Below are the contents lists for four interrelated volumes:
1. Drawing (book 1 & book 2)
2. Painting (book 1 & book 2)
4. Related Science
A main difference between these volumes and others on the same subjects is that they are strongly influenced by the wide ranging and innovative research undertaken by the author into how artists use their eyes when drawing and painting.
At the bottom of the page, in addition to the chapters from the four Volumes, there are extracts from the ‘Glossary’ (more to be published in the coming months) and a section on “Miscellaneous Subjects” (so far: “A history of Castelnau de Montmiral“, “The University of Stirling Vision Group” and “The Generosity of Genes“).
(Please scroll down to the chapter that interest you, then click to find a link to it, accompanied by introductory material and images)
- The need for new books on drawing, painting, creativity and the science of how artists use their eyes when drawing and painting.
VOLUME ONE : “DRAWING ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BRAIN”
BOOK 1 : “DRAWING WITH FEELING”
The chapters so far loaded:
- Introduction to book 1 of “Drawing with Feeling”
- Chapter 1: Accuracy versus expression
- Chapter 2: Traditional artistic practices
- Chapter 3: Modernist ideas that fed into new teaching methods
- Chapter 4: the sketch and explaining the feel-system
- Chapter 5: Negative spaces
- Chapter 6: Contour drawing
- Chapter 7: Copying Photographs
- Chapter 8: Movement, speed & memory
- Chapter 9: The drawing lesson-preparation
- Chapter 10: The drawing lesson
- Chapter 11: The drawing lesson-conclusion
- Chapter 12: Criticisms and answers
BOOK 2 : “DRAWING WITH : “DRAWING WITH KNOWLEDGE”
The chapters so far loaded:
- Chapter 13 : Introduction to “Drawing with Knowledge”
- Chapter 14 : Linear Perspective
- Chapter 15 : Some core ideas
- Chapter 16 : Eye-line problems
- Chapter 17 : Head movement opportunities
- Chapter 18 : Axes of symmetry
- Chapter 19: Anatomy reviewed
- Chapter 20 : Structural basics
- Chapter 21 : Deformations – muscles, fat, clothes
- Chapter 22 : A bridge to Creativity
OTHER POSTS ON DRAWING:
- An inspirational 19th century teacher and his widespread influence on Modernism in drawing and painting
- The surprising eye in diagrams
VOLUME TWO: “PAINTING WITH LIGHT AND COLOUR”
BOOK : “PAINTING WITH LIGHT”
Chapters so far loaded
- Chapter 1 : The dogmas
- Chapter 2 : Doubts
- Chapter 3 : The nature of painting
- Chapter 4: Renaissance ideas
- Chapter 5 : New Science on offer
- Chapter 6 : Early Modernist Painters
- Chapter 7 : The perception of surface
- Chapter 8 : Seurat and Painting with Light
- Chapter 9 : Seeing Light
- Chapter 10 : Illusory pictorial space and light
- Chapter 11 : Colour mixing – definitions and misconceptions
- Chapter 12: The colour circle: Misunderstandings
- Chapter 13 : Finding a maximum of colours
- Chapter 14 – Colour mixing made easy
- Chapter 15 – Colour mixing by layering
- Chapter 16 – Reviewing previous chapters (1)
- Chapter 17 – Reviewing previous chapters (2)
- Chapter 18 – “All you need to know about painting” – No 2
- Chapter 19 – Colour and the feelings
BOOK 2 : “PAINTING WITH COLOUR”
The chapters so far loaded:
- Contents list for BOOK 2
- Chapter 20 – Optical mixing and its legacy
- Chapter 21 – Colour contrast effects
- Chapter 22 – Thin Lines
- Chapter 23 – More on viewing conditions
- Chapter 24 – Colour and Surface
- Chapter 25 – Chiaroscuro
- Chapter 26 – Cast shadows
- Chapter 27 – Shading and surface form
- Chapter 28 – A synthesis of ideas
- Chapter 29 – More on experienced reality
- Chapter 30 – Practical Applications
ADDITIONAL POSTS ON LIGHT AND COLOUR IN PAINTINGS
- What does the word “colour” mean?
- What are colourists? (1): Some of the many meanings of the word
- What are colourists? (2): Difference between meaning of the phrases “Venetian Colourists” and “Modernist Colourists”?
- Modernist painters and illusory pictorial space
- The integrity of the picture surface
VOLUME THREE : “FRESH PERSPECTIVES ON CREATIVITY”
The chapters so far loaded:
- Chapter 6 : The Modernist experiment
- Chapter 7 : “The first Modern Painter”: A surprise suggestion
- Chapter 8 : A Modernist painter still at work in the 21st century
- Chapter 10 : “Having fun with creativity” (extracts only)
- An inspirational story: a child draws a potato
- The nature of truth
- The case for being a flat earther
- Playful fancies as a stimulus to creativity
- Antoni Tapies advocates playing games
- Cézanne falls short
- False confidence
- Self deception
- Free will and determinism
- Definitions of the words “abstract” and “constructivist”
- Mini chaos as an engine of creativity
VOLUME FOUR : “WHAT SCIENTISTS CAN LEARN FROM ARTISTS”
The chapters so far loaded, all of which deal with subjects that feature in the other three volumes
- Chapter 6 – illusory pictorial space
- Chapter 7 – An artist among scientists
- Chapter 8 – The drawing experiments
- Chapter 9 – Constraint in artistic aids and practices
- Chapter 10 – Blindsight and the bakery facade
- Chapter 11 – Movement, surface form and spatial layout
- Chapter 12 – Body colour and local colour interactions
- Chapter 13 – Colour Constancy
- Chapter 15 – The other constancies
EXTRACTS FROM THE “GLOSSARY”
- Elizabeth Carvé and her great friend Eugene Delacroix
- My debt to the University of Stirling Vision Group acknowledged
- A history of the origins of Castelnau de Montmiral that is nearer to the true story than you will easily find elsewhere
- Ubuntu and the generosity of genes
- Copying Michelangelo
PAINTING SCHOOL NEWS
Request for comments on the chapters from the books.
