David Brainin grew up in a family of tailors. Following a difficult childhood, he left school and, without informing anyone, went to Palestine, where he spent five years. In 1924, he arrived in Paris, where he studied painting, choreography, and dance. He joined the Ballets Russes troupe and married one of the dancers. In 1931, he and his wife were invited to dance in a ballet in Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, and Buenos Aires. Back in Paris, David Brainin took classes at the Ecole de Beaux-Arts for four years. He first studied painting before specializing in film sets.

He was arrested during a roundup, was interned in Drancy on April 29, 1942, and was then sent to Compiegne. Although life in the camp was very difficult, he kept drawing. He painted pictures of the prisoners and guards in the camp. He was deported on September 18, 1942 on convoy number 34. He was murdered in Auschwitz.