Why come to our painting school?
Our drawing and painting courses offer students a unique combination of innovative ideas and practical suggestions unavailable elsewhere. These can transform the working practice of anyone who is seriously interested in drawing or painting, and they can do this for students of all levels of achievement, whatever their particular aims and problems, and whether their work is figurative or abstract.
“A very different and vastly more interesting type of artistic education than I have met before.” – Yolanda Hart
Long years of experience
For over 28 years both new and returning students have benefited from the Course Director’s long years of experience as a caring and supportive teacher. His informed eye and attentive ear gives them confidence and encourages their individuality.
“I really valued the way you looked with me at what I was trying to paint. You gave me the confidence to tackle things I wouldn’t have dared try out.” – Cathy Walker
Stimulating ideas and teaching
The small groups and the splendid setting give the ideal context for helping students to develop their personal creativity in the style and medium of their choice.
“A magical place, good company, intensely stimulating ideas and teaching. I came to Montmiral to have my eyes stretched and I do not think I have ever looked so hard.” – Unity Couzens
Unique specialist knowledge
Before setting up the Painting School here in S.W. France, the Course Director, Francis Pratt, was the Cottrell Memorial Fellow at the University of Stirling, Scotland. As a consequence, he is able to offer his students the fruits of his university research on how artists use their eyes when painting and drawing. His teaching integrates the positives from traditional artistic practices with game-changing ideas from science. The outcome is a wide range of new and practical approaches to subjects of fundamental importance in drawing and painting. Special knowledge is available on all aspects of colour in paintings, as well as on the depiction of light and space. Francis makes use of accuracy, not as an end in itself, but as a tool for looking in new ways. All subjects are taught in ways that have been shown, over nearly thirty years, to foster personal expression and creativity.
“This course, with its application and explanation of the latest researches in both colour and line psychology, completely redefines and resolves the anomalies of what we see. The reference to proven research and the patient explanations of its implications with respect to how the brain receives and interprets information provides a fundamentally sound approach commonly lacking in other courses and literature.” – Iain McCowan
Medieval hilltop town of Castelnau de Montmiral, S. W. France – The main studio windows of the Painting School are just visible.