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  1. #16
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    I met different opinions about praising in CC. I usually don't praise (not because I don't see good points), unless I really like the work in question (or I feel it makes my crits more clear, for example, the idea/setting/design is cool but everything else isn't), I saw most people do the same. It may be harsh for a beginner but CC works this way, one bring stuff here to make it better and for this, one need to know what's not right and as soon as possible. Sketchbooks are nicer places but their purpose is totally different and the comments often aren't thorough or "useful" just pats on the head. Most little artists need such things as well


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  3. #17
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    I like positive reinforcement. Not ass pats mind you, just like... letting me know that something I did IS working. It helps me to not second guess, especially with new territory
    "Twisted by the dark side, young Artist has become. The boy you trained, gone he is... consumed by Deviantart."
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  4. #18
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    I agree with that Pezzle. Positive notes are always nice and they give me encouragement on days where I am frustrated. I find that I get them in my sketchbook. It's the place where people get to see improvement and the hard work that I put into getting better.

    I think it's just the nature of this particularly area of the forum that causes criticism to be mostly negative. People often start their threads saying "I need help" or "what can I improve" and where people need to improve is on the areas that do not work.
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  5. #19
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    Positive notes are nice, but personally I'd rather people have natural reactions. If something sucks, it sucks, if something stands out as impressive, it should be noted too - the two reactions aren't mutually exclusive. Sometimes people draw things that have spectacular composition ideas but shoddy anatomy, or vice versa, or any other combination of bad traits and good traits. It's definitely nice to hear what you're good at, but at the same time, it's probably more helpful to hear what needs improving.

    Good critique is a skill separate from drawing skill, although it's awesome when people have both. Still, you don't have to be a chef to know when you're served badly cooked food.

  6. #20
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    I personally tend to dislike praises even in my SB... I mean the ones I totally don't feel I deserve. If I see something is wrong on so many levels, no one should say they are nice But I understand it's very hard to have more critical eyes than me, regarding my own stuff... There are so nice diversity even in personality and attitude of people, isn't this great

    Critic and drawing skills... They have some connection. If our knowledge is better, we spot more flaws and maybe we know what exactly the problem is and offer some advice how to solve/fix it
    I guess being better at drawing must make us better at giving crits and vice versa, but the correlation isn't that very strong, even a beginner can be very helpful. I have a flaw-spotting eye (or two), I'm not always sure if it's a curse or a blessing... But I met some people who seemed to be completely blind for their own flaws. It's scary... I can't imagine that. It must disappear if someone keep drawing and studying, right..?
    Of course, being a good critic requires different other skills.

  7. #21
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    I feel that people underestimate the importance of positive encouragement, even in critique. dA is ridiculed for this in particular which is understandable, because on dA the praise heavily outweighs the useful critiques. That doesn't take away the fact that if it weren't for dA, I wouldn't be here, because nobody in real life would support me in what I was doing and found that I should look for a "real" job. If it weren't for the praise, the support and the encouragement, I may well have given up.

    I know this really only applies to young artists, as a more advanced and/or professional artist will not need the praise as much to know that they're headed in a right direction, since they've learned so from experience. But for a young or starting artist, it is never a bad thing to "sandwich" critique with positivity, or the other way around. It not necessarily needed, but it's not useless or "bad" either.

  8. #22
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    Great discussion guys. I tend to agree with all of you in one way or another. To me the effort that goes into a critique/response is the actual validation (praise) that there is somehting worth commenting on...or there is some advice the OP hasn't heard and would be advised to follow.

    I actually try to mention strengths in work and offer some positive alonbg with the critique. But just as it is human nature to point out the bad, it is also human nature to skip over the positive comment. People frequently react defensively to my observations but never seem to notice I also said, "decent concept" or whatever.

    That said however, the majority of work posted here lacks any understanding at all and with such limited experience and awareness the OP will just not understand any thorough critique.

    But yeah, I like positive strokes as well...but I give more weight to both critique and positive reinforcement from those with more experience...though any praise is nice of course. I'll try to offer more "what is working" comments in future critique.

    Thanks for starting off this round of discussion miss mango!
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  10. #23
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    Haha, no problem Jeff. I really wasn't expecting it to get so much discussion. But it's good.
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    "This is a paint and pixel-splattered furnace that forges the swords of artistic mastery. This is a place where swarthy and belligerent dwarves drink turpentine mead, berate their apprentices and slap the trade into their skulls. It's where the anvils are made of graphite, the hammers are as true as rectangular marquee selections and the fires burn with the light of a thousand lensflares." --Jason Rainville

  11. #24
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    Since there's been a bit of a flurry lately, and a discussion on taking criticism in Art Discussion...just wanted to add a couple things.

    1 - Feel free to continue commenting here...(thanks to whichever mod made it a sticky btw!) just because it became a sticky doesn't mean it is carved in stone. There have been a lot of views since then but no comments.

    2 - I feel that the best critique is an honest critique. Why would you ever want a critique that was not direct and to the point and addressed the main issues in either a single piece, your approach or what you need to work on to improve? I just don't see the value in beating around the bush or not facing the main issues and challenges.

