Welcome to the Digital Universes Contest!

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The theme for the month and the grand prize is whatever digital universe you can imagine! You may use the free images we provide for the contest or download more from the Matte Paint gallery. Other providers and images are allowed but cannot be the primary focus and we encourage you to utilize our ENORMOUS library of images. Similarly, 3D renders are allowed but please note this is not a 3D challenge and the final image must be primarily from 2D techniques.

Each week in September a set of free images will be released in our community along with a bonus "Weekly Challenge" briefing here on our Blog. You may use these images in your monthly submission as well as in the weekly challenge entries. Each week we will have a challenge to compete in if you choose to and the best 2 weekly submissions will win prizes! These weekly challenges are completely optional to compete in and are provided as a tool to get your creative juices flowing and your hands on some rad Mattepaint.com goodies!

Week 1 Information & Downloads here!

Please note: Weekly challenge submissions cannot be used for the grand prize submission.  If you submit an entry for the weekly challenge, you will need to submit a different entry for the month long prize.  

You must submit your entries to Competitions@MattePaint.com and you must specify whether your entry is for the Grand Prize Submission, or for a Weekly submission. For example - "John Smith MattePaintContest entry - Grand Prize submission" or "John Smith MattePaintContest entry - week 1 challenge submission'  

We also encourage you to share your final work on Artstation or in our Facebook Group with the MattePaint Contest Hashtag and Logo!


Community Engagement

We created our Facebook community to foster learning and artist improvement. We want you to get involved in the community and flourish with thousands of other artists!
Upload your work in progress, comment on each other’s work and encourage each other in the spirit of learning and improvement. We have some extremely successful and talented artists in the community who are stoked to help critique, suggest and help in any way they can so come on over and be part of something amazing!

Join the Community


  • One still image — 1,920px on longest edge minimum. E.g. A landscape should have at least 1,920px width, portrait should have minimum 1,920px height.
  • One composite sheet containing the photo's and elements used for the final design.
  • Work-in-progress artwork to show how your image was created.
  • Post on Artstation with the MattePaint Contest Hashtag and Logo.

Judging Criteria

Images will be judged on creative, narrative and technical aspects. Successful images should combine strong composition and lighting with an attention to photo-realism and a high technical level of finish.

The Judges

Grand Prizes

1st Place
- Wacom Intuos Pro (medium)
- Gaea Professional License
- MattePaint 1-year Freelance Subscription

2nd Place
- Wacom Intuos Pro (medium)
- Gaea Indie License
- MattePaint 1-year Artist-Pro Subscription

3rd Place
- Wacom Intuos Pro (medium)
- MattePaint 1-year Artist-Pro Subscription

Weekly  Bonus Prizes!

Every week we release a new Weekly Challenge briefing.  Each Weekly Challenge will run for 7 days. These challenges are intended to spark ideas for your grand prize submissions and to help you exercise specific techniques and are completely optional to compete in. There will be 2 prizes for the best submissions each week!

1st Place
- MattePaint 3-month Artist-Pro Subscription
- 3 months access to the MattePaint Academy!

2nd Place
- MattePaint 1-month Artist-Pro Subscription
- 1 month access to the MattePaint Academy!

NOTE: Weekly submissions cannot be used as grand prize submissions. Please keep this in mind when submitting for a weekly prize - don't submit your work if you think you want to use it for your main entry.

Contest Rules

The deadline for the monthly Grand Prize entries is October 1st 12:00am UTC , 2019.

The deadline for each weekly challenge entry will be:
Week 1 - September 8 12:00am UTC, 2019
Week 2 - September 15 12:00am UTC, 2019
Week 3 - September 22 12:00am UTC, 2019

Winners Announcement
Grand Prize winners as well as weekly challenge winners will be announced October 10, 2019.


  • Artists participating in the contest must be a member of MattePaint.com; registration is free.
  • Entry is limited to individual artists, so Team entries are not eligible.

Final Work

  • Must be Posted on Artstation with the MattePaint Contest Hashtag and Logo.
  • One still image — 1,920px on longest edge minimum. E.g. A landscape should have at least 1,920px width, portrait should have minimum 1,920px height.
  • One composite sheet containing the photo's and elements used for the final design.
  • Work-in-progress artwork to show how your image was created.

Work in Progress
We encourage you to share your work in progress in our Facebook Community Group throughout the contest.

Original Artwork
Entries must be new artworks specifically made for the contest and cannot be based on the concept art of another artist. Entries must be original and proven to be your own artwork.

Art can be highly subjective. As such, the decision of the judges of the contest will be final.

Any image deemed to contain content that depicts racial, political, religious or any other inflammatory material in an inappropriate manner may be disqualified and removed. Interpretation of what is, and is not, appropriate material is the sole discretion of MattePaint.com and the Judges. Any artwork found to infringe on another artists work will be disqualified and removed.

Past Contest Finalists

1st Place - Leonardo Dentico
2nd Place - Juan Carlos Barquet

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I ask questions about the contest?
Please post questions in the Community or email Competitions@MattePaint.com. We’ll do our best to address and clarify questions there.

Can I win prizes without a paid subscription?
Yes! An active subscription is not necessary to be eligible for the prizes.

Can I use my own images or images from other websites?
You can use images from other providers or your own images but Matte Paint images must make up the main components of the image.

Where do I ask about technical problems or feature requests?
If you encounter any technical issues, please contact us at support@mattepaint.com. Please provide as much detail as possible when reporting issues — provide a URL to the problem, screenshots and even video if possible. Thanks!

Can I submit multiple submissions for the contest?
Yes! You can submit as many times as you like, however we encourage you to focus on making one image as good as you can during the time. Art is not a sprint, take your time. Give it love.

Can my design be based on an existing IP?
No. Your design should not infringe any IP’s rights.

Can a team participate in the contest?
No. This contest is for individuals only. We’re looking into running contests for teams in the future. Let us know if you’re interested!

Can I win multiple weekly prizes?
No, we want to maximize everyone's chances of winning a weekly challenge so we won't select a weekly winner twice.

Can I win both a weekly and monthly prize?
In the event that your monthly submission wins a prize, your subscription will be upgraded and the weekly prize will go to the runner-up. We decided to do this to maximize the chances of artists winning a prize as we want to spread the love as much as possible!

Do I have to use the weekly images for the weekly challenges?
No you don't, you can use images from any week or from the MattePaint Gallery, however, your submission must match the theme for the week.

Help spread the word! Get the FB Profile frame!