The RI seeks the best in contemporary watercolour and watermedia painting

Since its foundation in 1831, the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) has promoted the essentially English art of watercolour. The RI was formed to exhibit the best watercolours and to show non-members’ works alongside that of members, a policy still followed today.

Submissions are invited to the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) exhibition in 2017 at Mall Galleries 

How to Submit

ALL work must be submitted online. Pre-selection from online entries will take place, after which pre-selected entries should be delivered to Mall Galleries, London, for final selection:

- Upload images of work at between Monday 3 October 2016 and Friday 6 January 2017, 12 noon [Note: Images must be in JPEG format and under 1MB]

- Check on Friday 13 January, from 12 noon, to see if your work has been pre-selected

- If pre-selected, deliver your work on Saturday 11 February, 10am - 5pm, to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD

- Check on Tuesday 14 February, from 12 noon, to see if your work has been accepted to the exhibition

- If unaccepted, collect your work from Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD on Thursday 16 February, 10am - 5pm

Important Dates

Submission opens: Monday 3 October 2016, 12 noon

Submission closes: Friday 6 January 2017, 12 noon

Pre-selection notification: Friday 13 January, 12 noon [Log in to see if your work has been pre-selected]

Receiving Day (if pre-selected only): Saturday 11 February, 10am - 5pm

Acceptance notification: Tuesday 14 February, 12 noon

Collection of unaccepted work: Thursday 16 February, 10am - 5pm

Exhibition open: Thursday 6 April, 10am - 5pm (closed all day on Easter Sunday, 16 April)

Exhibition closes: Saturday 22 April, 1pm

Unsold collection: Thursday 27 April, 10am - 5pm


Any artist over 18 may submit.

Acceptable media: Watercolour or water-soluble mediums, including watercolour, acrylic, ink or gouache (with the exception of water-soluble oils) painted on paper or paper based support.

Submission fee: £15 per work payable at the time of submitting (£10 per work for artists aged 35 or under).

Maximum of six works submitted.

Maximum of four works selected.

Paintings must be framed in a light coloured mount under glass.

Works should not be larger than 2.4m along the longest dimension.

Minimum price: £450.

Artists who are not resident in the UK but are resident in the EU are welcome to submit work. If your work is sold at the exhibition you have a responsibility to register and account for UK VAT with H.M. Revenue & Customs. Artists submitting work from outside the UK and EU must be registered BEFORE they submit online. Artists without a UK residence (known as 'NETPs' - non-established taxable persons) can find further details on 'NETP' status and how to register for VAT at, (HM Revenue & Customs Reference: Notice 700/1, Mar 2014) under the heading 'Should I be registered for VAT?' Please note: the registration process can take up to 4 weeks. Please address any questions you may have to the VAT Helpline on tel. no. 0845 010 9000 or, if your call is from outside the UK, +44 2920501 261.

Artists sending work from abroad should use a picture carrier. Many artists use Picture Post as they offer a packing and delivery service for our exhibitions (we do not accept any liability for their services). Picture Post - Tel: 0044 (0)1302 711011 / Mobile: 07833 450788 /  Email:

For full terms and conditions, click here.

Prizes & Awards

There are many prizes and awards available to win, including:

The Leathersellers' Prize: £1,000 awarded by The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers to an artist aged between 18 and 30 years old

The Anthony J Lester Art Critic Award: A certificate of commendation for an outstanding work chosen by the art critic and broadcaster Anthony J Lester

The Cass Art Prize: A prize of £200 of art supplies from Cass Art, awarded to a work demonstrating the most innovative use of colour

The Debra Manifold Memorial Award: Presented by the Linda Blackstone Gallery, an award for the most innovative work in the exhibition

The Dry Red Press Award: The winning work will be published as a greeting card in the Dry Red Press 'Prize Winners' range, with royalties from the sale of the cards going to the artist

The Escoda Barcelona Award: A set of Escoda's finest brushes for an outstanding landscape painting

The Frank Herring Easel Award: An easel presented for an outstanding work in the exhibition by Frank Herring & Sons

The John Purcell Paper Prize: Paper to the value of £100 awarded to a work chosen by John Purcell

The Matt Bruce RI Memorial Award: An award of £500 for what is considered the most outstanding use of light and colour in a watercolour

NEW The Neil Meacher RI Watercolour Award: An award of £250 for an outstanding watercolour

The Schmincke Award: A Schmincke watercolour set awarded to a work judged to be outstanding.


Mailing List

Keep up to date with Call for Entries details