Author Topic: The Critique Thread  (Read 10810 times)

Offline Super Potatoe Man

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 825
    • View Profile
The Critique Thread
« on: February 04, 2008, 05:52:12 PM »
Alright, so I've heard some allegations that people in this art thread are pompus, or can't take critiques blah blah blah. But honestly people's art threads are almost like little personal museums, or art shops...Do we really want to post art only to have a few posts later for everyone to tell us every little error or inconvenience so everyone goes back and stares at that stigma forgetting what we've accomplished as a whole?
 
Still for those people who don't have the luxury or the confidence to seek elsewhere for whole hearted critiques, I present to you a critique thread.
 
"Critique. It’s one of those words that society has taken into one of the most negative connotations, and yet, it’s not meant to be a negative at all. In the art world, the idea of a critique is to examine the formal elements of a particular piece of art. It has absolutely nothing to do with passing judgment or assessing its validity, it is just a way to look beyond the obvious. It is an invaluable process within the artistic community and the responsibility to handle it properly should not be taken lightly." -
http://goblinqueeen.deviantart.com/art/Tips-to-Critque-on-DA-16050999
 
Tips by Goblin Queen
 
1) A critique is not just about what is ‘wrong’ with a piece. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding that I have seen perpetrated all too often. Simply pointing out each and every thing you consider to be a flaw in a piece of art is not a good critique. A good critique is balanced and addresses many if not all of the formal elements, expressing both good and bad, what you feel works, and what doesn’t. This may seem to be an overly ‘pc’ approach to some, but if you focus on the negative, the person you are trying to help is likely to tune you out without taking in your meaning which accomplishes nothing for either of you. Remember, this is something the person has likely poured hours of work into and understandably, they may be rather attached to it and if all you have to say is negative and they see some good, they may discredit your perfectly valid points. A balanced evaluation is the best and most proper approach. Try to address the elements you think were carried out well in addition to the one’s you felt maybe could use some work.
 
2) Remember to leave your personal tastes behind. If you are going to evaluate a piece of art, you have to be able to approach it from a totally neutral perspective. If you don’t care for a particular genre or style, to give a good critique, that needs to be left out of it. That is not to say you are not entitled to that opinion, but I’m sure the artist is well aware that there are those that will not care for the style/genre of their work and there is no need to say so again. As mentioned before, you want the person to be receptive to what you have to say and if you start out with an obvious prejudice, they will likely discredit anything else you may have written. Again, this is of no help to anyone and defeats the purpose of the critique.
 
3) Be constructive with your criticisms. Unfortunately, this is a very ambiguous area. How do you say something bad in a good way? Well, to start out with, saying something is ‘ugly,’ ‘annoying,’ and/or ‘bad’ is not constructive. It gives the artist nothing to help them improve. Again, your ultimate goal is to help the person you are lending your time to and if all you do is slander their hard work, they are unlikely to listen. If per say you find something lacking in a piece, it is far better to try to focus on why you find it lacking and express it that way. Saying a color feels a bit too bright is far more helpful than saying it is ugly or wrong. By focusing on the source of your gut instinct, you are both helping the artist because it is much harder if not impossible for them to try to guess why you had a certain reaction.
 
4) Similarly, do try to be honest. It’s all well and good to be polite, but also not to the point where you are being untruthful. Don’t hold back your opinion, just try to keep in mind how you would like it expressed to you if it was your own artwork being commented on.
 
5) Also important specifically here on devART is the level of critique the person has indicated they desire. Obviously, if they say ‘do not critique,’ they do not want it critiqued for many possible reasons. If they ask for an ‘advanced critique,’ then fire away, but still keep in mind that you want to be respectful in doing so. More ambiguous is the ‘critique welcome’ option. Keep in mind, this is the only middle ground deviantART has set up. While the person is not asking you to refrain from a more in-depth look at the work, they are also not specifically requesting it, so try to keep that in mind.
 
6) Use maturity and tact in your comments. Of course, this may fluctuate depending on the age of the artist that produced the work, but if you are evaluating a serious nude, then it is not generally good form to make jokes about body parts, etc. Understandably, one of the most natural responses in people when they are nervous or uncomfortable about something is to make a joke, but think first about whether it is appropriate or not. If not, it might be better to say nothing.
 
