Thomas Donaldson


Thomas Donaldson is an English painter living and working in Asia. His visceral woks are achieved through the application of thick impasto paint, dragging, smudging and staining the surface plus the occasional ‘happy accident’ or chance. He is an artist who is committed to a rigorous development and re-evaluation of his practice, which has led to him receiving many commissions and exhibitions regionally, nationally and internationally. He is also a dedicated art & design lecture and has held various academic positions in the UK and Asia.

Thomas Donaldson, Gold eye makeup, 2016, oil on canvas,1,000 x 700 mm

The head studies


The head studies are created using a muted palette contrasting with areas of vibrant colour and continues the artist interest in the presentation and concepts of beauty. We are exposed to countless images of manipulated perfection of the human form. This work is a counter balance to this by using uneven surface textures and blotches of paint. Creating an awkward imperfect or flawed beauty.

The works address the representation of traditional painting motifs. Such as the portrait and nude. Informed by popular cultural references from fashion, advertising media and television, and influenced by the work of Francis Bacon, Egon Schiele, Francisco Goya and the illustrator Ralph Steadman.


The visceral works utilize the human head juxtaposed with abstract mark making. Achieved through the application of thick impasto paint, glazing, dragging and smudging the painting surface. Plus, the occasional ‘happy accident’. All these elements contribute in the process of making or constructing a painting, or ‘how to paint’.


The paintings are representational but intend to suggest rather than depict an accurate observation. This is more apparent as the viewer approaches the work. The painted surface dissolves into a seemingly unorganized arrangement of blotches and irregular textures.