David James was born in London in 1944 and moved to Outer London in the fifties. Educated at Hampton School, David had an early aptitude for art and won school and national prizes and competitions. He attended Twickenham College of Art from 1962 to 1966 gaining an Intermediate Diploma in Arts and Crafts.
With a speciality in wood engraving, three editions of David's prints were sold in 1964. He obtained a National Diploma in Art and Design in 1966. David James began exhibiting at open-air shows in 1963 whilst still at Art School and was immediately successful.
David currently lives in Sussex on the coast, within reach of the South Downs. He is married to an artist and has three children. Much of the inspiration for the work executed by James is drawn from the Lake District, Devon and Cornwall, and the Welsh Countryside. David has exhibited his works at the Royal Academy.