7) Saying nothing is perfectly alright. If you really just don’t like a genre like anime, or abstract expressionism, or portraiture and do not think you can comment without those prejudices influencing you, it is perfectly alright to say nothing at all about the piece. To have an opinion does not mean it has to be expressed at every opportunity. As mentioned before, the artist already knows that there are those that do not share their same interests. Simply telling them again with no consideration for the formal elements of the work does not help them at all and isn’t the end goal to help the artist?
 
8) Be prepared that the artist may not agree with you. That does not mean that they do not respect your opinion, but just as you do not necessarily agree with the choices they made, they might not agree with yours. In the end, art is very subjective and each person will have their own taste. You can offer a suggestion, but don’t take it personally if the artist decides against it. It is not that they are unwilling to hear criticism, they just don’t happen to agree with that particular suggestion. Remember, all you are offering is an opinion. It may be an opinion shared by many, but in the end, it is only an opinion and the artist is the one with the end say.
 
9) Do not try to pass judgment on the ‘validity’ of someone’s chosen means of expression. There many different forms of art out there, some I like and some I don’t, but if it is of no harm to others, then I have no right to say what is and isn’t ‘art.’ Someone else might choose a different means of expression than I would, but that does not make those feelings they are expressing any less valid.
 
10) Try to look at the age and level of the artist. On devART, there are many different ages and skill levels. The scale ranges from professionals to amateurs to hobbyists. You may want to be a bit less harsh with a 12 year old or someone that is just doing art for fun than with an aspiring professional that is trying to hone their skills to break into the field.
 
11) Be willing to put your money where your mouth is. It is not a necessity, but a very nice addition if you can see that the person offering suggestions understands what they are talking about and can demonstrate it in their own work. As I said, this is not a necessity, but I’ve always found I’m far more receptive to taking suggestions from professors and other artists whose work I respect. It shows that they understand what they are saying on both a theoretical and practical level.
 
12) Do not, I repeat do not use the critique/comment area for promoting your own work. That is extremely bad form. That’s like coming into someone else’s gallery show with fliers for your own or coming to someone’s wedding and trying to upstage the bride, it’s just not done. Mentioning that you have dealt with a similar theme/character and even comparing and contrasting the two is generally accepted, but to use the space to link up your own work is very disrespectful. Obviously, if the artist is interested (and I would hope they are as I’m always interested in seeing how different artists have approached the same subject), they can come over and find it in your gallery, but it is impolite to impose.
 
13) If you are going to ask a question, be respectful of the artist’s time and read the description first. Nine times out of ten, the question has already been answered there. After all, they were nice enough to take the time to provide all of the information you might need to properly understand a particular piece, if you ignore it, then you are showing disrespect for that original time spent and the time they now must spend answering it again.
 
Now, in the end, these are only suggestion to help both you and the person who you are critiquing. Just like with a critique, you might agree with some or none of these and ultimately, how you approach it is up to you. These are just my own observations and things I have found help me from both ends in terms of understanding where someone else is coming from in offering a critique and helping them understand where I’m coming from when I am offering one. Maybe these tips will prove useful for you and maybe they won’t, but it’s something to think about in anycase.
 
Assumptions bad critics make
There is one universal and objective measure of how good and bad anything is.
 
That the critic is in sole possession of the skill for making these measurements.
 
Anyone that doesn’t possess this skill (including the creator of the work) is an idiot and should be ridiculed.
 
That valid criticisms can and should always be resolved.
 
More here.
http://www.scottberkun.com/essays/35-how-to-give-and-receive-criticism/
 
