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Old August 25th, 2010 (3:58 AM).
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Cherrim Cherrim is offline
the blossom pokémon
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Join Date: Dec 2002
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Age: 28
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The PokéCommunity Art Gallery Critiquing Guide

Hello all!

This thread is to help with critiquing the work of others in the Art Gallery. I hope that by reading this, it will be very helpful in both providing feedback on others' art, but also in gaining more responses to your own pieces.

Let's start with the definition of a critique:

1. A critical review or commentary, especially one dealing with works of art or literature.
2. A critical discussion of a specified topic.
3. The art of criticism.
The word "critique" seems to suggest negativity, as it often rings of criticism. But that's where constructive criticism comes in! Constructive criticism does not only give a response to the artist's work, but also helps them to improve. This form of critiquing is much more effective than plain criticism, which often comes across as harsh and offensive to the artist.

Let's compare two examples! :) Plain criticism would sound something like "that's ugly" or "that's just bad". But it can also include positive plain criticism, such as "that's cute!" This does not give any help as to where the artist needs to improve, and doesn't encourage them at all if it's in negative language. :( But here's an example of some constructive criticism dug up from an Art Gallery thread!

":3 that one's wicked too!! I think you should put some lineart around the trunk of the tree and give it more shading or depth :3 so it has more texture in it! Also, you should give the leaves a bit more highlights. Other than that it's awesome :3 Great composition :3 and good choice of colour!!" - Kura

What I love about this kind of critiquing is that it points out what needs improving about the piece (the highlights of the leaves, etc) but also encourages the artist to post more. Always remember to highlight the positive points of the drawing as well as the negatives! You never know how many new artists you could inspire by your comments. ^_^

Things to look out for when critiquing

These are the things I always look at when I give my response to a picture. :)
Effort - one of the most important things! Even if the picture is not of the best standard, it can really be clear that the artist has put a lot of effort into their work. This shows their passion for art ^_^ It's a great thing to comment on!
Pose, Anatomy etc. - it's useful to look for these details. Is the pose feasible? Is it an original pose or a copy of an official pose? Is the anatomy very good, or is it off in places? Don't be afraid to suggest where it needs improvements!
Use of colour and tone - does the picture have a colour scheme which just leaps off the page?
Shading and highlights - are these in the right places in comparison to the light source, or are they randomly placed?
Medium the picture is drawn in - is the picture a MSPaint work? Or is it hand-drawn? These can vastly affect the standards by which a picture can be judged. :)

When posting artwork - something to note

Some people are more sensitive than others when it comes to their artwork being critiqued. A good idea is to put before you post a picture which level of criticism you're prepared to accept - if you're not sure about your picture, it's best to say you're accepting gentle criticism, and if you want your picture very honestly and bluntly critiqued, tell people to rip it apart! XD

To conclude:

I thought to wrap up this thread, I'd critique a piece of my own artwork from a while back :) I did this piece a couple of years ago and I can see lots wrong with it now. Click below to see the picture!

Gyarados in the Rain

The good:

It's an original pose, although the head is a bit generic - though that can be difficult to avoid with Gyarados! XD
The scene has a lot of atmosphere.
The lineart is fairly steady.

The not-so-good:

The blur filter has been majorly overused on the waves (and to some extent, the rain).
The moon looks a bit button-moonish XD
The shading is rather random and doesn't seem to match the light source very well. Also it's done by dodge and burn which isn't a recommended method of shading.

I hope that this guide helps you with future posts in the Art Gallery, and that it comes in useful with regards to critiquing! ^_^


Guide written by Forest Grovyle.