Category Archives: Tools & Tips

About Your New Electronic Membership Card

This year we sent our membership cards electronically to our members who have an email address on file. Your electronic membership card serves the same purpose as the print version we’ve traditionally mailed.

The Decision to Go Digital

An electronic membership card makes our community greener. There is a cost savings, which helps our financial health and allows us to invest the membership dues you pay annually in our events and other projects and tools that will result in greater membership service and value.

An electronic membership card also allows you to have your card two ways – both in electronic and print formats – an option that has never been available before. This lends members who have smartphones and tablets more options on how to carry their membership card with them wherever they go.

Your Membership Card and Number will entitle you to the following benefits:

  • Access to the Members-Only page of our website where you will find: a list of exclusive member discounts; current and previous digital editions of The Decorative Painter magazine; bonus magazine projects; projects for beginner painters; and an Online Video Library consisting of everything from one-minute tip videos to demos and complete lessons with instructional material.
  • A discounted rate to attend our 45th Annual SDP International Conference & Expo, which is taking place this year, May 16-20, 2017 in Daytona Beach, FL.
  • The opportunity to VOTE for your Board of Directors during our Annual Meeting*.
  • You can also join a SDP Chapter or start your own!

Replacement Cards

Having our membership card in a digital format allows us to send you a replacement card in a timelier manner. If you misplace your membership card, please contact Tanya Horn, Coordinator, Member Services & Certification, at or call (316) 269-9300 x105. We’ll email you a replacement membership card within two business days.

Saving Your Membership Card on Your Smartphone or Computer

It takes just three steps to save your membership card on your smartphone or computer.

Follow these steps to save your membership card on your smartphone:

  1. Open the email we sent you that contains your membership card.
  2. Take a screenshot: a. Have an Android? Hold down the Sleep/Wake button and the volume-down button simultaneously until your screen flashes. b. Have an iPhone? Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button on the top or side of your phone. Immediately press and release the Home button.
  3. Save your screen shot. a. Have an Android? Your screenshot will automatically save to the Gallery app. Find it in the Screenshot album. b. Have an iPhone? Your screenshot will automatically save to the Photos app. Find it in the Camera Roll.

Find a step-by-step process for taking screen shots here:

Follow these steps to save your membership card on your computer:

  1. Open the email we sent you that contains your membership card.
  2. Take a screenshot. a. Have a PC? Select the “Print Screen” button on your keyboard. b. Have a Mac? Press Shift-Command-4. Your pointer will change to a crosshair, which will allow you to select and drag to take a screenshot of the portion of your screen where your membership card displays, and then release.
  3. Save your screen shot. a. Have a PC? Open a program like Microsoft Word or Paint and paste the screenshot you copied by pressing Ctrl + V or using the paste tool installed within the program you’re using. These programs have a cropping tool, which you can use to remove the parts of your screenshot that are not the membership card. Once you are happy with how your membership card looks you can save it as an image: - Paint: Click the main “File” option in the top-left corner. Select “Save as”, title the new file, choose a save location, and select your desired file format from the drop-down menu. For most purposes, JPG will do fine, but a variety of other formats are available to choose from such as PNG, BMP, GIF, and others. - Microsoft Word: Right click the image and select “Save as Picture”. b. Have a Mac? Once you release the screenshot automatically saves as a PNG file on your desktop.

Find a step-by-step process for taking screen shots here:

Printing Your Membership Card

Follow these steps to print your membership card:

  1. Open the email we sent you that contains your membership card.
  2. Go to the main File options and select Print. a. Print Options: You can print your card in color ink or black and white. Also, if you do not want to print the entire email, you can print only the first page.
  3. Cut out the membership card and store it in your wallet or place of preference.

You can visit your local print shop to inquire about membership card holders or laminating services.

*A full Individual or Business membership is required to receive the print edition of The Decorative Painter and to vote at the annual meeting. Individuals and Businesses with a full membership will receive up to four print issues of the magazine based on the time of year they join, as the Society produces each issue based on the number of current members at the time of production. All members receive access to the current and previous digital editions of the magazine via the Members-Only page of

A New Year of Certification – Take the Plunge!

