Born at Newlyn in Cornwall the son of the painter Ralph Todd. He studied under his father and Stanhope Forbes at the Central School and under Henry Tonks at the Slade School 1920–1. He achieved considerable acclaim in the 1920s and 1930s for his etchings, drawings and watercolours of women. He taught at Leicester School of Art, before moving to London to take up the position of Master of Life Class at the Regent Street Polytechnic in 1939. From 1946 to 1949 he taught at the Royal Academy Schools and his last teaching post was at the City and Guilds School, London from 1950 to 1956. He has a deserved reputation as a brilliant teacher who was admired and respected by his pupils. His long list of commissioned portraits includes key figures of the British establishment. His work is widely held in public collections including The Royal Academy, Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum and Manchester City Art Gallery.