How to Critique by Lil'_Miss_Sunshine97

I'd like to preface this by saying I go to an art school. Don't take that the wrong way. I'm not saying that I know how to draw better just because I go to an art college. No, I say this because I've had a lot of experience with criticism by going to art school. So far, I think the criticism I've recieved from my art classes have been very helpful in my artistic growth.

Before I tell you the proper way to critique, in my opinion, here are some less proper ways to critique.


1. The Completely Positive- This is okay if you're just writing a comment. If you really like something and think it's absolutely great, feel free to tell that to the artist. The reason it's not a proper critique is because it doesn't boost artistic growth, rather, it just fluffs the artist's ego. Having a fluffy ego is great, but it's not growth.

2. The Completely Negative- As you can tell by the title, this is the polar opposite of a completely positive critique. When critiquing, you don't want to outright bash the art no matter how much it offends your eyes. Some of you might be thinking, "But Sunshine, isn't the point of critique pointing out all the flaws in the artwork?" Yes and no. Pointing out flaws is essential for artistic growth, but you have to be polite about in order for your critique to be taken seriously. Nothing is more demoralizing than hearing how terrible your art is, even if it's true.

3. One Phrase/Sentence Critique- I really don't like these ones. I can somewhat tolerate them in comments (as long as the sentence is over five words long), but in critiques it's just... no. The less you say, the less helpful you are. That's not to say that you should go writing a novel to critique the artwork, but try for at least three sentences in a critique. Writing one phrase or sentence gives too little information and easily falls into the completely positive or completely negative critiques that I've already talked about.

4. More About Subject than Skill- I think this one applies more to fanart than original art, but I think some original artists get this too. It's nice that you like what the artist drew. You're allowed to put that as a sidenote in a critique and it's more than welcome in a comment. However, putting too much focus on what the artist drew rather than how the artist drew isn't very helpful. Remember, criticism is all about developing skills, not about fanboying/girling.

Now that I've discussed the improper ways of critiquing, this is the method I think is best when critiquing: the crap sandwich technique. What's the crap sandwich technique and why does it have such an eloquent name? Lemme explain.

The crap sandwich goes like this: you start with a positive statement about the art, politely point out the flaws (preferrably with methods to improve it), and end with something nice. The reason I think this is the best way is because criticism is a hard thing to swallow, especially for beginner artists. The crap sandwich technique sandwiches the unpleasant truth with nice things and artists always like to hear what they did right.

I hope this was some useful information to you guys. If you have another preferred way of critiquing, feel free to share that in a comment. Until then, I wish you all the best of luck in your artistic journey.

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