Following his apprenticeship to Sawrey Gilpin, R.A., Garrard went to the RA Schools in 1778. He later married Gilpin's daughter Matilda, and retained a close working relationship with his father-in-law throughout his life. From 1781 he began to exhibit animal subjects at the Royal Academy, and attracted the attention of Samuel Whitbread, M.P., who became a major patron. For him Garrard painted several views of the Whibread Brewery in Chiswell Street, which were also turned into popular engravings by William Ward. Although two Royal commissions came from the Prince of Wales for horse subjects, no others followed. His principle patrons were the Dukes of Hamilton and Argyle, who he probably met when on a tour of Scotland with his father-in-law and the notorious Colonel Thomas Thornton (1755-1823). The Duke of Bedford also became a patron, and for him Garrard painted 'Woburn Sheep Sheering', again turned into a well-known print; he also branched out into not altogether successful sculpture of rare breeds of cattle, examples of which are at Woburn and Woburn. His folio of 37 aquatints of these cattle was more successful, attracting high praise from the Royal Academy. In later years he turned more and more to sculpture, exhibiting fewer pictures and more portrait busts and designs for equestrian statues, although at the end of his life, always struggling to make a living for himself and his family from his work, he again returned to painting horse and other animal subjects. He had a studio at 28 George Street, off Hanover Square, where he used to exhibit his pictures. He was instrumental in the campaign for an Act of Parliament, with Whitbread's help, along the lines of that organised before for engravers by William Hogarth, for securing the copyright in 'the works of plastic art' for sculptors; the Act was passed in 1798. Garrard died on 8th October 1826 at Brompton, 'kneeling at prayer with his assembled family'.