William Dring was born in London where he attended the Slade School of Fine Art from 1922 to 1925, studying under Henry Tonks. His younger brother was the artist James Dring and he married fellow artist Elizabeth Rothwell in 1931. Following this he taught at Southampton School until 1940 when he became an official war artist. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy after the war, having been elected an associate of the Academy in 1944, becoming a full member in 1955. He was also a member of the Royal Watercolour Society and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. A retrospective exhibition took place in 1990 at Agnews where his work was regularly shown.
Dring was known for landscape and portrait paintings in oil, watercolour and pastel. He produced several portraits of note, including several Royal commissions, including the christening of Prince Charles and the conferring of the Freedom of the City of London to Princess Elizabeth in 1947. He was also commissioned to paint the five most influential benchers of Lincoln’s Inn in 1981, including Margaret Thatcher, Lord Denning and Lord Hailsham. His work is represented in collections such as the Imperial War Museum and the Royal Collection.