Russell Reeve was born in Hethersett, Norfolk. He studied at Norwich School of Art, the Slade School of Fine Art, London, under Wilson Steer and Henry Tonks and later at the Royal College of Art, London. He exhibited with the New England Art Club and at the Royal Academy. Contributed to Schools Prints project published in the 1940s. He taught for a time at Hornsey School of Art, London.