"You be the Judge"
Art Contest 2013
How to Enter

The "You be the Judge" art contest 2013 is an online representational art competition that encourages viewers to participate by giving them the opportunity to vote for their favorite paintings throughout the duration of the contest, ultimately deciding who the Grand Prize winner will be.

Here are the rules of the contest and information about submitting your artwork:
  • The contest is open to all artists worldwide.
  • Similar to my last art contest, any representational artwork that was painted using traditional wet mediums such as oil paint, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, egg tempera, etc. are acceptable. I've received many emails over the past few months asking if pastel, charcoal, pencil, etc. could be included in a future contest. Well, now's your chance. For the first time, I'm opening up the "You be the Judge" art contest 2013 to include dry mediums as well.
  • No digital artwork or photography allowed.
  • Artwork must have been completed within the the past 3 years (from 2010 to present)
  •  The subject and size is up to you (portrait/figure, landscape, still life, etc.) with one exception-  No nudes allowed.
  • Any painting that was chosen as a finalist or posted in any of my previous bi-weekly "You be the Judge" art contests is not eligible to be entered into this contest.
  • You may submit a maximum of two entries per artist. 
  • Entries may be submitted in either JPEG or TIFF format and must include the following information in the file name for each entry in this order:  artists last name, first name, title of artwork, dimensions and medium .
For example:  Neher_Brian_Portrait_of_boy_20inx16in_Oil_on_Linen

Be sure to specify whether or not the dimensions are in inches (in) or centimeters (cm).

Any images that do not include this information in the title will not be entered into the contest. The reason for this request is because of the time constraints involved in viewing the high volume of entries received.

  • Entries must be submitted together at one time and may not exceed the maximum total number of entries allowed.

Remember, I can only go by the image that you send me, so be sure it’s your best.

Here are a few things to consider when sending images:

  1. Be sure that your photo is in focus in order to show greater detail.
  2. A larger sized photo that is at least 700 pixels wide works best.
  3. Be sure to crop the image exactly as you want it to appear on screen. No frames or borders around the image- Just the image, itself.
  4. Make sure that your image represents the most accurate color of the original artwork as possible.


Here’s how the contest will work:

I will choose fifteen paintings to post on www.YouBeTheJudgeArtContest.com every two weeks from all of the entries that I have received. Once posted, it's then up to you, the viewers, to decide who the winners of each of these "bi-weekly" contests will be. Viewers will then have the opportunity to vote for their favorite painting. At the end of each bi-weekly contest, the top three artists who received the highest number of votes during that time period will win a free download of their choice from my Principles of Painting DVD series (Drawing, Value, Color or Edges).
These artists will also be entered into the final Grand Prize round at the end of the contest for a chance to win the Grand Prize package worth over $10,000.

There will be a total of seven bi-weekly contests, each consisting of fifteen paintings for viewers to vote on every two weeks (a total of 105 paintings altogether). The first bi-weekly contest will begin on Monday, February 18, 2013.

The winners of the bi-weekly contests will be recognized by being awarded a “digital ribbon” on their entry, indicating that their painting received one of the top three highest vote counts during that particular bi-weekly contest and will be included in the Grand Prize round.

Click here to vote for your favorite painting in the current bi-weekly contest!


Only one entry per artist will be eligible for the Grand Prize, so if you enter two paintings, only one can make it to the final round. If one of your paintings is included in a bi-weekly contest, but doesn’t receive enough votes to be a finalist, there is still a chance that your second entry could be chosen for one of the remaining bi-weekly contests. A maximum of two entries per artist are eligible for a chance to be posted during the seven bi-weekly contests.

Some of the bi-weekly results from my last "You be the Judge" art contest were so close that only a few votes were needed in order to advance on to the final Grand Prize round at the end of the contest. Because of this, I've decided to add something new to the "You be the Judge" art contest 2013. Once all of the bi-weekly contests have taken place, there will be one "wild card" spot in the Grand Prize round that will be awarded to the artist who received the highest number of votes from the remaining entries that were included in the seven bi-weekly contests, but did not qualify as a finalist. The wild card recipient will be revealed at the start of  the Grand Prize round at the end of the contest.

The Grand Prize round will begin one week after all of the bi-weekly contests have taken place and will consist of 22 finalists (determined by the winners of the bi-weekly contests as well as the wild card spot). There will be two weeks of voting to determine who the Grand Prize winner will be.


At the end of the contest, the painting that receives the most votes during the Grand Prize round will win the Grand Prize package. The artist with the second highest vote count will receive a complete DVD set of my instructional art series (Drawing, Value, Color, Edges and Painting Outdoor Light). Third place will receive a DVD version of my instructional art video, “Painting Outdoor Light”.


All entries must be received by April 30, 2013 by 11:59 pm EST.

Now, if that wasn’t enough, here’s the best part of all: The contest is FREE TO ENTER! All you have to do is email me your images with the required information.

Any shipping costs will be paid for by either me or the individual sponsors of the contest. Any import charges or taxes outside of the United States, in addition to standard shipping costs, will be the responsibility of the Grand Prize winner and are not included in the prize package. The workshop experience from the Scottsdale Artist's School that is part of the Grand Prize package does not include any additional expenses  other than the cost of tuition. Any additional expenses such as travel to and from the workshop, lodging, etc. would be the responsibility of the Grand Prize winner.

Lastly, I would like to answer some frequently asked questions that I received during my last art contest that may be of use to you as well.

Q: Is your art contest really FREE?
A: Yes, the contest is free to enter and the only expenses involved are those mentioned above in regards to import charges and taxes outside of the United States as well as any additional expenses involved in the Scottsdale Artist's School workshop experience.

Q: What do you (Brian Neher) get from the "You be the Judge" art contest?
A: The opportunity to promote excellence in representational art and the joy of helping other artists reach their goals. I've been fortunate to have some great mentors over the years who have taken an interest in both me and my work and have helped me move closer towards reaching my own artistic goals. The "You be the Judge" art contest is one way of thanking all of those who have helped me along the way and encouraging others on their own artistic journey.

Q: Will all of the entries that are submitted to the "You be the Judge" art contest be posted in a bi-weekly contest for viewers to vote on?
A: No. It would not be possible for me to post all of the entries that I receive for the contest. There will be a total of 105 paintings that will be chosen for the bi-weekly contests from which viewers will have the opportunity to vote on.

Q: If my painting is not chosen to be included in one of the bi-weekly contests, does that mean that it wasn't good?
A: Absolutely not. It simply means that it was not chosen for this particular contest and is in no way a reflection on you or your artwork.

Q: Are you able to critique my entries?
A: Because of the number of entries that I receive during the contest, I am not able to critique the entries that are submitted, but do appreciate all of the requests.

Q: Do I need to be an artist to participate in the voting process?
A: No. The "You be the Judge" art contest is designed to encourage everyone to participate. Whether you're an artist, art collector, admirer of art, etc., I encourage you to take part in voting for your favorite paintings during the contest. Everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy that a work of art can bring to life and this is one way in which you can have fun doing so.

Having said all of that, it's now up to you to decide who the "You be the Judge" art contest 2013 Grand Prize winner will be. I look forward to seeing your work and wish you all the best in your art career!


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