Prentice was born in Solihull and educated at Moseley Road Secondary School of Art, Birmingham between 1949 and 1952, and Birmingham School of Art between 1952 and 1957. In 1957 he did National Service in the Royal Artillery, returning to the Birmingham School of Art to teach from 1959. Prentice taught at the Faculty of Birmingham Polytechnic between 1971 and 1986, initially in charge the experimental workshop, and has been a visiting artist at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham University, the Ruskin School and the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. - Prentice held solo exhibitions at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists in 1961 and 1963, and in the same year as the second featured in the Four Letter Art exhibition organised by Trevor Denning. Prentice has since held over forty solo exhibitions. It was at Prentice's 1963 solo exhibition that his painting Kate and the Waterlilies was bought by Angus Skene for £25, with Prentice delivering the painting to Skene's house in Selly Oak strapped to the side of his Vespa scooter. Over the subsequent meal the two discussed the lack of support provided to local artists by Birmingham's existing galleries, and decided to start a new organisation to "invigorate the city with progressive ideas about art". Prentice recruited three fellow artists from the School of Art - Jesse Bruton, Robert Groves and Sylvani Merilion - and in 1965 the four established the Ikon Gallery in a kiosk in Birmingham's Bull Ring. Prentice later said of Ikon's founders: "The stances of the original artists were all very different. Sometimes we were going in opposite directions, but we were all Brummies. We had all come out of the art school thinking 'we can do better than this' ... there was an element of wanting to shift the ground we all shared."