Pringle took evening classes at Glasgow School of Art (GSA) from 1885–1892, while serving an apprenticeship with a local optician. In 1896, he opened an optical and scientific repair shop in Glasgow which allowed him to paint in the early mornings and the evenings. As a result, his output was small. However, without the necessity to earn a living from his art, Pringle was able to follow his own interests and was little concerned with promoting and selling his work. He had only one solo show at GSA in 1922 which received public and critical acclaim.
He is not likely to have seen much work by the neo-impressionists, who are credited with inventing the technique, except perhaps a handful of examples by Le Sidaner (1862–1939), shown at the Glasgow Institute between 1903 and 1906. It has been suggested, however, that his technique was influenced by advances in the field of optics with which he was familiar through his occupation. Influences can be drawn from Eugene Chevreul’s discovery that two colours placed together have the effect of another colour when viewed from a distance, and from the dotted colour vision tests of Ishihara.