Sky Landscape Artist of the Year 2023: everything you need to know
Our favourite art show is back soon! Find out everything you need to know about the new series of Sky Landscape Artist of the Year
We're already missing Sky Portrait Artist of the Year, but Sky Landscape Artist of the Year is equally brilliant. As the show embarked on its eighth series, the contestants were challenged to create artworks inspired by a variety of landscapes around the UK in their chosen mediums.
Landscape Artist of the Year always inspires us to get outside armed with pencils, pens, brushes and pastels! There's something very relaxing about settling down to draw or paint en plein air and we always look forward to making our own outdoor artwork when the weather improves.
Whenever we watch the show, we feel as though we're getting a masterclass in different techniques and styles – and we pick up so many tips for our own work. This is a great programme to watch if you're feeling in a creative rut. It will get you to look at the world with fresh eyes and you'll learn so much.
If you're not an artist, watching others create amazing works of art is still incredibly soothing. It's always interesting to see if your favourite painting is the same as the judges – and the finished works of art can be astonishing.
Looking for more art programmes to watch? Check out our guide to The Great Pottery Throwdown. We also have a round-up of the best Bob Ross painting kits if you want to paint like a pro!
Read on to learn more about the Sky Landscape Artist of the Year 2023 competition…
When is Sky Landscape Artist of the Year on?
Sky Landscape Artist of the Year is usually aired in January. The most recent series of the show was broadcast on Wednesdays at 8pm.
When will Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year be on television?
Landscape Artist of the Year is usually shown in January. We don't yet know when it will return in 2024, but we'll update this article as soon as we know.
Where can I watch Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year?
You can watch Sky Arts Landscape of the Year on Sky Arts (Freesat 147, Sky 130 SD/HD and Sky 826), Freeview and Now.
Where is Sky Landscape Artist of the Year filmed?
We don't yet know where Landscape Artist of the Year series 9 will be filmed, but we'll reveal the locations as soon as we have more information.
In series 8, the artists competed to capture a variety of scenes from around the UK, including the gothic castle Castle Ward in Northern Ireland, which Game of Thrones fans would recognise as Winterfell.
The show also visited Blackpool beach and the artists faced a real challenge at Royal Ascot. The semi-finalists were asked to capture the iconic Thames Barrier in their work, while the finalists competed to create their own landscapes of the Italianate village of Port Meirion in Wales.
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Sky Landscape Artist of the Year 2023: What to expect
The artists are usually asked to produce images of both urban and rural landscapes. In each episode, eight artists compete, with the winner moving on to the next round.
The artists are usually given about four hours to complete their piece in their choice of medium – for some artists, that can prove to be very challenging. The subject matter can also present challenges – one week they can be asked to produce a piece based on a rustic landscape and the next they can be asked to work with a more complex urban scene.
It's always interesting to see how they cope with the landscape that they are given – especially when the weather is very changeable! Artists who are used to painting outside are at a definite advantage here, but it's a good test of the skills of all of the contestants. Luckily they work in pods with a roof, so you won't see anyone's work getting ruined by the rain.
It's really refreshing to see the wide range of materials used by the artists, from paints to textile art and linocut printing.
This season’s Landscape Artist of the Year winner, Finn Campbell Notman received a £10,000 commission from Royal Museums Greenwich and created an artwork inspired by the Dutch fathers of seascape painting, The Van de Veldes. The work will be exhibited in the Queen’s House, Royal Museums Greenwich alongside an exhibition celebrating the Dutch painters in March 2023.
Artists who were not selected as contestants have a second chance to get involved by competing as a wild card alongside 50 others. The wild card artists are often hugely talented too and we loved seeing their work. The judges assessed their work nominating one best wild-card artist each week, picking their favourite to go through to the semi-final.
Set the scene with our acrylic landscape tutorial
Acrylic painting is a fantastic medium for landscapes, as it has vibrant colours and dries quickly. Get started with Gathered's acrylic landscape painting guide.
