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Submitted on
July 2, 2012


38 (who?)


It's a great thing that you want to critique other deviant's works and help them improve their skills through your constructive feedback. By critiquing fellow deviant's works, you are developing your critical thought and vision and thus, developing yourself as an artist. However, critiquing is not all about pointing out what others did wrong.  As ChewedKandi has pointed out in 'How To: Critiquing Artwork' "a critique is giving your opinion in a constructive manner about a subject - be it a piece a music, a piece of art, the meal you've just ate and so on."

That's the main point of this article: to share a few pointers on how to give a quality critique while providing links to a compilation of useful guides that focus on this very same topic.

Introduction: Let's start! :eager:

First things first! You've come across a piece of art that caught your attention and you felt the need to type a critique. That's awesome but you must find out if the artist is, in fact, looking for a critique. You can usually find out if the artist wants a critique or not by reading their artist's comments or, if the artist is a Premium Member, if he has enabled deviantART's critique system.

The Do's :thumbsup:

As TwiggyTeeluck has stated ('Article: How to Write A Proper Critique') "a critique should provide useful feedback on the piece that’s being critiqued. It should include what the artist has done right, what the artist has done wrong, and most importantly, how to improve." She has even created a simple diagram:

:bulletred: Useful information:
-What the artist has done right
-What the artist has done wrong
        How to improve

Look at the deviation. :stare:

Take a good look at the deviation you plan to critique. You may ask yourself some questions to help you create a mental layout of your critique and what you are going to point out. ChewedKandi suggests the following questions:

:bulletpink: What are my favourite areas of this piece?

:bulletpink: Why do I like this area of the piece? Is it the colour? Is it the way it's been rendered? Is it the angle? The lighting? The overall composition?

:bulletpink: What area(s) do I think could be better and would improve the overall quality of the composition?

:bulletpink: Why do I think this? Is it the colour? Is it the way it's been rendered? Is it the angle? The lighting? The overall composition?

:bulletpink: Does this artist do this all the time in their work? If so, maybe I should point this out if I think it could need improving upon.

:bulletpink: If I was to do this specific element/area, how would I improve upon it? Would this be a relevant technique that the artist would benefit from? (No point giving a digital painting technique to a traditional artist!)

By being able to answer these sorts of questions you can build upon a critique in a constructive manner.

deviantART's Critique System :star:

deviantART :dalogo: has its own Critique System that help us out when critiquing fellow artist's artwork by providing us with 5 distinct categories.  TehAngelsCry in  'How To Give A Fair Critique' explained all the 5 critiquing categories:

Vision - Vision marks how well the artist was able to design and display their concept or idea effectively.

When viewing the art, ask yourself questions such as: Can I see what the artist was trying to achieve? Is there a moral to this piece?

Originality - Originality is a measure of how creative the artist was in both the conceptualization and the creation of their art.

In my own critiques this section is generally the shortest, but that does no’t necessarily mean it has to be for you! When viewing the art, ask yourself questions such as: Have I seen a similar piece of art elsewhere already?

Technique - Technique is the way in which the artist has depicted the subject matter in regards to style and form.

This is usually the longest section of my critiques, and when viewing it I ask myself questions such as: Is the light source consistent? Is there something which I think looks odd, and how would I do it instead? Are their any anatomy errors?

Impact - Impact is the final impression the artist has left on the viewer, as a summary of the piece.

I usually use this section as a kind of conclusion to my overall critique. When viewing the art, ask yourself: Does this piece leave an impression on me? Will I remember it for a while?"

While this system is only available for Premium Member's deviations, every member can critique fellow artist's artwork through the commenting section. :peace:

Critique Guides' Compilation :la:

General Commenting Guides :heart:

Thank you for reading this article and I hope it was of any help to you. :dalove:
Pedro (zungzwang)

Add a Comment:
DianaGrigore Jul 4, 2012  Professional Photographer
Thank you for posting this!:D
I wrote a tutorial on how to critique a photo, maybe you would like to include that as well :)
Here it is: [link]
zungzwang Jul 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for sharing that tutorial! It's been added to the list. :heart:
DianaGrigore Jul 4, 2012  Professional Photographer
SingingFlames Jul 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
This is very helpful, and explained some things I wasn't clear on. Thanks for sharing this! :D
zungzwang Jul 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for reading! :thumbsup:
Fantasyanimal Jul 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This was really interesting and fun to read, I have learned a lot of new things! ~ ^-^ This is a marvelous project, keep it up! ~
zungzwang Jul 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I'm glad you found it useful and entertaining. :hug:
SilverClawStudio Jul 2, 2012   General Artist
Thanks I found this very useful :)
zungzwang Jul 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much! :aww:
SilverClawStudio Jul 4, 2012   General Artist
You're welcome :D
Add a Comment: