Due to Polio as a child he had a crippled leg and therefore escaped war service. He studied art first at Hammersmith then the Royal College of Art until 1935 when he started teaching at Croydon School of Art. He taught at the RCA 1948-1975 and a portrait of all the tutors there by Rodrigo Moynihan hangs in the Tate. He always observed life and the local characters with the greatest interest and was able to paint them relaxing as he was so well known and respected in his local pub. He was loath to travel far from his wife and family. From his wheelchair he studied life and the people around him, with a skill that ranks him at the top of the Twentieth Century painters, on a par with his predecessors Hogarth, Gilray, Rowlandson, Sickert and Lowry who was a friend.