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Learning to Draw with The Fort Studios!

Learning to Draw with The Fort Studios!

So it was my day off yesterday and I decided to relax my mind and find more inspirations. As you might have realised, inspiration is not found only within the Internet. Sometimes I felt disgusted uninspired searching through the same stuff with the same keywords so I decided to visit the library. To my amazement, Cheng San Library looked totally different from what I remembered from my childhood days. Even their facilities are so trendy that I had problems checking out my books 😮

What did I find?

  1. Of course I ploughed through the Art section to look for interesting crochet and amigurumi books!
  2. I went into my childhood favourite section to look at children’s books
  3. I looked for some Chinese comic books (coz I really like the asian kind of drawings compared to the western ones)

Tiny Rabbit Hole - Cheng San Library Hougang Mall Art Crochet Amigurumi Books Tiny Rabbit Hole - Cheng San Library Hougang Mall Art Crochet Amigurumi Books

I still prefer this small library at Hougang Mall compared to the massive one at Sengkang although Sengkang is definitely nearer to me. Happy to have visited this quiet and less crowded place where I can really sit down and read some simple stories.

And then, I scooted off to attend Denise’s Art Class at The Fort Studios. Her cozy studio is situated at #06 -03A, 41 Kallang Pudding Road, Golden Wheel Building, Singapore 349316, just a short distance away from Mattar MRT Station. She owns 2 beautiful cats named Petra and Pablo, so say hi to the kitties when you’re there! For those who are allergic to cats, you don’t have to worry as the cats are kept in their room and they do not wander around.

Tiny Rabbit Hole - cats in the house The Fort Studios Art Drawing Painting


Some history between Denise and us:

  1. We first met Denise last June when she was restructuring her studio to host other craft workshops. We hosted once at her place and our students loved it lots!
  2. We requested from her a very random request to shoot our amigurumi process video at her studio and it’s still in the midst of processing (sorry Denise!). Hopefully it’ll be developed soon so that y’all can see how our friendship grew from then on!
  3. We exchanged our unicorns. She painted one for me (the painting you saw at our studio), and I made Yuni-chan for her!

So this time, I wanna restructure my brain and my creative juices so I thought why don’t I give myself a chance to learn drawing all over again? My hands have been rusty since the last time I actually drew. That was when I was studying New Media Art at Orita Sinclair almost 8 years ago. It’s also another cozy school just walking distance from Arab Street, in a shophouse. Yes, a school in a shophouse where I took my Diploma. Interesting hey?

I reached Denise’s studio, sat down perfectly on an empty chair, and you know how terrifying it was when I saw the other students happily continuing with their existing artwork. I thought OMG! Am I the only noob here? Hahaha but actually nothing to worry la. They have been with Denise for awhile now and they’re working on projects that fancies them. It’s very interesting how one of them was painting different types of coloured eyes, one was doing shading of objects, and another one painting a scenery. Their works are fabulous!

Tiny Rabbit Hole - The Fort Studios Painting Drawing Art Shading Tiny Rabbit Hole - The Fort Studios Painting Drawing Art Shading

I’ve signed up for 4 classes, and my objective is to draw as many cute animals as I can. Before I can even start drawing what I want, Denise said, “we need to do a little test first”. And the students echoed along with her. There comes the stick man.

Image Credit:

Not really THAT stick man, but the mannequin that every art studio has. It was such a nostalgia to be doing this all over again. You can never run away from the basics. I tackled him (the mannequin) bravely. To my surprise, I didn’t mess up the proportions so bad this time! Of course my foreshortening is still off. Sometimes I find it difficult to see the real thing. I see things in my own peculiar way (that’s why it’s always off).

Thank god I didn’t really waste my money on my design education last time! Next, I showed Denise what I wanna draw. So we worked on my chosen bunny. It’s pretty amazing how she introduced drawing the shape of the bunny by tackling the basic shapes. Just a few strokes and I could see the outline on the paper.

Tiny Rabbit Hole - The Fort Studios Drawing Painting Art Bunny Outline Sketching

She demonstrated how to break down complex shapes into simpler ones. Sometimes I’m really blinded when there are overlapping shapes or if it’s in a different angle. So this run through is very useful for me to remind myself: always find the basic shapes. One of my weakness is getting the proportion right. I think my bunny shrunk along the way. It really takes effort to make sure everything’s in proportion so I tried my very best to observe and measure. And of course I have to rely much on Denise to help bring my piece back in proportion.

Outline done, now it’s time to do the shading and details. I was pretty bad with shading, but thanks to Denise and other students’ encouragement, maybe I’m not that bad! I couldn’t figure out what’s the right way to shade. Denise having seen that I was stuck with shading, taught me how to bring out the details of the cute furball. Since it’s all fur, I should follow the hair direction and draw the hair.

Tiny Rabbit Hole - The Fort Studios Drawing Painting Art Bunny Outline Sketching Shading

She even pointed out how I drew the direction wrongly for one of the parts and how to use the clock as the reference to get the direction right. She also shared different ways to do shading. Cross hatching is one of the commonly used methods. First time seeing the blender and how it’s used too. It’s very interesting as I didn’t get to use any of these before.

Tiny Rabbit Hole - The Fort Studios Drawing Painting Art Bunny Outline Sketching Shading Blender

I was elated to have completed my bunny! You know the feeling when you took time to create something by hand and got it done to your liking =)

Tiny Rabbit Hole - The Fort Studios Drawing Painting Art Bunny Outline Sketching Shading

It was definitely a worthwhile session. Would be going for more sessions to work on more animals. Hope that my proportion will improve with more practice!

How to find Denise?

You may visit her website at, find her on Instagram @thefortstudios or give her a call at 96863919.

I’m so gonna draw this one day…

Tiny Rabbit Hole - The Fort Studios Painting Drawing Art Fox Realistic

Hope that I’ll see you in the next class when I’m going!

Note: This is not a sponsored post! What’s written here is my personal opinion and yes, let me know if you’re going too!

Mata ne~

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