STUDIES FROM NATURE: Drawing and Painting

One-day Workshops with Deirdre McCay


These workshops are intended to help painters who usually work from photography to observe, draw, and paint nature outside so they can acquire visual experience from looking at the ?real thing.?? This will enable them to better interpret photographs as reference for their work.

The workshops will also teach skills necessary to working outdoors.? Painting outdoors is very appealing to most artists, but has a certain range of challenges to overcome so the experience becomes pleasurable.

Each workshop will focus one of the following themes:? Rock studies, tree studies, water studies, exploration of picture planes in landscapes.

Location of Workshops:

Each workshop will take place in a different place on the Island of Montreal.? The place chosen will have access to washrooms and some will be close to restaurants. Possible locations are the park at Cap St. Jacques, Pole des Rapides (Lasalle), Isles de la Visitation (Riviere des Prairies).? I am open to suggestions on where you would like to work.

Materials Lists:

I will be providing a list of equipment that is important to working in an outdoor setting, as well as tips on things to think about. Students must already have painting experience in some medium (oil, acrylic, pastel etc).

Format of Workshop:

Students will rendezvous with the teacher at a designated spot with well-marked streets at 9:45am in the morning. Each workshop will include five hours of teaching.? Two and a half hours of drawing study in the morning, a break for lunch, and then two and a half hours of painting the same subject in the afternoon.

This format follows traditional methods of study from observation.? The drawing allows you to get to know the way to approach and simplify the subject.? It is the ?first encounter? with the object chosen.? The painting is a follow-up study that includes exploration of colour. The intent of the workshops is not to produce finished works.? In this way, painting composition will not be stressed.? It is to become acquainted with different natural forms.


Saturday August 20 (theme: TREES)
Saturday August 27 (theme: ROCKS)
Saturday September 3 (theme: WATER)
Saturday September 10 (theme: TREES)
Sunday September 18 (theme: ROCKS)
Saturday September 24 (theme: WATER)

Workshops could continue into October depending on weather and the interest of students.

Cost: $115 for a one-day workshop

Registration: Call Deirdre McCay at 514-639-6167 or e-mail her at

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