Now in its 29th year, The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition is the largest and most prestigious watercolour competition in the UK. Hugely popular with artists, gallery visitors and readers of The Sunday Times, the competition aims to celebrate and reward excellence and originality in the medium of watercolour.



Entry is through an online entry process.  Entry fee is £15 per work.  Artists may enter up to 4 works only.

The closing deadline for online submission is 5pm, 13 June 2016. The panel of judges will initially review entries through a digital submission process. Following this, approximately 250 shortlisted artists will then be invited to deliver their actual works on 1 July 2016, from 10 – 5pm, to the Federation of British Artists (FBA), 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD, for final judging.

Only works shortlisted from the initial digital submission will be received for final judging. These works will only be accepted at the submission point with fully completed entry forms and labels, which will be emailed to artists following the initial selection. Please note that notification of all results will be sent by email only.


The judges will be looking for work that makes the most imaginative or otherwise impressive use of a water-based medium. The judges’ decision will be final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into. The 2016 judges include:
Akash Bhatt Artist
Sara Dudman Artist
Simon Oldfield, Curator and gallery owner
Desmond Shawe-Taylor CVO Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures
Louis Wise Critic & Writer, The Sunday Times


The following prizes will be awarded during the exhibition. They will also be announced in The Sunday Times Magazine and on The Sunday Times website:

First Prize – £10,000
Second Prize – £6,000
Smith & Williamson Cityscape Prize – £1,500


Approximately 100 works will be exhibited at the Mall Galleries, London. All exhibitors will be invited to a Private View during the exhibition.

19 – 24 September 2016
Mall Galleries
The Mall, London, SW1
Open 10am-5pm daily, free entry

Once again, Smith & Williamson are generously supporting a UK tour of the exhibition. A selection of the 2016 exhibition will be shown in their offices throughout the UK from September 2016 to Spring 2017. The exhibition will also be on show from:

10 December 2016 – end January 2017 (tbc)
Guildford House Art Gallery
155 High Street
Guildford, GU1


13 JuneDeadline for online entries, by 5pm
21 JuneResults of initial entry emailed to artists by this date
1 JulyShortlisted artists submit works to FBA
6 JulyResults of second round judging emailed to artists by this date
8 JulyUnaccepted short listed works available for collection at FBA, 10am-5pm
19 - 24 SeptemberExhibition at Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1 10am-5pm
September 2016 – Spring 2017 Smith & Williamson Exhibition tour


The Sunday Times has been a loyal sponsor of this prestigious exhibition since its inception 29 years ago.

As a leading, independently owned, financial and professional services group, Smith & Williamson has been looking after the financial affairs of individuals, families and businesses for more than a century.

We aim to deliver imaginative yet pragmatic advice and solutions tailored to meet your individual circumstances. We achieve this by taking the time to get to know you and to understand your objectives, needs and aspirations, as well as the longer-term challenges you are likely to face.

Our approach is the same regardless of whether you are an individual, family or business client, although these interests are often intrinsically linked.

We are delighted to support The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition and to sponsor the Cityscape Prize. We wish all entrants good luck.

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