Born in Paraparaumu, New Zealand, Emily Little emigrated to England where she grew up in various parts of the UK.
She graduated with a B.A. Hons degree in Drawing and Painting from Edinburgh College of Art. She later moved to Rome, Italy. She presently lives and works between Edinburgh and Rome.

She began painting in oils, acrylics and watercolours and frequently sketched the Pennine landscape while living in West Yorkshire in her early teens. Contemporary to this period she was introduced to the world of the studio potter, which influenced and stimulated her ideas of form
Her residence in Italy furthered the development of her landscapes and her highly personal use of light and colour.
Working predominantly in watercolours, she also produced many still-lifes, frequently using found, natural objects as a subject. The adoption of collage in her painting, with its ability to reflect and detract light and its suggestion of form, provides another facet to her research.
With a return to oil and canvas as her medium and support, she has dedicated the last few years predominantly to female figures and to the reintroduction of more plastic qualities in her paintings.
A period at the Italian Mint introduced her to the bas-relief, a technique which has undoubtedly influenced her ideas of space, form and volume.