A painting by Guy Crittenden of Richmond, Va., has been chosen as the winner of the 2016 California Duck Stamp Art Contest. The painting, which depicts a pair of lesser snow geese, will be the official design for the 2016-2017 stamp.

Duck Stamp 2016 First Place Guy Crittenden
A painting by Guy Crittenden won the 2016 California Duck Stamp Art Contest.

It was the first time that Crittenden has won the California Duck Stamp Art Contest, although he has won numerous contests held by other states. Following the contest Tuesday in Davis, the judges praised Crittenden's painting, citing its autumnal feel, quality of light and anatomical accuracy.

Duck Stamp 2016 Second Place (2)
Timothy Schreiber of Virginia placed second.

"In my experience it is important to focus on a composition that works, first and foremost, and then worry about matters such as accuracy, feathers and habitat," said Crittenden, a landscape, wildlife and sporting artist. "My experience with landscape painting helps me create a background that is accurate, luminescent and pleasing to the eye, one that glows with warm light and sun coming through the clouds."

Duck Stamp 2016 Third Place (2)
Mark Thone of Minnesota placed third.

Artists from around the country submitted entries for this year's contest, sponsored by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). Timothy Schreiber of Duffield, Va., placed second, Mark Thone of Shakopee, Minn., placed third and Jeffrey Klinefelter of Etna Green, Ind., received honorable mention.

Duck Stamp 2016 Fourth Place (2)
Jeffrey Klinefelter of Indiana received honorable mention.

The top four paintings will be displayed at the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association's 46th Annual Classic Wildlife Art Festival, which will be held at the Double Tree Hotel in Sacramento on July 9-10.

Since 1971, the California Duck Stamp Program's annual contest has attracted top wildlife artists from around the country. The contest is traditionally open to artists from all 50 states in order to ensure a wide pool of submissions. All proceeds generated from stamp sales go directly to waterfowl conservation projects throughout California.

In the past, hunters were required to purchase and affix the stamp to their hunting licenses. Today, hunters are no longer required to carry the stamps because California's modern licensing system prints proof of additional fees paid directly onto the license. However, CDFW still produces the stamps, which can be requested on CDFW's website at www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/collector-stamps.

The subject of the 2017 California Duck Stamp Art Contest will be the ruddy duck, with details on that contest to be released at a later date.

Media Contacts:
Kyle Orr, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8958