Donald graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1986 with a degree in Drawing and Painting, and then gained a Post Graduate Diploma in 1987.
His preferred medium is oil which he uses in different ways dependent on the subject matter. His work is largely concerned with water, divided neatly between those paintings concerned with ‘above’ the water and those, always tightly observed fish, concerned with the world below the surface. In his paintings of fish he applies the paint in a controlled way, whilst in his seascapes he uses thicker paint, with washes of turpentine, letting the paint dictate the final direction of the painting.
He has participated in numerous exhibitions throughout the UK, and has had many solo exhibitions in Scotland A regular prize winner, he was awarded the David Cargill Award and the 2002 Cuthbert Award for ‘New Young Artist’ both at the Royal Glasgow Institute. He received the Canadian Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant in 1987 and 1992 and more recently the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour Small Painting Award at the Royal Scottish Academy in 2008. His work is in many private and public collections, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, the University of St Andrews and Edinburgh College of Art.