Originally trained as an architect after meeting David Cox, the watercolour landscape painter, in August 1849, he became a painter. His early work shows the influence of Cox but he went on to develop his own detailed style under the influence of the Pre-Raphaelite painters he grew to know. He met Thomas Seddon and Rossetti in about 184and William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais in 1853. He travelled with the artist and critic John Ruskin to Venice in 185and probably to Switzerland in 1856. Boyce painted in Dinan with Seddon in 1853 and in Egypt with Frank Dillon in 1861 and 1862.
Boyce exhibited both oils and watercolours at the Royal Academy between 1853 and 1861. He was a founder member of the Hogarth Club. He exhibited frequently at the Royal Watercolour Society and was elected Associate in 1864 and Member in 1878. He retired from painting in 1893 through ill health.
Boyce was the brother of painter Joanna Mary Boyce.