Entries for Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020

2020 entries are now open and close on Monday 10 February

Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020 Competition Details

There are eight categories:

  • Animal Behaviour (proudly sponsored by Gary Hodges)
    Animals, like humans, have complex personalities and behaviours and show a wide range of emotion, intellect and sentience.
    Whether exhibiting incredible skill in seeking food, demonstrating protective instincts for their young, engaging in a unique mating performance or simply relaxing in the sun, every creature will display individuality and character.
    Entries into this category should show a true understanding of animal behaviour, capturing moments which might be humorous, tragic, aggressive, or simply a part of their daily ritual.


  • Earth’s Wild Beauty (Proudly sponsored by Barlow Robbins)
    Our planet is an inspiring tapestry of contrasting habitats and landscapes, providing homes to a host of different animals, plants, trees and insects.
    Human beings share this planet with a huge variety of species and every day, moments of beauty occur as the land and wildlife that lives within it adapts to survive the extremes of nature.
    From lush, leafy rainforests, to harsh deserts, from the highest snowy mountain tops to isolated frozen tundra or the depths of the oceans, every inch of the world is inhabited by life in some form, whether massive or minuscule.
    This category welcomes submissions which celebrate the wild landscapes and seascapes of Earth, and all that live within them.


  • Endangered: Wildlife In Motion (film & animation only – proudly sponsored by Indus Experiences)
    Wildlife behaviour and movement is often most perfectly captured within moving image; through documentaries such as Planet Earth and Blue Planet, we have been able to delve into the reality of the natural world and bring it straight into our living room.
    Incredible landscapes and creatures can also be beautifully rendered in animation; whether through the creativity and patience of stop-motion or the incredible technical skill of digital animation.
    This brand new category for Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020 invites filmmakers and animators to submit short films which capture the reality that endangered creatures face; whether telling a story through script, using footage captured from the wild or a combination of both, we welcome creative short films which successfully communicate the urgent extinction crisis. Maximum film length: 2 minutes 30 seconds.


  • Facing Extinction (Proudly sponsored by Emma and Martin Leuw of The Smiling Tiger Charitable Trust)
    Today, the world is facing its next mass extinction with hundreds of species across the planet vanishing from the face of the Earth before our very eyes.
    Whether driven by habitat destruction, wildlife crime, human-wildlife conflict, pollution, climate change or disease, the growing challenges facing many of these incredible creatures could mean that our last chance to see them will only be on canvas or immortalised in sculpture if we do not turn the tide on extinction.
    For this category, we invite artists to celebrate these vulnerable species, capturing their behaviour and importance in striking imagery. They may be gone tomorrow if we do not act today.


  • Human Impact (16-22 years only)
    The youth of today are set to inherit the heavy and complex burden of protecting our ailing planet.
    Humans have had an undeniable and indelible effect on the Earth. Change to the way humans live and their negative impact on the world is moving at a glacial pace.
    Environmental activists like Greta Thunberg have demonstrated that children and the younger generation are ready and motivated to make dramatic changes to the world around them, giving us hope for the future of our planet.
    This category is specifically for artists aged 16-22 only. We would like to see work which makes a statement through art on how humans are having an impact on the environment.


  • Into the Blue: (Proudly sponsored by Paul Traub Associates)
    Covering 75% of our planet and essential to all life on Earth, fresh and saltwater are home to some of the most unusual, diverse, mysterious and incredible creatures.
    Due to pollutions, particularly plastic, our oceans are struggling to support life. Studies have demonstrated that every single sea creature which has been examined, from the Mariana Trench eight miles below the ocean’s surface to the shorelines around the world, has ingested plastic.
    It is more important than ever that as humans, we work to care for and appreciate the water on our planet, preventing more pollution and cleaning up the mess which has been made for decades, before the richness of life underwater is lost.
    Artworks entered into this category should illustrate the wonderful world of water – be it ocean, seashore, wetland, river or stream – and the incredible animals and landscapes within it.


  • Urban Wildlife: (Proudly sponsored by Barlow Robbins)
    The beauty of the natural world isn’t always found in the most obvious places, and life in an urban environment is often overlooked when it comes to seeking out or noticing wildlife.
    Many species live side-by-side with city-dwelling humans without ever really being noticed and within a harsh city landscape, a fascinating world of wildlife can be uncovered if only the time is taken to search for it.
    This category welcomes entries in an urban setting or which depict the city life of animals and plants, demonstrating a contrast and harmony between wild and urban life.


  • Wings: (Proudly sponsored by Silversurfers)
    The wonderful world of winged creatures is diverse, complex and fascinating. Birds, bees, butterflies and bats all experience the planet from a different perspective, soaring above our oceans, crossing vast desert plains and making their homes in unusual locations.
    Many winged species travel thousands of miles across the continents each year during their migration to breed and raised young without the pressure of competition for nesting sites and food. These journeys have become more and more perilous due to human behaviour and development, with many routes now posing huge threats to migrating birds.
    Entries to this category should show the extraordinary variety of winged wildlife on our planet, including birds and insects, in flight or at rest.

Additional awards include:

  • Overall Winner: One artwork is selected as the overall winner of Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020 and is awarded a prize of £10,000.
  • Second Place: (Proudly sponsored by Barlow Robbins) One artwork is selected as the runner up of Wildlife Artist of the Year 2019 and is awarded a prize of £1000.
  • People’s Choice: Every visitor to the exhibition at the Mall Galleries, SW1 has the chance to vote for their favourite artwork. The artwork with the most votes by the exhibition closing date is awarded a prize worth £500.
  • The Artist Award: (Proudly provided by The Artist magazine) Chosen by a leading art publication, The Artist Award winner is given a profile feature for publication in The Artist, print and digital issues.

How many times can I enter?
You can enter as many times as you like and to as many categories as you would like (Human Impact category open to young artists aged between 16 and 22 years only).

How much does entry cost?
£25 or £10 for annual Wildlife Shepherds (see the Terms & Conditions for details on how to qualify for the discount)
£10 for those aged 16 – 22 entering the Human Impact category

Who can enter?
The competition is open to amateur and professional artists aged 17 and over and welcomes all traditional artistic mediums (excluding digital and photography).
Our new Endangered: Wildlife In Motion category accepts all forms of animation and film including digital, CGI, stop motion, etc. Take a look at the Terms and Conditions of Entry below to find out more.

Prizes: First prize £10,000, second prize £1,000 +8 category winners receiving prizes worth £500 each.

Once submissions close, entries will be narrowed down by our acclaimed panel of judges to a final shortlist. All shortlisted submissions will then be exhibited for sale at the at the Mall Galleries, London SW1 between 27 – 31 May. As agreed upon entry, all sales of shortlisted artworks are divided between the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and the Artist. Overall and Category winners will be announced on opening night.

How to enter:

Click the button below to enter the competition now:

Entries close at 5pm on Monday 10 February 2020

Check our entry terms & conditions including terms of sale and exhibition.


For helpful hints click here.

For any enquiries please contact Becca Cassidy-Simpkins at becca.cassidy-simpkins@davidshepherd.org or on 01483 272323.



Our special thank you to our wonderful Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020 Sponsors:

Neil and June Covey, Emma and Martin Leuw of The Smiling Tiger Charitable Trust and Gary Hodges.