Biography: Cameron was born in Glasgow, Scotland. Beginning around 1881 he studied at the Glasgow School of Art and in 1885 enrolled at the Edinburgh Schools of Art. He became a skilled etcher making a name for himself in this medium and gaining international recognition by the 1890s. He was elected associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers in 1889. In 1895 he was elected Fellow. He exhibited regularly from 1889 to 1902, before resigning his membership in 1903.
His subjects included architectural studies, of which he produced a number of popular ‘sets’ and landscapes, including "The Clyde Set", "The North Holland Set" and "The North Italian Set"). Cameron would later become known for his church interiors and barren landscapes of Scotland done in drypoint. The feathery lightness of these drypoints was in visual contrast with the rock and water of the subjects. He became highly sought after by collectors, until the Great Crash of 1929 brought a collapse in prices for prints in general. He exploited his popularity by producing an unprecedented number of states of his prints. He also produced oil and watercolour sketches of landscapes and architectural subjects. This work was influenced by the Glasgow Boys and the Hague School.
In 1901 Cameron became a member of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers. He exhibited with the society from 1898 and later served on its council. Following his resignation from the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers, Cameron and 11 other artists formed The Society of Twelve in 1904 with the objective to promote the original print. He became a member of the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours in 1906. He was elected Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) in 1904 (on his 6th attempt) and became RSA in 1918. Having previously been elected Associate of the Royal Academy (ARA) in the engraver class in 1911, in 1916 he was also elected ARA for his painting. He was elected a full Royal Academician (RA) in 1920.
In 1917-18 Cameron was commissioned by the Canadian Government to paint the war in France. Cameron was knighted in 1924 and was a Trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1921 to 1927 and the Scottish National Gallery, and was the King’s Painter and Limner in Scotland 1933.