Eight artists will compete and alongside a further 50 “wildcard” artists in this year’s Landscape Artist of the Year series, produced by award winning production company Storyvault Films.

Allan Martin, 61, from Barnet, was chosen from hundreds of applicants to make the final group. He will appear in the final heat which airs tonight at 8pm on Sky Arts.

It is hosted by new co-presenter - actor and art-lover Stephen Mangan alongside Joan Bakewell.

Joan says: “It’s always fascinating to watch the artists grow and evolve their style throughout the programme and witness the incredible creativity in their interpretations of beautiful British landscapes – and to witness the debate amongst both the judges and viewers over which artist they believe to be the most worthy winner.”

Those taking part are challenged to create a piece of art depicting Inveraray Castle on Loch Fyne, which according to the producers was a unique, fantastic location for the series.

If successful, Allan goes through to the semi-final at Felixstowe Docks airing on November 27 and the three chosen artists from there will then compete in the final in Greenwich Park which airs on December 4.

This is the fourth series of the show, which is produced by London and Glasgow-based independent production company Storyvault Films.

Landscapes first aired three years ago following the enormous success of Sky’s Portrait Artist of the Year (PAOTY), also from Storyvault Films, that has captured public imagination since its launch in 2013.

LAOTY boasts the titles of “best-performing, non-scripted series of all time” and second-biggest series ever for Sky Arts, with viewing figures growing over the course of the series.

The judges are artist Tai Shan Schierenberg and independent curators Kate Bryan and Kathleen Soriano.

The show not only highlights the tremendous artistic talent across the country, but also how the beautiful British countryside has inspired past and present generations of artists.

Almost 1600 entries were received for the 2018 competition, giving the judges the difficult task of whittling them down to 48 artists to compete in the six heats three of which are National Trust locations: Fountain’s Abbey and Studley Royal in Yorkshire; Viking Bay, Broadstairs and Inveraray Castle in Scotland. Each heat was open to a further 50 “wildcard” artists who were invited to compete for a potential place in the semi-final.

The winner of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2018 will receive a life changing opportunity for any artist, a prestigious commission from the Imperial War Museum to create an artwork to tie in with the centenary of the 1918 armistice.

He or she will travel along with an IWM historian to Macedonia, to visit one of the most unchanged battlefields of the campaign, the site of a significant defeat where British and Irish soldiers lost their lives.

The finished work will be unveiled at the museums London HQ and enter the IWM’s collection to be put on display in the museum.

Storyvault Films are producing a further programme charting the winning artists journey to Macedonian and the creation of the IWM commissioned work, due to be aired after the final programme on December 4.