ADP – Accredited Decorative Painter

CDA – Certified Decorative Artist

MDA – Master Decorative Artist

The Certification Program is one of the most challenging and exciting programs, providing an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their very best.

There are three levels of certification. 

  • The first is that of ACCREDITED DECORATIVE PAINTER (ADP). 
  • The second is that of CERTIFIED DECORATIVE ARTIST (CDA).  
  • The third is that of MASTER DECORATIVE ARTIST (MDA)

The applicant can begin with the Accredited Decorative Painter level or the Certified Decorative Artist level. If the applicant chooses to start with the Accredited Decorative Painter level the applicant will need to also complete the Certified Decorative Painter level prior to moving onto the Master Decorative Painter level, although one may start at either the ADP or CDA level.

The ACCREDITED DECORATIVE PAINTER applicant must pay the required fee and submit one piece of work for judging. The applicant is given a choice of painting either a still life OR a stroke design.  If submitting in watercolor, colored pencil or pastel, the applicant may only submit in the still life category.  ALL stroke designs MUST be painted with a brush. The applicant may enter only one design in any judging year, and may not submit both a still life and a stroke entry in the same year.  

Applicant Requirements

1.  Read and abide by all information included in the   Certification requirements.

2.  Pay any applicable fees online on the Certification Website.

3.  Observe all deadlines.

4.  By entering, applicants consent that all qualifying boards submitted for judging may be photographed for education, display and publication at the Foundation’s discretion.

5.  All boards must be completed entirely by the applicant.  Discussion, assistance and/or guidance via telephone, social media or in person, is strictly prohibited.  Pictures of current boards must not be posted on social media prior to being judged. Boards must not be a copy of a similar board, or any other work of art. All entries must be kept confidential.  Infractions of any of the above may result in disqualification.

6.  Failure to comply with any instructions, requirements or guidelines contained in the instructions may result in disqualification or a reduction in score.

A passing score is 75%. All entries are automatically reviewed by the entire judging panel after initial scoring. Judges expect a higher level of proficiency for MDA level than CDA. Each applicant receive a a written critique for each piece submitted indicating strengths and weaknesses that will aid in their next submission. Free conferences with a judge are available after the judging process to discuss the board or answer questions.