Art Blog

Learn to Draw – Retreat in Beautiful Eastern Quebec

June 20th, 2013

2013 marks the 10th consecutive year I offer a week-long drawing retreat in beautiful Eastern Quebec. Its a wonderful opportunity to spend time in nature while taking drawing courses. Open to all levels. Only 2 spots left. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

August 31- September 7, 2013, Kamouraska, Quebec

  • 6 mornings of instruction (3 hours per day)
  • Live in farmhouse facing the beautiful St. Lawrence River
  • price: $875.00 (lodging and instruction)



Once each year, Deirdre McCay offers to share her knowledge of Renaissance drawing techniques with students in an intensive course given in Kamouraska, Quebec. Her training, acquired in Boston U.S.A. and England was oriented to European traditions (both from Italy and France). This training is very difficult to find in Canadian art programs.
The emphasis in this course is learning to portray the subjects in a drawing or painting in such a way that one thing flows into another. This creates a rhythm in the whole image. This training helps artists create pictures with movement and drama. This course is appropriate for beginners or advanced artists. Each person works at their own level.

Drawing will be from observation only. We will work outside, (weather permitting) drawing all types of subject matter. Landscape, figures, portraits, animals, interiors, and architecture will be discussed. Deirdre will explain the theory behind cross-hatching techniques. This theory underlies knowledge of how to use the directions of brushstrokes to create effects of volume and light in painting.

For more information, call 514-639-6157 or email at

Spring Makeover!

March 23rd, 2013

After many months of work, we are revealing the updated Deirdre McCay website! We hope you like the new look. Upcoming classes and quarterly promotions will now be easy to locate on our homepage. Happy Spring!

Basic Principles of Perspective for Artists

January 14th, 2013


Learn the key classic principles to give your art perspective and depth!

For beginners to advanced.

6 weeks, 3 hour classes to begin late January! *Schedule tailored to the availability of students.*

Location: Deirdre’s light-filled studio in Lachine.

Cost: $170.00

Small class sizes – maximum 5 students.

Which ways do those angles go anyways? Have you been puzzled about how to draw barns, houses, rooms and books? It is not really so hard, but you must learn some basic principles first. I will explain the concepts of eye level, one/two/three vanishing points (and when to use them), and the position of the viewer in relation to objects. We will learn ‘sighting’ techniques (holding our pencil out to estimate angles), and how to put all these things together. It is a fun thing to do with a group.

Drawing by Hannah Yon.

Introduction to Portraiture Course

January 10th, 2013

Learning to Draw Heads – Concepts of Basic Portraiture *LATE JANUARY* michelangelo-head

New course starting in late January/early February

8 weeks, 3 hours per class – to meet at a convenient time for participants (probably Saturday or Sunday)

Location: Deirdre’s studio in Lachine

Small class size. 3 SPOTS LEFT

Cost: $225

Description of Course: (This course will be done in black and white drawing media. It will be helpful if some students have their own portable style easel).

This course is to introduce portraiture to students who have had no training in this area. We will draw and learn about the form of the scull and facial planes and how this relates to the drawing of basic forms (cube, sphere, etc). The alignment of the basic facial features will be discussed, as well as how to measure proportions in order to find likeness. Students will do drawing exercises to practice all these concepts. Deirdre will teach methods of drawing each facial feature, one at a time. These will be related to how light falls on each, to create volume.

Finally, Deirdre will help students learn how to spot problems in the choice photographs as forms of reference.

Nest Egg #3

November 16th, 2012


Deirdre’s Pastel on the Front Page of Journal Metro

November 6th, 2012

griffintownOn Sunday November 4, Deirdre participated in the Horse Palace painting auction to raise money to help restore the horse stables in Griffintown. The painting she produced on that day made the front page of Le Journal Metro. Read the article here:

New painting completed

November 2nd, 2012

nest-eggNest Egg #2 – Pastel

Private Studio Sale

October 25th, 2012

studio-sale2This fall, I am once again having a private studio sale for my friends and students. You will have a chance to see and purchase original art and giclees from my last three shows at 20-70% off. I am also putting up for sale many pieces from my older collections (1990s and early 2000s). I will be accepting bids on all my work.

The dates are as follows:

Saturday December 1, 12-7pm

Sunday December 2, 1-7pm

Please contact me for the address and directions at Hope to see you there!

Horse Palace Painting Auction

September 25th, 2012

5798552griffintown-leoDate: Sunday November 4th

Deirdre has been asked to participate in an event to raise funds for the Horse Palace Foundation of Montreal.

This group headed by the architect and designer Juliette Patterson has asked participating artists to come to the stables near Old Montreal where the caleche horses have been traditionally stabled. They are in disrepair and threatened with demolition.

Deirdre will draw one of two horses present and the drawing will be auctioned off as a benefit to help the foundation.

For more details, e-mail Deirdre at or call 514-639-6157.

“The Collector’s Fair” Faculty Exhibition with my “Nest Egg” Series

September 20th, 2012


“The Collector’s Fair” – Faculty Exhibition of teachers from Dollard Centre for the Arts

Come see my latest art works which will be part of my 2013 Two-Person exhibition entitled “Energies.”

Dates: November 22-December 23, 2012 at Galerie de la Ville, Civic Centre, 12001 Salaberry, Dollard-des-Ormeaux.

Opening reception Sunday November 25 from 1-3:00p.m.

All are welcome.