This section is an introduction to the basics of critiques and the importance of critique etiquette. This section gives an overview of what a critique is, how others look at images, and how to give a good critique.


What is a Critique     

 A critique is a detailed analysis of a work of art that uses the fundamentals of art to describe the work. The fundamentals of art are the elements and principles of art combined with the rules of composition. A good critique can inform both the artist and the viewer. A good critique explores more than what the end image looks like, it talks about how the image was made, what medium was used to make the work of art, it also looks at the artist intent or if there was any intent at all. A critique should be impartial regardless of how the viewer personally feels about the work.

Critique & Etiquette rules

When an artist's work is being displayed, that artist can no longer defend the work. The work should be able to stand on its own and no excuses should be offered. The artist should remember that they will not always be around to answer questions about their art. Not defending the work is the hardest part of any critique.

When listening to the opinion of someone critiquing your work it is best practice to take in what they are saying and try to make a connection to the statement they are making. Try to remember that the work can be misinterpreted when this misinterpretation happens try not to talk over anyone.

Also remember that not every critique is correct, yet this should be a learning point and you should try to learn from every critique good or bad.

How does a critique help me

When someone gives you a critique on your work it helps you understand how others can interpret your work. Others can see things and feel things in your work that you do not see or intend. By understanding how others formulate their opinion; you can learn how to look at your own work.

How People think

Think of the color green! When you have picked your green click on learn more to open a green chart. Did you find your color green? If you did great if you did not that’s ok, this is because everyone has a different idea of what the color green should look like.

The color green has many different tones, tints, shades and saturations. The color green you picked is influenced by your mood, experience, and projection.

Now think of the color red. How can this color make a person feel, does everyone have the same feeling? NO! This is because, just as there are many different types of reds, there are many kinds of emotions associated with the color red.

Everyone has different experiences in there lives and it influence how they connect to a color. Many people associate the color red with the feeling of love or hate. Yet for most they are two different shades of red. In fact, it may even depend how they are feeling when you ask them to think of that color, the order of that red may change as well. So how does this apply to critiques? Critiques prove that everyone has their viewpoint and that their experiences will influence how they will look at the works of others.

How to define the subject


When looking at art it is important to identify the subject of the work. As humans we have been trained to look for three things: Figure anything that looks like a human or an animal. This is because we are creatures of habit and we look for things that look like us first. The second is a circle or shape can be a face or object that we know. We look for this to help identify what kind of subject we are looking at. Last is contrast anything that can define the difference between objects or space.

How to read an image

We read an image the same way we read a book. Here in the Western world, we understand images from the top left to bottom right just like reading a book.  

Start a Critique

Find a way to talk about an image even if you do not like or understand the image you can find a way to talk about it. this can be done by using the basic principle and elements of design. Remember to look at the image for more than 1 minute before talking about it, then ask the three main questions: Where was this taken? How was the picture taken? Why was this taken?

By asking these questions, one can find a way to talk about the work. In every image, you should be able to talk about the basics, What is the subject? What is going on in the work? What do the colors say about the artwork? Does this work have a deeper meaning, or is it just aesthetically pleasing?

Do not be lazy; give good feedback about what stands out in the image. Talk about more than the obvious. If one does not know a term find a word the expresses your thoughts.

Remember by puttng your art out for others to see you become better; as an artists if you do not put the work up or show the work to anyone, it will be come harder to get better. Remember that other people see the work differently, so as an artist you should not take offense to any critique. As an artists you should take your ego out of their work. Remember that not every image is a winner.

Use a critique as a learning point; You do not have to take everyone's advice on the work. Take what makes sense and add it to your next work of art.

Words to Stay Away From 

When you are in a critique remember that it is a learning exprince and you do not want to use words that stop the learning processes.

Words to stay away from while in a critique:

I like it

I think

It is nice

Any hurtful statements

Any negative statements

when we use these words, we stop the flow of information. For example I like you image (I LIKE ) stop anything you can say about the work because it is an opinion. When opinions are used it becomes hard to have an open line of comunnication.