I have received a lot of message asking similar questions:
"Why XXX's work (link provided) was accepted, but my obvious more superior work was declined?"
So far I have been repeating the same reply over and over again and I thought, maybe it's better to create a blog entry for this. Even most people don't really read it, I can still link this blog entry and save me some time.
So here it is, why this work was accepted but mine was declined?
First and foremost, art is subjective. What you considered to be great artwork may not be great work according to other people's standard. This group is more about realistic representation of human face, and we do follow a more academic standard when selecting art works. That means, we prefer works with correct anatomy (or shows the understanding of correct anatomy when creating stylized works), correct light and shadow rendering, correct and sophisticated shading (crosshatching or brush strokes).
But why is this work accepted but not mine?! Sure mine isn't perfect, but it's certainly better than that one!
Why oh why...
Well, here's the deal. Let's just say the best work in this group is a 100, and worst declined work is a 0. Every submission is in between this range. If your work is above 70, we'll accept it without a blink. We know a good work when we see one. And when a piece of artwork is blow 40, we'll decline it without much thought (either they're unfinished, or the quality just isn't there). But often the work submitted is between 40 and 70. That's when people start asking the above mentioned question. Well, I could be a number of reasons:
It could be that after reviewing your gallery, we believe your overall work quality need improvement. It could be that we think a specific part of the piece needs a lot more work. It could be that I, personally, think your work is photo paintover (Although I rarely decline works based solely on this suspicion, but I've done it a couple of times to the most obvious ones). It could be that we accepted that other work because we believe the artists came a lone way and need some encouragement, and you probably need a bit of a push because we know you can do better.
But in the end, all of these are irrelevant. The bitter truth is, if your work is above 70, we won't be having this discussion. Take a look at our galleries, for every piece you think that's worse than yours, 100 more are better. Learn from them, put aside your artist ego and draw more.