Art Classes (Montreal and West Island)


Canadian visual artist Deirdre McCay has been giving art courses (drawing, oil, 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, and the Dollard Center for the Arts.

Deirdre currently teaches painting courses at the Dollard Center and offers numerous workshops and private art lessons at her airy, light-filled studio in Lachine located just 10 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) 639-6157 for more information about private lessons and workshops. Check regularly for updated class schedules.

Classes Deirdre is teaching Fall 2016:

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

Offered at The Griffintown Art School
Thursdays 7:30-9:30pm
6 weeks, starts October 27th

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.

For more information:

Griffintown Art School
1844 William St.,  Montreal, QC., H3J 1R5
514-937-7388 /

2) Drawing from the Nude Model

Offered at Loisirs Saints-Martyrs-Canadiens
Mondays: 7-10pm
10 weeks, starts September 26th

Level: Beginner to intermediate

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.

Cost: $275

3) Portraiture Drawing  Course

Offered at Loisirs Saints-Martyrs-Canadiens
Tuesdays: 7-10pm
10 weeks, starts September 27th

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.

Cost: $275

A note to my students from the west island: If you are interested in taking courses in portraiture or live model drawing, they will be offered at St. Martyrs Canadien for Fall 2016. It takes about 30 minutes to arrive at the centre, even in traffic (via route 13 to route 440, driving east until exit 19 that will bring over the bridge to Papineau St).

Loisirs Saints-Martyrs-Canadiens
10125, rue Parthenais, Montréal, QC, H2B 2L6
514 872-5333

Sign-ups: September 12 and 13th, from 7-10pm
Cheque or cash (if you’re registering after the inscription period, the centre only accepts cash)

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 514-639-6157. I will be putting together a small group at the studio depending on the availability and scheduling of students.