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How To: Constructive Crits by RipfangDragon How To: Constructive Crits by RipfangDragon


Over the years I have been a member here, I have encountered so many people who either give aggressive, negative comments or are afraid of constructive criticism because of the aggressive, negative comments. It really makes me sad to see so many people avoiding something so fundamental and important to artists because of fear. So I decided to make a tutorial concerning constructive criticism, what it is, and how to give it!

To see all of my "deviantART official" critiques, click here.

:iconcritiqual-mass: Please stop by #Critiqual-mass! It's a new and upcoming critique group geared towards learning how to give and receive critique, as well as helping you get and give critique!

:iconprojectcomment: Check out #ProjectComment. It is a wonderful group filled with kind, courtesy and constructive commenters who look to share and receive beneficial feedback.

Favorite this and spread the word. :)

:iconmachinesbleedtoo: Special thanks to *MachinesBleedToo for letting me use her art in this tutorial. The piece I chose to use is something that I critiqued on in the past, and *MachinesBleedToo has always been sort of a mentor to me. Just looking at her art is inspiring and educational, and she is very friendly, straight-forward, and has written some of the best critiques I have ever received on this website. Thank you for everything, *MachinesBleedToo. You are truly an inspiration. :tighthug:



Features:
=mantha1624's journal Random Acts of Recognition
#deviantARTtimes's September 16th News Article
^namenotrequired's artist's notes in his piece, Critiques Tutorial
#hq's The Resource Roundup #2
=The--Last--Hope's dA Related Tutorials 2011
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The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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:iconlazarcotoron:
LazarCotoron Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
This is a nice guide with good explanations for folks. It's clear and concise.

I do think you missed one really big thing, and that's to be mindful that everyone is going to react differently. I'm notorious for being blunt as I prefer to be direct, and obviously not everyone takes that well. But even worse, I had one, where the artist had specifically requested critique where I tried to be gentle and kind and just tell her that last piece that would've improved her picture... I swear I put her in tears. Now had I received such a soft critique from someone else, I'd have simply replied "Let's cut to the chase, you think this could be better, fine. Why, and maybe how." I understand that art is often about making decisions and judgments, and frequently when someone questions one of my decisions, I like to really get in their head and find out WHY. That puts folks off too.

I'm analytical and inquisitorial-I want to know the WHY because I'm wondering if the critic is questioning my technical skill (which certainly needs improvement) or if he's getting at the core of the idea. Technical issues, I can nod and agree, or say that it was a tricky choice. But the idea... if someone is critiquing you on the IDEA, and art is an expression of things that can't be expressed in mere words... that information isn't just useful to an artist. It borders, if not IS necessary.
Reply
:icondanlayton:
danlayton Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you for this! I used this as a guide to make my first critique here: [link].
I'm planning to write more critiques so after a few I might write one for this one =)
If you have time could you please check out my first critique and maybe 'critique my critique'? (say that fast!)
Regards.
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional General Artist
sorry for the late reply! Unfortunately, I don't have much time to critique things, but I did read it and I think it sounds good. :thumbsup::meow: You're considerate and honest and that's excellent! Keep up the good critiques!
Reply
:icondanlayton:
danlayton Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Oh no sorry to bother you ^^;
Thank you for the mini critique :heart:
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
Oh gosh no bother at all! :tighthug: It never, ever hurts to ask! I'm just sorry I had to decline. :heart:
Reply
:icondanlayton:
danlayton Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
No thank you for what you've done :thanks:
Reply
:iconimaginarionify:
Imaginarionify Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
This is seriously a wonderful tutorial on how to make constructive comments. I really loved the pointers given in this piece because I myself have a difficult time trying to give good comments on other people's artwork, but this is really wonderful to look over.
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Professional General Artist
I am so glad you like it so much. :la: It's important to remember, when critiquing and communicating with other artists, that networking is part of your career, and it's important to be helpful and polite! :D
Reply
:iconimaginarionify:
Imaginarionify Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I agree. ^_^
Reply
:iconkittyzero:
kittyzero Featured By Owner May 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You did a great job on this. Its really informative and hopefully people can come away from reading it with positive attitudes towards criticism and the ability to give constructive critiques. This is super helpful. :D
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner May 19, 2012  Professional General Artist
:tighthug: Thank you so much! I hope everyone who reads it gets something positive out of it. :la:
Reply
:icondenasetsuko:
DenaSetsuko Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012   General Artist
what happens if even constructive criticism upsets you? Then you're pretty much screwed, right? ^^;
Reply
:iconda-joint-stock:
da-joint-stock Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Student General Artist
Fantastic tutorial! :clap:
I love how you go into detail and give examples for what you're saying. I also like how everything appears to be in a logical order, so as a person is thinking about what you're writing and how it relates, you can anticipate their questions or confusion!

