Jack Vettriano grew up in the industrial seaside town of Methil, Fife. He grew up in poverty with his mother and her and older brother, in a spartan miner’s cottage, sharing a bed with his brother and wearing handed down clothes. From the age of 10, his father sent him out delivering papers and milk, cleaning windows, picking potatoes, any job that could earn money. His father took half his earnings .
Vettriano left school at 16 and later became an apprentice mining engineer. Vettriano did not take up painting as a hobby until the 1970s, when a girlfriend bought him a set of watercolours for his 21st birthday. His earliest paintings, under his birth name "Jack Hoggan", were copies or pastiches of impressionist paintings, his first painting was a copy of Monet's Poppy Fields. Much of his influence came from studying paintings at the Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery in neighbouring Kirkcaldy. In 1984, Vettriano first submitted his work to the Shell-sponsored art exhibition in the museum.