Landscape Artist of the Year episode guide
We'll update this section with episodes from series 9 as soon as they're available. In the mean time, catch up on all of the action from series 8!
Landscape Artist of the Year is back and as a treat for the first episode we're off to the seaside! The location of the first episode is the promenade at Blackpool with a spectacular view of the pier.
Two thousand people applied for this year's show, with just 48 making the cut to earn a place in one of the pods. However, those who weren't chosen as one of the eight artists for this heat have a chance to compete for a wildcard spot. Fifty hopeful painters joined the chosen contestants to take on the challenge of painting Blackpool's seafront.
The first eight contestants were a good mixture of professional and amateur artists. While most of them were painters, it was good to see linocut printmaker Gregory Miller producing his own take on the scene.
As usual, the weather played an important factor in the day's painting and the day got off to a gloomy start. Some of the artists were thrown when the sun came out later on!
The finished artworks were all strikingly different and the judges had a very difficult task narrowing down their shortlist.
Highlights: The first wildcard spot of the series was given to 17-year-old Luke, who took a day off school to come and compete!
Lowlights: Rose Strang worked quickly to create a moody painting of the pier with an atmospheric sky… but then the weather changed so she decided to have another go! She said that she wished she could combine the two into one painting.
In week two, our artists were off to the races with a trip to Royal Ascot! This meant that they all had to dress up for the occasion, making this one of the show's most glamorous episodes to date.
This week's artists were a mixture of international and home-grown talent, including Australian Toby Gawler (who now lives in Margate), Chinese painter Yian Chen (who studied at Goldsmiths) and Italian artist Veronica Valeri, who now lives in Birmingham.
The contestants had some time to start painting and drawing the race course and the stands before the crowds arrived, giving them plenty of time to set the scene. However, they did have to pause for the arrival of the royals.
As usual, all of the artists took a very approach. For example, graphic designer Marc Southey used pastels to block in large areas of colour before getting to work with coloured pencils. Meanwhile, Susanna MacInnes chose to work on a small scale in order to finish within the time. Her approach paid off and she won this week's heat.
Highlights: Seeing how the artists tackled the challenge of working the crowds and the galloping horses into their work. There was a risk that introducing a horse could ruin their landscape – and some of them had never drawn or painted a horse before!
Lowlights: The wildcards were situated in the car park of the Royal Enclosure. This presented some obstacles and really put their creativity to the test.
The setting for this week's show was the majestic Castle Ward in Northern Ireland. This is a house with two different personalities: one side is Gothic and the other is Palladian in style. Apparently the couple who built the house couldn't agree on the design, so decided to combine both.
The eight artists were positioned facing the Gothic facade, but a couple of them did attempt to incorporate the Palladian side into their work. Retired architect Richard Rees cleverly painted the house as though it was transparent so that you could see the Palladian side gleaming through.
One artist, Stefano Ronchi from Milan, turned his back on the house so that he could bring a view of the river into his surreal painting.
As usual, the artists had to cope with unpredictable weather and light conditions. The day started off grey, giving the artists little contrast to work with. Fortunately, the light improved through the competition and the sun eventually came out. This prompted landscape gardener Nicholas Walker to scrap his first attempt and begin a completely new painting.
Highlights: This week's wild card winner chose an unconventional canvas to work on. Matthew Timmins-Williams had recently moved to the Isle of Mull in Scotland and was unable to get hold of the art materials he needed, so he turned up with a very long board. This worked surprisingly well, as it allowed him to depict a large sweep of the landscape.
Lowlights: Collage artist Celina Buckley worried that the wind would pick up and blow away her carefully cut pieces of paper. Then her easel nearly fell on her!
We're off to the fair this week, with the artists being asked to paint and draw Blackpool's famous Pleasure Beach.
While the fairground rides and rollercoasters created and exciting scene, it was also a landscape that presented significant challenges for the artists. The rollercoasters themselves are incredibly intricate structures, which suited the creative style of some of the artists more than others. Artist and part time taxi driver Joseph Schneider described the view as "daunting".
