Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 42

Thread: The Art of the Critique

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,549
    Thanks
    80
    Thanked 442 Times in 287 Posts

    Red face The Art of the Critique

    The Art of the Critique:
    Don't take it personally, just take it seriously.

    I think the main thing to remember when giving or receiving a critique is that it is not about the person giving the critique, or the person receiving the critique. It is SOLELY about the art in question.


    I am writing this thread because I think it is important for people to understand the critique process to avoid possible fights and hurt feelings. I will be coming back and adding to it from time to time. If any of you feel that you have suggestions that could make it better, please post them and I might add them.

    I hope people find it helpful.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Bai Fan; December 30th, 2008 at 01:32 PM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote


  2. Hide this ad by registering as a member
  3. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Bai Fan For This Useful Post:


  4. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,549
    Thanks
    80
    Thanked 442 Times in 287 Posts
    To RECEIVE a critique:

    The most important thing when getting a critique is to be open to what is being said and not get your feelings hurt if you get a bad one. In most situations, hearing something awful about a piece that you put so much time into and so much of yourself into can be pretty crushing and that is understandable. However, listening openly to those bad critiques will make you so much better as an artist than the critiques which tell you only what is good about the piece.

    Remember that critiquing is not only about learning what is wrong with the piece, it is also largely about learning how to SEE what is wrong with the piece so as to understand how to avoid that type of problem in the future. Beyond fixing a piece, it is about growing as an artist.

    Insulting someone just because they dismissed your art is petty and immature. If you think that person needs to improve areas in their own art, then go to that person's sketchbook or critique thread and give them tips on how to do that. {PuppyKitten - syntax change}

    It is really important for artists to get over the need for every piece to be amazing and learn to be willing to throw out bad art. Artists will go through MANY iterations of a piece, frequently throwing out elements of pieces, or sometimes even whole pieces that they really like but are just not working.

    When going into a critique where you have specific points you want addressed, it isn't always the best thing to point them out right away. Telling people ahead of time of what you think might be an issue will definitely draw attention to those problems, but it might also distract the person giving the critique from addressing problems that you hadn't seen.

    DO NOT THINK ONE CRITIQUE WILL CUT IT! Many times artists will only tell what they feel are the most important and immediate problems when going over a piece. After those problems are addressed, then would be the time to move on to lesser problem areas. After you work the problem, upload an updated version and get more advice. There is a lot of work to get a nice, refined, successful piece.

    It's important to know what you're trying to do with this piece and weigh the critique you get appropriately. You wouldn't want to change something in your piece that detracts from the mood or theme just because someone said it needs to be changed. My mantra usually is:

    Critically consider critique.

    Know what you want to make, be open to changing your image if it does not impede your vision. Things such as anatomy, form and lighting are general principles that will generally apply to every image. {Jason Rainville}

    Finally (for now) remember that critiquing a piece can take a lot of time, and the person giving it is volunteering their time to help you improve. Be open to what is said, even if you don't agree with it and be thankful for the time and effort given. Just because you don't agree with what is said doesn't mean you should be impolite or unthankful.


    More to come.
    Last edited by Bai Fan; April 27th, 2011 at 07:34 PM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Bai Fan For This Useful Post:


  6. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,549
    Thanks
    80
    Thanked 442 Times in 287 Posts
    To GIVE a critique:

    Please, please, please remember what it was like to put your art up on the chopping block... especially the first few times.

    It is easy to change a piece. It is much harder to help fix it. Anyone can offer the advice, "If I were doing it, I would"... Well, you aren't doing it. Try to understand what the artist is going for instead of arbitrarily changing the style, message, etc. to what you like. Critiquing is helping an artist make their piece better, not making their piece yours. This is one of the hardest aspects of critiquing and one that always bothered me about how some people critique (especially with story critiques).

    When looking at a piece, do not assume that piece represents either the artist's actual level of skill or their style. This one is especially hard because if that one piece is all we see, we have no other frame of reference. Don't think “this person sucks” if they offer up an embarrassingly bad piece, just address the problems that you see. They could only be trying out a new style/program/technique. I know many a wonderful watercolor artist that sucks at oil painting.

    When giving a critique, if possible offer a paint-over / red-line. Many times it will get the message across much easier and clearer than a large explanation.

