Critiquing art is a skill that every artist should have. It will help them improve their work and refine new ideas.
If you do not know how to critique art, this post is for you. We will discuss the importance of critique and offer tips for improving your artwork.
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Why Should You Critique Artwork
If you want to improve your work, you must learn how to critique art. Learning the necessary skills and art critique guidelines will help you grow as an artist and allow you to make better artwork in the future.
There are many ways that a person can improve their artistic capabilities when critiquing other’s artwork. By looking at different art pieces, one can find what they like or dislike about them, which helps them decide if they should do something different with their work. The critique also lets artists see things from another perspective and discover ideas within themselves through others’ work to inspire new projects or techniques.
In addition, it provides people who have never been exposed to art before a chance to understand its meaning without being overly judgemental because they realize what a piece of art is trying to accomplish.
Critiquing artwork isn’t just useful for artists, though. Anyone who cares about art should be interested in learning more about how it’s created and what makes one piece better than another to appreciate them more thoroughly instead of simply seeing them as decorations or distractions from everyday life. This lets people place themselves into an artist’s shoes and take pride in their work when they know precisely why the artwork was created and what message is behind the painting or drawing.
Why Should You Critique Your Art
It’s easy to get caught up in your own emotions when you create something, especially if it was your first time.
Critiquing art allows artists to identify any potential weaknesses in their work, allowing them to improve on different art techniques.
There is a difference between art criticism that is constructive and judgment that is destructive.
When you critique art, the goal should be to guide how it could have been better and improved upon in future pieces of work. Constructive criticism needs to focus on the positive feedback that will inspire people to try harder next time instead of breaking down their entire artwork with negative points that are too harsh or unwarranted.
Constructive Criticism Should:
- Identify strengths and weaknesses; when constructive criticism is given, weaknesses need to be identified while also pointing out any positives about the piece.
- Be specific and offer advice for improvement, so they know what needs improvement without generalizing everything.
- The person giving constructive criticism should not include their personal opinions in the critique.
- Offer suggestions for improving their artwork – giving constructive criticism shouldn’t be all negative feedback, so offer ideas on improving certain aspects of their work.
Some people may find that critiquing art is hard because you don’t know what you’re talking about or feel like an expert when you’re just stating your opinion as fact. Understandably, criticizing artwork can seem daunting at first since many different painting styles and techniques are used, which means no two pieces will have the same strengths and weaknesses. However, there are some art critique guidelines you will want to follow.
Critique A Painting
Before you can critique a painting, you must first understand the basic elements of art and design principles.
Basic Element Of Art:
- Color – hue, intensity, and value.
- Point – is a visual element that is the starting point from which all else in an artwork is derived.
- Lines – are marks made with drawing tools or a brush.
- Shape – a flat surface bounded by outlines or edges.
- Texture – refers to the surface quality or texture of a work of art.
- Space– is the distance between or around shapes, forms, and colors.
- Form – are visual tools that are used to compose a painting or drawing.
- Unity/harmony – provides the artwork a sense of cohesion or coherence.
- Value – is the contrast and degree between lightness and darkness.
Principles Of Design:
Focal Point – the drawing or painting that when looked at and the eye is drawn to it.
Background – It can be a dark setting with light features like stars in the sky.
Foreground – anything standing out against a background.
Balance – when there are contrasting elements on either side of an axis. When done correctly, balance can create movement because your eyes will continue moving back and forth along this imaginary line.
Variety In Scale – use different sized objects for variety, so it feels more dynamic.
Proportion – the size of objects in relation to each other.
Art Critique Steps
There are four steps to take when you critique art.
Observe And Describe The Art
- What type of art is it? Is it a portrait, figure, landscape, seascape, cityscape, nature, abstract, still life?
- What objects are in the artwork? Are there buildings, people, plants, food animals, etc.?
- Is the art realistic, abstract, contemporary, pop art, impressionism, etc.?
- What medium did the artist use?
- Define what the features of the art suggest and how do they convey the theme?
- What kind of lines did the artist use, thick, thin, sharp, soft, broken, etc.?
- What forms and shapes did the artist use, triangles, squares, circles, cones, spheres, cylinders, cubes, etc.?
- Why colors did the artist use, warm, cool, bright, etc.?
- What is the texture of the piece, smooth, rough, bumpy, etc.?
- How is space used in the art?
The Principles Of Design
- How did the artist arrange the elements of art?
- What is the focal point?
- What is the contrast?
- What elements created unity/harmony?
- Is there a balance?
- Is there repetition or pattern in the composition?
- What is the meaning of the artwork?
- What are your thoughts about the paintings you are critiquing?
Following the process outlined above will help you critique a painting or sculpture.
Art Critique Examples
For an example hoe how to critique a painting, visit Art Critique Example by Nicholas Orem Art.
Nicolas goes through the four steps in critiquing art, and the example will help you see what is required for an art critique.
Final Thoughts On How To Critique Works Of Art
Critiquing art is important because it helps you understand and appreciate art, making you a better artist.
The Art Critique Guidelines are not tricky or complicated, just about the same as any other form of writing.
Start by critiquing other artist’s and student’s works of art. After you feel comfortable with the steps, start critiquing your artwork to see how you can improve.
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