Nice job! :w00t:


Dan
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thanks so much! :glomp:
Reply
:iconda-joint-stock:
da-joint-stock Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012  Student General Artist
Very welcome :)
Reply
:iconangel-yamasaka:
angel-yamasaka Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2011  Student General Artist
it's a really nice howto ,it gives all the information and it gives examples! you did a wonderful job ! :)
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2011  Professional General Artist
:squee: Thank you so much!
Reply
:iconangel-yamasaka:
angel-yamasaka Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2011  Student General Artist
you're welcome ^^
Reply
:iconfailduck:
FailDuck Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Gotta agree with this. I posted something along the lines of " I really like this, the shading and shadowing is lovely, but the only thing I've got to say is that the leaves look a little off, like they aren't quite on the table." The next day I got back a letter telling me:

"You're not a true artist... People that see flaws in art aren't artists... I suggest you get your ego under control. I'm assuming this isn't the first time you've tried to point out 'flaws' in anothers work. That's something to be VERY ashamed of. It's a horrible thing to convince someone of.."

^ My GOD. So apparently, people who see flaws in art aren't artists, but artists that see flaws in artists... are still artists? Please explain this to me. I'll keep trying to help artists grow, but people like this are never seriously going to improve.
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Professional General Artist
I can't explain that to you because it doesn't make sense. Art school is all about learning how to identify flaws in your art aesthetically and fundamentally so that you can continue to better you work and grow as an artist. By ignoring your flaws, and the flaws of art around you, you are allowing yourself to stagnate. What kind of artist doesn't want to continue to grow and improve?

I'm sorry you got that reply. That's really crummy. :(
Reply
:iconfailduck:
FailDuck Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
KennethWatts apparently. If people don't like crit, why not just say on the pic? People these days...
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Professional General Artist
It's true. It's as simple as saying that you don't want critiques, and I have plenty of friends who occasionally don't want them for whatever reason. It's totally fine. But no one is a mind reader and we don't know if you want them or not if you don't say, you know? I wish more people did clarify.
Reply
:iconfailduck:
FailDuck Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Yeah, I don't like crit on my old stuff - The only reason its up there is to show improvement, and because that's what I was capable of. It's sometimes astounding to go through a members gallery and see their improvement. But yeah. </rant>
Reply
:iconbradleysays:
bradleysays Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011
Your tutorial has been featured in dA Related Tutorials of 2011.
Congratulations! :clap:
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you! :blushes:
Reply
:iconterrajaide:
Terrajaide Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011
I love it. :)
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011  Professional General Artist
:) Thank you
Reply
:iconterrajaide:
Terrajaide Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2011
Np. :meow:
Reply
:icontankiller:
TanKilleR Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011  Student Interface Designer
its sad people need a guide for this but i guess trolls are as old as society
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011  Professional General Artist
I didn't make it for trolls. I made it for those who misunderstand critiques due to sensitivity, criticism-abuse, or anything else. :)
Reply
:icontankiller:
TanKilleR Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2011  Student Interface Designer
I still consider anyone that can't at the least say why they dislike some art a troll. I know art is in the eye of the beholder but after a decade of listening to incoherent nonsense about "it looks like shit" not "it looks like shit BECAUSE.." I just call em trolls.. meh~
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2011  Professional General Artist
"It looks like shit" should never be a phrase used in constructive criticism. It is highly inappropriate.

However, sometimes people with less artistic experience are unable to articulate exactly what is wrong with a certain aspect of the piece, and can't tell you exactly why something looks weird or bad. So long as they are able to express that something looks off to them in a polite, respectful manner, there should be no issue. Constructive criticism is really the responsibility of both parties: the giver and the receiver. The giver can be as polite as humanly possible when pointing out flaws, but if the receiver doesn't accept the criticism is a graceful manner and immediately resists whatever is being said, regardless of the "why's", then there is no way for the feedback to be helpful.
Reply
:iconpeterrollar:
PeterRollar Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice tutorial.:clap:
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2011  Professional General Artist
:giggle: Thank you!
Reply
:iconcassie-drey:
Cassie-Drey Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I can't write an 'official' critique because I'm not a paid user. But wonderful tutorial~!

My best friend and I have been having . . . ah . . . issues and fights over critique, and it's torn into our relationship before. ""^^ I'm hoping this might help us, because it's been an issue for a while and . . . yeah.

She would critique me a lot and offer a lot of criticism, and I feel like that's all she would offer. I know she has good intentions and only wants the best for me, and I do try to listen to her suggestions and keep them in mind of future (and she has helped me volumes, my work has improved so much) and those are all really good~ But she also seems to have a lot of trouble with 'compliment sandwiches' and praising a work as much as she critiques it. She seems to have a hard time finding something good about a piece . . .

