Suggestion: A new type of contest ("duels")

  • I love this idea, I’m going to participate or watch/vote
  • I like this idea, not sure about participating
  • It’s neutral for me, I’m probably not going to participate or watch/vote
  • I dislike this idea

0 voters

I am a long time reader of Polish literature posts like Forum Mirriel. There is one fun contest type that I believe could work well on our primarily art forum, too.

The basic rules are:

  • There are two users who “duels” with each other.
  • You can challenge someone (but they can refuse) or you can introduce a challenge to everyone, and then someone can take that challenge.
  • Both your and the other person’s images will be posted by someone without saying which image belongs to which person.
  • Other users can vote on images. (There should be some categories, for image rules, for execution, for idea etc.)
  • The person who gets more votes wins.
  • In case of walkover, there are two options (for the person who made an image): another duel

The most fun comes from what is the challenge. The idea is that one of the duelists defines the rules that both images needs to follow. In case person A challenged person B, person B defines the rules; in case person A challenges anyone and person B takes the challenge, person A defines the rules (and it needs to happen in the post introducing the challenge, meaning that person B knows what they get into).

The rules can be quite specific. On the forum I took it from they were often funny or challenging. Basic categories of rules (so you get the idea):

  • general subject of the image (example: a castle on a hill)
  • theme/mood (castle from a horror, or cartoony castle with a comedic vibe to it; whether the image should be serious or funny etc.)
  • style (realistic, anime, cartoony, a specific style)
  • what you want on the picture (for example a teapot, or something more general that doesn’t fit into subject, theme or style) (for the object, you can add a picture showing exactly what object you mean; but you don’t have to, then the other person has more freedom to choose how it will look like).
  • what you not want on a picture (for example, draw a Halloween scene but without pumpkins and ghosts; or that you want a picture in any style but anime; or maybe you want anime, but the eyes must be of normal size etc. - just some exception)
  • technical details, if needed (like, it must be in a portrait/landscape format, or it must be an animation with this and this many frames or that is this and this long)
  • how detailed should it be (so there is no situation where one person submits a sketch and another one a very detailed masterpiece :wink: of course it doesn’t need to be defined)
  • is nsfw stuff allowed? if yes, which parts? (gore/politics/controversial topics/nakedness/explicit sexual content)

What do you think of that? I know I really liked this format on that literature forum and it was in general quite popular. Especially the stories were always of the highest quality. It didn’t create any type of enmity between duelists since they usually either knew each other already (if person A challenged person B) or both of them knew what they were going into. And in general it was viewed as fun challenge, which means, both fun and an opportunity to show off their skills :wink:

Because this is an art forum, there might be a bit of a problem with different levels of art skill. I guess it would be advised to not challenge users that have much higher or much lower skill level (this is both for person A challenging a specific person B, or person B taking a general challenge made by person A), unless they both explicitly agree on that - then the secrecy of the duelists’ project would be compromised, but I guess it would be some fun even without it. Of course judging the skill level would be in discretion of the moderators and duelists themselves - no point in tearing people apart on who has a higher skill level and who doesn’t. It’s just, it would be good to have rules for mods to be able to step in when a professional artist with 20 years painting experience challenge a beginner. (Just be reasonable and kind to each other! Then everything will be fine). Other than that, I don’t think there should be any other issues :slight_smile:

Person A makes a challenge that everyone (although only one person, the first one that wants to do it) can enter. They define rules as follows:

  • dinner with vampires
  • theme: horror, doesn’t need to be serious
  • style: realistic
  • what I want: teapot, Dracula himself, chicken leg
  • what I don’t want: Dracula’s famous red and black coat, chairs
  • landscape format
  • all nsfw allowed

Then person B comes and say they want to participate. They paint a picture of Dracula in black-and-red bikini sitting on the table in his dining room in the castle, eating chicken leg with his vampire teeth.

@raghukamath @hellozee


This reminds me of how works. It’s similar in many ways. However in art fight you attack another artist with your artwork and they can choose to defend or not. Scores are given for number of characters, type of work (sketch, painting, flat color etc), and some other things but not skill. Every vote increases the score by a percentage of the base score.

The problem in art fight is that you work pro bono, you create your artwork without a guarantee to get anything back which is kinda bad for an art-trading game.

I like the idea but I’m not sure if anonymity makes much sense. This would require the artist to not sign their work and most of the time you can find it out anyway especially if they have a very distinct style.

