Painting and drawing courses-workshops in France

Why come to our painting school?

Our painting and drawing courses-workshops offer students a unique combination of innovative ideas and practical suggestions unavailable elsewhere. Over thirty years, these have proved their worth for students of all levels, whether their work is figurative or abstract and whatever their personal aims or problems. They are likely to be of special value to art teachers, exhibiting artists currently experiencing a creative block and complete beginners. However, the enthusiasm expressed on the Comments page shows how they have been game-changing for people from all groups.

A very different and vastly more interesting type of artistic education than I have met before.”Yolanda Hart

Long years of experience

For over 30 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 of Montmiral in S.W. France, the Course Director, Francis Pratt, had been working in Scotland at the University of Stirling, first as the Cottrell Memorial Fellow and, later, as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology. In their different ways these two posts provided rich opportunities for furthering Francis’s lifelong quest to find out as much as possible about on how artists use their eyes when painting and drawing. One outcome was that he was able to integrate lessons from traditional artistic practices with game-changing ideas from science.  The combination has enabled him to offer a wide range of new and practical approaches to subjects of fundamental importance in painting and drawing. In particular, students who come to the Painting School of Montmiral will have access to unique specialist knowledge on: (a) all aspects of colour in paintings, including its use in the depiction of light and space; and (b) on drawing and painting from observation. One feature of Francis’s teaching is that he makes use of the accuracy aspiration, not as an end in itself, but as a tool for looking in new ways. Over thirty years now this emphasis has shown its power to foster personal expression and creativity in students of all levels and a wide range of artistic interests.

“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

Painting school beyond sunflower field
Medieval hilltop town of Castelnau de Montmiral, S. W. France – The main studio windows of the Painting School are just visible.

More on the course structure

Slideshow showing the range and variety of student work

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