As usual, the weather also made life difficult for the artists. The poor wildcard artists huddled under umbrellas and even the eight artists in the pods couldn't hide from the wind and the rain. Poor Jenny Wightman was working with pastels and was forced to crouch in the corner of her pod!
I'm covered in water. The canvas is covered in water. The palette is covered in water. And oil and water don't mix!
Highlights: It's always exciting to see the different ways that the artists tackle the view before them and this week was no exception. Kwasi Awoti from London fascinated the judges with his Impressionistic view of the rollercoasters, which focused heavily on the carpark! Tai-Shan said it was the most fantastic car park he'd ever seen!
Lowlights: This felt like one of the most difficult episodes of the show, with both a complex landscape and terrible weather for the artists to contend with. They did very well, considering the obstacles they faced.
Unfortunately we were unable to review episode five for technical reasons. Apologies for the inconvenience.
The final batch of artists gathered in Northern Ireland to compete for a place in the semi-finals. This week's competition was filmed on the spectacular shores of Strangford Lough. The view seemed perfectly suited to this week's contestants, who seemed to appreciate the dramatic view in front of them.
However, water can be a challenge to capture even for experienced artists. There were a variety of approaches on display, from moody charcoal art by Lewis Graham to delicate pen and ink drawing from Chi-Yien Snow. Meanwhile, Beth Horner created an atmospheric work by painting onto plaster and layering it onto her canvas. This was combined with an interesting watercolour effect produced by liquid acrylic paints.
The artists had to change their work as the weather shifted, but it wasn't just the weather that changed – the tide went out too. For some artists, this turned out to be a blessing as they were able to show the interesting colours and textures of seaweed on the shore.
Highlights: The judges had a particularly tough job this week, as the standard of the work was so high. They also found it difficult to pick a wildcard winner and said they could easily have chosen three!
Lowlights: Helen Lloyd-Elliott was struggling at the half way point. She said she didn't know whether to persevere or give up and start again. Luckily she didn't give up and won a place in the semi-final.
For the semi-final of Landscape Artist of the Year, the final six contestants gathered to paint and draw their way towards a place in the finals.
Joining the five heat winners was the judge's wildcard choice. Way back in episode one, the judges were wowed by the drawing skills of 17-year-old art student Luke Sturgess. Clearly he made an impression, because the judges chose to bring him back for the semi-final.
In this episode, the artists were asked to pain the futuristic shapes of the iconic Thames Barrier. For some of the artists, this scene was a real gift. Italian surrealist artist Stefano Ronchi immediately saw the barrier as a monster emerging from the Thames, while Luke Sturgess pictured an individual barrier as a lonely character out in the river.
There's no doubt that the artists found the scale of the landscape challenging, with only retired PR manager Anne Byrne choosing to capture the full sweep of the barrier.
Meanwhile, Finn Campbell Notman said he was struggling to bring his painting together until a classic Thames lighter with a red sail passed through the barrier. It was the perfect element to tie his painting together.
Susanna McInnes spied a gap in the barrier that would allow the viewer's eye to be drawn into the painting, so she quickly got to work and produced a beautifully atmospheric work.
Helen Lloyd-Elliot brought her masterful use of colour into her work, which was very Impressionistic in style. The judges worried that she would overwork her painting, but she picked the right time to stop. Anne also had to make the same call and stopped painting before the four hour time limit ran out.
The judges weighed up the finished artworks and picked Stefano Ronchi, Finn Campbell Notman and Helen Lloyd-Elliot to progress to the final.
Highlights: It was a delight to see the variety of different styles on display and how the artists approached the iconic scene before them. We can't wait to see the three finalists in action in the next episode!
Lowlights: Former IT manager Steve Nice decided start with a neon yellow background and paint the barrier very high on his narrow canvas. He struggled to get his composition to work, but carried on with it rather than starting again.
The final three artists headed to Port Meirion in Wales to paint the surreal Italianate village. Norfolk artist Finn Campbell-Notman was joined by Italian artist Stefano Ronchi and Helen Lloyd-Elliot, an artist from Dorset.
