James McBey was a Scottish printmaker. He was born in 1883 in Aberdeenshire. He started his career as a clerk in a bank.
McBey was a self-taught printmaker, after reading an article on etching he learnt the techniques from a book. He used a domestic mangle instead of an etching press.
In 1916 he made drawings and watercolours of the Western Front and was appointed Official War Artist to the Palestine Expeditionary Force.
After the war his prints were sought after, fetching very high auction prices. Along with prints, he also made many watercolours and oil paintings, specialising in portraits, landscapes and seascapes.
He died in 1959.