David Thornton was originally trained as a graphic designer but later, after emigrating to WA, made a career change to teaching art. His first interest in painting lay within the watercolour medium, principally due to the convenience of this medium when painting out of doors and on travels. Consequently he has worked in many countries in Europe en pleine air and then in WA. His interest was in the extending of limits of the medium and particularly in the wet in wet techniques due to the freedom that such methods allow. Later, in his development of oil painting he again evinced interest in free flowing washes. Although he has pursued realism particularly in the treatment of buildings and architectural facades, he tries to utilize accident and free form where possible. Landscape has usually been his primary interest but he still likes to work with the figure. Sometimes his work is abstract and colour is seen as a means of creating mood rather than as a literal translation of natural reality.