Philip Mitchell was born in Devonport in 1814 and baptised at Stoke Damerel on 14th February 1815, the son of Thomas and Mary. At the age of fourteen he went to live in Falmouth where he made the acquaintance of J G PHILP.

He married Louisa Vavasour in Truro in 1838 and the Census of 1841 finds the 27 year old Artist living at Lemon Villa in Truro. Soon after the birth of his third daughter in 1845 the family moved to Plymouth where he lived for the rest of his life apart from his frequent sketching tours through Cornwall and as far a field as Derbyshire.

He exhibited first in 1846 at the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society Annual Exhibition, where he won a Bronze Medal for his watercolour View of Falmouth Harbour, and a First Class prize for his chalk drawing of Roche Rocks. Wood lists a prolific sum of 338 works shown by this artist at the NWS (that became the RI in 1863) whereas other sources chart this at 114 (J&G). He made an unsuccessful attempt to join NWS in 1853 but became an Associate a year later and a Full Member in 1879.

He was a member of Plymouth Sketching Club and a friend of fellow members, N CONDY Jnr. and Samuel COOK.  The Census record him at various addresses in Plymouth before he eventually settled at 4 Bedford Terrace where he lived for over twenty years until his death at the age of 81 in 1896.