The Gordon Harris Online Watercolour Competition

This is our annual competition of digital images of watercolour paintings. Paintings will be exhibited online at

Please note: submission are now CLOSED.

View submitted works

A panel of judges will award four prizes:

Gift Cards for Gordon Harris Stores

  • 1st - $200
  • 2nd - $100
  • 3rd - $50
  • People’s Choice - $50


• Entry is open to current members of Watercolour New Zealand Inc. residing in New Zealand
• One entry per member
• Open theme
• The entry must be the original work of the member; must not be
copied from another person’s painting or photograph
• Entries must have been completed within the last 12 months
• Entries exhibited in any other public or online exhibition are eligible
• Digital images must be of publishable quality; approx. size 500kB.
• Entries may be used for promotion of Watercolour New Zealand
and/or Gordon Harris Ltd.
• The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into

To enter: : Email the digital image to the Editor
Subject line: “WNZ Online Competition”.
Please name the digital image in this format: “Valley Mist by Alex Jones”.

The competition is managed by Watercolour New Zealand. We wish to thank Gordon Harris Ltd for their sponsorship.

The Gordon Harris Online Watercolour Competition — Explained

This is the ideal opportunity for you to enter your best summer painting. Any member of Watercolour New Zealand can enter from anywhere for FREE - no framing costs, no courier costs, no entry fee. You don’t have to present the physical painting so it can be one you have already exhibited and even sold. You simply email a photograph of your work to the editor as per the rules. You have the chance of winning a voucher to purchase a precious new brush or whatever art materials your talent desires. The competition is generously sponsored by Gordon Harris Ltd and is organised by Watercolour New Zealand.

We choose a different panel of judges each year. They can be located anywhere in New Zealand, town or country. They simply browse the entries on their separate screens at home while discussing them by phone. Our judges love the job. They are able to focus on the painting with no visual interference of frame or exhibition surroundings. They see all works in the same size format, so it’s not a case of bigger is better, as is often the case in exhibitions. And there is a special reward for the winners!

Photographing your painting

Please photograph your painting correctly so your entry is valid. The image should have no frame or mat visible. Photograph the work before you frame it. Choose a dull day to avoid rays of light and shadow falling across the work. One method is to lay the painting on the floor, take a wide stance over it and point the camera down, zooming in as required. It is useful to turn on the grid in the camera so you can line up the edges of the painting squarely. (You may wish to set the painting and camera up so you are not holding the camera, to get perfect focus.) Check the rules for file size and name.

Read more tips on How to photograph your paintings from John Rundle who spent 23 years as professional photographer.

We look forward to receiving your entry. Good luck!

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