Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wildlife Artist of the Year 2013 - Call for Entries #2: BBC

This is a summary for the Call for Entries for the second Wildlife Artist of the Year run by the BBC.

Last year, this competition receieved well over 1,000 entries from all over the world - including entries from countries as diverse as Malaysia, Tasmania, Israel, Nepal and Canada.

The Winner in 2012 was Heather Irvine for her picture The Last Winter which portrayed an old moose.

BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year 2012
The Last Winter by Heather Irvine

oil on canvas, 20" x 24"
© Heather Irvine
The deadline is the end of February. The initial screening of entries takes place in March.  A shortlist of the best images in each category is compiled.  Artists on the shortlist are then invited to submit framed artwork and the final round of judging of this artwork takes place in May.  Those artists who have been successful get to find out the result by the end of April.

Only the artwork which wins a category gets to be in an exhibition - but this exhibition is the prestigious annual exhibition of the Marwell International Wildlife Art Society which runs from Friday 30 Aug 2013 to Sunday 1 Sept 2013.

In addition, the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year has his or her winning picture displayed at the Society of Wildlife Artists’ annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London, in autumn 2013.

Call for Entries - Summary re. The BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year 2013

Unless you're reading the BBC's Wildlife Magazine you may be a bit confused if you consult the website as not all the details and dates have been fully updated yet to reflect the 2013 competition.

This link states it's the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year competition rules but it actually states these are for 2012! However, they're unlikely to have changed much and the main 'call for entries' competition page states the key dates in full

Prizes: The Winner gets to go on a 10-day painting safari in Botswana (worth £3,450) courtesy of Elephant Trails Safari Company which takes place in October 2013.  There are more details about the prize on the website

Deadlines for entries: The closing date is 28 February 2013

Who can submit:

  • adults only - all artists must be aged 18 or over
  • 11 categories of this competition are open to all UK residents only
  • 2 categories are open to international artists only
You can submit:
  • Artwork MUST feature wildlife – birds, mammals, waterlife, invertebrates and plants – in a natural or captive environment.
  • two-dimensional artwork
  • up to eight images - via the digital submission process
  • artwork created in the last year
  • original artwork only
  • Copyright:
    • EITHER You must be 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.
    • Source material or proof of permission to use must be made available on request by the judges
You CANNOT submit:
  • artwork that does not feature wildlife (ie this is not an animal art competition)
  • Inadmissible artwork ie
    • Computer-generated artworks
    • Diptychs
    • Triptychs 
    • Box canvases
  • artwork which exceeds size limits ie
    • artwork which exceeds 40" in any direction
    • framed artwork which exceeds 44'" in any direction
  • an entry in more than one category
  • any artwork that has won a prize in any other competition anywhere in the world, 
  • any artwork that has been published by a third party
  • Copies of published photographs or paintings
Categories for entries (UK residents only)
  • British Mammals Entries can be portraits or depict behaviour.
  • British birds Entries can be portraits or depict behaviour.
  • In praise of plants Entries should feature species in Britain or worldwide.
  • Beneath the Water Entries should feature marine and freshwater species.
  • Animals in their Environment In this category, the habitat should be equal in importance to the species; can be British or worldwide.
  • World Mammals Entries can be portraits or depict behaviour.
  • World birds Entries can be portraits or depict behaviour.
  • Black and White Nature For pencil, linocuts, woodcuts, etchings, etc.
  • Visions of Nature Entries should convey creative impressions of wildlife.
  • Frozen Planet Entries should feature animals seen in polar or cold regions.
  • Endangered Species Entries must feature species officially listed in the 2010 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Categories for entries (International Residents)
  • International Artists – birds
  • International Artists – mammals
These two categories are exclusively for artists who live outside the UK, who are prohibited from entering any other category; entries are judged digitally. This is to save our international entrants the great costs of sending artwork to the UK.
What it costs to submit an entry
  • There's no entry fee
Digital Entry
  • artwork must be uploaded to our website by the closing date of 29 February 2012. Artwork should be submitted as jpgs. Each jpg should be  All entries must be accompanied by an online entry form.
  • all images must be jpegs saved as a 300dpi, 1MB file with the category, your name and the subject in the title (in this order).
  • all items marked with a star on the submission form must be completed
The judges

The judges make no allowance for poorly scanned or poorly photographed entries.  In my view, given the level of competition if you are unable to produce a good quality scan or photo it's probably not worth entering.

The judges are:
Pip McGarry - The founder and chairman of the Marwell International Wildlife Art Society (MIWAS), Pip has been a highly successful professional wildlife artist for many years.
Sophie Stafford - Sophie is the editor of BBC Wildlife and works closely with many artists and illustrators. Watch out for details of our new painting holidays.
Chris Rose - An internationally acclaimed wildlife artist, Chris is best known for his bird paintings. He is a leading member and secretary of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA).
David Cromack - Co-publisher of the Buckingham Press stable of birding books, David has been a magazine editor for 25 years (Birds Illustrated and Bird Art & Photography). Mandy Shepherd - Over the past 30 years Mandy has painted both military and wildlife subjects, but it is her lifelong passion for conservation that is reflected in much of her work.
Other important terms and conditions

If you don't include your first name and last name in the file image your entry will be disqualified!

Summary of differences between the two Wildlife Artist of the Year Competitions

Here's a summary of the main differences between the BBC and David Shepherd competitions for Wildlife Artist of the Year 2013 (see also Wildlife Artist of the Year 2013 - Call for Entries #1: David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation)

David Shepherd Foundation
Prize1st prize: £10,0001st prize: a 10-day painting safari in Botswana (worth £3,450)
Deadline for Entries21st January 201228th February 2012
Who can enterInternational, over 17all artists must be 18+
11 categories: UK residents only
2 categories: International artists
What you can submitcan include sculpture2 dimensional only
size limits
What you CANNOT submitWork completed before 21st January 2008
copies of photos by other people
photography, video or electronic
Work completed before this year
anything not 2D
digital artwork
Categories7 categories11 + 2 categories
Cost of entryfees chargedno fees
Price of artworkcan be determined by the organisers as sales earns commission for the conservation efforts of the Foundationsales aren’t the main focus of the competition
ExhibitionExhibition at Mall GalleriesMarwell plus BBC Wildlife Magazine for category winners only
SWA exhibition for the overall winner
Digital entrymandatory - however you can submit CD Rom by postmandatory - upload via online form


  1. Er -- "Digital Entry... artwork must be uploaded to our website by the closing date of 29 February 2012. "

    Bother -- I'm too late again!

  2. Michael - if you read my post in full you will see two things:
    1) a clear statement that "The closing date is 28 February 2013" ie you're not too late
    2) an explanation that although the 2013 call for entries has now been published some of the text on the website still refers to 2012.

    I'm contacting the organisers to see if they can fix this.

    Bottom line - you have until the end of February NEXT YEAR to enter


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