I look forward to your comments in the section provided at the bottom of each Post. When you have made them, please leave your email address and tick the box “Notify me of new posts by email.”
19 thoughts on “MY VOLUMES ON ART PRACTICES”
To start the ball rolling I am posting an extract from “Fresh Perspectives on Creativity” Chapter 11 : “Having Fun with Creativity”. Its title is “The Potato”. The reference to my own work relates to an earlier section in the chapter where I describe how each stage in a painting opens up a variety of possibilities, only one of which can be pursued at any one time.
It is always the case that a great deal of what goes into paintings is hidden and, with it, much of what has been put into them. This point that can be clarified by means of a true story relating to a child with learning difficulties told by his primary school teacher.
George, as I shall call him, was a amiable lad, but never seemed to want to join in what others were doing. One day, during a painting session, the teacher was delighted to see him applying himself with great concentration. She hurried over to see what had caught his imagination and found that he had produced a light-brown oval shape in the middle of an otherwise empty sheet of paper. He was obviously pleased to see her and held up what he had done asking with pride in his voice, “Do you like my potato, Miss?” In itself, George’s production wasn’t very impressive but, sensing an opportunity for a breakthrough in his attitude to school, she enthused about it, suggesting, before leaving him, that he complete the picture.
Being at the beck and call of the other children, the teacher was not able to get back to George for some time, although out of the corner of her eye she could see that he was painting away with renewed enthusiasm. Her heart was warmed and she was anxious to make an opportunity to see what he had done. When this eventually came, she found that he had covered the entire paper with dirty-brown paint: the potato was nowhere to be seen. In scarcely concealed distress she cried out, “George, what ever have you done?”. But the answer brought one of the most heart-touching moments of her career. “I have planted it under the earth, Miss”, he explained.
One of the many questions which this story brings to mind is, “Did George ruin or enhance his painting by his surprising behaviour?” There can be little doubt that he had spoilt its superficial appearance, but, in doing so, had he not given it a far deeper meaning? And, if ruining appearances can give greater significance, we must admit the possibility that an important aspect of the appreciation of a work of art may lie in knowledge of its history.
The trouble (or the opportunity) is that the process of painting covers traces (as is evidenced by the histories of both George‘s potato and my pastels. Nothing is quite what it seems, either physically or psychologically. Everything in painting has its origins deeply embedded in the past of an evolving process and a unique life. In my case, the creative energy comes from a complex web of factors relating to fairly abstruse aspects of painting that may be of little interest to others. In George’s case, the project was simplicity itself, but represented a ray of light shining out from the darkness of caged soul. Moreover, to my knowledge, his idea is unique, showing a striking originality of a kind which had proved beyond the combined imaginations of the great artists of history.
@ Francis Pratt 12 February 2017
A heartwarming story indeed!
Thank you, Francis. I have been reading all of your posts and am learning tons from them. Please keep posting! Appreciatively, Sylvia
I loved the idea of his following the concept all the way through the story to planting the potato within his single painting. How wonderful. Yes, the painting benefited from an explanation, but it is delightful and profound at the same time. Part of life is hidden so this just adds to the experience of his creative process. Or so it seems to me.
This is a great story Francis. Thank you for sharing it.
Merci pour ce bel exemple sur la créativité et l’élan du cœur !
Thank you for sharing this story. It gives a different perspective of painting.
Lovely story! One of the things I’ve come to like about contemporary art is the idea of leaving a trail of evidence in your work to show the development and, ideally, the pulse of it’s taking life.
thank you for this remarkable story, much to think about as always with painting
Delightful story and very poignant too. Thanks for sharing
A pioneer of monochrome indeed. Thank you for sharing George’s story and encouraging creativity in many forms,
You’ve planted a potato in my brain!
Merci Francis pour ton approche très personnelle de la peinture.
Bravo pour la clarté de ton site et pour les “posts”.
I learned a lot as always.
complément plutôt que commentaire : Mon long séjour à The Painting School of Montmiral m’a appris énormément, dans mon enseignement à des petits George, comme dans ma pratique d’art “détourné” comme je l”appelle. en poterie comme en esthétique.
Merci Francis. Je comprend pourquoi je suis intéressée par le travail des séries qui explorent les possibles sur une même idée ou un même sujet. J’apprécie tes posts qui l’ouvrent l’esprit et le nourrissent. Et la pomme de terre germe ! Merci . Marie-Thérèse
As an experienced artist, superficially trained in color theory, I have been feeling that the color in my paintings is often dull, (except in maybe in patches and fields), and that there is not enough sense of the illusory 3-dimensional space that I seek. On my own, and with some other methods of professional instruction, it was not until I met Francis that I have been able to see why this is.
Enter Francis’ absolutely revolutionary knowledge he generously shares about observing color in nature and using color in paintings. You must must read his books ! I have high hopes now for my progress in painting.
Francis, ce travail, ta recherche, tes écrits sont extraordinaires et c’est dommage que cet outil si utile , internet, te joue des tours souvent !
Francis is a visionary in regard to his teaching, especially in his approach to colour. I was a student of his over 25 years ago. His enthusiasm for his subject remains undiminished. I am grateful for the helpful advice he is still only too happy to offer up.