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Drawing Like Degas

Le Jardin
Monday July 15, 22, and 29, 5pm
$270 (includes all materials)

Embark on a captivating journey into the world of Degas and his enchantment with dancers in this unique multi-part art class. Using soft pastels, you’ll learn the art of realistic figure drawing, with a professional costumed dancer as your model. In the initial session, master the essence of gesture and contour drawing in monochrome. Then, progress to a long pose in the second session, employing a limited palette that evolves into a full-color spectrum by the third session. Delve into essential techniques such as proportion, pastel application, light and shadow rendition, and color theory. Uncover the secrets behind Degas’ timeless fascination as you unleash your creativity in this immersive exploration of pastel artistry.


Guests who register for this class will have the opportunity to pre-order dinner using Cantigny’s Cafe Large Group Pre-Order Form.

Meet the Instructor

Denise Laurin is an artist, art historian, and art educator. Her fine art centers around the universal theme of moving from darkness into light as expressed through the human form.

In 2023, Denise studied oil painting and gilding with Brad Kunkle. At the New York Academy of Art, Denise studied anatomy and painting with figurative artist Peter Cox. With contemporary realists David Kassan and Shana Levenson, she studied charcoal portraiture, and she studied semi-privately for six years with Grace Cole. These realist figurative artists all have played an instrumental role in her technical development. Her media include oil, silver/gold leaf, pastel, charcoal and graphite.

For over twenty years, Denise taught art history and studio art on the college level at Elgin Community College, Waubonsee Community College and The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. She holds a B.A. in Art and Art History and an M.A. in Art History from Northern Illinois University. Before launching her fine art career, Denise owned a graphic design firm and was named Woman of the Year by Women in Design/ Chicago.

Past exhibitions include the Fine Arts Building Gallery, the Chicago Cultural Center, and other regional locations. Between 2009-2014, she lived in New York City, where she taught at a private Manhattan high school and led a group show under the auspices of MoMA.

In addition to her studio practice, Denise presents art workshops and talks on art to organizations. She has been recognized as an advanced speaker by Toastmasters International and is a member of the National Portrait Society. Her work can be viewed at www.deniselaurinvisualart.com.