Critique Checklist
Positive-
  • Focus/impact area - An effective focus/impact area makes the difference between a picture and a work of art. The impact area gives the viewer direction and establishes a sense of priority for all the other elements. A focus/impact area means that the artist has been able to capture what in real life is selective seeing - we can only focus on one thing at a time, the rest is seen through peripheral vision. Does the work have such an area?
  • Mood/feeling - Does the work convey a mood? Decide if it is merely rendering of parts or if there is a sense of interpretation and feeling.
  • Creativity - What has been done better, or differently, from the ordinary? Was creativity used in the selection of subject and/or use of materials?
  • Composition - design - Are there interesting shapes - both positive and negative? Is there a variety of shape sizes? Are the picture elements arranged in a dominant design scheme - for example with rectangular or diagonal emphasis? Is the design based on one or several geometric forms and, if several, do they work together? Does the design work with, or against, the subject? Does it attract attention to itself (i.e. the arrangement takes over the subject)? Is the composition balanced?
  • Composition - counterpoint - Evaluate the complexity of the subject and the selection of shapes used. Look for a dominant element, subelements and repetition of elements. Is there variety/counterpoint? In general, the more complex the better - without going over the top. Remember the rule: ”Diversity within unity”.
  • Value - How has tonal value been used to convey mood, depth, dimension, and impact/focus? Look at the composition of general tonal areas.
  • Color - How has color been used to convey mood, harmony, and depth? Does the color scheme fit the subject? Has color been used to establish a focus/impact area? Check for the use of color fundamentals like complementary or analogous color.
  • Other fundamentals - Evaluate the use of other fundamentals (besides color and value) such as perspective, edges, and style. How does perspective help to convey depth? Is perspective used creatively? Are hard edges used to pull elements forward and soft edges used to integrate elements in the scene? How is style used to promote the intent/mood?
  • Unity - Unity is what holds all parts together. Has color, pattern or technique been used to establish unity?
  • Craftsmanship - This is where the technical skills such as drawing and the handling of materials are assessed.
  • Readability/flow - Can the viewer's eye move easily into the work? How has the artist used shape, line, value, color, perspective, etc to guide you to the focus/impact area, to/from sub-themes and away from exit areas?
Negative-
  • Technical inaccuracy - Does inaccurate drawing make elements work against the logic or intent of the composition? For example, shadows that fall in the wrong direction, a sloping horizon, errors in perspective for realistic art.
  • Lack of imagination - Poor selection of subject and approach. A dull subject rendered in a dull way.
  • Lack of originality - Presenting a trite subject that has been painted a thousand times before.
  • Content discrepancy – An element that is not in character with the logic or intent of the work. For example: the artist intends to make a realistic wildlife painting but shows the animal in the wrong environment.
  • Style discrepancy - Inconsistent styles within the same work, or the obvious influence of another artist’s style in parts.
  • Inconsistent quality - Landscape good, wildlife weak.
  • Easy way out – The artist has obviously positioned a subject to avoid difficult detail.
  • Plagiarism - The artist has copied another's work, or used someone else's photographs, and presented it as their own. (This also has legal implications.)
  • Lack of interpretation - The artist was controlled by the subject. For example, including the shadow of a photo flash, or rendering a subject's eyes with effect of photo flash; a pleine aire artist has included an ugly object which detracts from their landscape simply because it was there.
  • Poor presentation - How is the work presented? Is it free from the non-artistic use of coffee-stains, globs of paint, brush hairs stuck in dry paint, fingerprints, shoddy frame, poorly cut matte, sloppily painted edges of canvas, canvas shining through, poor/uneven varnishing, cracks, scratches, etc?
  • Empty - No mood, message or feeling conveyed.
From here-
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/509/168/
 
 
Now that you've got some reference, post some art you'd like some opinions on.
Also please, NAME YOUR PICTURE so instead of linking it AGAIN, you can just state the name of the art you are criticing
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 11:29:17 AM by Blueness »


Offline Super Potatoe Man

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 825
    • View Profile
Re: The Critique Thread.
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2008, 05:54:56 PM »
GOBLIN ARMY WAVE ( Labyrinth Art )

 
And I'll go first, go crazy kids. What do you like? what do you think could be improved? Have fun. Ooorr Feel free to ignore this in favor of posting your own art, or critique another art in the thread.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 06:00:12 PM by Super Potatoe Man »


Offline Stigma

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 368
    • View Profile
Re: The Critique Thread.
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2008, 06:04:03 PM »
The only thing i can say is:
Sticky please


Offline Super Potatoe Man

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 825
    • View Profile
Re: The Critique Thread.
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2008, 06:21:20 PM »
Oh one last thing, by no means does a critique assign value to art or the artist. So don't take anything personally its just looking at one piece at a time.


Offline Tigre

  • resident shark
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1883
    • View Profile
    • http://www.twitter.com/ologies
Re: The Critique Thread.
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2008, 07:16:30 PM »
Ooh yay. I like giving critique, but there are so many fragile egos and just plain stubborn people who don't like to take it that it's hard to know where it's wanted and where it's not.

