This annual competition aims to encourage innovation and experimentation in all water-based media and provides a prestigious platform for both established and emerging artists. Successful entries are exhibited for 2 weeks in March at Bankside Gallery, located next to Tate Modern, in the heart of London’s newest cultural quarter.

Download the Application Pack


This application pack contains all the information that you need to know regarding the submission, exhibition and sale of your work in the Royal Watercolour Society’s Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2019. Please read through it carefully before submitting your work. If you do have any questions which are not answered here, please refer to the FAQs on the Competition page at If you are still unable to find an answer to your questions please email

RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2019

The Royal Watercolour Society’s annual competition is open to all artists except RWS Members. Entries must be submitted digitally via the website. Work made in any water-based medium on a paper support is eligible: this includes gouache, acrylic, ink, pigment, watercolour or a mixed media piece containing any of this list. A maximum of 6 paintings may be submitted for a fee of £15 per work with reductions on multiple submissions. Students in higher education (who can produce a valid student card) can enter up to 6 works for £5 per work. To enter, artists must complete the online entry form and upload images of up to 6 recent paintings to the Royal Watercolour Society’s website. These digital submissions are selected by a panel of judges whose decision is final.


  • Any painting in watercolour, acrylic, gouache, ink, any other water-based media or a combination
  • No prints, copies, reproductions or photographs are eligible
  • All work should be on a paper support i.e. paper, cardboard, etc (not canvas, wood, plastic or any other surface)
  • There are no limitations on style or subject matter
  • Framed works must not exceed 200 x 200cm
  • The painting must have been completed in the past four years
  • The work must have been made by the applicant
  • All work must be for sale
  • Applicants must be aged 18 or over on Monday 8 October 2018


  • David Gluck Memorial Award: £750 Cash Prize
  • RWS Award: £500 Cash Prize
  • David Gluck & RWS Award: £250 Cash Prize
  • RWS Young Artists 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


The Royal Watercolour Society is delighted to have the support of renowned art industry specialists who are offering a range of prizes including art materials, studio time, publishing, exhibiting and cash prizes.

  • The Cass Art Solo Show Award: The opportunity for a solo exhibition of your work in a Cass Art store space
  • The Artist Prize: Feature article in The Artist & Leisure Painter Magazine
  • The Heatherley’s Open Studio Prize: Five days worth of studio time at The Heatherley School of Fine Art
  • Dry Red Press Prize: The opportunity to have your artwork published on a greetings card
  • Cotswold Mounts Prize: £125 cash
  • Daler Rowney Art Materials Prize: Daler Rowney art materials
  • St Cuthbert’s Mill Paper Prize: £150 worth of paper
  • Seawhite Art Materials Prize: Seawhite art materials




Total Prize: £250 – £750