    OK! Carry on!
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  12. #25
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    As someone who just stumbled onto this site after posting on one of the other digital art sites, I must say that I appreciate the mature atmosphere in this WIP forum. There seems to be a healthy culture which pushes people to be their best, without any quarter shown to the self-absorption and arrogance so prevalent among many artists.

    If you will forgive me for waxing philosophical a bit, it seems to me that the best art flowers when there is a conviction that there is indeed objective reality (however much our own perspectives may shape our access to it) - that we can say real things about the real world, and that there really is such a thing as beauty and integrity that rises above mere sentiment and subjectivity. The artistic vision must submit to truth and beauty - and any pig-headed resistance to this is unmasked as a type of narcissism. Art is indeed an expression of one's self - but it is every bit as much a humble journey of the soul stepping beyond one's self into the real - the true, the good, and the beautiful - and letting openness to that reality change who we are and what we express. In a word, the best art is an act of love - a love that is dedicated to what the subject truly is, and not just the initial impression of it.

    As I said, forgive my wading into philosophy. As far as the question of whether to hold back in critique, and whether you should always say something nice - I guess my take is that there's a difference in how something is said and what is said. I'm reminded of my wife's southern Appalachian grandmother, who feels absolute impunity to say anything she thinks at all - as long as it is preceded by a "bless her heart". "Now Mary sure tries, bless her heart, but she really can't sing worth a nickle." "Grandma! How can you say that?" "Well darlin', I said 'bless her heart', didn't I?" My thought is that criticism is very very welcome - it is actually a real gift - but there's nothing wrong with being gentlemanly and polite about it.

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  14. #26
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    Edit: sorry about the double post there. Not sure how I managed that.
    Last edited by thegiffman; June 13th, 2011 at 12:18 PM. Reason: double post

  15. #27
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    As one of those "young artists" who was unable to take critiques last time I posted my art, I agree with pretty much everything that's been said so far. The shift from a more casual art forum to CA was a hard one--one that I just couldn't cope with at 16.

    Now that I've had some experience in the "real world" I realize just how immature I was back then. I've gone through two jobs, one seasonal, one I had to quit due to severe injury just recently. I hated them both. They were boring and dead-end: neither would pay for even the cheapest of colleges.

    If it means doing something I love for a living, I'll gladly accept even the harshest of critiques. I might be discouraged at first because my brain is still in adolescence and even though I see exactly what the critic means, the "motivation" part of my brain doesn't process it right.

    To all those who critiqued me in the past, thank you very much. I'm sorry I didn't take your critiques to heart at the time. Shinin, I remember you, in particular, as being one of the most helpful. Extra thanks to you. And extra apologies for letting you down.

    This thread is good. I'm gonna put the 10 tips into a picture and set it as my desktop background.

  16. #28
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    This is a pretty good set of guidelines. I do have to disagree here on one point here:
    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    2) Consider or verify the source of the critique...particularly if you do not agree with it or it seems confusing. If their work is pretty decent then pay attention, if not then disregard if you don't agree.
    People of all levels can and many do, have sound judgment, keen perception and knowledge and understanding that goes beyond their actual artistic ability, or what they are putting down on paper, or canvas. An outsider . or non-artist can sometimes offer a great critique, in a simple straightforward way (i.e., the hands look too big, the nose doesn't line up with the rest of the face, etc.)
    On the other side of that coin, I have seen critiques by exceptionally skilled individuals who give absolutely horrible critiques.
    Critiquing is a skill. To do it well, it takes practice. I've also found that I learn almost as much from critiquing as from sketching. You critique from personal experience. That means somewhere down the line you probably ran into the very obstacle the subject of your critique has, and solved it.
    As long as the critique is designed to help the individual, I would encourage people of all levels to do it...and that means even if that person is much more skilled than you are. Remember you as the person offering the critique are trying to help someone, not stroke your ego, or show off your superior knowledge.
    I don't mean to nit-pick, it's just an observation, and a difference of opinion.
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  18. #29
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    I agree with your observation zombifried. That is a bit of a quick bullet point item and deserves more explanation. That point mainly concerns technique critique rather than general observation or feedback, which can be valuable from any source. My wife is one of my main sounding boards and not an artist at all. When it comes to technical critique and advice though, I stand by the point, and of course I had a bit of a disclaimer built in that you can disregard the information if you don't agree...and their work is not at a very high level.

    Really I was trying to get at two things there. At some point it becomes necessary for the one seeking/receiving critique to be able to gauge the validity of the critique or advice offered (or at least they should analyze and judge the validity of the critique). The best way to do that is gauge it against the experience and results of the one offering the critique.

    The other aspect is a bit more subtle. That is gauging the validity of the critique especially when you don't quite grasp it. If you have someone at a really high level telling you something...even if you don't agree you better figure out why and how. A lot of times you hear things that just don't quite make sense...yet, but by trying to understand them we grow. We still may disagree with someone's observation, but at least we understand why.

    Anyway, thanks for the comment! Hope that explained the point more thoroughly.

    Lastly, and I guess it should have been in the OP...a critique is just one observation. It isn't the end, or a final statement, or a major judgment...just an observation. One should be creating enough work so that a critique on one piece doesn't shatter our ego or derail our progress. Critique should be looked at as providing a bit of direction on the journey.
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  20. #30
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    Well said.

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