Ring Tailed Lemur {Review of heART Studio Little Picasso class}

Posted by ~Summer~ on December 10, 2014

So, after Angel did her first painting of the poisonous dart frogs, she was ready to move on to her second project in the Little Picasso class at heART Studio. I have to say it never fails to amaze me how quickly time flies. There are many ways which I get reminded of this fact and one of which is the increasing number of art pieces my girl has churned out in her learning journey - each of which takes weeks of hard work, time and effort to complete.

This time round, she was going to work on an animal which I found to be pretty fascinating. I'll give you some clues - it looks cuddly, has a black and white tail, and can only be found in Madagascar.

Yes, it is none other than the cute-looking Ring Tailed Lemur. Wait, just because I said that it is cute doesn't mean you can go near one when you see it.

 Did you know?
- Ring tailed lemurs are found only in the southern part of Madagascar.
- They eat primarily fruits, leaves, flowers, herbs, bark, and sap. Occasionally, they will dine on insects.
- Ring tailed lemurs are the most terrestrial of all lemurs, spending a great deal of time on the ground instead of the trees.
- Sunbathing is a common activity, and these lemurs sit upright facing their underside, with the thinner white fur towards the sun.
- Males often have "stink fights" in which they wave their tails, which have been rubbed on the strong-smelling wrist glands, at one another.
- They are highly social and live in groups which typically number between 15 and 20 individuals.
- Females are the dominant sex and earn the best sleeping and feeding spots. If a squabble breaks out between a male and a female, the female lemur always wins the argument.

As part of the usual introduction to the new theme, the students were taught about the basic characteristics and the habitat of the animal. Photographs and videos were also shown to them for a better illustration and understanding. The first task they had to perform was to spell the name of the animal and subsequently, do an observation drawing of the face of the lemur based on looking at the photograph.

Through this exercise, Teacher Elma was able to understand their different perceptions of the ring tailed lemur and guide accordingly. For instance, Angel drew it to resemble a cat with pointed ears and after she was finished, Teacher Elma would let her know that the lemur's ears are rounded instead of sharp.
After drawing the facial features based on a step-by-step guide from Teacher Elma, the students were asked to draw the entire animal on a second piece of paper. Although this might be the first time some of them heard of the ring tailed lemur, all of them were able to draw it due to the precise and patient guidance of Teacher Elma.

I have said this umpteen times but I do like the fact that the children are given much freedom to execute their drawings and as much as possible, the teachers at heART Studio refrain from holding their hands to guide them. To perfect a skill, the best way is to practise and experience it for yourself, don't you agree?

There! This was Angel's drawing of the ring tailed lemur at the end of the first lesson. Yes, in just one lesson which lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes. From a cat to a lemur, I was really impressed and glad that she could pull it off.

In the second lesson, they could start to PAINT! If you do let your child experiment with acrylic paint, do remember to wear an unwanted shirt because I realised it can get really hard, or quite impossible, to completely remove the stains. This time, each student got to choose the pose that he/she wanted the lemur to be in and after drawing it, they had to paint it using short strokes. The fact that Teacher Elma requested them to use different shades of the same colour made a whole world of difference in creating textures and making the lemur look more realistic. For instance, even the white portion was a combination of white and cream colour and the kids had to dip their paint brush to alternate the colours.

In the third lesson, the students began on their final artwork and it wasn't hard to see the look of joy on my girl. Her happiness, passion and enjoyment are the key factors that determine which enrichment classes she goes to and I'm just glad that she has found something she truly looks forward to every week. In fact, there has never been a word of complaint or any sign of reluctance to attend every of her art classes in our nearly 2-year journey at heART Studio.

After deciding and sketching the position, pose and background of the lemur, it was time to add some colour!

It might look easy and straightforward from the pictures, but you have to know that it took a total of three weeks before we got to the final product. Why? Because every dip, every stroke and every blending of colours was carried out by the child. Now, considering how she had to keep changing colours for the lemur, it was an achievement that she made it to the finishing line and didn't give up halfway.

I like seeing the works of other students pasted on the walls because not only do they motivate my girl to keep going, they also remind me of just how much potential lies in every child and how children can often accomplish more than what we imagine.

For a change, Angel surprised us by not choosing a sunset background but instead, she wanted the paint a beautiful blue sky for the lemur.

The last step was to add in the details - including shadows, highlights and the use of oil pastels to draw short lines for the fur. Angel also added in a pink little tongue which made her ring tailed lemur look even more cheeky but endearing.

Just before the class ended, she even took the initiative to add on the sun and clouds, and Teacher Elma was more than happy to let her creativity flow.

Ta-dah! Presenting Angel's final artwork of her ring tailed lemur! Do you like it too? You know, I initially questioned why is that other kids could draw two, or even three, lemurs in one drawing and she only did one. However, it finally dawned on me when I saw her painting. She's the kind of person who is extremely meticulous in her work, and while she might be slower at times, she is very focused in what she has chosen to draw. Therefore, her one and only lemur was the one that stood out from all the rest and I couldn't have been happier to see what she accomplished. Instead of wanting her to be like other kids, as a mum, I'm learning to accept her for who she is.

This will definitely be one of our favourites in Angel's art collection and we are looking forward to more fun learning lessons at heART Studio!


heART Studio believes in providing quality Arts education for all their students to gain mastery in making art, to nurture their creative potential and to cultivate a community of artists and art lovers of all ages. Its class programmes include age appropriate activities uniquely designed to engage and inspire young artists, aged 3-12, to cultivate their creativity and learn technical art skills. For more information, visit www.heartstudiosg.com.

Disclosure: This is part of a series of reviews between heART Studio and A Happy Mum. Angel attended a term of sponsored art lessons in Little Picasso for the purpose of writing this review. All opinions are our own.

1 comment:

  1. Wow that is an awesome painting, Angel!! One day you must teach Auntie Adora ok? :) Poppy jiejie also loves to paint!


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