I’ve done similar duels with friends in the past and some kind of funny cartoony super-vilan like enmity actually emitted between us and later often became part of the theme (like works where our OCs outwit each other). Different skill levels were surprisingly not an issue. It was seen as inappropriate to challenge someone who was not as skilled yet but the other way around was actually very fun. Challenging a more skilled artist like an underdog who was doomed to loose but give their best and surpass themselves while trying. Also we then introduced some handicap for the more skilled artist like, working in a medium they are not familiar with, constraints in brushes or colors or only give them 30 minutes to complete their work. The handicap was usually suggested by the less skilled artist or among the whole group to ensure it’s still fair. Possibilities are endless.


This sort of competitive paintings makes for a great viewer side experience as well, especially when it’s in something like a video format. Just seeing multiple approaches to the same subject is always captivating , and I’d love to do them more than I am currently.

There’s a great event called “limits digital Art battle “ that does 20 minute 2 word prompt showdowns , and I’ve really enjoyed seeing artists like robotpencil and ahmed aldoori Compete, highly suggest checking the highlights on YouTube .

I don’t like it at all. Art is something very subjective and personal. Having a battle between two artists feels so confusing and wrong on so many levels.

Maybe for you, but art competitions have always been a thing. For some artists the primary thing art is is social(this is a large part of fanart and stuff like mermay and inktober), and thus to them it can be easily converted to social activities like competitions and trades.

Of course, it is natural that if you view art as spiritual or material in the first place it might not be compatible. Though, to some people, competition is very personal and spiritual to begin with…

I realize this is a really overwrought way of saying ‘different folks, different strokes’, so sorry if it sounds a little hackneyed.

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Making an Artwork as part of such a challenge doesn’t mean it can’t be personal, does it? The battle is mostly fun for the viewers but for me as an artist it would be nice to see how someone else approaches a given theme and then when you compare the other work with yours, it can tell you something about your own artwork too (why did I chose to do this and they did it like this? Why didn’t I think about that color scheme?). I believe most artists agree that we challenge ourselves all the time, making a fun game of it seems to be the next logical step and can help us grow as artists.
However I agree that this is probably not for everyone but in that case you can simply decline every challenge.

I would rather participate in a collaborative challenge. To collaborate is waaaaay better than to compete imho.
Isn’t Krita made with collaboration of many awesome people? Do they compete for who make the best code? I Think this collaboration is the building blocks behind Krita and many other great things, and, would be better to explore this aspect of Krita than to engage in meaningless “battles” for the sake of bragging “I won, I’m better than you”.
Regarding skill levels, it doesn’t matter in a collaborative challenge.
Upload a .kra file and everyone can add a little. This also contributes to the felling of being part of this community.

That’s so much different from how I imagine it. Sure, I can’t tell how would it feel to participate in this contest here in this community, since the site is very new, the community of the site is still growing and also growing fast (which is both good and bad thing), but your view of this challenge is very different from what I want. I don’t want petty bragging or pointless comparing anything.

In my eyes the point of this challenge would be:

  • to see how other artist interpreted the same source idea/set of rules, how they managed to do the task
  • to get good critique on different parts of the image (on the site I mentioned, everyone who voted had to rate the story in a few categories and write at least one sentence about each to justify it)
  • to challenge yourself with an unusual topic, or unusual set of objects on one picture, or that you have to do it in a different style or maybe that you can’t draw the most known connotations etc.
  • I dunno, to maybe get to know each other? At least it will be “oh, this is this person I made the challenge with”.

I do have another idea that is about collaboration though (it’s not actually my idea, I’ve seen it on youtube before). Three people involved (in the base form), and there are three images that comes out of this. Let’s say there are people A, B and C.

  • for the first picture, person A does sketch, B does lineart, C does colors and shading
  • for the second one, the order is as follows: B, C, A.
  • for the fourth one: C, A, B.
    It could be useful to do: A does sketch, B flat colors, C shading, or something similar. Can be changed/adjusted for particular group of people taking part in it.

I still do believe in the “duels” idea though. I feel like at least for me, collaboration that involves a lot of people can be much more alienating than a competition that involves only a few. If good sportsmanship is both encouraged and enforced, I believe it would only bond the community together instead of breaking it down.

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Also for everyone interested, I added a poll on top. I should’ve made it while making a post, but I didn’t think about it then.