Tom Rhea Illustrations


Tom Rhea was trained as a painter at Indiana University, where he graduated with a BFA. He spent the next twenty years in the rigorous and demanding field of medallic arts. For a wide variety of clients, he sculpted extremely detailed scenes on a small scale in bas-relief, for mass production in pewter and solid brass. Using a jeweler’s loupe, he began to specialize in executing the most complex and exacting designs that the other artists shied away from: machinery, architectural scenes, and in particular, portraits.

Rhea continued to pursue freelance art as well, rendering detailed paintings of city and campus landmarks for local businesses and portraits for individual clients. Eventually he hired out for celebrity portraits for many national publications such as the Wall Street Journal, LA Weekly and XXL magazine.

Rhea credits his background in production artwork and the demands of specificity in a sculptural format with his current robust and detailed realistic painting style.