Faed was born in Kirkcudbright, Galloway in Scotland in 1819. Faed’s artistic skill was evident at a very young age, exhibiting his first miniature painting at the age of just ten. Faed was primarily a self-taught artist and, at the young age of eleven, he painted a miniature series of local Galloway aristocrats. He painted miniatures until the age of twenty one, when he settled in Edinburgh where he attended the Trustees’ Academy. From the end of the 1840s he started exhibiting at the Royal Scottish Academy to which he was elected an Associate in 1847 and to full membership four years later. In total he exhibited over 240 works at the Royal Scottish Academy in his lifetime, as well as exhibiting works at the Royal Academy. In 1864 he moved with his brother Thomas, also a successful artist, to London staying there until 1880. However, his love of Galloway meant that he spent much of his time between London and his house in Gatehouse of Fleet, Galloway.