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Wildlife Artist of the Year Competition 2012: Call for entries

Prime your palette and sharpen your HB enter your finest work in our art competition for the chance to win a fabulous painting safari.

Wildlife Artist of the Year Competition 2012: Call for entries
Prime your palette and sharpen your HB - enter your finest work in our art competition for the chance to win a fabulous painting safari.
Now in its fourth year, our wildlife art competition attracts many hundreds of entries in a spectacular array of different styles and media, from the UK and around the world – last year, we received artworks from as far away as India, China, Brazil and Australia. So choosing the winners is a pleasurable challenge for our panel of expert judges.
Last year a superb pastel study of a pair of Amur tigers bewitched the judges with its powerful composition and strong sense of movement and light. Amur Ambush won Stella Mays the prestigious title of BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year 2011 and
an unforgettable trip to Sabah, Borneo, in search of orangutans.
You can enjoy all of last year’s winning artworks here – why not take a look? You might be inspired to enter this year. You’ll find all of the rules below, as well as details of how to upload jpegs of your work.
You could win an amazing painting safari in Botswana with Pip McGarry, and see your art take pride of place in a special display of all of the category-winning pieces at the Marwell International Wildlife Art Society exhibition in August. So go wild, and get arty!
  • British Mammals (behaviour and portraits)


  • British Birds (behaviour and portraits)


  • All Other Wildlife (behaviour and portraits, in the UK and worldwide)


  • The Wonder of Plants (British and worldwide)


  • Beneath the Water (marine and fresh water)


  • Animals in their Environment (British and worldwide)


  • World Mammals (behaviour and portraits)


  • World Birds (behaviour and portraits)


  • Black and White Nature (pencil, lino cuts, etchings, wood block etc)


  • Visions of Nature (innovative, creative impressions of wildlife)


  • Frozen Planet (please note: entries must feature animal life)


  • Endangered Species (entries must feature species listed by the IUCN as ‘Endangered’ or ‘Critically Endangered’)


  • International Artists – a category judged digitally, exclusively for artists outside of the UK. This is to save our international entrants the great costs of sending artwork to the UK. 
    PLEASE NOTE: International artists can enter up to eight images in this category only.
Pip McGarry
The founder and chairman of the Marwell International Wildlife Art Society (MIWAS), Pip has been a highly successful professional wildlife artist for many years. 
Sophie Stafford
Sophie is the editor of BBC Wildlife and works closely with many artists and illustrators. She says, “I was delighted to give one of last year’s winners a regular slot in the magazine.”
Chris Rose
An internationally acclaimed wildlife artist, Chris is best known for his bird paintings. He is a leading member and secretary of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA).
David Cromack
Co-publisher of the Buckingham Press stable of birding books, David has been a magazine editor for 25 years (Birds Illustrated and Bird Art & Photography).
Mandy Shepherd
Over the past 30 years Mandy has painted both military and wildlife subjects, but it is her lifelong passion for conservation that is reflected in much of her work.
The BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year 2012 will win a place on a 10-day painting safari in Botswana (worth £3,450) courtesy of Elephant Trails Safari Company.
Journeying from Maun to Victoria Falls via Botswana’s richest wildlife areas – the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, and Savuti and Chobe National Parks – you’ll spot big (and little) game along the way, taking photos for reference and gaining valuable insights into animal behaviour that will improve your artwork.
Pip McGarry, one of the UK’s top wildlife artists, will be on hand throughout the trip to share his wealth of experience, helping you to capture the ‘jizz’ of the wildlife and the splendour of the African landscapes in a variety of media.
This incredible trip will run in October 2012. The prize includes flights from the UK and accommodation is in comfortable camps – a truly unforgettable experience.
To see the full itinerary and find out more about the prize, click HERE.
Or visit the website of Elephant Trails Safari Company.
All of the category-winning pieces will be showcased at the prestigious annual exhibition of the Marwell International Wildlife Art Society in August 2012, in a special display alongside the work of 200 other artists and sculptors. The awards ceremony will take place on the opening night of the exhibition. 
The overall winning artwork will also be displayed at The Natural Eye, the 48th annual exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists at the Mall Galleries, London, in autumn 2012. 
All of the category-winning pieces will be published in the August 2012 issue of BBC Wildlife (on sale 4 July). The winning, runner-up and commended artworks will also be published in an online gallery at
PLEASE NOTE: The closing date for entries HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO 4 MARCH 2012. Good luck!
  • You can upload up to eight images
  • Please read the below terms and conditions carefully
  • Please fill in all necessary information fields on the form, marked with a star
  • Please ensure images are saved at under 1MB each, and as jpegs
  • All photo viewing software will do this in slightly different ways, so please ask a friend or relative to help you or search online. 
  • You will not receive a confirmation email but a message onscreen thanking you for you entry. 
  • If you are still experiencing problems please contact the BBC Wildlife team on 0117 3147366 or email our editorial assistant, Heather.


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