+ The linework. I love the variations of thickness used.
- Could be exaggerated maybe a little more. Thick made thicker, thin made thinner, etc.

+ Simple shapes used. It LOOKS complex, but when you take a closer gander, a lot of the detail is fairly uncomplicated.

+ The chaotic feel of everything stacked and pushed on everything else.

- I would actually like to see more arrows or swords or something else that would indicate that they're an army...or at least a larger emphasis on what's already there...which, granted, may be kind of hard due to the chaotic action already there, but I think there might be some way to make the weaponry pop a little more. To be honest, I had to look for awhile before I saw any of it.

Offline Talin

  • Veteran Noob
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 152
    • View Profile
Re: The Critique Thread.
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2008, 08:39:16 PM »
I'm gonna copy Tigre's format. Send your lawyers after me if it's copyrighted!
 
+Love the monochromatic scheme.
-Seems a little flat. Maybe make far away objects lighter and foreground shadows darker?
 
+The uniqueness of each character. Requires multiple viewings to see them all. :D
 
+Have to agree with Tigre about the linework. It's just, scratchy yet clean and very captivating.
-Again agree with Tigre about exaggerating line quality, except I think thicks are alright, it's just thin could probably be thinner.
 
+It's like a wave that is JUST about to break. Amazing how you managed to capture the very peak of all that kinetic energy.
 
-Needz moar weaponriez.
 
Okay! My turn. Feel free to rip me to shreds. I'm gonna post 2 (cheat!). Pick whichever one you wanna critique. Just know that traditional mediums were used and my scanner likes making me cry.
 
Number 1:
Edit, didn't realize how wonky the lines came out when I tried reducing it from it's original size of 1k+ wide pixels. So instead of an awkward 33.33% reduction, it's now at 25% and hopefully cleaner.


Number 2:
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 04:58:01 PM by Talin »
iYmir
Lord Knight|Knight|Rogue|Sage|Monk|Blacksmith|Alchemist|
Crusader|Assassin|Priest|Plus more.
Character ADD much? I think so.

Offline Super Potatoe Man

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 825
    • View Profile
Re: The Critique Thread.
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2008, 02:55:19 PM »
Yeah somthing I really need to work on is my overal polish, I have good line quality, just not quality lines. If that makes any sense. But thanks for the comments so far.
 
Kuro,
+ nice use of space, and color it keeps me engaged and is an effective use of space,
which tells a nice story.
 
+good call on the detailed to non detailed, Using smaller shapes in the backround gives your chracters really nice pop.
 
-Your inking is all wobbily, instead of using a pen on rough paper, try to brush work your lines OR do your lines seperately on somthing flat, and photoshop the linework TO the color ( a lightbox REALLY helps in this )
 
-Play with levels, curves, and color adjustments in photoshop to repair what your scanner did. if need be, use the selection tool to change individual colors with those tools.


Offline Cubical

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2353
    • View Profile
Re: The Critique Thread.
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2008, 07:31:41 AM »
@ Kuro
 
Also what paper are you using? Hot or cold press? Some papers can hurt or help your work. So its good to be VERY picky about the paper you use. -- Ask Maximo about what papers to use, some papers are more sited for line work, others for painting.
 
Watch the anatomy on the first one [stain glass part], and get some referance. Here are some helpful links for you:
 
http://legacycreative.gettyimages.com/source/home/homeCreative.aspx
 
http://www.jupiterimages.com/searchResultsji.aspx
 
Buy a mirror too and use yourself to get the pose you want. Or a friend, then take a picture or draw on the spot.
 
Other than that i like the expressive feelings your bringing to these images.  And i like the geometeric shapes and patterns.  It reminds me of earily keltic geometric work.  The way you rendered the fabric reminds me of the ocean.  Definately play with fabric line work more!  I'd like to see what else you could do with that.
 
I also highly reccomend looking at stain glass windows for more influence on the stain glass you got. If you can, take a art history course on medieval art. ITS ALL ABOUT sculpture, churches and stain glass. Very very breath taking work you'll absolutely love it.
 