As well as their Port Meirion landscapes, the artists were judged on a separate commission of a scene from Dungeness, Kent. Unlike the landscapes produced on the show which are painted within a four hour time limit, the artists were allowed a full week to produce their commissions. This enabled them to show what kind of work they could produce when given enough time.
Each of the artists was given a different location to paint in Dungeness. Stefano was sent to a former nuclear power plant, Helen went to an industrial fishing zone and Finn painted the iconic Prospect Cottage (formerly owned by filmmaker Derek Jarman).
The Port Meirion setting presented some challenges for the artists. It's a whimsical location with lots of vivid colours, designed to resemble an Italian coastal town. As it's the final, the judges allowed the artist an extra half an hour to explore and produce sketches for their final paintings.
As there was so much to capture, Finn and Stefano both chose to piece together parts of the landscape that they liked, while Helen looked for a gap to lead the eye back into the natural landscape beyond the village.
The setting proved to be very challenging for all three finalists. Stefano's surrealist style didn't adapt easily to a scene that was already so surreal. He chose to give his work a blue underpainting, which he came to regret as it altered his later layers of colours. "It's ugly, ugly, very ugly," he said.
Meanwhile, Helen was feeling the pressure and Finn was further behind than he normally would be at the halfway point.
Despite the stress of the day and the difficulty of capturing such a unique landscape, all three artists finished the day with work that they could be proud of.
But there can only be one winner and it was Finn Campbell-Notman who stole the show with his Mediterranean scene.
Highlights: The paintings produced by all three finalists were incredible, but Finn's paintings both had a strong narrative thread which brought his work together. We can't wait to see his finished commission next week!
Lowlights: Helen experienced a crisis at the halfway mark, describing her painting as a disaster. Presenter Stephen Mangan kindly bought her an ice cream to give her a little boost.
Episode 9 – the commission
This year's Landscape Artist of the Year Finn Campbell Notman has won a prestigious commission to paint for the Royal Museums Greenwich.
The commission will celebrate the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the Van De Veldes to Greenwich. The Van De Veldes were a father and son who came from Holland and were commissioned to paint for King Charles II. They're known for their dramatic depictions of sea battles. Van de Velde the Elder would even row out to sea to draw battles as they happened!
Van de Velde the Elder's pen drawing of maritime scenes are phenomenally intricate, while Van de Velde the Younger paints on a much larger scale.
Finn's commission will hang in The Queen's House – where the Van de Veldes had their studio in the 17th century.
His journey to understand the Van de Veldes took him to Holland, where he visited their birthplace in Leiden before taking a trip to Amsterdam. There he follows in their footsteps by trying to sketch while on a boat, which gives him a sense of the challenges that they faced when producing their incredible artwork.
Finn commented that the currents meant that his view shifted every few moments, but that the Van de Veldes would have faced much bigger obstacles. "I think they must have had the world's greatest ever sense of balance, because the North Sea is far rougher than the canals here. And so to do that in extreme circumstances, dodging cannonballs and having the salt spray over their drawings... their drawings must have been an absolute mess when they got back." Spending time around the harbour also gave him an appreciation for the Van de Veldes' knowledge of ships.
Later on, he headed to the town of Hoorn, which still looks much as it did in the 17th century. He caught up with Tai Shan Schierenberg, whose father was born nearby. Tai Shan had some words of encouragement for Finn to help him tackle the daunting commission.
Finn then spent some time drawing the North Sea (which was unfortunately very still and sunlit, unlike the paintings of the Van de Veldes). He took a trip on a boat with a former Dutch naval commander, before following the route of the artists who crossed the North Sea to land at Harwich.
It was then time for Finn to tackle his commission in earnest. He said he got to work straight away – as the Van de Veldes themselves would have done after returning from the sea.
His process was initially frustrating and he said he almost threw everything away at one point. Finn was fortunate to be staying with a friend near the North Devon coast, so he could sketch the sea and the clouds whenever he needed to. He worked at a large scale and created a mood board to help him focus on what he needed to achieve.
