Strokes of Genius


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Extended Deadline: June 12, 2105 CLOSED

Winning art will be featured in North Light Books’ hardbound showcase of the best in contemporary drawing. From quick contour sketches to carefully rendered drawings with a full range of values, North Light Books will showcase the best of the best in a variety of styles and subjects. The theme of Strokes of Genius 8 is Expressive Texture.






Artwork Eligibility

In drawing, the diverse range of available drawing materials, coupled with techniques as varied as artists themselves, adds up to almost endless possibilities for textural elements. These include replicating natural or man-made textures, creating imagined textures or trying to interpret emotions in a way that includes texture.  All of these and more are valid interpretations of our theme Expressive Texture.

Some words that can define texture are surface quality, feel, grain, character, finish,weave, personality, nature, makeup and appearance. We will be looking for excellence and originality, as well as a variety of styles and subjects. If selected, you will be asked to write about texture in your drawing: how you created it, what it represents to you, how it works with your overall composition, or the like. Artwork can be in any dry medium that would be traditionally considered drawing. This includes—but is not necessarily limited to—pencil, charcoal, Conté crayon, pen and ink, scratchboard, silverpoint, colored pencil, pastel and even some wet paint mediums if used in a linear or sketchy manner. Final judgment on whether a work of art fits into the “drawing” category will be determined by the editors.


A range of mediums will be included. At least 50% of the book will be black-and-white artwork. We are also looking for a range of finishes, from quick contour sketches to carefully rendered drawings with a full range of values. A fully saturated pastel or colored pencil “painting” may not be considered eligible for this book (at the discretion of the editor). There is no specification for subject matter. All appropriate subjects will be considered.

Digital images must be submitted online or on CD ROM or DVD (please label the disks with your name, email and address). For judging purposes, these images must be high quality, in RGB color mode, JPEG format, and 72dpi. Digital files must be smaller than 5MB. Digital files submitted by mail must be labeled with your last name, first name, the entry number (should correspond to the number on the entry form), with no punctuation marks until the file extension (example: Wolf Rachel 3.jpg). Disks will not be returned.

Entry Form

Enter online or use the offline entry form. If entering offline, the form must be completed and submitted along with your artwork, postmarked by June 12, 2015. Keep a copy of the entry form for yourself—we may refer to it in future correspondence.

Entry Fee

The fee is $30.00 for the first digital submission and $25.00 for each additional digital submission. If you are submitting online, all entries must be within the same checkout cart in order to receive the additional entry discount. If you are paying by check or money order please make them payable in U.S. funds to F+W Media, Inc. All checks will be cashed within 30 days of the competition final deadline. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Selection Process

All submissions will be reviewed by Rachel Wolf and the editorial staff of North Light Books. Art will be selected on the basis of general quality as well as suitability for this publication.


Notification for winners will be August 28, 2015. Winners will be asked to provide specific written information about their selected painting(s). This written information, in order to be accepted, will have to be provided electronically (via email or on CD/DVD). Winners will be required to submit a high-resolution TIFF file (RGB format, 300dpi) or 4″ × 5″ transparency for the work(s) to be published. Transparencies and CD/DVDs will be held by the publisher until the date of publication; transparencies will be returned. For a list of winners, visit on or after August 28, 2015.





Strokes of Genius 7 list of winners

Strokes of Genius 6 list of winners

Strokes of Genius 5 list of winners

Strokes of Genius 4 list of winners

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