Toby Boothman


I have always been drawn to figurative paintings. I enjoy modeling the forms, almost seeing them as a sculptor might when he carves a stone. When I play with the lights and darks in the fold of fabric or the turns of a torso, I’m attempting to make the image pop out from the canvas into a third dimension.

For me painting is all about creating light. I love exploring a figure or a fold of fabric; seeing how the light dances over the form, slowly curving around it. It is incredible how many tones you can achieve using only two colours: white and raw umber. I love the softness you can achieve by scumbling; placing a lighter tone over a darker tone and creating wonderful optical greys.

Caravaggio was a true master of the chiaroscuro technique where a figure emerges from darkness. The detail needs to be lost into the darkness so the paintings are not flat and come to life when bright lights are shone into the shadows. The lack of volume, which can make so many photographs seem flat and lifeless is overturned by the use of shadow and highlight. Many of my nudes start out being well lit and then I slowly create the shadows and almost loose some of the original details into the darkness, but not quite. The details are there waiting to be discovered by bright light; as though with a torch in a dark room, uncovering secrets...

Many of the nudes show just a glimpse of who the model really is or what she’s thinking. I like leaving a little mystery, a little ambiguity; letting the viewer decide what they think as their eyes discover the form. 


Born 1973, Bristol, England


June, The Naked Truth, Plus one gallery, London
February, Winter show, Plus one gallery, London

August, Galeries Daniel Besseiche, Saint Tropez
June, Galeries Daniel Besseiche, Geneva
January, Winter show, Plus one gallery, London

· October, modern echo - French contemporary art exhibition, Beijing, china
· October, Caissa Besseiche Presents SH contemporary 2011
· September, Invite d' honneur, Salon de Grimaud, France

· March, Solo exhibition, Medici gallery, Cork Street, London

· March, Group exhibition, Klaudia Marr gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
· February, Galeries Daniel Besseiche - Courchevel, Val D'Isere, Dinard & Pont
  Aven, Saint Tropez, Paris, France also Geneva (Switzerland)

· December, Group exhibition, Winter salon, Albemarle Gallery, London
· September, Riviera home finders, Saint Tropez, France.
· August, Art fundraising appeal, Oriel Plas Glyn-y-Weddw, North Wales
· July, Solo exhibition, Musee de la tour carree, Saint Maxime, France
· March, Group exhibition, Spring salon, Albemarle Gallery, London

· December, Group exhibition, Winter salon, Albemarle Gallery, London
· July, Group exhibition, Galerie du Vieux Saint-Paul, Saint-Paul de Vence, France

· December, Group exhibition, Tenth anniversary show, Albemarle Gallery,
· October, Solo exhibition, Albemarle Gallery, London

· September, Invite d' honneur, xiie salon de Grimaud, France
· July, Group exhibition, What is realism? Albemarle Gallery, London

· March, Solo exhibition, Albemarle Gallery, London

· January, Group exhibition, Albemarle Gallery, London

· December, Royal institute for Oil Painters, runner up for Windsor and Newton
  Awards, Mall Galleries, London
· September, Gerling Insurance, Fine Art Insurers, London

· Chicago, Illinois and Ohio (Touring exhibition including College of Lake County
  Foundation and Northern Illinois University)
· July, Group Exhibition, Lamont Gallery, London

Salle Aquitaine, Place Des Arcade, Monflanquin,


October 1995                   Sud Ouest
October 1995                   La Depeche du Midi
July 1998                         Grayslake Review 
January 2001                   Whatsonwhen, Global Events Guide
March 2003                Il giornale delle mostre
July 2008                     Var Martin
March 2009               The Art collector
March 2009               The great nude
June 2009                Soleil magazine, Saint Tropez


Work held in private collections in the United Kingdom, Europe, USA and the David Roberts Collection.