Look at Gothic Cathedrals, heres one from Sainte Chapelle, Paris. The thing is about this church is that the french monarch had this built for them. Check it out
 

 
If anyone else reading this post gets a chance to go to europe, VISIT THESE MEDIEVAL CHURCHES!! Alot of them are STUNNING and you'll love these to pieces.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 07:40:55 AM by Cubical »

Offline Talin

  • Veteran Noob
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 152
    • View Profile
Re: The Critique Thread.
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2008, 10:38:42 AM »
Thanks Maximo and Cubical for the crit! I need as many suggestions as I can get since NO ONE in my AP Studio class talks whenever it's critique time. =_=; (omg, I'm in an AP art class? Hard to believe, I know. xD)
 
Hm, for the first one that's vellum bristol. First time working with it, experimenting, and I kept making mistakes that I had to repair (super ugly mistakes that just could not have been worked into the piece). The second one I think is a cold pressed paper. Hot pressed is smooth and cold pressed is textured, isn't it? Also first time working with it. Art students at my high school don't get to see any of the nice supplies until they hit AP or they go out and buy it themselves, and I are poor. (Sounds like a bunch of excuses looking back on it.)
 
I'm deathly afraid of mirrors, they break whenever I look in one. Cameras, too.
 
I really regret not having taken the art history course offered at my school. If I get into an art college, I'll definitely take some art history classes (I think at the schools I'm applying to it's mandatory in the first year as part of foundation).
 
I LOVE stuff like that, Cubical! :slur: So mind boggling...
 
 
One more thing:
 
People, don't be afraid to put your stuff up for critique. It's for your improvement. Other people will be able to spot things that you couldn't yourself, and getting feedback on what to change and what to keep and what to work on is but a step in making your work truly awesome.
 
Coddling is not the way to go. Be a man (or woman) and face the music!
iYmir
Lord Knight|Knight|Rogue|Sage|Monk|Blacksmith|Alchemist|
Crusader|Assassin|Priest|Plus more.
Character ADD much? I think so.

Offline Cubical

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2353
    • View Profile
Re: The Critique Thread.
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2008, 12:10:40 PM »
If you do deicide to go into an art career, DO look at medieval art history. I took it last semister and those cathedrals are amazing! You will be fapping so hard in class over the beauty of these places. :(
 
Yes, Hot is flatter less tooth, and cold has more tooth to it. But it depends on the medium you use, so experiament alot with different types of paper.
 
I can post some of my work later.
 
@ Maximo
 
For the image you posted, you have alot of fun crazy stuffs going on in yours. But its hard to see all of it. Maybe if you push back the mid ground elements and backgrounds one a little more[as in the grey vaules]. Then i might be able to see all of the crazyness.

Offline synkao

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Re: The Critique Thread.
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2008, 08:09:39 PM »
keeping on the stained glass topic (sort of ;w; fffff)
i will be back in germany next semester, if anyone wants some close-ups of some stained glass, architecture, etc, of the churches, or just in general, PM me sometime. i'll definitely keep it on my to-do list

Offline Cubical

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2353
    • View Profile
Re: The Critique Thread.
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2008, 06:20:03 AM »
Please take alot of pictures!  Get a tripod too so they wont be blurry and post them here!  Some of those older churches are so awesome.  Outside and inside.

Offline Yuck

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 128
    • View Profile
Re: The Critique Thread.
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2008, 10:33:11 AM »
This thread needs more love. :(

Offline Tigre

  • resident shark
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1883
    • View Profile
    • http://www.twitter.com/ologies
Re: The Critique Thread.
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2008, 06:36:50 PM »
I'd post individual stuff, but like...my entire thread wants/needs critique :q

Offline Samias

  • Inaction Hero
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1276
    • View Profile
    • http://xyrafhoan.deviantart.com
Re: The Critique Thread.
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2008, 08:43:46 PM »
I've attached a picture that I need critique on, but there are some things I already know that are wrong.
 
-Lineart is very wobbly
-Bad lineweight
-Hair got a blob
-Shadow is messy at hairline due to ink messing with my markers
-Sword has a lopsided blade (lolbadinking again)
 
What I DO need critique on is in the costuming.
http://xyrafhoan.deviantart.com
RPHaven.net, a forum roleplaying site
=iRO Sakray/Iris/Ymir=
Samias Dragonlord
Xyra Fhoan
Tatayu

=WoW Suramar=
Ishkagri
And a bunch of failures