The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) and Mall Galleries are pleased to announce the prizewinners at this year’s RI 208th Exhibition, the largest exhibition of contemporary water-based media paintings in the world. 

With lockdown postponing the show, the winning works were chosen from the gallery’s website rather than its walls.

We are now ready to re-open so you can come and see the works for yourself.

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However, with videos, audio, images and statements by the winners to watch, hear, see, and read, we hope you can experience and enjoy their works wherever you are.

Discover all the prize winners via the links below

The prize winners featured in part four include:


The Dry Red Press Award

Desmond Clark

Kid in a Sweetshop

Desmond Clark used to work for London local authorities, but spent most of his time in meetings doodling on a sketchpad. So he threw in the towel and moved to Devon to devote his time to art.

He has exhibited regularly with the South West Academy in Exeter and last year won an award for “exhibiting excellence” from the Society of Botanical Artists at Mall Galleries. He loves depicting transparency in water or glass. ‘Kid in a Sweetshop’ was painted at his wife’s suggestion while recovering from cancer in 2019.


The Escoda Barcelona Award

Brendan Smith

Sunset, Ventnor

This painting depicts the autumn sun setting over the coast of the Isle of Wight seen from the cliffs above Ventnor. The receding land melts into the warm light of the sun while the town below is already falling into dark shadow. A light mist over the calm sea reflects a pearly light.


The Frank Herring Easel Award

Alex Chilvers

London Fields Lido

A painting of the London Fields Lido. I'm very interested in capturing people's relationship with public leisure facilities. This is one of a number of gouache paintings I have created depicting people swimming in public pools around London. I draw on location using coloured pens and pastels before constructing the composition using gouache in the studio. I love to capture the movement of water and the energy of people swimming within a man-made space.  


The Neil Meacher RI Watercolour Award

Geoff Butterworth

A Day Like Any Other

This watercolour subject was photographed years ago and I have done a couple of versions of it with figures and cats on. This time I chose to work it as it was and also to work on a paper of the time. I used to do commissions for Whatman Paper for use as a production bonus that went to India, China, Germany and America and in payment, I chose paper (watercolour, not money).

The 200lb Not Whatman paper seemed to paint itself, you just looked at it and showed it the brush. The results here are pretty much the same, I have very few left but they are a treat every now and again. "A Day Like Any Other" sums up the mundane life of the times in the Lancashire border towns in the Pennines. Beautiful light, gritty reality.



Discover all the prize winners via the links below


Browse the whole exhibition now