, December 10, 2012

Heart Studio Review - Our Little Dali Journey Part 1

Sponsored Review

Dumpling always had an interest in the various forms of Art and she attended a few terms at an Art school previously. We subsequently stopped because she wanted to do different things and was bored. From my end, instead of it being "craft" based, I wanted Dumpling to have a go at different kinds of exposure - different mediums, techniques and even different styles so I have been hunting around for an Art school for a while, reaching out to friends for recommendations. 

Hence, we were both very excited for Dumpling to start a new Art journey with Heart Studio after looking through the artwork of the kids of my friends. 

:: Getting there. I am terrible with directions so I was a tad worried about driving directions. To my pleasant surprise, it was a breeze heading down via PIE (towards Changi) where I exited via Lornie and headed towards Upper Thomson. 

The studio is just next to Thomson Plaza (a mere 5-6 mins after Lornie exit when there is no jam) where the parking is fairly affordable. From Thomson Plaza, it is just a few minutes walk away; the studio is at the end of Soo Chow Walk, the last unit in this row of small shophouses. 

Once there, we were greeted with bright colours and various displays of artwork.

Upon entering, on the right of the reception area is a beautifully painted wall which was bright and cheery. 

And who could resist posing against it?

Beyond the glass door is where the classrooms are

:: Set up and Age Groups. On the left are 3 different rooms which are for 3 different age groups for the programs. The rooms / groups are named using the names of various masters: Little Dali (after the Spanish artist - ages: 3 - 4YO) to Little Picasso (after the artist who is known for his cubism style - ages: 5 - 6YO)  to Young Van Gogh (after the famous Post Impressionist painter - ages: 7- 12YO). 

The other side of the wall are adorned with windows which let in plenty of natural light.

:: Week 1 - the lesson. And off to 'class' Dumpling went! The session was split systematically into 3 parts. We had Teacher Syafiq who is the main teacher for Little Dali. Upon entering, Teacher Syafiq showed Dumpling her desk and invited her to sit down. Everything in the room was of child's height and supplies were easily accessible. 

Teacher Syafiq started the session by explaining to Dumpling the theme, what the supplies were called (rice paper and chinese ink) and what the were going to do. Then the surprise came ~ I had expected him to be seated next to her or stand behind to guide her. Instead, he sat across from the children. 

Interest piqued, I leaned in close for a closer view. 

Teacher Syafiq proceeded to guide the children by breaking down the objects into basic shapes - e.g. Oval for the body, for easy understanding. Instead of holding their little hands and guiding them to draw it out, he demonstrated by sketching on his sheet and got the children to then draw on theirs. I later came to learn that this is the style of coaching over there - the teachers demonstrate and the children will then do the entire art piece on their own. 

Below is Dumpling's penciled sketch of a goldfish. 

Moving on, Teacher Syafiq then introduced the concept of tones - diluted versus pigmented. He then let the children add blotches of the various tones to their sheets. 

Dumpling then proceeded to use the same basic shapes which she did on her pencil sketch and "applied" it using the Chinese ink. See how the fish started to take shape? 

And Voila! The completed pieces for Week 1 which are all placed in portfolio for the children

:: Week 2 - the lesson. Having completed the monotone version in week 1, I was quite curious as to how Dumpling will do for week 2. Teacher Syafiq started by doing a short recap on what they did for the previous week and then got Dumpling to choose the colours which she likes and began to work on a 'coloured' version :)

Above pic: Dumpling proceeded to paint the body and the fins before moving onto the tail

Above pic: Adding on the final details with the black ink for outline, scales and on the fins/tail. Thereafter, she was taught to add white paint to various parts as a "highlight". 

:: The completed piece!

Above pic: Close up - I totally love the fine details

:: Our thoughts. From a parental perspective, my experience with the studio has been good. I like the environment - bright, airy and I love the clean floors (I have this thing for clean floors :p)  More than that, I like the method - that Dumpling created the whole artwork on her own with Teacher Syafiq giving the direction and instructions every now and then. I am amazed that she can even create something that's beyond stick figures. LOL

For Dumpling, she had a great sense of achievement from creating the piece and this was apparent when she brought the painting home and "presented" it to the gramps emphasizing a few times that she painted it herself and that the teacher did not need to hold onto her hand. She also absolutely adores Teacher Syafiq (will share more in the next post)!

I am certainly excited in her Art progression with this program while Dumpling is already looking forward to the next few sessions in this Little Dali journey of hers. :) 

Heart Studio LLP
101 Soo Chow Walk Singapore 575385
Tel: (65) 6554 7563
Fax: (65) 6554 7562

About Little Dali
I enquired more about the program with the owner, Rena, who shared that their programs last for a year, split into different terms where the children work on various themes. For Little Dali, in the span of a year, the children will be exposed to:

  • Drawing from imagination
  • Drawing and composition
  • Colors intelligence 1 (Neutral colors)
  • Colors intelligence 2 (Warm colors)
  • Colors intelligence 3 (Cool colors)
  • Clay
  • Wire art
  • Collage
  • Printmaking
  • Recycle art
  • Brush technique
  • Artist and I
Little Dali is a weekly drop off program. The duration for each class is 1hour 15 mins.

Edit: Dumpling has finished a term of her session at Little Dali. Here's Part 2 and Part 3 of our review. 

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