Winning Advice from a Competition Finalist

Wild Bunch (oil pastel, 19×21) by George Shipperley was a finalist in the still life/floral category of The Artist’s Magazine‘s 27th Annual Art Competition. In this exclusive web extra, Shipperley shares his favorite pieces of advice.

Best advice I’ve been given, and would like to share:
• Experiment with all mediums and keep experimenting with every painting you do. This will keep you fresh and on the cutting edge.

• Don’t worry about making so-called mistakes for they are often quite usable. My experience has taught me that our imperfections can be the best part of our work.

• Perfect your drawing ability, especially life drawing, and your painting will improve.

• Try to paint or draw every day. We all have talent, but those who practice it, get good at it.

• Willingly listen to criticism from your peers and instructors but ultimately make your own decisions regarding any changes in your work.

• Develop your own unique style to set you apart from other artists. Otherwise, we become carbon copies.

• Remember, it’s not what we paint but how we paint it that really matters.

• Never frame your work until you can afford to frame it properly. Proper presentation not only complements your work but also makes you look professional. For pastels, keep it simple with neutral matting, no smaller width than 3½-inch margins. If exhibiting a body of work, keep it uniform.

Competition Spotlight artists are chosen from our annual competition finalists. Learn more at


Watch art workshops on demand at ArtistsNetwork.TV

Online seminars for fine artists

Instantly download fine art magazines, books, videos & more

Sign up for your Artist’s Network email newsletter & receive a FREE ebook

You may also like these articles: