An English portrait, subject, genre and landscape painter (in watercolour and oil), and a book illustrator. He became a full member of the Old Watercolour Society and a Royal Academician and held a number of high-profile art appointments including librarian of the Royal Academy, Surveyor of Pictures to Queen Victoria and Keeper of the National Gallery. In 1818 Uwins resigned from the Old Watercolour Society to concentrate on paying off a debt relating to a security given to the Society of Arts. Continual work on miniatures seriously injured his eyesight, and in 1820 he went to Scotland to make topographical drawings to illustrate works by Sir Walter Scott, with whom he became well acquainted. He spent two years in Edinburgh painting and drawing portraits with much success, and on the occasion of the visit of George IV to Edinburgh in 1822, be executed two transparencies, one of which was twelve feet high.