While I'm not much of a painter, I do like to think that my figures look good when given the 3' test. That is, you take a model, hold it at arm's length (roughly 3' from your eye), and it looks pretty good. Other people paint for the 3" test. That is, you take a figure and hold it right up to your face (roughly 3" from your eye) and it looks pretty good. Painting contest participants (and certainly the winners) tend to go with the 3mm test.
If you're one of those 3mm test-people, you may want to know about this year's P3 Grandmaster Painting Competition, the rules of which have just been posted.
To participate, just show up at Gen Con Indy and fill out an entry form at the Privateer Press Booth over in the Exhibitor Hall. You can drop off your models for entry between 10am Thursday and 11am Saturday. It's just that simple. The winner last year (Sam Lenz for his Mercenary Galleon) got $2,500. Pretty nice.