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Painting Tip: Constructive Criticism

A helpful painting tip submitted by a fellow artist.


Criticism should be constructive, it shouldn't be in the form of "I like it". Criticism should say why you think something works (or doesn't) and usually it is about the principles and elements of composition. I think the first question should be "What are you attempting to do?'" Constructive criticism usually flows from that question.

I don't think criticism should be directed to the validity of the "message". Who is to say that the artist is right or wrong to attempt to say what he/she wants? The criticism should be directed to how successful the artist is in presenting that message.

One may presupposes that an artist who asks for a critique, such as in the Painting Forum for instance, recognizes that something may be missing in the work one. That is, there exists some degree of dissatisfaction with the painting, for example, so as to seek help or ideas for improving the work. Then again, perhaps the artist is proud of what he/she painted and just wants to 'show it off.'

When giving criticism, or asking for criticism, one must recognize the universe the painter is in. Does he/she really want a constructive critique, or just someone to say "I like it", that is nothing constructive at all?

Tip from: Rghirardi

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