Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1876, Bone was primarily trained as an architect, but later worked as an etcher and watercolor artist. In 1901 he settled in London where he became a member of the New English Art Club. In 1916, he was recruited as Britian's first official war artist. He arrived in France during the Battle of the Somme and was commissioned as an honorary second lieutenant.
After completing 150 drawings depicting war, Bone was replaced by his brother-in- law in 1916. He returned to England and continued to draw pictures of battleships and shipyards. Following the Armistice, Bone was Knighted in 1937 and again served as a war artist during the Second World War.