The RI seeks the best in contemporary watercolour and watermedia painting.
Acceptable media: Watercolour or water-soluble mediums including watercolour, acrylic, ink or gouache (excluding water-soluble oils) painted on paper or paper based support.
The exhibition offers several prizes and awards, open to all participating artists (see 'Prizes & Awards' below). It presents the opportunity to exhibit at a prestigious gallery in the heart of London alongside well-established artists and have your work seen by thousands of visitors, including buyers and collectors.
* * * NEW FOR 2021 - DIGITAL ONLY SELECTION * * *
To make the process of submitting and selecting work simpler and safer, the Society will select works for exhibition from online only this year.
Selectors will make an assessment of each work based on the digital images supplied, following which selected artists will be asked to deliver their accepted work to Mall Galleries for exhibition.
How to Submit
ALL work must be submitted online. Selection from online entries will take place, after which selected artworks should be delivered to Mall Galleries, London, for exhibition:
- Upload images of work at mallgalleries.oess1.uk between Monday 16 November 2020 and Friday 5 February 2021, 12 noon [Note: Images must be in JPEG format and under 5MB]
- Check mallgalleries.oess1.uk on Friday 19 February, from 12 noon, to see if your work has been selected for exhibition
- If selected, deliver your work on Saturday 13 March or Sunday 14 March, 10am to 5pm, to Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD
Submissions open: Monday 16 November 2020, 12 noon
Submissions close: Friday 5 February 2021, 12 noon
Selection notification: Friday 19 February, 12 noon
Receiving Days (if selected only): Saturday 13 March and Sunday 14 March, 10am to 5pm
Exhibition open: Thursday 1 April, 11am to 5pm*
*closed all day on Easter Sunday, 4 April
Exhibition closes: Thursday 15 April, 5pm
Collection of unsold work: Thursday 22 April and Friday 23 April, 10am to 5pm
- Any artist over 18 may submit.
- Acceptable media: Watercolour or water-soluble mediums including watercolour, acrylic, ink or gouache (excluding water-soluble oils) painted on paper or paper based support.
- Works must have been completed within the last two years and should not have been previously shown in London.
- Submission fee: £18 per work (or £12 per work for artists aged 35 or under).
- Maximum of six works submitted.
- Maximum of four works selected.
- All paintings must be well presented, glazed and suitably framed (no metal or clips frames are permitted).
- Works must not be larger than 2.4m high and 1.5m wide including the frame. The Council have the right to withdraw paintings that are over this limit.
- All work must be for sale. Minimum price: £350.
The price of works must include 45%+VAT commission.
Works that are poorly presented or differ significantly from the photograph entered will not be exhibited.
Delivery & Collection
- Packaging from delivered works cannot be retained and must be taken away at the point of delivery.
- We are unable to wrap works or provide wrapping materials for any works being returned.
Any work uncollected on the specified collection date/s will be stored at a separate location and the artist will be charged a storage fee.
- The Selection Committee is formed of artist members of the Institute.
- Please note that selectors' decisions are final and we are unable to offer feedback.
- Artists from outside the UK may need to register for VAT, please check with HM Revenue and Customs: https://www.gov.uk
- Artists sending work from abroad should use a picture carrier. Many artists use Picture Post Art as they offer a packing and delivery service for our exhibitions (we do not accept any liability for their services). Picture Post Art - Tel: 0044 (0)1302 711011 / Mobile: 07833 450788 / Email: email@example.com
Terms & Conditions
- For full terms and conditions, click here.
If you are unable to deliver or collect your work in person, several art couriers around the country visit the galleries, including:
Art Moves of Chelsea (London, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Bristol) - firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7352 7492
Picture Post Art (Scotland, the North of England and Birmingham) - email@example.com / 01302 711011
South Hams Express (Penzance, Totnes, Exeter and Southampton) - firstname.lastname@example.org / 07502 041139
For a fuller list of Art Couriers, click here.
Prizes & Awards (subject to final confirmation)
There are many prizes and awards available to win, including:
The Winsor & Newton Award: £3,000
The Winsor & Newton Product Prize: £1,000 worth of Winsor & Newton art materials
The Leathersellers' Prize: £1,000 awarded by The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers to an artist aged between 18 and 30 years old
The President’s Choice Award: An award of £750 for the most deserving work in the exhibition, donated by a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) and judged by the President of the RI, Rosa Sepple
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 Baohong Artists' Watercolour Paper Prizes: Two prizes of £250 each, awarded to a member and non-member for excellence
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 Chaoshan Watercolour Award: £250 awarded by Chinese artist, Professor Li Xiaocheng, for the best classically inspired watercolour
The Debra Manifold RI 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 James Fletcher-Watson RI Memorial Award: £500 for the best use of watercolour in the exhibition
The John Purcell Paper Prize: Paper to the value of £100 awarded to a work chosen by John Purcell
The Megan Fitzoliver Brush Award: A trophy, named The Pipe Fish, awarded for a work that most inspires a connection with the natural world
The Richard Plincke RI Prize for Colour: An award of £250 for creative use of colour
The Schmincke Prize: A Horadam Aquarell Artists’ Watercolours set to an outstanding exhibitor.