    More to come.
    Last edited by Bai Fan; December 29th, 2008 at 05:58 PM.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  7. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Bai Fan For This Useful Post:


  8. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    4,358
    Thanks
    9,917
    Thanked 4,155 Times in 2,281 Posts
    cool thread i think this is going to be very usefull and a great idea
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  9. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    nunna Wyoming...
    Posts
    2,057
    Thanks
    3,153
    Thanked 950 Times in 660 Posts
    I have to say, that even if a crit hurts to take, it makes you step back and look at your art. The masterpiece we often think we have created is sometimes the ugly baby only the mother could love...how do I know this, just look at my sketchbook. hehe. I really love it when I get crits, cause I have a hard enough time spotting the big mistakes and I end up completely overlooking the finer detailed ones. I would never see most of those mistakes unless I had someone else pointing them out. In my mind a bad crit is better than no crit.
    The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits.
    Albert Einstein

    http://global.thebump.com/tools/tickers/tt6b71c.aspx


    Spaztastic's world of junk
    And The-SSG-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named!!!
    Realitychecks SB LakeLands SB Me,Myself, and Me again Vehkt's
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  10. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    11,438
    Thanks
    3,793
    Thanked 5,854 Times in 3,958 Posts
    It’s a wonderful feeling if you think you can help someone, even if I’m bad at explaining myself sometimes, and then see them go that extra bit - that sort of makes my day when the penny has dropped.

    Also, I don’t always get it right. Some pictures are hard to read the direction the artist wants to take it and getting it wrong is not nice, so a bit more description of where you want to be might help. I don’t dig all the art posted, but being open minded does help, especially on new migrants from DA. Maybe we need a standard reply re studying the human form and anatomy.

    I really enjoy helping people and must give you all a chance a bit more often to tear my stuff up.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  11. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    nunna Wyoming...
    Posts
    2,057
    Thanks
    3,153
    Thanked 950 Times in 660 Posts
    ooooh I like that Idea Blackspot. I know re studying (actually studying for the first time..for me anyway) the human form and anatomy would help immensely. I also agree that artists need to put more of an explanation on where they are intending to head with there art. However if you're like me you end up going over board on the explanation and totally confuse anyone trying to help...which pretty much makes them want to run away.
    The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits.
    Albert Einstein

    http://global.thebump.com/tools/tickers/tt6b71c.aspx


    Spaztastic's world of junk
    And The-SSG-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named!!!
    Realitychecks SB LakeLands SB Me,Myself, and Me again Vehkt's
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  12. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    6,035
    Thanks
    2,167
    Thanked 3,347 Times in 1,123 Posts
    Just for some balance, I'd also like to point out the importance of knowing what critique applies to you and your piece, and what critique is rubbish (because there IS such a thing as misplaced or 'bad' critique)

    It's important to know what you're trying to do with this piece and weigh the critique you get appropriately. You wouldn't want to change something in your piece that detracts from the mood or theme just because someone said it needs to be changed. My mantra usually is:

    Critically consider critique.

    Know what you want to make, be open to changing your image if it does not impede your vision. Things such as anatomy, form and lighting are general principles that will generally apply to every image


    The only reason I write this is that it's all too easy to fall into the trap that all critique from random strangers of varying levels of competence are viable. They're not. Know the artists that you admire, know who you trust. Get a small group of people going that have similar goals and critique each other.

    Don't get me wrong though, this doesn't mean toss out critique if it doesn't jive with what you want to hear or makes you realize real faults in your work. Some of the best critiques I've got included very radical changes to whatever piece I was working on. At the same time though, there are TONS of critique that I hear but then discard; All I'm saying is that a critique such as "make it during the daytime" or "tone down his muscles" and other crits that don't take into account the mood or circumstances you're trying to create aren't always going to help you.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  13. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Jason Rainville For This Useful Post:


  14. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    11,438
    Thanks
    3,793
    Thanked 5,854 Times in 3,958 Posts
    I didn’t run away from you (spaztastic) and kept on nagging because I knew you could do better. I only do that when I know the artist can and should.

    The thing is I go by my guts a lot of the time. Knowing that something is not right but trying to explain is hard. I’m not a brilliant artist but I can see dispassionately that it’s either right or wrong. That gut feeling can be useful, especially when I disagree with other posters.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  15. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    nunna Wyoming...
    Posts
    2,057
    Thanks
    3,153
    Thanked 950 Times in 660 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Black Spot View Post
    I didn’t run away from you (spaztastic) and kept on nagging because I knew you could do better. I only do that when I know the artist can and should.

