Bernard Dunstan studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art and later at the Slade School. He has taught at a number of art schools including Camberwell, Ravensbourne and Byam Shaw over a period of thirty five years. He was elected a member of the New English Art Club in 1947, the RWA in 1949 and became its president between 1979 and 1884. He became a full member of the Royal Academy in 1968 and is currently a Senior Academician.
His work has been widely exhibited in group shows at the institutions of which he is a member and he has also had solo exhibitions at the Roland, Browse and Delbanco Gallery in London and at Agnews. The Oriel 31 Gallery gave him a retrospective in 1988 and a catalogue accompanies the show. His work is represented in numerous public collections including the London Museum, Arts Council, and Tate Gallery. In the UK, galleries in Bristol, Coventry and Aberdeen hold examples of his work and he also has work in collections in Australia and U.S.A. He has published six books on painting including Pictures in Progress published by Pitman and Painting Methods of the Impressionists published by Watson-Guptill, New York.
Bernard Dunstan cites several painters from the past as influential on his work, particularly French nineteenth century artists such as Renoir, Ingres, Bonnard and Vuillard. English painters that have interested him include Constable, Turner, Walter Sickert and Wilson Steer.