Categories ART 101

Rainbows in My Pocket


Who loves rainbows? *Raise hands* Me! Me! Me!

But, do you know what are the relationships between colours and how they live in harmony? In today’s Art101, let’s have fun exploring them!

Colour plays a vitally important role in the world in which we live. Colour can sway thinking, change actions, and cause reactions. It can irritate or soothe your eyes, raise your blood pressure or suppress your appetite. When used in the right ways, colour can even save on energy consumption.

Colour Matters

Understanding colours is always a priority at art@home. In our art classes, we often encourage students to mix colours instead of using straight from the tubes. This helps them to understand the relationship between colours as well colour matching skills.

Without fail, we always start a new student with a lesson on colours – knowing the primary & secondary colours. Here’s an activity sheet that you can download and do with your child at home: Basic Colour Wheel

To make the activity more interactive, parents can prepare coloured water (in Red, Blue & Yellow) in transparent plastic cups. Allow the kids to mix the colours in separate cups to achieve the 3 secondary colours! The activity is really simple and perfect for a stay in afternoon with your little ones.

Recently, we’ve started some of our students on Part 2 of our colour journey – Rainbows in My Pocket.

ONE-A We revised the basic colour wheel that we covered in their first lesson.
ONE-B We moved on to expanding the basic colour wheel with tertiary colours.
ONE-C Learn the difference between Hue, Tint, Shade and Tone
TWO/THREE/FOUR There is a total of 3 sets – pair of complementary colours in each set. By using a variation of the 2 hues, they have to create “new colours” and complete a painting with the new colours.

Fellow art teachers or parents homeschooling your kids, feel free to drop us an email for the lesson plan for your own art classes!

Be wild and do crazy experiments with colours! xx Teacher Cherlyn

Halloween Art: Neon Pop Art

Hello hello! How was your Halloween?

Besides planning the different Halloween crafts for you awesome crafters, we’ve been painting up a storm with our students too!

We wanted to go for a more realistic approach for this Halloween, but the kiddos were kind of squeamish at the pictures so… PLAN B! We went drastic and changed the theme to Neon + Pop art instead, and it was extremely well received compared to the realistic ones.

Now, enjoy the brightly coloured, slightly gore but still incredibly adorable Halloween art works by all our beloved.

P.S. The theme was inspired by the extremely talented special effects artist, Mykie.


Hello from Japan!

I’m treating myself to a break before the hectic that is EOY holidays *excited*! Actually, I’ll be back in our sunny island tomorrow and I can’t wait to start the projects we’ve planned for the next couple of months!

We’ll be sharing our December Holiday workshops schedule soon! Before I get too excited, I want to talk to you about an… activity that I’ve started doing recently that I’ve greatly benefited from – Mandala


What is Mandala?
The meaning of mandala comes from Sanskrit meaning “circle.” Even though it may be dominated by squares or triangles, a mandala has a concentric structure. Mandalas offer balancing visual elements, symbolizing unity and harmony.

Some people might relate it to various religions, but a lot of people (like me) does it as a form of therapy. Similar to Zentangle, it helps to calm one down and cultivate creativity at the same time.

It didn’t come as a surprise to me when I transit from a zentangle addict to a mandala addict (circle is my favourite shape!) There is no better time to reorganise my thoughts and plans via mandala ‘doodling’ than when travelling from one student’s place to another.

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One very obvious benefit that I’ve observed is an increase on concentration skills and logical thinking. Being around kids all day can be rather energy draining, and mandala helps me to slow down. I try to do that as a time filler when I’m waiting for a next class or when I realised I am getting too ganjiong over work. I may take up to a few days to complete one mandala.

There is no sure way to go about drawing your mandala. You can start with a big circle and work your way in, you can use a ruler to measure out your sections.

I usually start from the center and build outwards. I attempted to use the ruler once, but meh, it was more fun to have a “imperfect” mandala instead.  How I feel when I was drawing the mandala also affects the outcome of it – cleaner, brighter mandalas when I’m relaxed and darker, heavier mandalas when I’m stressed out or have a lot on my mind.

For the last couple of months, I’ve been setting aside 30 minutes before bedtime to sketch/paint/draw. I’ve been alternating between watercolour and mandala. Try it! I promise you better sleep! xx Cherlyn

Acrylic Paints


Acrylic paint is the most used medium at AAH, being rather versatile and easy for the kiddos to handle. Besides using it to do regular paintings, I often like to introduce different mediums/pastes and techniques to my students. Some of my favourites are mixing acrylic paints with impasto gel, and making acrylic skins.


Acrylic Paint
Acrylic paint is extremely fast-drying and is water soluble out of the tube but become water resistant when dry. It works on many surfaces, from clay to paper, even plastic if you prime it first.

Depending on how much the paint is diluted with water or modified with acrylic gels/medium/pastes, you can achieve paintings that resemble watercolour or oil paintings. Of course, acrylic paint also has its own unique characteristics unachievable by other mediums.


There is a wide variety of acrylic paints, you can read about them here and here. We’re using Daler Rowney Graduate Acrylic paints (student grade). The colours are vibrate, but I can’t say I’m extremely satisfied with the opacity with some of the colours. They are great for a glazing effect though!

We use synthetic brushes a lot more than natural brushes. Firstly, they are cheaper. Secondly, they are easy for beginners to handle. My students will receive a set of Daler Rowney Taklon 4pc Set when they sign up with us. These 4 brushes are good for almost all purpose, we only bring along “special” brushes occasionally:


Large & Small Flat Brush: The larger ones are used to quickly fill up big areas, the smaller ones used around the edges for fine lines, straight edges and stripes.
Small Round Brush: This is the least used in the set. Round brushes are good for outlining, detailed work and filling in small areas.
Detail Round Brush: As the name states, it is used for details work. Also often used for outlining.
Bristle Brush: For creating texture. We often use it to stamp on bushes or clumps of leaves. I got a set of 4 from Daiso, they are very stiff and serves extremely well for this purpose.

