The artist was born at Warnbrook in Dorset and was the son of a clergyman.  He studied at the Lincoln School of Art and at the Antwerp Academy.

Smith worked abroad before settling in Looe, Cornwall in 1890 for a period, as he specialised in marine subjects.

It is known that he may have studied under, or become friendly with Olsson at this time (Tovey). By 1899 he had moved to London.

He was a painter of marine subjects, portraits and flower studies in oil and watercolour.  His work can be seen hanging in the Victoria & Albert Museum.