By Sue Pruett MDA, Certification Chair sue-pruett-close-upIt’s that time of the year when we start talking about Certification again! That’s because the deadline to order your Certification portfolio is February 28, 2017. If you have the desire to improve your painting skills, the Certification Program was been developed to help you do exactly that. If this is something you have been considering, but do not know enough about the program to get started, let me explain the program and why you should get involved. The Certification Program provides an opportunity for SDP members to submit work to be judged for Certification. Its goal is to create a climate for the improvement of painting skills and provide you with recognition of excellence. There are three levels of Certification. The first is Accredited Decorative Painter (ADP). The second is Certified Decorative Artist (CDA). The third is Master Decorative Artist (MDA). You may begin with the ADP level or CDA level. If you choose to start with the ADP level, you will need to also complete the CDA level prior to moving on the MDA level.
CDA entry from 2014 by Jung Eun Cho CDA

CDA entry from 2014 by Jung Eun Cho CDA

The ADP level is an excellent place to start. ADP was designed as an entry level Certification, and a stepping stone to Certified Decorative Artist (CDA), the second level of our Certification Program. This year, 80% of the ADP entries received a passing score. Below is a testimonial from Past President Wendy Watson, who received her ADP designation this year.
WendyWatson“I began my road to Certification in the early 90s. I painted what I thought was a beautiful still life and sent it in for judging. However, once I saw my entry hanging in the Certification display at the SDP Conference, I was so embarrassed. It did not look as good as I thought it was when I sent it in. I had a long way to go! I was very discouraged and convinced myself that I didn’t need those letters after my name to be a good artist, teacher and business owner. When the Accredited Decorative Painter (ADP) level was developed and introduced during my term as President of SDP, I felt that I should ‘lead by example’. Not only did I try for the new ADP, but I also sent in a CDA entry. My ADP still life entry in colored pencil passed! What a thrill to hear my name called during the Annual Meeting in San Diego. I had no idea how much those three little letters would mean to me! Upon receiving my critiques, I found out that my CDA stroke entry missed by only five points! Wow! Don’t let fear of failure stand in your way. I will be sending in another CDA entry this year. Will you join me?”
The Certification portfolio includes instructions, a line drawing of the design, paperwork explaining how the judging process works, and additional program information. In the ADP and CDA levels, you can choose from a still life/floral design or stroke design. The still life/floral design in the ADP and CDA levels can be painted with acrylic, oil, watercolor, pastel, or colored pencil. The stroke level has to be painted in either acrylic or oil mediums.
photo of portfolio

Components of the Certification Portfolio

All entries are judged on the following criteria:
  • Overall Effect
  • Color Management
  • Blending Skills
  • Stroke Control
  • Value Control, intensity Control
  • Linework and Detail
  • Background
  • Frame
  • Neatness
  • Finish
It is extremely important that the work you submit must be entirely your own. In preparing and working on the entry, you may not seek assistance or critique from anyone, including teachers, art students or friends. Other important guidelines and requirements are:
  • All designs belong to the Certification Program, and cannot be used for any other purpose.
  • All applicants are assigned a number. The number is to be painted on the back of your board, and the judges only know each entry by a number.
  • Each entry must be submitted on the surface provided in the kit. An exception is you may substitute a panel of comparable size and quality inside the frame provided. If you choose colored pencil, pastel or watercolor, you will provide appropriate paper as the surface; the official kit and frame will still need to be used.
  • A passing score is 75% based on the standard of 75% set in 1985.
  • The portfolio cost is $30 and surface fee is $50.
  • All applicants receive a written critique from the judging team.
  • Passing entries are announced each year at the Annual SDP International Conference & Expo.
It’s a lot to take in – I know! However, if you are looking to grow as an artist, this program is for you. If you have any questions, please email me at or call 760-721-1671 PT. On behalf of the Certification Committee, we look forward to receiving your entry! For more information, visit:

Tools & Tips: E-Packets

By Mary Kingslan Gibilisco CDA, Chair of the Education Committee

What is an e-packet?

It is a digitized version of a lesson packet that students or customers can obtain or purchase, download and print at their discretion. The advantages are there is no waiting for package delivery, no shipping charges and no material expense to the producer of the lesson. The end user just prints desired information.

How is an e-packet created?

First write the lesson in a digital format. Insert photos, instructions and links to videos into the lesson. Programs you can use to create the lesson are Word (easy to learn and inexpensive), Adobe InDesign (powerful, slightly complicated and higher priced than Word) or any of the myriad of publishing programs on the market. Save (or use the save as option) the document or convert your lesson to a .pdf. PDF stands for portable document file. This format retains the document exactly as created. This retains the integrity of the lesson. Line drawings will be exactly the correct size, photos will be placed where desired and page breaks will be in logical places. Save As PDF