Choose your paper weight depending on the kind of techniques and effect you’re using. I would not recommend using printing paper as it tend to crinkle. Regular drawing papers are usually 80gsm and above.

Other Supplies
The great thing about acrylic paint is that there are many paint mediums and tools that you can play around with to give you various effects. Here are a few of my favourite extra supplies and tools.


Palettes: It’s a hassle to clean acrylic paints off palettes. I used to wait for the paints to dry out before peeling them off. But in the recent years I’ve started to wrap my palettes in cling film or plastic sheets which can be disposed off immediately after use. They are also cheaper than the paper disposable palettes you find at art supply stores.

Washi/Painter’s Tape/Masking Fluid: Used for masking out areas you don’t want to paint!

Extra Water: Don’t you hate it when you need to dilute your paints and your muddy paint water dull the paint? I always have an extra cup of water by the side for this purpose – one for rinsing brushes, the other to use with paints.

Paper Towels: It is extremely important to dry your brushes after rinsing them, unless you’re going for the watercolor effect.

Modelling Paste: Increase the thickness and rigidity of acrylic paints, but it will change the colour of the paints as it is white. You can also apply it onto your painting surface and let it dry before painting on it.

Flow Enhancer (not pictured): Flow enhancers help keep paints workable for a longer time without diluting them like water does.

I hope this post helps to make acrylic painting less daunting to you! Have fun! xx Teacher Cherlyn

Airdry Clay Basic & Brands Comparison


Continuing from the topic of clay from last week, we’re going to be sharing more on this versatile material! Airdry clay is probably my absolute favourite craft material – the amount of stuff you can make from it is endless.

If my art teacher did not discourage me from pursuing pottery (something I still wonder why to this day), I might be very well sitting in a ceramic studio spinning clay instead.

Due to a project with the kiddos, I got to try out different brands of airdry clay and thought it’ll be good to share a few of the brands I normally use! I will also be sharing on some basic techniques and tips when using clay!

I’ll be comparing these 3 brands today based on smell, touch & texture and colour.

Jovi White Modelling Clay 500G (Artfriend, $3.65)
Das White Modelling Clay 500g (Artfriend, $4.30)
Japanese White Modelling Clay 500g (Popular, $4.80)

Jovi Clay
Smell: None
Touch & Texture: Moist & Firm
Colour: Greyish

Das Clay
Smell: Very strong
Touch & Texture: Wet & Soft
Colour: Off White

Japanese Clay
Smell: None
Touch & Texture: Dry & Hard
Colour: White

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Next using a ball tool, I pressed down into the clay with an even texture and break off part of it.

Jovi Clay: Soft but firm. Easy to break off the main block and soft to manipulate without using much strength.

Good for rolling out slabs!

Das Clay: Soft with soft edges. Wet, require a little more strength to break off compared to Jovi. Feels a little like soggy fries.

More suitable for sculpting or coiling.

Japanese Clay: Hard, able to create clean edges. Slightly crumply but easy to manipulate.

Good for works that have a lot of details.

I personally prefer Jovi and the Japanese brand. When using wetter or softer clays I tend to let them dry out for a little more before using, but they are great for 2D details on clay tiles.

Next, sharing some of the basic techniques I most frequently use!

Ball: Place a small block of clay between your palm and roll it in a circular motion. You can also roll it between your palm and the table top.

Snake: Break off a piece of clay and place it between your palms or palm and table top. Apply even pressure throughout and roll the clay front and back.

Pinching: Using your thumb and index finger, apply even pressure and press. I usually use this to create hearts/triangles/raindrops.

Attaching clay: Create score lines on (scratch) both surfaces of each piece of clay. Apply a small amount of water on both sides and press together.

Smooth the surfaces or seal the edges by using small amounts of water and rubbing on cracks.

I hope you find these tips useful! We will be sharing more on making your own clay sculptures/bowl next week!


Have fun! xx Teacher Cherlyn


Fixing Airdry Clay

If you’re an art teacher like me, it is inevitable to have children breaking their completed clay artworks within a minute of handing it over to them. Or have parents coming to me the next lesson asking me for help fixing their kiddo’s broken artworks.

Most of the time I would suggest using PVA/white glue* to stick the parts together before painting over the cracks, but that is still not secure enough. Today, I’ll show you what I usually do to salvage the damages and make them stronger than before!

*White glue works wonderfully on porous and grainy surfaces due to its viscosity. It really “grabs” and bonds these surfaces well. I once made a bowl out of coloured terrarium pebbles and I’m surprised by how well it held together.

Airdry Clay Artwork (that needs fixing)
PVA/White Glue
A Small Dish (for your glue)
Paper Kitchen Towels
Glue Brush

One Apply a thick strip of glue on one side of your broken parts before pressing both side together. Don’t be in a hurry to wipe off the excess glue! Use a glue brush to brush them out evenly on the broken area.

Two Tear thin strips of paper towel and apply them on top of the crack, use more glue and paper towel strips if necessary. Be sure to soak the strips thoroughly with glue to prevent bubbles.

The reason I chose to use paper kitchen towel is because they tend to be thicker and stronger compared to regular tissues.

Three Repeat One & Two till you’re done, making sure to cover the back as well! Leave to dry for at least 24 hours before painting over your fixed areas.

I always use glaze over my completed works to protect the paint as well as strengthen it. If you don’t have glaze on hand, you can make some by mixing 2 parts white glue to 1 part water. Just note that white glue is not water resistant!

*NOTE* Always make sure your clay is fully dried before fixing them.

Have fun! xx Teacher Cherlyn