Then it was time for the moment of truth: his work was unveiled by Robert Blythe, senior curator at The Queen's House.
His work was well received. Judge Kathleen Soriano said: "When I think something is really, really good – the words go. He's honoured the Van de Veldes and he's honoured this institution. And he's honoured Landscape Artist of the Year with what he's made for us today!"
Who presents Sky Landscape Artist of the Year?
Sky Landscape Artist of the Year is presented by comedian Stephen Mangan and journalist and TV presenter Joan Bakewell. They will be mingling with the artists and discussing their work as it develops. Stephen and Joan are also the hosts of Sky Portrait Artist of the Year.
Who are the Sky Landscape Artist of the Year judges?
The judges of Sky Landscape Artist of the Year are Kate Bryan, Kathleen Soriano and Tai-Shan Schierenberg. They also judge Sky's sister competition Sky Portrait Artist of the Year.
Kate Bryan is a British art historian, curator and arts broadcaster. She has contributed to a number of TV shows, including The Culture Show on BBC 2, the Sky Arts programme The Mystery of the lost Caravaggio and many more. Kate has contributed art articles to TimeOut and The Guardian. She also mentors young women in the arts.
Kathleen Soriano is a respected British art curator, writer and television broadcaster. She has worked at a range of renowned art institutions including the Royal Academy of Arts and the National Portrait Gallery in London. She joined the Sky Arts Artist of the Year shows in 2013 and has continued in her role as a judge ever since.
Tai-Shan Schierenberg is a portrait artist based in London. He has produced portraits of numerous famous public figures including Professor Stephen Hawking and the Queen. He studied at Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris, as well as St Martin's and Slade School of Art in London. He is currently the Head of Painting at the Art Academy in London.
Who won Landscape Artist of the Year 2023?
The winner of Landscape Artist of the Year was Finn Campbell-Notman, a contemporary artist from Norfolk.
Who won Landscape Artist of the Year 2022?
The 2022 winner was Elisha Enfield, who said it was a complete shock to hear her name called out!
Who won Landscape Artist of the Year 2021?
Ophelia Redpath won the coveted title of Landscape Artist of the Year in 2021.
How do I enter the Sky Landscape Artist of the Year competition?
If you feel like putting yourself forward for the next season, you're in luck! Entries are now open for Sky Landscape Artist of the Year series 9. Enter here.
Looking to stock up on art supplies? Check out our guides to the best watercolour paints, best acrylic paints and the best drawing tablets for beginners.
Why everyone should watch Landscape Artist of the Year
Landscape Artist of the Year is one of the most relaxing shows on our screens. Is there anything better than watching some of the country's best artists creating incredible artwork? If you're an aspiring artist, it's a brilliant way to pick up tips and inspiration, or you can simply watch the artists at work.
We're always inspired by the art we see on the show and it makes us want to pick up a brush and get painting.
Get into watercolor landscape painting
Caught the painting bug after watching this year's series of Landscape Artist of the Year? Watercolours are a beautiful way to capture any scene, wherever you're painting an urban scene or a rural view.
Professional watercolour artist Oliver Pyle has created a brilliant tutorial to demonstrate landscape painting techniques. Learn how to paint a watercolor landscape with Gathered.
Photography by Steve Peskett © Sky UK Limited.
Sarah Orme is a UK-based linocut printmaker, digital editor, feature writer and award-winning podcaster. She's been editing the sewing and art sections of Gathered.how – and before that our sister website calmmoment.com – for over 3 years. She’s the host of Gathered’s We’ve Made It podcast and A Calmer Life podcast. She’s a keen crafter and artist and loves creating DIY tutorials for Gathered. Sarah has previously written features for The Guardian, In The Moment Magazine, Project Calm Magazine, countryfile.com, radiotimes.com and yourhomestyle.uk. She enjoys designing her own unique lino prints and dreams of opening her own online shop. She shares her work @sarahormeprints
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