When I would try to critique her, she would take it personally because she really needs to improve on concept (having a developed concept and whatnot) in her art, and she takes it personally rather than looking at it objectively. Her anatomy and her techniques are really good, and I hate to see her wasting it on pieces that could be really good conceptually. Though, to be fair, one of the things she uploaded recently was just fierce, so I was glad to see improvement. ^^ But yeah . . . she can't seem to accept it and I dunno what to do. >.<

So yeah. Thank you for this! And any advice you have for this situation would be wonderful. ""XD
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
Unfortunately, I don't think I'm qualified to deal out advice concerning the personal relationships of people I don't know. I don't want to be responsible for the outcome. However, I do hope that this tutorial proves helpful! ^^
Reply
:iconcassie-drey:
Cassie-Drey Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Ahh, yeah. Well we talked about it a bit today and things seem to be working out. ^^
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
:tighthug: I am so happy to hear that! I hope things keep looking up! You two deserve it. :)
Reply
:iconcassie-drey:
Cassie-Drey Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks. ^^
Reply
:iconkayotics:
Kayotics Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Student General Artist
This is a really good overview of what a lot of artists/people need to know when giving critiques and receiving them. One thing that's a bit confusing is when you come up with your examples for what's a bad compliment and a good compliment and destructive critique and constructive critique. I'd suggest labeling each example with whatever it is. Like you could put "Compliment:" in front of "I really love this work, it's really pretty and I like the colors!"
It's just something that confused me while reading it and I'd recommend changing it.
Everything else looks good and I hope more people read this.
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
I am definitely going to label them, probably later tonight when I have some free time. :love: Thank you so very much for your feedback! It's is incredibly appreciated! :love:

P.S. I love your Karkle avatar. :giggle:
Reply
:iconkayotics:
Kayotics Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Student General Artist
yeah no problem.

also the avatar was made by :iconthe-gk:
Reply
:iconthought95:
thought95 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011
Very helpful and encouraging.
You make an interesting entry that captivates the readers interest. At the same time it gives incite of what you are going to write about and tells of your own positive experience of critiques. This introduces constructive criticism with a positive light from the very beginning which promotes your cause.

You explain what you mean by constructive criticism instead of taking it for granted that people know exactly what your talking about (which is important but often forgotten), as well as where and when they are used but in a way that is relevant to your audience.

You give typical and easy to recognize examples of different types of critiques and comments. You then explain your preferred method of giving critiques while stating clearly that there are many different ways of giving critiques and follow with an example of your technique.

You continue by relieving many of the worries that can come as a response to a critique that suggests ways of dealing with or avoiding such situations as well as giving possible motivations behind different actions. as well as suggestions of how to deal with undesirable critiques.

Finlay, I find that you follow your own advice, I myself have a some times hard not to be a hypocrite.

All of the above is what I find to be very good and i admire your work and effort as well as cause. As I read through your tutorial I had no negative criticism (meaning something you could have improved on) and do not have any now after having read your text.

So to summaries what Ive said: Your work i in my opinion is superbly well done and is much appreciated. :)

Ps. I'd love feedback on my critique. I think about a lot of things when i see, read things but I often keep it to myself. I am far from professional artist nor am I likely to ever be one, for my interest don't lie along that road, but this doesn't stop people from enjoying art and I am very interested in anatomy and have studied it in my free time.
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Professional General Artist
Awww thank you so much. That is such a kind and wonderful comment. :love:
Reply
:iconblue-gawbugi:
Blue-Gawbugi Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Student Filmographer
Very well written.
I wish there was a way I could show this to some people in my own art class.
Even in college, you'd expect a little professionalism when doing critiques. Yet some people don't understand how important it is to word or phrase things a certain way where its constructive and not deconstructive.

Nevertheless, very well written!
:D
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Professional General Artist
It's a big problem, especially among college freshman. Fortunately, my professors here have been very informative about proper critique! :)
Reply
:iconblue-gawbugi:
Blue-Gawbugi Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Student Filmographer
That's cool.
Its understandable for freshman.
Some freshman come in with little to no experience with critiques. (I was one of them). Often times I wouldn't say anything cause i felt like I didn't have the right to say anything.

But i had a really awesome drawing teacher that explained that no one should feel that way. Even a simple compliment and explaining why you like something in a piece helps! :D
Reply
:iconkintupsi:
Kintupsi Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very helpful guidelines for writing a successful and (hopefully) well-received critique! Nothing irritates me more than people who get all bent out of shape because someone who wasn't an artist told them that their pinpoint of an anime nose is proportionally way too long by human standards, except for the people that call random insults "critiquing;" e.g.: "Your colors suck and I hate your style."

Thanks for writing this. :clap: That is all.
Reply
:iconripfangdragon:
RipfangDragon Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Professional General Artist
:nod: Unfortunately, a lot of artists here on deviantART without real world experience in the field (whether it be working with clients on a regular basis, currently studying, graduate level, etc.) don't understand that someone who is not a practicing artist can still have a lot of knowledge about art.
Reply
:iconsamouswebmaster:
SamousWebmaster Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Student Filmographer
Wow, I haven't been on dA much recently so I didn't get notified of this right away, but it's an amazing description and explanation of critiques. I'm very glad you wrote something like this, as a member of #ArtistCooperative's Critique Squad (the first member of said squad, which now has many more) I've had to write many critiques before, and give some tips and suggestions on how to do so for new members. I think this deviation will make both my job, and future critique's jobs easier.


So, THANK YOU!


=Samous
Member of #ArtistCooperative's Critique Squad
Reply
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