    The thing is I go by my guts a lot of the time. Knowing that something is not right but trying to explain is hard. I’m not a brilliant artist but I can see dispassionately that it’s either right or wrong. That gut feeling can be useful, especially when I disagree with other posters.
    Thanks Blackspot... I value your crits...and I know you didn't run away, I was trying to be facetious I guess it didn't work.I am gonna apply your paint over I just haven't had time to do it yet, had family over the weekend and my computer is evil. I also agree with you Jason Rainville, crits should go through a mental filter before there applied or accepted.
    The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits.
    Albert Einstein

    http://global.thebump.com/tools/tickers/tt6b71c.aspx


    Spaztastic's world of junk
    And The-SSG-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named!!!
    Realitychecks SB LakeLands SB Me,Myself, and Me again Vehkt's
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  16. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    2,549
    Thanks
    80
    Thanked 442 Times in 287 Posts
    Thanks for commenting guys. I have a feeling that this might become a really good thread.

    Blackspot: I am actually putting together another thread called "Cut and Paste Critiques" which I think is exactly what you were talking about... what the heck. I will upload it now and we can work on it together.

    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=145606

    Jason: Some good stuff there. I will add when I get some time.

    Thanks again all.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  17. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Kadath
    Posts
    746
    Thanks
    96
    Thanked 139 Times in 130 Posts
    One of the things that I believe that has given DA a bit of a bad reputation, aside from the whole Myspace problem, is that people often have a hard time getting any kind of feed back which was why I created my small critique club there so that they could learn how to give and receive a critique.

    For the receiver and the giver of a critique I think that communication is paramount and if there is little or bad communication then this really messes things up.

    If an artist posts a piece of art whether it is a WIP or not needs to tell those that will offer critiques what kind of feedback he needs. For instance, maybe the artist needs help with the composition balance, its focus or maybe some just technical help.

    Like others have said before about direction it would be a good idea for the artist to state where he or she was trying to go if it is not obvious with what they have already done. Sometimes though it is not always apparent.

    Whenever I have received a good constructive critique or when I gave one my self the critique was often explaining instead of telling. I have found often in my life that most people are more willing to accept being taught or corrected when they are told the “why.” By explaining why something was wrong or even correct it makes swallowing the pill a little easier.

    I also found that by stating what you find is strong in what the artist has done in the art piece in question is generally a good idea as well. First off, this once again makes the pill easier to swallow and because of this, the receiver is more than likely to accept any negative aspects that the critic may point out.

    The receiver needs to be a good listener and to push past anything that may seem crass or facetious because, you, as the received asked for the feedback, the evaluation, for the critique. So as a receiver the artist needs to go in trying to understand and not react. From what I have observed, most artists when they are starting out are often very defensive but after a while this dies out. I often get defensive so I tend to bite my lip and take it with a grain a salt.

    I find that one of the ways to avoid getting defensive is not to be quick to react, walk away and then come back and look at it more objectively once you have calmed down. If you don’t think the critique is correct you don’t have to take it however it might be a good idea to ask if the person could elaborate some more so that the receiver can then understand what the problem may be and then be more willing to accept the critique.

    Imagination is not a total internal power but rather it is a reflection and multi-faceted projection of our experiences and knowledge. We take in information from the world around us and intuitively re-order it into something new. Something is not created from nothing but simply transformed from what was before.
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

  18. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Ito Saith Webb For This Useful Post:


  19. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    North Bay Area
    Posts
    27
    Thanks
    16
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I like this thread already... Gonna be using this one OFTEN!
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. first post !critique critique!
    By Maudite in forum ART CRITIQUE CENTER
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 3 Weeks Ago, 12:48 PM
  2. Critique clarification (and just critique).
    By jessejesse in forum ART CRITIQUE CENTER
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: February 22nd, 2012, 06:14 AM
  3. SketchBook: mark sketchbook-critique--critique
    By markey2d in forum Sketchbooks
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: August 26th, 2009, 07:53 AM
  4. critique, critique, my kingdom for some critiques
    By whitepython in forum ART CRITIQUE CENTER
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: November 24th, 2008, 02:23 PM
  5. Replies: 1
    Last Post: August 6th, 2008, 08:31 AM

Members who have read this thread: 19

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • 424,149 Artists
  • 3,599,276 Artist Posts
  • 32,941 Sketchbooks
  • 54 New Art Jobs
Art Workshop Discount Inside

Developed Actively by vBSocial.com
SpringOfSea's Sketchbook