San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition

The San Diego Watercolor Society was established in 1965 and is one of the largest and most active in the United States. Its International Exhibition is widely recognized for its high standard of excellence in water based media art.

For over three decades, the International Exhibition has been the highlight of the year for SDWS. This annual event attracts entries from hundreds of water based media artists worldwide. Accepted artists are eligible for large cash and merchandise awards. Thousands of visitors view the exhibition during the month of October. Accepted paintings can be purchased through our Online Gallery Store.

Important Dates

ONLINE ENTRIES OPEN: February 5, 2021

ENTRY DEADLINE: May 2, 2021, 4 pm PDT


FIRST LOOK EVENT: October 1, 2021


EXHIBITION CLOSES: October 31, 2021



Click HERE to read the 41st International Exhibition Prospectus

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Accepted Artists

Click HERE to view the Accepted and Alternate Artists


41st International Exhibition Juror:  Michael Holter

Michael Holter has been painting for most of his life.  His experience spans a wide range of creativity: as a high school art teacher, advertising creative director and businessman.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Art Education and an MA in Visual Communication. He began focusing more seriously on his painting in 2011.  He rapidly became known for his dynamic watercolor portraits, landscapes and his engaging workshops.  He also is a member of the Salmagundi Club of New York and is a signature member in numerous Watercolor Societies including the National Watercolor Society, the American Impressionists Society, and other leading watercolor organizations He has numerous awards to his credit as well as being published in NorthLight Books and Splash 16 through 21.  He has received international recognition three times at the Fabriano (Italy) Watermedia Exhibition, and is one of three US artists selected to travel to China in 2019 for the International Watercolor Week Exhibition and Plein Air Painting activities in Shanzzi Province, Beijing, and Quingdao.  He also has been on the teaching faculty of the 2018 and 2019 Plein Air Convention.  He has released two DVDs: 7 Steps to Landscape Painting in Watercolor and 7 Steps to Portraits in Watercolor.   Michael says, “My work is impressionistic.  I like to represent people or places and allow the painting to evolve from the recognizable.  The challenge is to balance the care needed to make the representation interesting…and perhaps believable, with the freedom, looseness and painterly quality that makes a painting so expressive.”  


Past Exhibitions - Online Galleries

2020 40th International Exhibition

2019 39th International Exhibition

2018 38th International Exhibition

2017 37th International Exhibition

2016 36th International Exhibition

2015 35th International Exhibition

2014 34th International Exhibition