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Guide to giving good critique!

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Newbie Spellweaver
Aug 22, 2008
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"The whole point of commenting is to express both your positive and negative thoughts on whatever piece; the positive will act as compliments on the artist, while the negative will help them realize their mistakes. When we point out mistakes, we often do not know how to say it constructively, and in the end we tend to skip the negative all togheter wich is a big no-no. Speaking of wich, if you have recieved the ultimate critique, do not fret; it is not directed to you as a person. Do not take them as personal attacks, and feel all mad and confused. This should be a helpfull tool." - Anonymous

Now onto the tips.

Interpretation- How this piece makes you feel, what it says to you, how you relate to the piece.

Compliments- Now is the time to build the artists confidence by telling him exactly what you like about the piece. Why do you love it? What caught your eye?

Critique- Find something that might help the artist with his or her own future work. Or find something that can easily be changed. It is ok to point out the errors even if you do not know the artistic term for it.

- Learn from the artists. Is there something in the image that you don't know how it was achieved? Ask about it! This expresses a genuine interest.

There is no right or wrong way to give a critique.There is no order. But there are certain things that can address to well-rounded and meaningfull critique.

We are going to adress the following aspects:
1 Message
2 Creativity
3 Technical aspect.


What moved the person to make this piece? Is there a hidden or double meaning? Most artists love to hear your interpretation, so make sure to take the time to really look at the piece and think about it.


A creative piece is one that stimulates the mind and the eye by being both imaginative and original. If you are about to comment on a piece , it must have caught your attention. Make sure you note why it caught your attention. Is it a different view from commonly made pieces? Does the piece leave any elements to the imagination? What makes this piece different from the rest etc.

Technical aspect
2.Colours and lighting

1 Composition
Composition is simply defined as the organization of space. Take a good look at the piece and try to note the center of interest. Also note any distractions that you might find that you might offer up as some constructive critisism.

2 Colours and lighting

Colour is very important. Colour can give a piece depth and is used to create style and appeal. For example: red is commonly used to bring text and images to the foreground and is also a very emotionally intense color. Anyway... tell the artist if you like or dislike certain colours. Or maybe witch colours would look better to you if you don't like the colours. Lighs sources are also important: they can be used to create a focus point and much more. So think about that too.

3 Contrast

Are the colours sharp or muddled toghether? Does the contrast make the piece or an object in it jump out at you or does it convey a softer greyer feel? And do these things give the piece a negative or a positive feeling.

4 Depth

Depth is discribed as the range in an photograpth or an art piece, from near to far, that apears to be in focus. In a piece with a small depth of field the subject is in focus and the background is not, whereas a piece with a large depth of field the foreground and the background are in focus.

There are more thing you can focus on, but i'll keep it at these four!

"Now you have a set of tools at your fingertips to give well thought out, meaningfull critique. Bear in mind however that these are only guidelines, not rules to be strictly followed. If you want to follow a rule, let it be this: Be respectful and honest. Only then can both you and the artist benefit from your critique. And both of you will."

I hope people learning PS will take this into account and apply it to others and learn from it.
Super Mexican
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Jun 26, 2008
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Thanks for this man, really opened my eyes on what to focus on!

And I must say, your a great contribution to RZ, considering you only have about 30 posts!
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