Page name: How to Critique [Logged in view] [RSS]
2008-11-13 23:22:57
Last author: NOOOPE
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How to Critique!

With your happy helper critique guide, [NOOOPE]

Hey guys! I'm a mod over at Art Creation Help, and I'm making this wiki to help you guys give polite and helpful art critiques. If you feel there's any point I haven't made, feel free to comment, and I'll stick it in.

Pointer number 1: What is a critique?

A critique is a discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of an artwork, meant to help the artist improve. It's not your job to say if it's good, or if it sucks, it's your job to give advice so it can become better.

Pointer number 2: Be nice.

There will be varying degrees of talent posting on Art Creation Help. Even if you think someone's really unskilled, everyone has the potential to improve. We don't want to scare people away from art by telling them to give up. Some people develop at a slower pace then others, and everyone should be encouraged to keep trying. If someone's art is lacking in skill, do you best to be extra kind and help as much as you can. Also, try to give a good mix of positive and negative points. If you ramble on about all the things an artist did wrong and congratulate them for nothing, you'll really wear that artist down.

Pointer number 3: There's a lotta art out there!

There are so many styles of art! Whether it's abstract, realistic, anime or western it's still art. If you don't like the style a piece is in, that doesn't mean its bad! Realize that the artist is trying for a certain style, and critique according to their goal.

Pointer number 4: Being vague doesn't help!

Saying you like something or don't like something about a piece is practically useless. You have to explain why you like or dislike something. If you can't figure out how to word what you are feeling, do your best and try anyway. Be detailed, and don't be afraid that someone will disagree with you.

Pointer number 5: If you're being honest, you're doing your job

Some people can't take criticism. They will post art, and expect nothing by compliments, and act offended when they are given advice. If an artist flips out at you for politely giving your honest opinion, you're not the one at fault, they are, and it's their loss that they wont listen to you. So as long as you say good things as well as negative things, are always polite and always honest, don't worry if someone gets angry at you.

Pointer number 6: Don't be a snob

Don't act like you know everything, that your opinion is the be all end all. Believe it or not, everyone doesn't have the same taste in art. If you're an artist, you may recall when you were younger, you'd make art that you and your friends thought was awesome, that you now know was horrible. Some people are still in that stage where they think really poorly done stuff is great. Likewise, there will be people are are very picky and only like professional grade really advanced stuff. People aren't likely to agree 100% on things, so be civil with each other, and accept that people find beauty in different things. 

Pointer number 7: Redlining

This is a useful tool to help show artists what you mean. Check it out!

Useful Art Vocabulary for Critiquing Art

COMPOSITION the placement of forms, shapes, colors, and light and dark areas in a work of art. Artists use composition to direct the viewer's eye to the most important elements of a work of art.

BALANCE equilibrium in a composition, either symmetrical or asymmetrical.

DEPTH the illusion of space in a picture plane.

DESIGN the organization of line, form, color, value, texture and space in an eye-pleasing arrangement.

FORESHORTENING the technique of distortion in perspective in order for the subject to appear 3-dimensional.

FORM a three-dimensional shape, such as the human form or an abstract form.

FIGURE the human or animal form used in creating art.

FOCAL POINT an area of an artwork that first attracts and usually sustains the viewer's attention.

HIGHLIGHT a light area that represents the reflection of light.

HORIZON LINE a level line where water or land seems to end and the sky begins. It is usually on the eye level of the observer. If the horizon cannot be seen, its placement may be imagined based on the placement of trees, grasses, mountains and the like.

NEGATIVE SPACE the area surrounding a shape, often seen as a void.

PERSPECTIVE a technique for creating the illusion of depth on a 2-D surface.

PROPORTION the relationship of one object to another in size, shape, number or degree.

TEXTURE the way something feels to the touch. Texture can be real, as in the smoothness of a bronze sculpture, or the bumpiness of thick oil paint on a canvas. Texture can also be implied or imagined, as in painted illusions of the softness of a kitten's fur, or the prickly quality of hay.

VALUE the measurement of light and darkness in a work of art.

VANISHING POINT term used in perspective; all lines lead to this point which may be on or off the canvas.

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