Frances Richards trained at the Royal College of Art where she met fellow artist Ceri Richards. They married in July 1929.
From 1928 to 1939 Richards worked as a teacher in the textile department at the Camberwell School of Art. During the 1930s Richards exhibited with the London Group and in 1937 produced decorations for the P&O cruise liner Orcades. During World War Two, Richards and her husband moved to Alphamstone in Essex and she taught at Furzedown Training College in Tooting. Later in the war, the college was relocated to Cardiff where, by coincidence, Ceri Richards had taken the post of Head of Painting at the Cardiff School of Art. After the war Frances returned to work at Camberwell School of Art, and taught there for almost 30 years during which time she also worked at the Chelsea School of Art.
During the 1950s and 1960s Richards was a regular exhibitor at several commercial galleries in London, including the Hanover Gallery, the Leicester Galleries and, in particular, the Redfern Gallery. The Tate in London holds several pieces by her and her work very rarely appears on the market.
In 2019 a major exhibition of her work at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea had to be extended due to its popularity.