Thomas Darnell: Beautiful, Larger than Life Floral Oil Paintings

By Lisa Orgler in Featured Artists > Oil Paintings

Perfection comes in many forms. Some of the most beautiful perfection I’ve seen lately, though, is in the ultra-realistic oil paintings of Thomas Darnell .

Thomas grew up in Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. Only nine years after marrying his first love, Thomas lost his wife to cancer. This loss was a catalyst for a time of spiritual growth and self-transformation in his life, and soon after he left Austin for Paris, France to pursue his dream of painting full-time and to produce a meaningful collection of work.

PeoniesIV 15

All of Thomas’s paintings capture stunning details, soft colors, and remarkable light. Even more amazing is that these delicate-looking works of art are much larger than life. The image above, for example, is actually five feet wide.

Thomas uses his own photographs for reference, and starts with an underpainting of acrylic to mark out his initial composition. He then continues with several coats of quasi-transparent color (mixing the oil paint with an alkyde resin called Liquin) refining detail and contrast as he progresses.

Pink Roses

A need to find order and meaning in the beautiful disorder of life is what drives Thomas to create these remarkable floral paintings. He especially enjoys subjects that make him feel centered and calm, and the flowers you see here are just one such example of tranquility.

In fact, Thomas’s newest series of work attempts something even more daring than the task of painting intricate petals. . . I think you’ll find his use of oils to capture the floating translucency of smoke incredibly impressive.


As you can see, one constant among all of Thomas’s paintings is the delicate presence of light. Whether it glows softly around pink petals or illuminates whisper-thin strands of smoke, it is always tantalizing and real.

I invite you to visit Thomas’s website at to explore more of his beautiful, larger than life oil paintings.


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