Judging Process

Entries are judged once a year, just prior to the Society's Annual Meeting and Conference. (See the "Dear Applicant" letter, included in the Certification Portfolio, for specific dates. Entries received after these dates will not be judged or displayed.)

Entries are carefully judged by a panel of Master Decorative Artists. The identity of the applicants is never known by the judges. Entries are marked only with an applicant number, not a name. Each applicant who submits an entry for certification will receive a written critique that will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses exhibited in the entry.

Judging Criteria

All Certification entries must be painted and will be judged on the following criteria:
  • Overall Effect
  • Color Management
  • Blending Skills
  • Stroke Control
  • Value Control
  • Intensity Control
  • Linework and Detail
  • Background
  • Frame
  • Neatness
  • Finish 
It is extremely important that each applicant understand the work submitted must be entirely his/her own. In preparing and working on the entry, the applicant may not seek assistance or critique from anyone, including teachers, art students or friends.

Certification is presented to those whose work passes the requirements. This presentation is made at the the Society's Annual Meeting and Conference. It is not a requirement that the applicant be present.

Glossary of Terms

The following terms and their definitions are for your clarification as you read over the sample critique in preparation for your certification test.
  • Accent or Tint: The use of color to help unify a design and/or add interest.
  • Color Balance: A pleasing balance, repetition or flow of colors throughout the painting which allows the eye to travel through the painting.
  • Color Scheme: A plan for producing an arrangement of colors to achieve mood, theme, and direction within a composition.
  • Pulled Stroke: A stroke is characterized by the application of paint in one continuous motion of the brush.
  • Double Loaded Stroke: A pulled stroke characterized by two colors side by side blended on the palette.
  • Focal Area: The area of the design which commands the most interest.
  • Gradation: A smooth transition of values from light to dark.
  • Intensity Control: The ability to neutralize or brighten colors within the composition to produce dimension, balance, and harmony.
  • Overall Effect: The harmonious unified rendition of the line drawing.
  • Overblended: Loss of contrast and/or color clarity.
  • Reflected Light: Light that bounces back on the dark side of objects or areas.
  • Supporting Areas: Areas of lesser importance than the center of interest, yet very necessary.
  • Underblended: The value areas or zones that appear as stripes or lines instead of a smooth gradation of color/or value from light to dark.
  • Value Control: Control of lights and darks within each object and throughout the entire painting. Temperature: The appearance of warmth or coolness of color-often relative to its surroundings.