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Frank, Human Images: The Portfolio of Thomas Donaldson

A painted study of a crouching male figure5-28-18 Figure Study

Thomas Donaldson is a figurative painter from England, currently based in Asia. The artist works figuratively, creating frank, human images that address both the form and spirit of his models.

A nude female figure study5-21-18 figure with orange


I enjoy the way that Donaldson employs large, clearly delineated planes of color build up volumes. He tends toward nude figures and portraits, using a wide, occasionally unexpected range of color to render skin tones. Patches of blue, orange, and purple are carefully blended into the shadows of an otherwise fairly neutral composition, and the resulting overall color seems so natural that at first glance it’s difficult to pick out these incongruous hues.


I also appreciate the angles and compositions that Donaldson seems to favor. The artist rarely paints a figure from a straight forward view, and instead often opts to skew the viewing angle so the figure is seen from a tilted, raised or lowered point of view. These angles add interest and layer meaning onto the subject matter, while offering a more dynamic experience for the viewer.

A painted study of a face in profile3-24-18 head VI



About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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