Creating good quality images

Creating good quality images form an important part of any application process, being key to how your work is assessed for selection. Essentially we need to be able to see clear images that represent the quality of our artwork. Here are a few guiders to help you through this process.


The key requirements:

Images need to be supplied as jpegs only, no other formats accepted (such as pdf, gif, tif, png or psd)

Resolution of images set to at least 150dpi.

Images should be sized to approx 1500 pixels at their widest or highest point. We want to be able to see your work so smaller images may be rejected. Square or landscape images preferred.

Max image file size is 5MB

Taking a good image:

Spend time placing your artwork in an appropriate position to picture, away from shadows and with a neutral background around it that is as light as possible. You want a soft even light across the whole work.

Take the image with a steady hand, or use a tripod if need be to keep the image sharp.

Keep your camera parallel to your artwork when you photograph it.

Don’t zoom in to take the photograph, this will reduce the quality of the image.

Take in natural light if possible, turning off any electric lights and don’t use the built-in flash.

Getting your image ready:

Once you have downloaded your image to your computer:

  • Using photo editing software, crop your image if required, and resize to the required specification – 150dpi, of a width or height whichever is largest to 1500 pixels.
  • ‘Save As’ to a jpeg format at the highest quality, renaming to a file name we can identify such as your name and title of work. For eg. NSmith_Seascape1.jpg
  • You are now ready to upload your images as part of your application. 

Other advice about creating good images:

There is a range of on line information and guidance available about how to photograph your work.

Here are some links that may be useful:

This is an excellent guide from the Royal Academy:

They is also a good short video on the Royal Academy website talking you through how to photograph your work. See

If you use a smartphone or tablet then you can use the same advice with the camera that is built in – or you can use an ‘app’ – there are various free or low cost options.  Some of these have quite a few of the functions that an SLR or compact digital camera has.  Below is a link that gives advice on how to photograph artwork with a smartphone: