Canadian visual artist Deirdre McCay has been giving art courses (drawing, painting, watercolour) across the Montreal area for the last 30 years. Deirdre holds a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Boston and a Masters Degree in Art Education from McGill University.

She has taught courses at many of the top art schools in Montreal including the Visual Arts Center, the Saidye Bronfman Center, McGill University, the Griffintown Arts School and the Dollard Center for the Arts.

Deirdre currently teaches group and private art lessons on Zoom  as well as at her light-filled studio in Lachine located just 15 minutes from downtown Montreal. Deirdre teaches all levels of students; intermediate, advanced, as well as students who have never painted or drawn before.

Contact Deirdre at or (514) 578-5634 for more information about private lessons and workshops. Check regularly for updated class schedules.


Improve Your Drawing Skills – All Levels (Beginner to Advanced)
Wednesdays 1-3pm
Online (Zoom)
$25 per class

The course provides an opportunity for students to receive personalized feedback on their drawings in a semi-private, relaxed and approachable class experience. Every week, the teacher Deirdre McCay provides instruction on different aspects of drawing that is tailored to the needs of the students. Examples of topics that are covered include: how to create images with space, how to place objects/people in the composition, using visual texture to make images richer, how to use gestures for movement, organization of picture planes for near and far objects; alternating light and dark picture planes for light composition and creating focal points. This course is perfect for students of all levels.
An 8 week drop-in commitment is recommended for best results.


1) The Power of Light (Drawing and Design course)

Prerequisite: Some drawing experience.

In this course students will learn how to design light for their paintings to create a sense of drama and visual focus. They will begin by studying the light in one Italian Renaissance painting by tracing and shading it in pencil. Principles of light use will be explained and explored.

Next students will choose one of their own subjects (either abstract or realist) and they will design the light to create a dramatic effect and visual focus. The teacher will help student to acquire good pencil techniques. During the course the students can design light for a number of paintings.

2) Drawing from the Nude Model

In this course there will be five classes with the model and five classes dedicated to doing exercises (including anatomy) to better understand the human body. Although the instructor is trained in Renaissance drawing techniques at a high level, she will begin by teaching line drawing techniques, designed to help students draw with focus and confidence, but without stress.

Technical aspects of composition, light, and creating volume will be slowly introduced. Different materials and drawing techniques will be used including charcoal, conte and paint. All techniques will be demonstrated by the teacher.

3) Portraiture Drawing Course

This course will be oriented to the beginner and intermediate levels of students.We will learn about the human head. There will be 5 courses with models and 5 courses without models where the teacher will explain aspects of anatomy and proportion of the features.

One class each will be dedicated to learning how to draw the eyes, nose, or mouth. When the model is in class we will try to put everything learned together. Drawing group materials will include different kinds of paper, pencils, conte, charcoal and paint.

4) Oil Painting Class (for new and existing students)

If you are interested in taking oil painting classes this Fall, please contact me at: or 514-578-5634. I will be putting together a small group at the studio depending on the availability and scheduling of students.

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