Educated at Whitgift in Croydon he was conscripted in 1944, not being demob’d until 1948. He attended Croydon School of Art which led to the offer of a place at the Royal College of Art where he studied from 1950 to 1953.
After graduation, he taught part-time at various art colleges, including the Royal College, enabling him to concentrate on his own painting. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1951 and at the New English Art Club where he was elected a member in 1956. He was invited to become a visiting tutor at the Royal Academy schools by the Keeper, Peter Greenham RA and was appointed Professor of Perspective there in 1984.
Known amongst his peers as a ‘Painter’s Painter’ he insisted that his work "spoke for itself" making no pompous statements of "intent". Rather, importance was placed on the paint achieving mood and mystery and a sense of air.
Together with his friend, John Williatts, Fred was author of two books, "Drawing Systems" and "Perspective and other Systems" exhibiting his deep interest in the problem.
In 2013 a Retrospective Exhibition of over sixty works was mounted at Clare Hall, Cambridge, by invitation from the Arts Committee and forwarded by by the art historian Francis Spalding.