My Observations for how to provide helpful critique

I have noticed that getting helpful critique from the Critique Center can be very frustrating. A lot of posts that could really benefit from some good critique get no comments- I'm sure aggravating the artist who took time out to post. Here are some things I try to do when visiting this part of the forum:

  • I don't look at the thumbnails as much as I check the replies on a post. I think a lot of pieces get left behind because they don't have a flashy thumbnail, which is a shame, because this thread is about helping people so their picture can be shown off in the Finally Finished - with a flashy thumbnail.
  • "Critique" consisting of "awesome" or "nice job" doesn't really help people. Be thoughtful in your critique. If you don't have enough time to provide a helpful insightful critique, then don't. "Something isn't quite right, but I don't know what" also can be frustrating to hear to the artist.
  • Listen to what the artists says in their post. If they mention what they are "going for" in a picture, be supportive and help them get to that point. If you have a suggestion, feel free to suggest it, but realise it may not be heeded, especially if the suggestion is based solely on what YOU want to see in the picture, as opposed to what the artist is trying to convey.
  • Stick to commenting about what you know. Some things in a piece are obvious and can be commented on with very little knowledge of the particulars, but other things can't be critiqued without a good foundation of certain artistic principles. If you yourself are not very good at anatomy, suggesting tips for others may not prove to be very useful for the artist you're trying to help.
  • Comment on the actual artwork the artist posts. A suggestion to "learn anatomy" will only frustrate artists TRYING to learn anatomy. Spend the time to point out exactly where the artist went wrong. Redline a piece, demonstrating how they could improve. Just commenting with "pick up a book", or "you should try life drawing" are valid suggestions for getting better but generally do not help the artist with the piece they are currently struggling with.
  • We're all here to help each other, but commenting on a finished piece and an unfinished piece take two different mindsets. Unfinished pieces need more insight into what the artist is trying to do, as opposed to a finished piece where you critique on what the artist already has done. This take forethought and understanding. If the artist isn't clear about their intentions for the piece- ask! That will help you a lot in your critique.
This isn't to deter people from critiquing. I'm not trying to say you have to be a master artist in order to point out the flaws in a piece of art. But from reading some of the critiques on the board, I noticed a trend that perhaps people really don't know HOW to properly critique. It's different from critiquing yourself. You have to look at the picture in the way the artist themselves look at it, trying to understand what they are trying to do with their art. Just interjecting what you would do to completely change the piece 180, just for the sake of change, doesn't help.

I'm hoping to help in some shape, way or form :) If anyone agrees or disagrees, or has more tips to add, feel free. These are just my opinions/ thoughts on the matter.

Thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment