Frequently Asked Questions
What makes Chris Babcock Pre-K Art Lessons so special? Chris Babcock is a published children’s book author, (No Moon, No Milk! Random House/ Scholastic), illustrator and professional portrait artist who has taught thousands of children ages 4 and up how to draw and paint over the last 21 years. She and her team of instructors teach pre-k students to creatively interpret representational images using only a wide array of the brightest and finest professional grade acrylics on archival, museum quality handmade papers imported from around that world. The results are that each child produces expressive paintings that look unbelievably good. So good that most parents immediately frame the paintings and hang them in prominent rooms in their home. This experience gives students an enormous amount of self-confidence and inspiration to continue expressing their thoughts and feelings through drawing and painting for the rest of their lives.
What is the cancellation and refund policy?
If Chris Babcock or her co-art teacher is too ill to teach a class, or one of them has to cancel an entire session due to not reaching the minimum amount of students, Chris Babcock Art will refund the student’s tuition immediately unless the student wants to apply the tuition to a future class.
If CB Art has to cancel one class within a session of classes, we will offer a make up class.
If a student wants to cancel a class already reserved with payment, the student does not get a refund, but the student can apply that tuition to any future class within a year of the date of the cancelled class.
Can you give a run down on what happens in an art lesson at Chris Babcock Art?
There are several different kinds of art lessons at Chris babcock Art: 1 Day Painting Workshops, 8 Week After School Classes, Parent and Child Painting Parties, Adult 8 Week Classes, and Adult 1 Night Workshops. Click on any of these titles on the side bar to get a very detailed description of each kind of class, but here is a description of what all classes have in common. Students do warm up drawings with Sharpies, then take a drawing and painting lesson using step by step constant visual demonstration and consultation by Chris Babcock, her wonderful co-teacher Renata Damone and encouraging and knowledgable interns. A humorous and entertaining explanation of the difference between the right brain and the left brain is given and how to tap into the right brain which is the only way anyone can learn how to draw and paint well. This humorous right brain/left brain routine is an essential part of what sets up the feeling that we want to keep alive within the students the entire lesson: that they are safe with us, and that their art teacher is a kind and funny person who wants to show them in the most fun way possible how to use the magical creative side of their brains.
After the right brain/left brain stand-up, students are ready to focus on learning artistic techniques: how to hold the paint brush so as to get a wide variety of lines, how to apply acrylics and water soluble oils using a variety of gels and mediums to change the texture (feeling) of a painting, how to shade and highlight, and how to mix paints so as to get different hues and shades. All the while we are emphasizing and reemphasizing that each student has a style not like anyone else’s style, and they are only learning these techniques so they can have the know-how to express their individual thoughts and feelings through the mediums of drawing and painting.
Can you describe the Chris Babcock Art teaching style?
To Chris, teaching is at it’s best when it’s simultaneously entertaining and enlightening. So the entire time we are teaching my students, it’s most important to keep a running series of playful humor going on combined with firmness, clearness, patience and a bottomless empathy and kindness.
Do you offer informal free drawing and painting time as well as your formal painting and drawing lessons?
During the first 30 minutes of class, my students warm up their right brains by creating drawings from the imagination using Sharpies (39 assorted color variety of permanent fine point AP certified nontoxic markers) on bristol board paper.
The only two rules to this warm up exercise are:
(1) no scribbling
(2) no white showing at all that means no white clouds, no whites of the eyes, no white people, no white snow men and no white background! When students can’t use the white background of paper, white imagery or a quick scribble to announce they are “done” with their drawing, they immediately dig deeper and go to the creative side of their brains which heeds the most dazzlingly imaginative pieces. This warm up is a powerful tool to help a student realize that it’s the journey, not the result, but that when you focus on the journey, funny enough, you do usually get the best results.
Why do you use professional grade permanent paints and the finest variety of paint brushes instead of cheaper student art supplies?
Why does a music student practice on a Steinway Grand instead of an electric keyboard from Walmart? Because no matter how hard you try, study and work to develop your skills in art, if the tools you are using are third rate, so will be the art work. The most lush, dense professional grade acrylic paints, oils and brushes show you the most expressive work you can achieve, and that in itself is inspiration to carry on with your artistic study.
Chris Babcock believes that the sooner you use top grade supplies the better your artistic skills develop.
Why use only acid-free archival paper?
Archival paper is an especially permanent, durable acid-free paper. Archival paper is meant to be used for publications of high legal, historical, or significant value. It is designed to last hundreds of years, so you can pass these art pieces down for generations so setting a frame work of inspiration for future family members and a sense of connectedness with ancestors.
Why are your art lessons on the expensive side?
Two big reasons why my art lessons are on the expensive side:
The first reason is the finest grade art supplies cost a lot to make, and so they are expensive to buy. The cost of tuition includes the cost of supplies students use in class.
The second reason is Chris Babcock is one of the best art teachers students will ever come across in their life times. Chris absolutely adores teaching children and adults about drawing and painting, and with 23 years of teaching experience, Chris is at the top of her game.
Why do you always put a border of art tape around the edges of your students’ acid free paper?
We put art tape around the archival paper the student paints on because when the tape is removed, it creates this clean, crisp edge to the painting. This effects the way the viewer sees the work. It says ‘there’s an entire world inside these borders’. A clean, crisp border around a piece of art is an invitation to look closer at the picture. Like a string of pearls around a girl’s neck or shaped brows above big beautiful eyes, it attracts the viewer to look at what it holds.
Why do you gloss your students’ paintings?
Although it is oh so time consuming to do this as it takes place after the students have gone home and the paintings are dry, Chris Babcock thinks it's important to gloss varnish each student’s painting they make to protect the work of art from potential water, dirt or dust damage, and to enhance color and depth as well as unify the sheen of the painting.
Also, gloss varnishing helps if there is any residual surface tackiness on the acrylic painting. The varnish can collect any dirt and dust, protecting the original painting surface. If students want a soft, matt look, they may decline to have the gloss finish.
What do you use the giant flat screen for in your teaching room?
The flat screen is actually Chris Babcock's computer screen that is connected to a Mac Mini. CB Art uses it to play music, show educational videos and play movies. The music is played to enhance the students’ painting experience: the music CB Art play list is vast and is chosen based on the age group : Mozart and Phillip Glass to Lady Gaga and Alvin and the Chipmunks; it all depends on the crowd’s tastes in music.
CB Art shows students educational videos about the artist who’s works are being studied. YouTube has a wonderful collection of 2 to 10 minute videos highlighting an artist’s development or style, or showing demonstrations on how they paint and draw.
And sometimes during the summer art camps when the kids are taking their lunch break, they are shown brilliant rated g animation and films to inspire creativity. If a child wishes to not watch, they can move over to the other side of the room and sit next to Chris and her interns while they load paints on palettes:)