Accredited Decorative Painter (ADP) FAQ

1. How does the Accredited Decorative Painter (ADP) level differ from the Certified Decorative Artist (CDA) level?
a) The ADP level is a stepping stone to the CDA level. The design is composed of small sections instead of one entire composition. If you feel the CDA level is too hard try the ADP level first to get a critique to see your strengths and improvements.

2. Do I start with the Accredited Decorative Painter (ADP) level prior to attempting the Certified Decorative Artist (CDA) level?
a) You can start with either level. If you begin with the ADP level you will still have to complete the CDA level prior to the attempting the MDA level.

3. Is the Accredited Decorative Painter (ADP) test graded at the same skill level as the CDA test?
a) The ADP level will not be graded on the same scale as the CDA level, and will not require the same degree of skills in order to pass.

4. If I have previously started with the Certified Decorative Artist (CDA) level, do I have to stay with this level or can I try the Accredited Decorative Painter (ADP) level?
a) Individuals who previously entered into the CDA category, and did not pass, may continue with the CDA category or the ADP category.

5. Can I paint the Accredited Decorative Painter (ADP) level with any medium?
a) The ADP stroke entry must be painted with either acrylic or oil paint. The ADP and CDA still life category may be painted with a variety of mediums including: oil, acrylic, colored pencil, watercolor and pastel.

6. Will I receive a critique telling me what my strengths and weaknesses are?

a) Every applicant receives a written critique from the Master Decorative Artists (MDA) judges.

7. Are the design elements to be painted in the exact position as indicated on the pattern?
a) Yes, no part of the line drawing may be altered.

8. There is a 'line' on the pattern that separates each design element. Is this line part of the overall design, and therefore needs to be painted as a hard demarcation?
a) The lines separate each section; there should be a clear indication that they are separated. The applicant may be creative with these lines or paint a thin line as indicated. Some examples of creative lines could be strokework; i.e.'s' strokes, comma strokes, scrolls, squiggly lines, etc.

9. Is there to be only one background color or can each design element have its own background with different colors?
a) It is the artist’s choice to have one solid background color or have different colors in each vignette. If different colors are used this could get too busy depending how the colors look side by side. The ‘overall effect’ is part of the judging process.

10. In the 'Instructions for Applicants' (pink sheet), #6 Still Life needs resting/sit down shadows to keep the design elements from floating. Is this true for the ADP?
a) Contact or Sit Down shadows are a must in still life to keep the item from floating. Cast shadows are not a requirement but they do help the overall effect.

11. For the Still Life category I would like to use colored pencils for my entry. Do I have to paint the background or can I use colored paper?
a) You may use colored paper, or paint the background with acrylics, pastels or colored pencils. Please test your paper first to be sure it accepts – without warping – the medium you have chosen. If you are going to paint the background with acrylic, make sure it is well cured before painting your design, and be sure to test the number of layers your particular pencil technique can take. Also, figure out in advance whether you are going to adhere the paper to the wood provided. Some papers are too thin for this technique and some papers need quite a bit of practice. Plan this part of your painting before you start.

12. I’m entering the ADP Still Life and would like to use colored pencils. Can you give me some suggestions of which kind of papers would be acceptable?

a) These are only suggestions. The paper you select depends on the technique and application of the surface that you have chosen. See above. You may use: a hot press (smooth) watercolor paper with a good weight; Mi Tientes paper – it’s a bit thin for some applications so be sure to test; Stonehenge paper, a nice thick, smooth surface; Archival Mat Board. (Be sure to practice your application of technique on this.)