Monday, February 10, 2014

The 2nd Derwent Art Prize - Call for Entries

Heads up - the call for entries for The 2nd Derwent Art Prize for works created in pencil has been published.

My usual summary of the information contained in the Call for Entries is below however since this is a new prize last year I thought I'd provide a recap of what happened in terms of selection, prizes and exhibition.  I wrote three posts about the Prize and the Exhibition which you can read here:
Announcement of the Prizes
at The inaugural Derwent Art prize Exhibition last September at the Mall Galleries

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.

Second Exhibition

It's expected that some 80 works will be selected for the exhibition. These will then be displayed in London, Cumbria and online as follows
You can also expect that artwork will be published on The Derwent Art Prize Facebook Page


The prize fund for 2014 has been significantly increased and, in addition, there is a new prize for a Young Artist under the age of 25.

Chrys Allen
Winner of the Inaugural Derwent Art Prize 2012
with Professor Stephen Farthing
The prizes will be awarded at the Private View at the Mall Galleries, London on 15 September 2013 and are as follows:
  • First Prize £6,000
  • Second Prize £3,500
  • Third Prize £1,000
  • People's Choice Award – Exhibition £700
  • People's Choice Award – All entries £700
  • Young Artist Award – For artists under 25 years £500 This is a new prize awarded to an artist under 25 years on 9 June 2014.
  • UK Coloured Pencil Society Award for Excellence £250


The competition rules state that all works will be judged anonymously with no segregation by country, genre or style etc.

The selectors who will be judging the entries are listed below. I found some interesting references to their past lives and related interests and you might like to click a link or two.

Call for Entries

As always with Calls for Entry I provide you with my overview and analysis of what they're asking you to do.

If intending to submit an entry do also make sure you read
The competition and exhibition organisers are Parker Harris. 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 9th July 2014. You also have to be alive!
  • NEW (I think and I'm guessing this is as a result of something that happened last year): A third party agency (such as a gallery) can enter work but must confirm must confirm they have the full authority and legal right to submit work, that information about the artist and artwork has been provided after consultation with the artist and that the third party is also bound by the Competitions of Entry
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).  That's my emphasis on the pencils. I hope the selectors do likewise. I personally thought some of the entrants whose work was selected were pushing their luck on this last year. Hopefully this year the selectors will be a bit more rigorous in differentiating between charcoal and charcoal pencils!  I'm wondering whether we will see any videos accompanying entries of artwork in pencil and/or whether they would be allowed.  
  • 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 1st September 2014 to January 2015
  • 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 @20% levied on 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.

Inadmissable works

NEW THIS YEAR: Nothing was said last year about works which were inadmissible. I'm guessing some naughty people have prompted both Derwent and the organisers to be very much clearer at the Call for Entries stage this year as to what type of work is not eligible for exhibition or prize.  
So inadmissible works include
  • Work that does not fit within the Conditions of Entry will not be admissible and will not be considered for exhibition. 
  • The following are also inadmissible:
    • Copies of works i.e. I'd interpret this as meaning no copying other people's photographs or artwork. It could be clearer.
    • Works that are in breach of copyright  Last year entries used an image currently under copyright without written permission?
    • Works that have been previously exhibited  This is significant.  It means all work which is entered must be new work and not previously seen in an exhibition.  I'm all in favour of this. I find it very tiresome going to prestigious art competitions only to see a piece of work I've seen before in another similar exhibition.
    • Work that contain noxious or toxic substances, are flammable below 50°C or incorporate dangerous electrical equipment ie  must conform to all health and safety standards and regulations. (Pretty much a standard type of requirement although it makes me wonder if somebody lathered on the solvent last year)
  • The competition is not open to employees of the Cumberland Pencil Co, ACCO (UK) Ltd, their families and its agencies

What to submit - online

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

The confusing instructions from last year appear to have been smoothed out although the difference between pixels as a size and dpi as a resolution has still to sink in.  Just go for the maximum dpi you can achieve with those pixel limits (between 1000 and 300 pixels either dimension, and the file size.)

Fees for entry have risen along with the prize money.

Artists are required to submit the following:
  • Entry form - completed online
  • Images: up to 6 recent works, in digital format 
    • image size: images must be between 1000 x 3000 pixels resolution; min 1000 x 1000 and max. 3000 x 3000 pixels.
    • file format: jpg, 
    • maximum sizemax. 4MB file size (no min) 
  • Fee: A non-refundable £15 application fee for the first work and £5 per additional works (price and currency will vary depending on country).

The work selected for exhibition must be available from 1st September to 31 January 2015.

12 pm GMT 9th June 2014
Deadline for entry
11th July 2014
All artists notified of results of the first stage of the selection process
w/c 1st September 2014
Deliver work to the Mall Galleries
150-20th September 2014
Inaugural Exhibition at the Mall Galleries
15th September 2014
Private View and Prize Winners announced
October 2014 - January 2015
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 e.g. 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.

Sale of work

I'm bemused by these two statements which The Cumberland Pencil Company might want to check with their tax advisers ie you cannot levy VAT unless you have some sort of status to do so in terms of relationship with the seller!
The Cumberland Pencil Company does not act as the artist’s agent or partner, and has no authority to negotiate or conclude the sale of a work.
The Cumberland Pencil Company will levy 40% plus VAT commission on 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.


  1. Really excited about entering this again. :)

    As for size - pixel sizes (dots) are pixel sizes at any resolution. So if you're sizing in Photoshop by pixel dimensions it's irrelevent what dpi you have it set at. That's probably why they specified pixels instead of dpi - so people wouldn't sent a 300dpi image that was still too small.

    I'd also like to see clarity on charcoal.

  2. Pencil art is pencil art is pencil art.

    If it was a Drawing Prize of course it could allow charcoal - but it's not it's a pencil art price!

  3. I asked about charcoal last year,
    The reply i got was charcoal sticks weren't allowed but charcoal pencils were.


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