Our First Annual Master Skill Building Challenge, starting January 11th, is right around the corner!



Our first annual Master Skill Building Challenge, with guest juror James Gurney, is rapidly approaching.  We’d like to take a moment to go over what students enrolled in our online program can expect, as far as the workload and rules are concerned, when the contest launches in earnest on January 11th.

The Master Skill Building Challenge is designed as a six-month long, portfolio building contest that will help students push themselves to a higher level of finish in their work, and simultaneously complete a 6-piece portfolio of academic artwork, that will then be evaluated by our team of instructors, with the finalists being selected by guest juror James Gurney.

The Master Skill Building Challenge is set up in a way that incorporates our standard Skill building Challenges, breaking down the portfolio-building contest into six individual, month-long competitions.  These individual legs of the contest will operate exactly as our standard Skill Building Challenges (which you can find the rules for in our Skill Building Challenges forum).  Each individual piece a student completes for these 6 stand-alone competitions will be a piece for their “final portfolio” that they will submit to the jurors at the end of the Master Skill Building Challenge.  As the goal of the Master Skill Building Challenge is to push you, our students, to new heights, students will be allowed to work further on their pieces after each leg of the competition, to “polish them up” based on their peer feedback.  The individual legs of the Master Skill Building Challenge are as follows;


Drawing Program Participants:

1 skull drawing
1 long head drawing
1 long figure drawing
1 page of quicksketch portrait drawings
1 page of quicksketch figure drawings
1 “student choice” work

Full Access Program Participants:

1 cast study
1 portrait painting
1 figure painting
1 landscape
1 still life
1 “student choice” work

Please note that students enrolled in the “Full Access Program” *may* opt to complete the Drawing Program’s challenges, if they so choose. Specific details of each month long competition (which reference to use, start/end dates, etc) will be given at the start of each individual leg.

Once all six individual challenges are completed, students will compile their work in a digital portfolio. Our jury, composed of the instructors from our Atelier, will narrow down our finalists. To ensure an “even playing field,” and to put an emphasis on skill building, finalists will be selected based on their overall skill growth throughout the 6 month period.  Guest Juror James Gurney will then select the winners from a group of finalists.  Prizes include:

1st Place:

1 Year free full access membership in our online program, Jeff’s Figure Drawing Book, An instructional painting dvd, An original drawing by Jeffrey Watts, blog post feature of the winning artist, and a 1-hour live video coaching session with Jeff Watts

2nd Place

6 Months free full access membership in our online program, Jeff’s Figure Drawing Book, Instructional dvd, and a half-hour live video coaching session with Jeff Watts

3rd Place

3 Months free full access membership, Jeff’s Figure Drawing Book, and an instructional painting dvd

Two “Honorable Mentions” (one from the drawing membership, one from the full access membership)

Jeff’s Figure Drawing Book and an instructional painting dvd

We’re incredibly excited to see what everyone creates over this six month period, and even more excited to watch your skills grow.  We are sure there are more questions regarding the challenge, and we invite you all to leave your inquires in the comment section below.  We wish you all the best of luck, and remember to Embrace the Challenge!