Sunday, November 08, 2015

Call for Entries: Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours Annual Exhibition 2016

The 204th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours will be held at the Mall Galleries between 6-16 April 2016.

If you're interested in submitting an entry read this post about the Call for Entries!

The Private View of the 2015 Annual Exhibition
(right click the image to see a larger version in a new tab)

How to succeed as a watercolour painter

If you want to succeed as a watercolour painter, it's often adviseable to think seriously about seeking admission as a member of a national art society.

Each country tends to have at least one. The UK has two!
Before you can be admitted as a member, you first need to submit work to their juried exhibitions. There are two:
The big difference between the two societies is that the RI allows non-members to exhibit with its members and the RWS prefers work by non-members to be seen in a separate show.

RI Annual Exhibition 2016: Call for Entries

The RI was formed to exhibit the best of progressive watercolours and to show non-members’ works alongside that of members, a policy still followed today.
You can read the two posts which made up my Review of the 2015 Exhibition below:
2015 Exhibition: Landscapes by members of the RI

Who can submit an entry?

Any artist over 18 may submit.

That means you don't have to live or work in the UK and it's certainly the case that international artists submit work and get selected for this exhibition.

What can you submit?

The eligible media for the exhibition is 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.

You can submit up to six works of which a maximum of four will be selected.

Additional requirements are as follows:
  • All artwork must be framed. The frame must be glazed (with glass) and a light coloured mount used for the artwork. (In reality I've seen minimal mounts used - the issue is much more whether the quality of the framing is good)
  • There is a size constraint on framed artwork. It cannot be any bigger than 2.4metres along the longest dimesnion
  • the minimum price should be £450

How to submit your watercolour painting

This is the detailed Call for Entries leaflet which provides details on how to submit a painting to an exhibition at the Mall Galleries.

The only way to submit work to the exhibition is via online entry using a digital image of your painting

The panel of selectors then determine which paintings should be submitted for review in person with respect to selection for exhibition

The process involves:
  • submitting a good quality digital image of your artwork which is in jpeg format and under 1MB in size
  • using a website via a computer. You'll need:
    • access to a computer that you can upload digital images
    • an email account
    • a method for paying online


First you need to register with the system used for online entries by the Mall Galleries and Federation of British Artists.

You have until the midday on the 8th January to do register, upload your image(s) and make payment for entry

This is the link for online submissions for the annual exhibition of the RI

There's a complication for those artists not resident in the UK - with respect to the recent changes in the VAT rules and the requirement to register in the place where you sell the work rather than the place you create it.
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.

The timeline

The Call for Entries went out last month and the timeline works as follows:


  • Pre-submission opened: 5 October 2015
  • Registration/Pre-submission closes: Friday 8 January 2016, 12 noon
  • Pre-selection notification: Friday 15 January, 12 noon [Log in to see if your work has been pre-selected]


  • Receiving Day (if pre-selected only): Saturday 13 February 2016, 10am – 5pm at Mall Galleries, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD
  • Acceptance notification: Tuesday 16 February, 12 noon
  • Unaccepted collection: Thursday 18 February, 10am – 5pm

More about past exhibitions of the RI

The purpose of this video isn't to give you an in-depth view of all the paintings so much as to give you:
  • an idea of the overall size of the exhibition
  • a notion of how big the paintings are that get selected via the open entry
  • a view of the paintings that were selected this year
This exhibition has always been very popular with the provincial art societies whose members arrive in droves - on coaches!

1 comment:

david poxon said...
more info on the RI and how to submit work for the 2016 exhibition.

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