Dont forget to take this article with a grain of salt.
- Useful information
- What the artist has done right
- What the artist has done wrong
- How to improve
A critique should be useful.
A critique should provide useful feedback on the piece thats being critiqued. It should include what the artist has done right, what the artist has done wrong, and most importantly, how to improve.
Tell the artist what theyve done right.
Its important to let the artist know what theyre doing right not only because its useful knowing that, but because its encouraging. You never want to have your critique sound too harsh or discouraging.
For example, if the artist is a photographer and has taken a photo with good lighting, let them know that! When you let an artist know what theyve done right, youre letting them know what they shouldnt change the next time theyre creating something.
Tell the artist what they've done wrong and how to improve.
I personally think this is the most important part of a critique, but that might just be me. Whenever I put a photo up for critique, its because I want to know how I can improve on them. Please dont assume thats because I dont like compliments. ;D
Letting an artist know what theyve done wrong can sometimes be a bit tricky since you dont want to come across as a jerk.
Saying something like, This drawing sucks. is completely unacceptable. Instead, refer to specific technical details. If youre critiquing a photo, talk about things such as the contrast, tones, composition, and angle. But most importantly, dont forget to mention how these things can be improved! For example, if youre looking at a photo that was taken at an awkward angle, let the artist know and then suggest a different angle that the photo could have been taken at.
I find that there are certain things that shouldnt be said in a critique.
Dont ever just call a piece ugly.
Dont ever just tell the artist what theyve done wrong. Im not doubtful that there are works here on deviantART that are absolutely horrendous, but they cant be 100% horrible. Try to find at least one thing thats good about the work youre critiquing and mention it in the critique so that the artist doesnt go into a depression after reading your critique.
Dont be a prick.
I dont know how to stress this, but if you see a bad piece and want to critique it, dont be a prick about it. Im sure you didnt start off as perfect either, so dont forget to think about how the artist is feeling.
Don't make fun of the title.
The title of a piece of often very personal. A lot of the times, the reason behind it is complicated. I know I title my own deviations with titles that the general public wont understand, but I do it because it has a personal meaning to me. This might be a weird thing, but I feel that although the title of a piece is the name of the piece, its separated from the piece and has nothing to do with the actual artwork itself. I do pay attention to the titles of works Im critiquing, but its something that I myself wont comment on.
Don't critique certain things in the piece.
There are certain objects in the piece that shouldnt be critiqued. For example, if someone has created a digital art piece of a flower and you dont like the flower itself, dont hold it against them in a critique. The artist obviously chose that flower as their preference and commenting on it might come across as rude since you might be insulting their personal taste in things. You can, of course, mention politely that you would have preferred a different flower, but dont be disrespectful while doing so.
I had trouble writing this part and I wouldnt be surprised if many of you dont understand it. =/
The reason why I decided to include this was because when I took a photo of my corsage in a jar and posted it up on deviantART, I received a note from a deviant with a critique of the piece saying that I received 4 out of 5 stars because of the ugly jar. I honestly felt that it was rude and insulting to me since I picked out the jar since it was to my personal liking. Might a different jar have produced a different or better photo? Possibly. Could this deviant have said they would have preferred a different jar over the one I had picked rather than just calling it ugly? Of course. Be careful on commenting on certain objects in the piece, but if youre in doubt, just stick to critiquing the technical details.
Now that youve read this, head over to deviantART's critiquable deviations and critique something. =D