5 things you may not know about the Royal Watercolour Society


Forget any preconceptions about the limitations of watercolour because watercolour is no longer just traditional watercolour. Now it includes all water-based media, including gouache, acrylic, ink and any mixture of these media.


Stuart Robertson RWS

Louvre Bridge Entrance

watercolour & collage

£450 (10% off to email subscribers until 6pm on Saturday 3 November)



Whilst RWS rules limit the maximum number of fully elected members (who can use the designatory letters RWS) to 75, the number of associates (designatory letters ARWS) is unlimited. As there are currently 75 RWSs, ARWSs can only move to RWS status via the death, retirement or resignation of an existing RWS member.


RWS artists Jill Leman and Mark Raggett, President and Vice President of the

Royal Watercolour Society, respectively.



Amazingly, considering how many female artists have been RWS members, the current president, Jill Leman, is the first woman to hold the position since the RWS was founded in 1804.


 Jill Leman PRWS

A Magical Time


£850 (10% off to email subscribers until 6pm on Saturday 3 November)



Watercolour is (once again) the new modern. Fluctuating in popularity, perhaps more than any other medium, it was regarded as well past its sell by date for much of the latter half of the 20th century. Now, because of the increasing range of media available and allowed and the diversity of the artists choosing to use it, this beautiful art form is enjoying a well-deserved renaissance. 


Sophie Knight RWS

An Army of Apple Trees, Some Snow and Setting Sun, Winter, Kent

mixed media & collage

£980 (10% off to email subscribers until 6pm on Saturday 3 November)



The RWS shares its home, Bankside Gallery, with the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE). Each year it holds four month-long exhibitions, two in conjunction with the RE. And private hire exhibitions at Bankside also frequently feature watercolour artists in both solo shows and group exhibitions.


Photograph taken at the 2017 Mini Picture Show at Bankside Gallery. The annual exhibition features works by artists of the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS) and Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE).


November 1, 2018