Born in Woodford, Essex, England, Don Perceval became a noted Southwest painter of landscape and its dwellers.
His art talent was encouraged by his mother, a recognized painter in England. His family moved to Los Angeles, California where he was raised, and he became fascinated by the early history of the state. He attended the Pasadena Military Academy and Chouinard Art School where he was a student of Nelbert Chouinard and F.T. Chamberlain.
By age 19, he was making sketching trips into the desert, and in 1927 was first in Arizona where he became enamored of Hopi and Navajo Indians and their way of life and traditions. He began illustrating books and became an expert in the history of cattle brands and horsemen's equipment.
In his late 20s, he returned to England to study at Heatherly Art School and the Royal College of Art. Here he was exposed for the first time to great collections of paintings and was inspired by classic art. He also went to Madrid, Spain for four years, and then returned to the Southwest where he did advertising for the Rio Grande Oil Company.
During World War II, he served in the Royal Navy patrolling the Thames Estuary and teaching gunnery, which he did with much acclaim by using cartoons. He then returned to California. At the advice of Millard Sheets, he taught at Chouinard Art School and Pomona College, where he organized the centennial celebration of the school.
In 1952, he lived in Arizona with the Hopi Tribe and in Tucson from 1954 to 1959 where he grew to love the paintings of Maynard Dixon. He illustrated numerous children's books including for writers Ann Nolan Clark and Will Hayes. He spent his last years in Santa Barbara.