Naughton was a painter primarily of "Outback" scenes and scenery. He began his career as a graphic designer and illustrator for advertising agencies in Australia and in the UK. He was Managing Director of he Nichols-Cumming agency in Sydney, later establishing Keith Naughton Studios. He closed the Studio by 1975 and went on the road painting. In the 1990s, he took up political cartooning for the Newcastle Herald.