Art Info

Grand Central Atelier

Events - Portrait Sketch Competition

By Cesar Santos, Winner of the 2013 Competition

Portrait Sketch Competition
October 21 - 23, 2015

Applications due September 1, 2015. Notification mid-September.

In the portrait sketch competition, participants will paint a series of six different portraits over three days that will be judged as a group.
The sixty final portraits will be displayed in a month-long exhibition at GCA's gallery Eleventh Street Arts.

  • About

    Alla prima painting has become an exciting part of our community. We are excited to host this fun, challenging late summer event! Ten finalists selected from online applications will compete together in the same studio to paint six different models over three days. There will be a morning and an afternoon model each day:

    Three day competition schedule:
    Daily painting sessions: 9am-1pm; 2-6pm
    Lunch break with studios open to public, 1-2pm
    Awards Party on final evening, 7-9pm

    Exhibition: This year, GCA is displaying the 60 final portraits in a month-long exhibition at GCA's gallery Eleventh Street Arts. Entry fees will cover the cost of returning artwork to participants when the show ends.
    Eligibility: The competition is open to all artists. Students and professionals, young and old, are encouraged to apply.
    Materials: The GCA will provide easels and tabourets. Finalists are asked to bring their own painting materials: oil paints, brushes, drawing board, canvas (any type). Scale of head is generally 1/2 life-sized to life-sized. Only Gamsol or Odorless Turpenoid are allowed in the studios. Turpentine and mineral spirits may not be used while at GCA.

    The office will accept shipped boxes of art supplies in advance of the competition.
    Email: to arrange.

    Awards: $1,000 for First Place, $500 for Second Place

  • Criteria For Judging

    The portraits were judged as a group and evaluated for form, light effect, variety of color, paint handling and solid facial structure.

  • Apply

    Application Steps:

    1. Complete an application form. Click here to fill out and submit the online application.

    2. Email images to: six digital images saved as jpgs at 72 dpi. The six images must be 3-4 hour, one-session, oil portraits done in full color done without the aid of any photographs.

    Please title each image with the following 3 pieces of information: 1) a number; 2) the length of the session; 3) the size of the canvas;
    For Example:
    Image 1_4hrs_18_by_24
    Image 2_3hrs_9_by_12

    *Please do not put you name in the file name or superimposed in a caption on the image. Judging is anonymous.

    3. There is an $25 application fee, and a $75 participation fee for the selected competitors.
    Payment details coming soon.

    Questions? Email:

    Please note that finalists are responsible for all expenses related to travel and lodging.

    This competition is made possible with the generous support of the Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund.

  • Public Events Schedule

    Daily Lunch-Hour Viewings, 1-2pm
    Awards Party on last day, 7-9pm
    RSVP to Awards Party: