Painter, who became one of the 'Glasgow Boys'. Born in East Renfrewshire, Walton trained briefly in Dusseldorf (Germany), before returning to study at the Glasgow School of Art. Here he met, and began to paint with, James Guthrie (1859 - 1930) and Joseph Crawhall (1861 - 1913). The group later widened to include George Henry (1858 - 1943) and John Lavery (1856 - 1941), and became known as the 'Glasgow Boys'. Walton acquired a studio in Cambuskenneth (Stirling) in the late 1880s and many of the Glasgow Boys were visitors.
Walton is recognised as one of the leading Scottish painters of his generation, specialising in both portraits and landscape subjects. He used detailed textures in his work and typically offset pure whites, symbolising the innocence of his subjects, against contrasting dark backgrounds. This technique reflected the influence of the English artist James Whistler, who Walton greatly admired. The two were friends and Walton led a campaign to persuade the Glasgow City Corporation to buy Whistler's portrait of Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881), the first of his works purchased by a public body. Walton moved to London in 1894 and became a neighbour of Whistler. Walton had a studio in Cheyne Walk (Chelsea), where he painted until 1904, when he was persuaded to return to Scotland by James Guthrie and settled in Edinburgh, specialising in portraiture.
Walton's son was to become Professor of Botany at the University of Glasgow.