Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2013 - Call for Entries

The Call for Entries for the 26th year of The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition - the top open watercolour competition in the UK - has been published.
the competition celebrates all works produced in water-based mediums, whether abstract or figurative, contemporary or traditional.
This prestigious competition is one of the top art competitions in the UK and is open to both amateur and professional artists who are invited to compete for prizes worth a total of £18,000.

Viewing the 2012 Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition 
at the Mall Galleries, September 2012
This post tells you about:
  • who can enter
  • what you can enter
  • the time table
  • the exhibition
The deadline for submissions 5pm on the 10 June 2013.

Read on to find out more about:
  • how to enter the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition
  • where you can see the Exhibition in London and around the UK .
I've listed my blog posts about this competition in the last FIVE years at the end of this post.  Click the exhibition reviews to see the calibre of entries selected for previous exhibitions.

Entry for the 2013 competition is ONLINE.

Artists are invited to submit up to four works.

Sunday Times Watercolour Competition Prizes

The prestige value of The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition is in part due to value of the top prize prize available.  £10,000 goes to the person who wins first prize.

Prizes in 2013 include:
  • 1st Prize (£10,000),
  • 2nd Prize (£6,000),
  • the Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize (£1,500), and
  • the Vintage Classics Prize for Cover Art (£500 and a commission to create the cover art for a Vintage Classic).

Who can submit entries

  • The competition is open to all artists born or resident in the UK. 
  • There are no age limits for artists wishing to enter. 

What sort of work can be submitted

The competition is open to all paintings in a water-based medium.
  • The paintings entered should have been:
    • carried out in the last three years and 
    • not previously exhibited
    • PLUS All selected work must be available until the end of January 2014.
  • The maximum size of work, in its largest dimension, including frame, is 122 cm
  • Artists may submit up to four works
  • Copyright:  It's vital that artists do not infringe the copyright of any other person.  Hence:
    • The work must be the sole and original work of the entrant; it must be their own original composition
    • The artist must own the copyright of any works entered into the competition. 
    • If selected for exhibition, the artist must agree for an image of the work to be used for any publicity or marketing material relevant to the Sunday Times Exhibition. 
Entries will only be accepted:
  • with fully completed documentation 
  • only on the specified handing-in dates. 

How much does it cost?

  • Entry is £15 per work - payable at handing in 
  • A commission of 40% +VAT is deducted from the value of all sales 

How to submit work for the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition

What can I submit? Artists can submit up to four works via online entry
  • Use the Online Entry Form to complete all required details and to upload your images
  • File types accepted: JPG, TIFF, PNG (0.5MB max file size).
What's the deadline for entries?
  • The deadline for entries is 10 June 2013 by 5pm.  
Another view of the 2012 Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition 
at the Mall Galleries, September 2012
Judges for 2013

Last year I commented that if there is a panel, I'd like to see more than one artist on it (last year's only had one). This year there are two artists on the panel. :)

Only Hugh Pearman and Desmond Shawe-Taylor remain from the 2012 Judging Panel.

The 2013 judging panel is:
Julia Farrer, artist;
Danny Markeyartist; 
Dr Susan OwensCurator of Painting, Victoria & Albert Museum;
Between 2002 and 2007 she was Assistant Curator of the Print Room at Windsor Castle. She has written and lectured on various aspects of British Art. Her publications include Watercolours and Drawings from the Collection of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (2005), andAmazing Rare Things: The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery (2007) Dr. Owens read English at Oxford, followed by a Master’s degree in art history at the Courtauld. Her Ph.D. (University of London, 2002) was on Aubrey Beardsley and satire.
Women in the Arts
Desmond Shawe-Taylor CVOSurveyor of the Queen’s Pictures; and
Hugh Pearmancritic & writer, The Sunday Times.

How does the judging and selection process work?

this competition aims to celebrate and reward excellence and originality in the genre of watercolour painting. The judges will therefore be looking for work that makes the most imaginative or otherwise impressive use of a water based medium in this respect.
The panel of judges will initially review all entries from the digital submission process.

Artwork only needs to be sent to London (by 3 July) if it makes it through the initial screening of online digital entries.   

250 artists are then invited to submit actual works to London and regional collection points.  Thus if if one of your artworks make it through the initial screening it has a 40% chance of being selected for exhibition
  • Stage 1 - Initial Screening (Online ONLY)
    • All artists enter their work online at the initial screening stage.  
    • The judges review all the watercolour paintings and then select 250 works to go forward to Stage 2 - the final judging.
  • Stage 2 - Final Judging (Actual Painting): If invited (BY 24 June) artists must 
    • EITHER deliver artwork for final judging to the Federation of British Artists (FBA), 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD,  on Wednesday 3 July 2013. between 10 - 5pm. This is a link to a summary of UK art couriers if the regional collection centre is not convenient for you
    • OR submit work via the approved couriers and Regional collection centres (by earlier deadlines).  
    • works not accepted for exhibition will be available for collection from the FBA (rear of the Mall Galleries) on 10 July 2013, from 10 – 5pm.
Can I get forms online? Yes. Entry details and application forms are available online at Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition on the Parker Harris website

Will I be notified by post? No. Artists will be notified by email, by 24 June 2013, of the results of their application. You can call the administrators if you don't have access to the Internet.

Names of the selected artists will also be published on the Parker Harris website (and this blog - with links to their websites

Can I apply online? No - entry forms MUST be submitted with the work which needs to be hand delivered to one of the regional venues. No entry form - no submission.

How do I get an application form by post? Send an SAE to: The Watercolour Competition, Parker Harris, PO Box 279, Esher, Surrey, KT10 8YZ.


  • 10 June - Deadline for online entries, by 5pm
  • 24 June - Results of initial entry emailed to artists by this date
  • 3 July - Shortlisted artists submit works to FBA 
  • 5 July - Results of second round judging emailed to artists by this date
  • 10 July - Unaccepted short listed works available for collection at FBA, 10am-5pm 
  • 16-21 September - Exhibition at Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1 10am-5pm
  • October 2013 – January 2014 - Exhibition tour

Further Information 

  • Full details of the Rules & Conditions of Entry can be viewed online at
  • Telephone the organisers Parker Harris on 01372 462190 or email Facebook and Twitter. 

The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition Exhibition

An exhibition of approximately 100 works will be held at the Mall Galleries, London SW1 from 16-21 September 2013, followed by the Smith & Williamson tour to venues throughout the UK.

LINKS - Posts about the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition in 2008-2012


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