Les Thomas was born in 1947 and grew up in Port Talbot. He was always drawing as a child and subsequently always earned his living in graphic design, illustration, and teaching. He studied illustration at West of England College of Art, Bristol, and in 1978 graduated from The University of Reading with a degree in Typography & Graphic Communication, going on to complete an MA in Visual Culture at Bath Spa University. Les has spent most of his career lecturing in various art colleges and universities, retiring in 2005 as Head of Visual Communication at University of Wales, Trinity St David, Swansea, in order to concentrate on his painting. He now paints almost every day from his studio in Swansea close to the Gower Peninsula, which provides much of his inspiration. He has been elected a member of The Royal Watercolour Society of Wales, but now works almost exclusively in oils.