Monday, November 05, 2012

NEW! The Derwent Art Prize - for pencil art

Derwent Pencils today announced The Derwent Art Prize - a brand new art prize for artists working in pencil.  The winner will receive £5,000 so I expect this new art competition may well generate some considerable interest amongst pencil artists working with coloured pencils, water-soluble pencils, pastel pencils, graphite or charcoal.

I think it's a brilliant idea and recommend all those who draw to take a close look at the details.

The Derwent Art Prize

Aim of the Competition
The aim of the Prize is to reward excellence through showcasing the very best international works created in pencil.
Inaugural Exhibition

It's expected that some 80 works will be selected for the exhibition - which will then be displayed in three different ways


The prizes will be awarded at the Private View at Mall Galleries, London on 18 September 2013 and are as follows:
  • First prize - £5,000
  • Second Prize - £2,500
  • Third Prize - £500
  • People's Choice Award - £500
  • UKCPS Award for Excellence - £250 (The UKCPS Award for Excellence also includes a year's membership to the society)

Entries are be judged by a distinguished panel of selectors - with two of them having a particular interest in Drawing as an art form
The competition rules state that all works will be judged anonymously with no segregation by country, genre or style etc.

Call for Entries

So - as always with a Call for Entries - here's my overview and analysis of what they're asking you to do.  Those interested should also make sure they read
The competition and exhibition organisers are Parker Harris - and I expect you will also find details of this competition on their website in due course.  Further enquiries about the competition should be addressed to Parker Harris, on: or Tel. + 44 (0) 1372 462190 - but do look at the FAQs first!

Who can enter?
  • Nationality: The Prize is open to all British and international artists 
  • Age: All entrants must be over the age of 18 years old on 1st July 2013.  You also have to be alive!
Eligible artwork

Artwork eligible for this competition must comply with the following criteria:
  • Media: artwork must be created in pencil (including water-soluble, pastel, graphite, charcoal or colouring pencils). 
  • Format: open to both 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional works.
  • Size: maximum size: 182cms any dimension. There is no minimum size limit. 
  • Date completed: All entered work must have been completed within the last 3 years. 
  • Availability: All artwork selected for exhibition must be available from 9 September to 31 December 2013.
  • For Sale / Price of artwork: Works selected for exhibition MAY be offered for sale. Pricing the artwork needs to factor in a charge of 40% commission plus VAT which will be applied to the sale price of all works sold during the exhibitions or afterwards directly as a result of the Derwent Art Prize both at the exhibitions and on the website.
What to submit - online

Entry is digital and artists need to register for an account before they can submit their entry

Artists are required to submit the following:
  • Entry form - completed online
  • Images: up to 6 recent works, in digital format 
    • file format: jpg, tiff or png (a slight confusion here - the FAQs state jpeg only whereas the entry conditions state jpg, tiff or png - when confused, I always go with the conditions of entry!)
    • maximum size: 4MB file size and "3000 x 3000 pixels resolution" (Note: again we seem to have a confusion between dimensions and dpi - FAQs state 300 dpi)
  • Fee: A non-refundable £10 application fee for the first work and £2 per additional works (price and currency will vary depending on country).

Here's the overview of key dates for this competition

1 July 2013
Deadline for entry
15 July 2013
All artists notified of results of the first stage of the selection process
w/c 9 September 2013
Deliver work to the Mall Galleries
16-21 September 2013
Inaugural Exhibition at the Mall Galleries
18 September 2013
Private View and Prize Winners announced
1 October - 31 December 2013
UK Exhibition Tour (work selected must be available for this period as well as the Mall Galleries exhibition)

Delivery of work

The entry conditions are very explicit about the way in which work should be submitted - for both UK and International Artists. There are no regional collection points and it is expected that artists not living in London will need to use courier services as works must be delivered unwrapped.


Derwent are only liable for any negligence on their part. Artists may wish to ensure they have appropriate cover for all other risks eg damage in transit.

Copyright / Withdrawal of work
Each artist by entering the Derwent Art Prize confirms that they hold all intellectual property rights in the work and that they have obtained prior written approval for the use of any third party copyrighted material contained in the submitted work.
In other words this needs to be an original work of art and no other image can be copied without the written approval of the copyright owner of that image.  (If you are unclear about copyright see Copyright for Artists)

The exhibition organisers also indicate that they will deny entry or withdraw a work from exhibition if there is anything to suggest that exhibiting the work exposes Derwent to legal proceedings.

Conclusion and Comments

I'm very pleased that pencil art is to get its own prize and exhibition.  Also that the prizes on offer are likely to generate some very serious entries from professional artists.

It's certainly the first time I can remember such a generous prize for pencil art.  I'm minded to tip off a few artists of my acquaintance about the need to read this post and take a close look at the conditions for entry!

So - what do you think of this new idea?