Painter of some renown. According to an obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine (Nov 1801) he was born in Edinburgh, the son of a glover.
Among his more memorable works is the head of David Hume which was prefixed to the Strachan and Cadell edition of Humes History of England.
Boswell had tea with Donaldson in his Downing Street lodgings on March 4, 1763, and recalled how Donaldson had once drawn a picture of John Johnston in Edinburgh. Donaldson was described by Boswell as an interesting person "defend[ing] adultery, and [...] oppos[ing] revealed religion." (LJ040363)