Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if my work is accepted?
If any of your works are selected by the judges you will be contacted via email and asked to deliver the framed piece(s) to Bankside Gallery which will then be installed and exhibited in the Contemporary Watercolour Competition exhibition alongside other successful entries. You will be invited to attend the private view at the beginning of the exhibition where you can meet your fellow exhibitors and prizes will be announced.


Are there any prizes available?
Yes. Prizes will be chosen from the selection of exhibited works and winners will be announced at the private view. Prizes for 2020 include:
David Gluck Memorial Award: £750 Cash Prize
RWS Award: £500 Cash Prize
David Gluck & RWS Award: £250 Cash Prize
RWS Young Artist Award: Guest Membership to the RWS for 2 years to an artist under the age of 35, allowing the winner(s) to exhibit in all Society exhibitions at Bankside Gallery for this period
RWS Publicity Prize: Your selected work on exhibition printed publicity material
RWS Social Media Prize: Feature on @royalwatercoloursociety Instagram
Sponsored prizes tbc


When will the exhibition be open for entries?
Entries for the 2020 Contemporary Watercolour Competition will open in October 2019.


Do I need to deliver my work(s) for the selection?
Works for the exhibition are selected from digital images which can be uploaded to the digital submission form from October 2019.
How should I choose which of my paintings to send in?
Remember that the judges are looking at many works in a short time. They will be more likely to be captivated by work(s) with something special to say and with a personal point of view.  They are looking for artists with a clear style and identity in all the works that they submit rather than lots of different styles of painting.
Are there rules about watercolour techniques - should I only send work in that conforms to traditional ideas of watercolour?
The judges will be looking for ideas, competence and integrity - as long as the materials conform to those stipulated on the application pack, they will be interested in how you choose to use them and will be excited by both innovation and expertise in traditional methods in using water-based media.
My work includes media that isn't all water-based (i.e. pastel, pencil, collage). Is this allowed?
We accept works made in all water-based media including (but not limited to) watercolour, acrylic, ink, gouache, and mixed media pieces featuring not water-based materials as long as a water-based media is included. 
Do any particular subjects for paintings have a better chance of being selected?
No. There are no restrictions on subject matter.
What sized painting is usually most often accepted?
In previous years, artworks in a ranges of sizes have been accepted, however due to limitations of space, works must not exceed 200 x 200cm when framed. 
How does the digital submission change the decisions the judges make?
If the original digital photograph is of a good quality, and the image well presented - that is, cropped to the edge of the painting and straight, the judges will be able to make a decision in much the same way as looking at the actual painting. 
If I am successful, can I send my work to Bankside Gallery using Royal Mail, Fed Ex or similar?
No, we do not accept works from non-insured non-art couriers.  We realise this is a more expensive way of transporting your work but we want to reduce the risk of loss or damage to your work.
How can I send work to Bankside Gallery if I live outside of the UK?
We recommend sending your work (via an arts courier in your country) to either Picture Post ( / 01302 711011 or 07833450788) or Art Moves of Chelsea ( / 020 7352 7492)  who will deliver your work(s) on time on your behalf and make sure all the packaging is taken away.  You can also arrange collection of work with these companies. 
What if I cannot deliver or collect my work on the designated days?
You can either nominate a friend to deliver/collect the works for you (please inform Bankside Gallery of who this will be) or you can use one of the couriers above. Works not delivered on time will not be hung and works not collected on time will be removed by Art Moves of Chelsea (see application pack for details).
If your query is not answered in the details above, please check the application pack (available to download from October 2019). If you cannot find the answer to your question, please email