Friday, December 16, 2011

Wildlife Artist of the Year 2012 - Call for Entries (x2)

There are two art competitions in the UK for the Wildlife Artist of the Year.  These are:
Amur Ambush by Stella Mays
Overall and Endangered Species Winner - BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year 2011
pastel painting on pastelmat
This post summarises both art competitions for ease of reference of those wildlife artists who anticipate entering these competitions

It spells out
  • where you can find the rules of entry and any additional information about the competition
  • who can enter
  • what you can submit (and, as important, what is ineligible)
  • how to enter
  • the deadline
  • details of the exhibition and other ways in which artwork is displayed
For those contemplating both exhibitions and wondering which one to enter, the main differences are as follows.  Anybody spotting any other significant difference please leave a comment!
  • Prizes
    • There's a significant cash first prize of £10,000 for the DS WAY 2012
    • The top prize for the BBC WAY is a 10-day painting safari with Pip McGarry in Botswana in October 2012,
  • Deadlines for entries:  
    • You have a few extra weeks to submit an entry for the BBC WAY (deadline 29 February compared to 20 January for DS WAY). 
    • Both require (BBC) or encourage (DS) digital online entries.
    • Maximum digital image size is 6mb for DS WAY and 1MB for BBC WAY
  • Eligible artwork
    • BOTH insist that all artwork must be original and the artist's own work.
    • the DS WAY 2012 permits 3D work while the BBC WAY does not
    • The DS WAY is very specific that any image used must not have been published or seen in public before anywhere
  • Categories: DS WAY has seven categories and BBC WAY has 13 categories
  • Eligible media:  Both are quite flexible about media which can be used - but also stipulate media which cannot be used for an entry.  Neither accepts digital entries or computer generated artwork.
  • International Artists:  the BBC WAY judges all submissions from international artists digitally whereas DS WAY only selects for exhibition from digital images
  • Exhibition:
    • Only the winning picture from the BBC WAY will be displayed at the Mall Galleries in London (at the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists) whereas the whole exhibition of the  DS WAY is at the Mall Galleries.
    • The main exhibition for the DS WAY is at the Marwell International Wildlife Art Society exhibition in August.
    • the winning and commended entries in the BBC WAY are displayed online whereas all entries all displayed online by DA WAY
    • the BBC Way publish images of all the category winners in the BBC Wildlife Magazine.

Now for the nitty gritty details......

David Shepherd’s Wildlife Artist of the Year 2012 

David Filer
Wildlife Artist of the Year 2011
This is an excellent exhibition and I was sad to miss the one last summer due to being on holiday.  It gets a lot of visitors and the Private View is always packed with artists and collectors.

Before entering a competition, it's often a very good idea to check out the competition! The best way of doing that is to visit the exhibition.  If that's difficult to do, you can always try viewing the online exhibition of those selected last year's Wildlife Artist of the Year.

This provides a guide for those who haven't entered before of the type of art which sells and the sort of prices charged for different types of artwork.

Remember that some of the prices are very much influenced by how successful the artist is in selling to collectors!

  • Click the details link under each image to check out the media and size of each piece.
  • Click the bio link next to the artist's name to check out their experience and status as wildlife artists.  
  • This is a link to those artists who won prizes
Prizes in 2012
  • The First Prize is £10,000 
  • the runner-up wins £1,000 and a personal art workshop with David Shepherd
The rules of entry 2012
Who can enter

David Shepherd’s Wildlife Artist of the Year 2012 competition is open to
  • individual entrants who are aged 17 years or over (You must be 17 by the closing date for entries i.e. 21 January 2012)
  • entries from the UK and other countries
  • entries from both amateur and professional artists alike.  The judges will not distinguish between them. 
What to submit
Wildlife can mean any wild animal or place and we’re especially keen to see more British wildlife and landscape entries
  • Entries must be original artwork by the entrant.  It must be all their own original work.
    • Artists using exact reference from another professional artist or photographer risk having their work rejected.  (That's a polite way of saying no copying allowed!  A major part of an original artwork relates to composition, cropping and lighting of the subject)
    • (I've paraphrased the entry conditions here - in part to highlight a related point which is not mentioned.  In general artwork completed while participating in a workshop or class is frequently NOT considered by art societies to be original and unaided work by the artist alone.  I don't know how it's viewed by this competition but I'd advise erring on the side of caution)
  • Entries must be work completed within the last five years 
  • Every entry needs to identify one of the seven competition categories  
    1. Endangered Wildlife - any wild animal or plant that is threatened or endangered nationally or internationally 
    2. Wild Places - any scene or landscape showing the natural environment at its most beautiful or dramatic 
    3. Wildlife in Action - any wild animal jumping, fighting, flying or any other interesting behaviour 
    4. Wildlife in 3D - sculpture in any medium 
    5. Go Wild - let your imagination go wild! 
    6. Young & Wild - open to 17-25 year olds covering all six categories 
    7. Wild Life - any wild animals including birds and plants in Britain or anywhere around the world
  • Eligible media 
    • includes oil, acrylic, watercolour, pencil, mixed media, bronze, plaster, wire, collage
    • excludes: photography and film and electronically created artwork
  • Any style of artwork can be entered - i.e. it does not have to adhere to realism
  • All artwork entered has to be available for sale
    • That means if you've sold it do not copy it (ie it has to be original) or ask for it back for the purposes of the exhibition (because it has to be capable of being sold)
  • Artwork which is INELIGIBLE for entry:
    • any artwork that has been entered in previous years
    • artwork completed prior to completed before 21st January 2007
How to enter
  • The deadline for entry is 21 January 2012
    • Website entry closes at midnight (21st/22nd)
    • postal entries must be received by 5pm on 21st January 2012
  • Every entry requires a fee of £25 (DSWF Members and 17-25 category entrants - £10). 
  • You can enter online at
    • digital image of an artwork + completed online form + payment of fee = one entry
    • Online entries will only be accepted as Jpeg digital images
      • the recommended minimum size is 2560 x 1920 pixels 
      • the file size should not exceed 6MB. 
    • Multiple entries by an individual are allowed but must be paid for and uploaded separately
    • Payment must be made when you submit the completed online form and upload the digital file of the artwork
  • You can enter by post
    • Use the postal entry form to enter the competition
    • Send a jpeg file on a CD (use multiple images for a 3D work)
    • call the Foundation on 01483 272323 for more details
Judging and selection
  • judging takes place in the Spring and artists are advised asap after selection.
  • Only artists selected for the exhibition will be asked to supply original artwork
  • This competition has a category for selected artists called "selected but not hung".
The exhibition 

