Debra Babylon Painting Lessons

Debra Babylon Painting Lessons

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About this pro

I have taught College level Drawing and Painting for 35 years, most recently as a full time Professor at Cuyamaca College.  I would prefer to work with adults.  I retired at the end of Spring of 2016 and am now wishing to have a few students to work with privately.  I have a studio at my home and would be happy to teach students at my studio.

I won Teacher of the Year two different times (at ten year intervals) at Cuyamaca and have a large group of students that I mentor.  Several students have built portfolios with me to gain entry into some of the top art schools in the United States and Canada.  I have a B.F.A. in Painting and Drawing, an M.A., and an M.F.A. in Painting.  I am a working artist and am looking into having a Gallery carry my work.  My specialty is Life Drawing (with a nude model) and Oil Painting, but I can also teach you how to use Acrylics.

I have no webpage as of yet, but will be creating one soon.

Each individual solves the problems of painting in a different way.  Therefore, there is always a fresh, new solution to the problem.  I enjoy working with each student and helping them figure out how to first look at the unfinished painting and, secondly, how to improve the piece to their satisfaction.    

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Spring Valley, CA 91977
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1 Review


  • Nicki De

    Debra is a highly skilled instructor, and a very talented artist. I have had the pleasure of taking coursework with her previously at a local college, and delighted to have reconnected to continue my instruction with this professional artist. She assesses your skill level, and designs her instruction to specific wants and needs. She can include exposure to information on art history or the work of contemporary artists, so your learning experience can be as rich as you would like for it to be. Very knowledgeable artist with a professional and personable approach to her instruction.


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

In teaching Painting, I begin by assuming you have no prior knowledge in painting, so I start with an extensive lecture on color and a lecture on buying the necessary supplies. Next, we draw from a still life and then paint.  I am of the old school that believes one must know something about drawing before trying to paint.  I am willing to go through a crash course in basic drawing to enable you to begin painting, if necessary.  I have designed three more levels of Painting with an emphasis on making paintings of portfolio quality, allowing you to gain access in to top art schools or perhaps of the level that a Gallery may require. 

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have earned a B.F.A in Painting and Drawing in Ohio in 1979, and then was awarded an M.A. (Master of Arts) in Painting, along with an M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) also in Painting at Bowling Green State University in Ohio in 1981.  I have taught for over 35 years and am accustomed to working with many students of different ages and cultures.  I would prefer to work with adults.  I enjoy working with students and find that I often learn some things from them along the way.  My approach is to first find out what level they are starting from and then design a program that will take them to their end goal. 

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

I would suggest meeting with the student for 3 hours each class and I would like to receive $30.00 per hour ($90.00 per session). This is a private class with no other students. 

The first meeting will have no charge - it will be a discussion of your interests, abilities, and what your goals are.  This is when you bring in your previous artwork, if you have any.

How did you get started teaching?

Once I was a Graduate Teaching Assistant (T.A.) , I fell in love with teaching and I believe that is evident to my students.  I believe there are many people out there who would love to learn about art and make art.  My goal has always been to create a comfortable learning environment that encourages students to gain confidence and to grow.   

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with mostly college students.  Along with that are the many older students who heard about my program and wanted to be a part of my classes.  They joined and stayed because of the deadlines (a necessary evil) and the comradery that was created within my upper level classes. I have rarely worked with children, but did help one young, gradeschool child with his backwardness by giving him some private art classes.  It was a success for this student and he became an achieving, young adult, due to his classes with me. 

I just started working with an older Down Syndrome student and he is a joy to work with - we don't actually paint much, instead we mostly work puzzles and stretch his mind.  The caregivers are pleased with the results of our time spent together.  They see a difference in his willingness to communicate because of our interaction.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

My Down Syndrome student is 65 years old, perhaps one of the oldest of the Down Syndrome people in San Diego.  I have been working with him for two months and the caregivers have decided to change from once every two weeks to a bit more often, due to the improvements in his living habits (excitement about life, improvements in wanting to communicate).  I have made a difference in his life and that is all anyone can ask for when teaching someone. 

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Look for someone with passion about teaching.  They need to be (first and foremost) ABLE to draw or paint, because they should be able to demonstrate the techniques to you.  Make sure they are patient Instructors that will work with you, even when you don't understand the assignment.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

All questions are valid.  Take all of your questions to the Instructor - that is why they are there!

Lessons offered