RCB Portrait Prize 2021: Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Can I submit a painting I did more than 12 months ago?

No. The RCB Portrait Prize is an annual competition. The painting must have been completed in the twelve months leading to the entry closing date, in this case 15 August 2021. Therefore, your work must have been painted between 15 July 2020 and 15 August  2021 with at least one live sitting during that time.
Q2: What is meant by “live sitting”?

This means that the artist and the person being painted sit in the same space. It may be a studio, a garden, on the street or in their home. It is where the artist does their first sketches that will frame the painting. It captures the person, how they hold themselves, the expression on their face, where they place their hands, how they respond to their environment. After the first sitting the portrait can be continued without the person, with the aid of a photograph. Painting purely from a photo can miss capturing the essence of the subject. In fact, we recommend more than one live sitting for the best outcome.
Q3: Do I have to know the person I am painting?

Yes. The more famous the person in the painting, the more interest from the media and people visiting the exhibition. Remember, each year The People’s Choice prize is THB100,000 so in addition to your artistic talents, having a known subject will improve your chances of winning the People’s Choice. You might know the person you paint, or they could be someone you admire. In addition to the photograph of the painting, and of the sitting, you will need to tell the jury why you painted the person you did. For example, it could be a painting of a writer of books you love reading.
Q4: Why do I have to write about the person I paint?

A good portrait painter will spend time getting to know the subject of the painter. It is here that those unique characteristics and personality are displayed. Getting this on canvas for the viewer to see is the skill of the painter. But we also want to be able to share with the media and visitors to the exhibition of finalists, what it was about the subject that the painter was attracted to. You may admire their work or be inspired by what they have done for society, their achievements in sport, their leadership of your local community, their kind contribution to a worthy cause.
Q5: Why is it preferable that the subject of the painting is known by the public?

All paintings in the exhibition will be for sale. We think this is an opportunity for the artist. Portraits of people who are known to the public, for one reason or another would increase the value and gain a higher selling price.
Q6: Can the painting be of more than one person?

Yes, if you choose to paint two, three or more people that is up to you. But still all the subjects must come together for live sitting at least once. Again, there needs to be a reason you paint these people. For example, maybe they are a successful husband and wife business partnership.
Q7: Can I submit a self-portrait?

Due to the current difficulties of COVID19, we will allow self-portraits.
Q8: Can I paint from a photograph?

No. Every entry must have at least one live sitting and you must send a photograph of artist, subject and canvas together.
Q9: Can I do the live sitting using ZOOM?

Because of coronavirus and the restrictions on travel and being with older people, or people at risk, in 2021 we will allow live ZOOM sittings. But it must be obvious that the sitting is live and the artwork not yet complete. This means you need to show a photograph including yourself, your canvas, and the computer screen placed in the way showing your subject in a live chat. The pose of the subject in the ZOOM chat, and the painting must be the same.
Q10: Why do I need to submit a photograph of me painting the subject live?

The skill of a portrait artist rests in the ability of capturing the personality of the subject on the canvas. You cannot do this from a photograph alone. We need to see the artist and the subject together to know this is your work, and so you can tell us more about the subject. The public and media visiting the exhibition will be interested in the story behind the painting.
Q11: Can the portrait prize entry be a photograph?

No. Although there are many wonderful portrait photographs, this exhibition is exclusively for paintings.
Q12: Can the painting be any dimension?

The maximum size of the painting cannot exceed 2.25 sqm in total size. This could be a painting of 1.5m x 1.5m, or 1m x 2.25m. It could also be a diptych: two paintings of 1m x 1m, and so on. But the painting can also be small. There is no minimum size.
Q13: Can I submit the painting from outside Thailand?

No. The RCB Portrait Prize is Thailand’s first national portraiture competition which means you must be living in Thailand when the painting is created. Thai and foreign painters are welcome to submit the painting.
Q14: In addition to the photographs of my painting and live sitting, can I send my actual painting for Jury’s consideration?
Yes, in addition to providing two photographs: one of your painting and one of the live sitting, the artists can choose to send the artwork to River City Bangkok for jury consideration. However, the artists will be responsible for artwork transportation and return costs. If you choose to send your artwork, you need to email [email protected] in advance for instructions. 
Q15: How do the judges select finalists?
This is a blind competition meaning the judges will not know the name of each artist. They will be presented the paintings only. In some cases, they may recognize the subject, but they will be looking at how well the artist captures the character of the subject.
Q16: When and where do I send the painting if I am selected by the Jury?
The jury will select the finalists from the photo of your painting. Finalists will be notified by email on Friday 20 August of all the necessary follow up details. Your painting must be received by River City Bangkok by end of August. The artist will be responsible for safe delivery of the painting.
 Q17: Are transport costs subsidized?

No. The artists are responsible for shipping cost to send to River City Bangkok. All paintings will be for sale. The artist will set the selling price. If your painting is not sold, you will be responsible for collecting your painting.
Q18: When is the last date I can submit the photograph of the portrait painting?

We must receive the photograph of your painting and the photograph of the sitting no later than 15 August 2021.

Q19: Can I create my portrait digitally, with the aid of a digital device and digital software?

No. The Portrait Prize is a competition of portraiture painting in the traditional sense. Portraits must be painted from at least one live sitting of the person you are painting. The medium of the painting can be oil or acrylic on canvas or wood, watercolour on paper, mixed media collage, wood cut to a single print. A photograph of the sitter in the position of the portrait may be taken and used as reference by the artist. But portraits created with digital hardware (desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone) and software will not be considered for the competition or exhibition.