There's nothing on the website to say where and when the exhibition is - but it's usually at the Mall Gallery in June.  That might be a bit different this year because of the Olympics.

For more details contact: Vicky Flynn at the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation on 01483 272323 or via email

BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year 2012

This Prize hasn't been going long but it has attracted an excellent calibre of entry and the category winners provide a stimulating range of images.  I also personally saw Stella Mays's winning entry at this year's SWA exhibition and it was very impressive (see image at the top of this post).

  • The overall BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year 2012 wins a place for one person on a 10-day painting safari with Pip McGarry in Botswana in October 2012, including flights from London Heathrow, transfers, accommodation and wildlife viewing.
The rules of entry 2012

On the website of you can find the:

Who can enter
  • The competition is open to all artists aged 18 or over, amateur or professional
  • You cannot enter if you are an employee or the immediate family of an employee of BBC Worldwide, Immediate Media Co and Elephant Trails Safari Co.
What to submit
  • You can submit up to a maximum of 8 entries
  • Artwork must feature wildlife – birds, mammals, waterlife, invertebrates and plants – in a natural or captive environment.
  • Artwork must have been created in the past year 
  • Artwork must be two dimensional only and contained within the size limits
    • maximum size when framed is 44 inches in any direction; 
    • actual artwork should not exceed 40 inches in any direction.
  • Artwork must be your own original work. (To be original artwork cannot be derivative or a copy of any other artwork which can claim copyright).  This means you must be 
    • EITHER the sole author and owner of the copyright of all artwork entered, 
    • OR if your work is copied from a photograph(s) that is/are not your own, you must have sole permission in writing from the copyright owner to use his/her work. (That means you are buying sole right to use a photograph and nobody else can use it after you - not cheap!  Again this comes back to the notion of an image that has never before been seen in public - so you can't have spotted it on an internet site as that means it's been published)
    • Copies of published photographs or paintings are not eligible. 
    • Source material or proof of permission to use must be made available on request by the judges. BBC Wildlife does not accept any liability in the publication of unlawfully reproduced art.
  • The 2012 categories are: 
    1. British Mammals (behaviour and portraits)
    2. British Birds (behaviour and portraits)
    3. All Other Wildlife (behaviour and portraits, in the UK and worldwide)
    4. The Wonder of Plants (British and worldwide)
    5. Beneath the Water (marine and fresh water)
    6. Animals in their Environment (British and worldwide)
    7. World Mammals (behaviour and portraits)
    8. World Birds (behaviour and portraits)
    9. Black and White Nature (pencil, lino cuts, etchings, wood block etc)
    10. Visions of Nature (innovative, creative impressions of wildlife)
    11. Frozen Planet (please note: entries must feature animal life)
    12. Endangered Species (entries must feature species listed by the IUCN as ‘Endangered’ or ‘Critically Endangered’)
    13. International Artists – a category judged digitally, exclusively for artists outside of the UK. This is to save our international entrants the great costs of sending artwork to the UK.
Artwork which is ineligible for entry includes:
  • Artwork which has won a prize in any other competition anywhere in the world, or been published by a third party.  (In other words, they only want fresh to the marketplace, never been seen before, unique artwork!)
  • 3D artwork
  • Computer-generated artworks will not be accepted.
  • Diptychs, triptychs and box canvases are not admissible.
  • Artwork which exceeds the size limits
How to enter
  • The deadline for entries is 29 February 2012
  • All entries must be submitted online
    • submit a completed online entry form 
    • state the category, your name and the subject in the title (in this order) 
    • upload a jpg image at a resolution of 300dpi (maximum file size 1MB file) . 
  • Artists living outside the UK must enter the International Artists category and no other so that all judging is fair.
Judging and selection
  • The artwork will be judged by an independent panel appointed by BBC Wildlife. 
  • The judges are:
    • Pip McGarry - A professional wildlife artist and the founder and chairman of the Marwell International Wildlife Art Society (MIWAS)
    • Sophie Stafford - Sophie is the editor of BBC Wildlife 
    • Chris Rose - An internationally acclaimed wildlife artist and leading member and secretary of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA).
    • David Cromack - magazine editor for 25 years (Birds Illustrated and Bird Art & Photography) and co-publisher of the Buckingham Press 
    • Mandy Shepherd - daughter of David Shepherd and painter of both military and wildlife subjects.
The Exhibition

Selected images will be displayed in four different ways!
  • All of the category-winning pieces will be 
  • The overall winning artwork will also be displayed at the 48th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists at the Mall Galleries, London, in Autumn 2012.
  • The winning, runner-up and commended artworks will also be published in an online gallery at
These are links to:
If you have any problems please contact the BBC Wildlife team on 0117 3147366 or email the BBC Wildlife's editorial assistant, Heather.

Click the link to NOMINATE Art Blogs for The 2011 Making A Mark Awards

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for providing all the information this is an excellent post for wildlife artists.


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