Category Archives: Class

Drawing and Art Classes

I have had so many requests for individual art classes for 6 – 7 year olds that it is time to open a new class!

We’ll be drawing on Saturdays, from 11.30am to 12.30pm, just after the Open Studio for the older, more independent ones (it means you could always sneak in early to see what these guys are up to).

What do we draw? Animals (lots of them), and then objects around us. We draw from pictures and we draw from real life. We go out to the woods to draw, and we get inspired by each other’s drawing. More information here.

To sign up, fill the form at the bottom or give me a call (9273 4991).

This will be the last drawing session before the relocation above the Blue House School in August. The classes there will take full advantage of the outdoor conditions and will take a twist, since we are becoming l’Observatoire, where science and art are given equal place for discovering our environment.


Open Studio

A place to explore and create art for teenagers.

In this studio, you’ll have a space to create your own art, be inspired by peers, and get advice and guidance when needed. Over 10 sessions, explore different media and find your voice.

Drawing: pencil, charcoal, and alternative mark-making

Painting: watercolour and acrylics

Printmaking: relief printing (woodcut, lino, collographs), etching, silk-screen

Object-making: basic clay work; working with found objects; papier mâché.

Saturday, 9.30 – 11.30 am. Fees:  $ 50 per class or  $ 450 for 10 class session.

Why do I enjoy teaching again? Oh yeah, it’s the box.

It’s the same every term. By the end of it,  I am exhausted, running out of time, feeling I am not teaching all I wanted to. And then the first day of the next term starts, and I find my usual students eager to start again, afresh.

Today was no different as four eager, laughing, fresh-faced urchins tumbled down to the basement. No, they didn’t rush for the crayons, sit at the table, ask where the paper was. They did ask: “what are we doing today?” but didn’t wait for the answer, went to greet the bunny, and then the guinea pig. I let them settle as I tried to figure the best way to introduce them to Cezanne‘s notion that “everything in nature can be represented in terms of the cylinder, the sphere  and the cone”… or rather how you can draw fun stuff from your imagination once you know how to represent a cube in space (leaving the “see the real world in an easier way to draw” for another time).

There were squeals of joy as I told them to dig in the box of cardboard, choose a piece and reconstitute the box. Of course, these were 5-8 year old, and sticky tape and cardboard boxes were involved. How could there not be joy? As we waited for all to be finished, I told them that the box that was really well sealed had a cat in it (Not quite Shroedinger’s cat, but his cousin). However, the cat was really sensitive to light, and it would disintegrate if it was exposed the smallest bit of light, which means that we can’t open the box to check if the cat is there. Curiously none of them argued that such a cat couldn’t exist. But when I asked if they believed me, they said “no”. So I gave them the box to check. They stopped and laughed, getting the paradox immediatly (I am using “they” because they really reacted as a group). And then they started looking for solutions. “Maybe we can just take a peak”, or “maybe we can place a camera before the cat goes in, with a mechanism connecting it to the outside so we can take pictures”, “Open the box at night”… as I pointed that in all cases the amount of light required to see or take a picture would be enough to destroy the cat, they fell silent.

And then,

one of them said “We can touch it in total darkness” and the one who’s been most silent all along said “we can ezray it”…I had to ask again. “X-ray“. Oh! I decided there and then that the cat was not sensitive to that range of the spectrum, offered her the box and suggested she passes it to her mom to check (Mom’s a doctor).

After that, everyone settled, and it was box-drawing, constructing from boxes, more box drawing and then drawing 3-D animals from imagination. Pictures next time… get the 3-D glasses ready!

Last Workshops for the year: Cards Printing and Portrait Drawing

Saturday 3 December: Print your Christmas cards, a parent-child workshop.

  • Using recycled milk and juice cartons, create plates that can be printed… and used to send season’s greetings.
    Milk Cartons and a Star Print

    A star, designed and printed by a 9-year old student from LFS (French School Singapore) during last month's workshop.

    December 3, 2011, 9:15 – 11:15 am.  Make your own Greeting Cards, a parent/child workshop!

    Using the technique of etching on milk cartons, make delicate drawings that can be reproduced and displayed in front of a lighted candle.

    Timing: 9:15 am-11:15 am

    Location: 102 Gardenia Road Singapore 578873

    Instructor: Isabelle Desjeux (92734991)

    Age group:  5 – 14 year olds (young ones should be accompanied). Adults alone welcome.

    Fees (all materials included):$55/60 (Child alone/team) includes all material.

    How do i Sign-Up?

December 5 – 9: Drawing portraits

  • Learn to draw realistically using various tools and mediums (pencil, charcoal, watercolour and pastels). And learn to have fun and see beyond the lines on the surface to create a portrait with personality, reflecting both your personality and the sitter’s personality!
    Self-Portrait by Ruru (9 years old)
    Self-Portrait by Ruru (9 years old)
    Pastel self-portrait by Calista

    self-portrait (Calista, 8 years old)

    Portrait after painting by Vermeer

    Portrait by Ruru (9 years old)



Self-Portrait by Nana (5 years old)

Timing: 10am-12.00pm

Location: 102 Gardenia Road Singapore 578873

Instructor: Isabelle Desjeux (92734991)

Age group: children from 8 years old (beginners or advanced); adults welcome

Group size: no more than 6.

Fees (all materials included): $300

How do i Sign-Up?


It has been a curiously intense week in terms of confronting learning environments for children. Let me clarify:

  • I have been giving a presentation on the history of printmaking in Europe to a group of 180 9-year olds at the French school; followed by visits in individual classes to lead printmaking workshops (I even lug my 1-ton etching press to school!).
  • I have visited The Blue House Nursery, a beautiful Reggio-inspired pre-school at the edge of the Bukit Timah forest reserve;
  • I have given a drawing lesson to a couple of 4-year olds, a group of 5-8 year olds and let a threesome of tweens loose in my painting studio (instead of the usual drawing class);
  • I have sat on in a meeting of young French mothers entrepreneurs… discussing business but with young children at the back of their mind.
  • I have been reflecting on what my “teaching philosophy” would be for a teaching job in Middle School and then for University-level;
  • I have come up with new art-and-science workshops for walk-in crowds for Playeum;
  • I have been solidifying my ideas for L’Observatoire, an art-and-science education workshop (more on that soon);
  • I have attended a student-led “Unplugged” concert at UWCSEA.
… and checking that my own 3 kids had done their homework.
And from all this, I come comforted in a few things:
  • “Emerging Curriculum” really exist (at The Blue House Nursery). I have always resisted following a strict curriculum for my classes (which makes it difficult to hire other teachers to do the work…), preferring to have a general idea of what the students should have been exposed to at the end of the session or series of sessions, and then letting the group of students lead the path. Now I now that this has a name and it’s not “unprepared lessons” but rather “over prepare and go with the flow”….
  • Telling kids answers to questions they have not yet asked is robbing them of the essential pleasure or finding questions. Presenting facts as the result of our own investigation  might be a better teaching approach. I have still not watched Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk entitled “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” despite being directed to it many times. I suspect the content might in essence be the same … I invite you to listen and give me your thoughts!