Tom Croft is a classically trained portrait painter based in Oxford.
He has produced paintings for a wide range of clients, from Manchester United Football Club to Oxford colleges and family portraiture.
His notable portraits include the first female Bishop Libby Lane, author Mark Haddon, former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, BBC Arts editor Will Gompertz, Radiohead bass player Colin Greenwood, performing artist and humanitarian Octopizzo from Kibera, Ride drummer Loz Colbert, footballers Wayne Rooney, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs. Tom appears on Sky Arts Portrait Artist of The Year 2018. Tom is a member of the Oxford Art Society and opens his studio to the public during Oxfordshire Artweeks each year.
Tom is also a proud member of the Contemporary British Portrait Painters collective (CBPP). The CBPP are a group of some of the best portrait artists working in Britain today.
In March 2020 Tom started #portraitsfornhsheroes by offering a free portrait to the first NHS key worker to contact him on Instagram. He then encouraged other portrait artists to do the same and it has grown into a global initiative. There are now online exhibitions of the NHS portraits, see links below.
In 2021 Tom received a British Empire Medal for services to the Arts and to Charity during the Covid -19 Response.
‘I work predominantly in oils and like to use colour choice, composition and expressive mark-making to describe my sitters. After establishing what aspects of the sitter my client would like the portrait to reflect, I then produce some compositional sketches. Once the portrait’s composition, colour palette, mood and lighting is agreed I begin the painting. I don’t role out exactly the same formula for each portrait, but try to make choices that best capture the individual traits of the person I have in front of me. An accurate physical likeness is a key starting point, then I try to communicate the personality, life and character of the sitter to the viewer. Where possible I like to work from a combination of live sittings and photos I take. You are very welcome to see the painting as it develops or wait until it is completed for the final big reveal and Ta-dah! moment. I am keen it is a collaborative process throughout and encourage the thoughts and input of the client. I would be delighted to quote for and discuss any possible commission.’
Some press and links