Paint Out Norwich Plein Air Art Competition in Norfolk, UK

Paint Out™ is an art event aiming to redefine 21st century en plein air art practice. Our core event, now in its 9-10th year, is the UK’s premier and only fully juried en plein air art competition, celebrating the talents of national and international artists before a wide and growing audience in the heart of medieval and iconic Norwich, and giving the public an opportunity to ‘Experience Art. Live!

Plein Air – Art works carried out in the open air – chiefly with reference to painting.

The Paint Out competitions, however, accept any 2-dimensional media or mixed-media applied to a canvas/board/paper/print embracing drawing, pastels, oils, watercolour, gouache, acrylic, pen and ink, and even screen-printing and digital submissions. Innovation and originality are encouraged alongside traditional art forms. 

Join Our Mailing List  Paint Out Register interest  Paint Out Norwich 2022 Exhibition  Enter Paint Out Norwich 2022  Paint Out Norfolk Gallery 2021

Paint Out Norwich Nocturnes27-29 October 2022

Poster for Paint Out Norwich eventThis autumn, we are revisiting Norwich and its contrasting medieval streets and modern shops with a specific emphasis on a Nocturne painting festival running Thursday evening through to a Saturday Private View and Sunday exhibition in Cathedral Close, Tombland.

Paint Out has showcased Nocturne painting since we began in 2014. This year’s October event will be primarily focused on the plein air skill of painting as the sun disappears and evening lights appear, perhaps reflecting off damp cobbles the neon glows of shops and yellowed street lamps.

Paint Out Norwich Nocturnes 2022 (open for entries) 

Past Paint Out Norwich Events

Paint Out 2021

Following our summer 8-day tour of Norfolk and Norwich we returned to the beginning of PAINT OUT and alongside the 10th Hostry Festival held Paint Out NORWICH 2021. In 2018 and 2019 we had midwinter events but since 2014 we held regular autumnal events during the Hostry Festival and so we returned to The Lanes, Norwich Market, Jarrolds, Gentleman’s Walk and the surrounding area to draw and paint the city in October. 

Paint Out 2020

PAINT OUT NORFOLK 2020 July 16th to July 23rd 2020

2020’s outdoor painting programme included an 8-day tour of Norfolk and Norwich (16-23 July). Over 60 artists were accepted from the UK, USA with interest from Russia and elsewhere, however due to Covid only 50 were able to take part.

17-24 July 2021 we’ll be doing it again! Come and capture the height of summer in city, coast and countryside locations including Norwich, Norfolk seaside, inland Broads, seaport and market towns, and historic houses. There will be guest artists, painting demos, art talks, and daily prizes (all subject to change if Covid persists). Whilst you are waiting why not fill out our lockdown plein air painting survey.

Individual, weekend and multi-day choices available and transport/camping options* (subject to Covid restrictions) to county destinations. Priced from £15-£30/day – the early bird discount at £120/£135 will open soon.

Enter Paint Out Norfolk, July 2021   Paint Out Covid-19 Update   Lockdown plein air Painting Survey  

Paint Out Winter 2019

Artist Richard Bond painting from the Market at Paint Out Norwich Winter Nocturne
Artist Richard Bond painting from the Market at Paint Out Norwich Winter Nocturne

We wrapped up the year with a winter special. Following 2018’s free midwinter event we returned to Norwich Market, Jarrolds, St Peter Mancroft and the surrounding area to paint the seasonal scenes. Paint Out is for all seasons, light, weather and locations.

Paint Out Norwich 2019

The sixth Paint Out Norwich (14-15 Oct) acted as a finale to our single-day garden events that ran through the year’s changing seasons, light, and colour. Paint Out Norfolk at Sainsbury Centre featured 2-5 July painting days at the coast, broads, country houses and campus site, and Paint Out partnered with Holt Festival on 19 July. Norwich featured painting at the Bishop’s Garden and Plantation Garden as well as other garden view sites around the urban centre. Private View (16 Oct) and Art Exhibition (17-27 Oct). 

Paint Out Norfolk Gallery   Paint Out Holt Gallery   Paint Out Gardens Gallery

Paint Out Norwich 2018

This was our fifth year and twelfth Paint Out competition event, not to mention 8 public paint outs. Paint Out Norwich 2018 plein air painting days during the Hostry Festival 2018 ran 13-16th October  (a weekend-only option was also available) with a public ‘paintout‘ on Sunday 21st, and a Private View, Awards & Art sale on 17th October. This was followed by an art exhibition of over 150 paintings (from 300 created) until 28th October at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry. Applications were juried by our selector David Curtis ROI RSMA.. View the 2017 winners or 2016 gallery online.

We have a number of events each year in East Anglia before and during Paint Out Norwich to whet your appetite including several Paint Out days May-Sep in Suffolk & Norfolk with opportunities to paint historical changing rural and urban landscapes as we seek to use Paint Out events to document our changing environment. 

Locations for painting included the bustling market – one of the oldest and certainly the largest in the UK, serene medieval Cathedral quarter including film-featured cobbled Elm Hill, the soon-to-change 1960s urban landscape of Anglia Square, its intact Norman Castle (and art gallery housing the Norwich School of Painters collection, paintings are also held by the TATE, Colman family and Mandell’s Gallery and Norwich Lanes by night.  There was also the opportunity to paint the historic Colman’s factory site before Unilever close operations there and around the SCVA site.

Paint Out History

Paint Out Norwich launched in 2014 and since then well over 120 different artists have taken part in our professional competitions and over 150 in our public paint outs. Our first satellite painting event was Wells-next-the Sea 2015 on the North Norfolk coast. That year also saw first-of-its-kind mass public ‘paint outs’ firstly on Wells Beach at sunrise and then, the following month, of some 100 artists, of all ages,  painting the expansive Norwich skyline, from historic Mousehold Heath. 2017 saw our first pop-up at a festival as the Royal Norfolk Show. 2018 saw first events at Great Yarmouth and in Sudbury, Suffolk. Read more about our Paint Out event history since 2014.

PON Event History  PON 2015 Gallery  PON 2016 Gallery  PON 2017 Gallery  PON 2018 Gallery

Sponsorship & Partnering with Paint Out

Paint Out is put on and sustained by art-loving founders and team members – some paid, some volunteers, with the aim of supporting the growth of plein air art. To achieve and maintain this we are indebted to our partners and sponsors who have provided funds, prizes, or goods and services-in-kind. If you would like to partner or sponsor current and/or future ‘paint outs’ please contact us.

Sponsor/Partner with Paint Out  Volunteer at Paint Out

Volunteering Opportunities

Paint Out is thankful for the hard work of its volunteers. Anyone interested in volunteering for our current ‘paint outs’, assisting artists, helping manage the registration desks and paintings, and being part of our arts events can register online or join our volunteers facebook group. It looks great on a CV!

Mission statement

Paint Out logo 2015

Paint Out is a multifaceted arts event that aims to attract national and international talent by its annual events that focus on the challenges imposed by creating work ‘on the spot’ in the urban environment. Paint Out is keen to see a competition that tests artists’ skill and craft to the maximum, promoting the burgeoning UK arts scene, and providing an interactive educational experience. Our expanding events have included schools, public, and professional art competitions, artwork exhibitions and auctions, talks, “Artist’s Question Time”, and open air art workshops.

Paint Out News, Updates & Social Media

You can read our latest blog posts, news and updates here. You can also contact us by Email and follow us on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube to keep up to date with local art exhibitions, progress of the annual competition, and news about our artists.