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Curtis Holder

Curtis Holder

Curtis Holder is a British artist especially known for his graphite and coloured pencil drawings. His work focuses on people and the human form and is celebrated for its unique and spontaneous use of line and colour.

Curtis’s work explores the complexities of human emotion and how we connect with and interpret the feelings of others without the spoken word. He aims to present an individual’s unspoken truth, which he compels the viewer to search for, and in doing so, confront their own bias.

His work mostly features a solitary figure which appears as multiple fractured or unfocused images.

He layers coloured pencil in complex strokes to capture a sense of the subject’s movement, form and intention. Marks are rarely erased as every gesture and position is recorded. He combines larger hatching strokes with spontaneous smaller circular movements. Stronger, more fluid lines are used to anchor the subject into a final position.

In 2020 Curtis won Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year; a national portraiture competition televised in the UK. His winner’s commission of world-renowned ballet dancer Carlos Acosta hangs as part of the permanent collection at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK.

As a part-time primary school teacher, Curtis is passionate about showing children how to use mark making to enrich their creative spirit.

He completed a Foundation Diploma at Loughborough College of Art and Design in 1988 before graduating with a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design from Kingston University in 1991. In 2005, he achieved a Postgraduate Diploma in Character Animation at Central Saint Martins. In 2010, he graduated with a PGCE in Primary Education (Art and Design) from Roehampton University.

To see more of Curtis’s work visit or follow @curtisartist on Instagram.