WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > Explore Media > Watercolor > Palette Talk
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-12-2006, 11:00 PM
mmcaloon's Avatar
mmcaloon mmcaloon is offline
A Local Legend
Plano Texas
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,911
 
Hails from United States
Re: A Question on Critiques

Thanks for all the replies and opinions concerning this subject. I can honestly say I was terrified when I posted my first painting. I got some "kudos" it felt good and relieved alot of my fear.

And I also got great information and constructive information/instruction from Char. (Which I still remember to this day - OPAT and "white isn't white".) I knew right then I had found the place for me to be.

I have recieved great help here from Celeste, Sylvia and too many others to mention them all here. I now find myself wanting more of that assistance in evaluting my work and improving, and as Char has said - I will be better about clearly asking for it.

Thanks to all

OK talk among yourselves I'm off to bed.
__________________
Mike ------- see my progress through the work that I share on my website

Newbie Help Posting Guidelines User Agreement Watercolor Handbook
GIMP Article
Reply With Quote
  #17   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-12-2006, 11:28 PM
Fireman's kid's Avatar
Fireman's kid Fireman's kid is offline
Enthusiast
Pennsylvania
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,900
 
Hails from United States
Re: A Question on Critiques

Mike, thanks for posting this thread. It has made me think, both about my intentions with a painting and what type of critique I want and how to get it.

I agree that the kudos help alleviate the fear but also leave me thirsting to improve. And I know where the best teachers are... right here on WC!
__________________
Stacy

My Art Agent
My Blog
Reply With Quote
  #18   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2006, 02:58 AM
FriendCarol's Avatar
FriendCarol FriendCarol is offline
A WC! Legend
the "Shallow South"
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 11,848
 
Re: A Question on Critiques

Sticking my own 2 cents in... Helpful critiques are very hard to come by, all over WC!, not just in this forum. It is actually not easy to critique a piece, not because it requires technical training or 'art language,' only because it requires real, sustained attention, analysis, introspective reflection, and then expressing one's total reaction in a careful, precise, yet gentle and encouraging piece of writing.

Iow, giving a critique as opposed to kudos is a lot like being a loving, attentive parent as opposed to being a busy or distracted one. You don't need a degree in parenting to do a good job.

Over a year ago I moved into a forum completely new to me, and began critiqueing abstract paintings... without understanding the schools, the 'art history,' the methods, or even the mediums! What many artists valued, I'm convinced, was that I was being honest and specific (as well as articulate).

I'm going to repeat here what I once wrote there (because I very rarely got a decent critique there, even though I wrote critiques for almost everyone on almost every piece, and despite begging for them!): How to critique a piece.

Look at it. What is your first reaction to the piece? Note that -- stick it firmly in your memory. Can you figure out why you feel that way about it?

Do you have any questions? Note those (could be technical questions, palette, what's the intention, anything). If you haven't got to this yet: how does it make you feel? Is there anything about it you really like, or really hate, or is it just sorta blah?

Now you have some raw material for your critique. The minimum is just to say one honest and very specific thing. If you are articulate, try to find something you like (it can be hard!), say that, then say the one thing you think would improve the piece most (but always honest & specific), then repeat something positive or encouraging, or just a general kudo-type comment (if you can't think of a second good point).

The thing is, even comments that are not on target, even comments that are very general, even comments that aren't very articulate -- all help the artist see through others' eyes. That's what I want from others when I post -- just to know what it looks like to other people. I feel entirely competent to evaluate the evaluations, but it's like pulling teeth to get some in the first place!

And if someone doesn't like your critique, that's okay. Don't worry about it! One online friend wrote recently (in another forum) that someone once critiqued a piece of hers saying it was too purple, and that helped her realize what she didn't like about it was that it was too yellow! Just say specific stuff, and it all helps somehow. It doesn't have to be art language, or well-written, or upbeat. It just has to be true (honest) and specific. That is always very, very helpful.
Reply With Quote
  #19   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2006, 03:28 AM
Kate Mc's Avatar
Kate Mc Kate Mc is offline
Immortalized
Verviers, Belgium
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,813
 
Hails from Belgium
Re: A Question on Critiques

Good question, Mike. I usually put "Comments and Critique welcomed" on my posts, hoping to get some constructive input. I love the kudos, too, though!

But I do think that sometimes people are reluctant to point out something that bothers them if there are a lot of kudos. So to help them out, I'll admit that there are one or two things that bother me about the painting, but I don't necessarily say what. That way, if they dont' bother the other artists here, then I know they're ok. If somebody sees something else that bothers them, they'll be less reluctant to mention it, I hope. It's really helped me to get good input. It also helps me train myself in self-critique--if others see the same things, then I learn from that too.

Speaking only for myself, if I ask for critique, I really want it. If someone takes the time to give it, I'm grateful. If I don't agree with what they say, then I still thank them, and file it away for future reference. But you're right, I NEVER expect rudeness. To be honest, I've also rarely seen it here.

LOL, in a recent exhibition, I asked one of the jury if he'd take a minute and give me some individual critique on my paintings. I'm glad that I had my armor on, because HE was brutal! But he also gave me some good information about my painting. (and also about what he looks for when he's on the jury)

I'd love to have a way to ask for 'structured' or 'open' input, but I think that those terms are not so well defined in this forum, and they wouldn't be clear to everyone who might read them.

I've been looking at the critique forum, and I haven't yet seen anything that I would classify as really harsh (at least not after my experience with the juror!). They're clear, and sometimes tough, but that's what I'd want if I posted over there. Which I intend to so next time I have one that I think warrants it.

One of the things I've always loved here is the bantering that goes on in our threads. It makes it fun to open them. I hope that this continues!

Great discussion.






Kate

Last edited by Kate Mc : 04-13-2006 at 03:30 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #20   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2006, 04:40 AM
Aquarelle10's Avatar
Aquarelle10 Aquarelle10 is offline
A Local Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,659
 
Hails from Wales
Re: A Question on Critiques

Lyn,I love this reply.

Quote:
Just because someone is a newbie or not "trained" in art or watercolor does not mean their critiques or suggestions are not valid and helpful.

I love any queries from anyone,artists,non artists,professional or beginner.All ideas help open my eyes and see things from a very different light.

I learn from reading critiques to other artists as well.

Mike great thread,you seem to have answered your own question and I've learnt from reading the replies.

Re proper words? I make mine up as I go along and just hope they turn out okay!

Jean.
Reply With Quote
  #21   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2006, 06:18 AM
Olga's Avatar
Olga Olga is offline
Resting in Peace
Amsterdam, Netherlands
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 5,946
 
Hails from Netherlands
Re: A Question on Critiques

Hi all,
As one of those who persists in trying to give critiques even when there are nothing but kudos ahead, I have to say that I do not quite agree with Celeste when she says that starting painters should not be given any critiques or suggestions. It might be destructive to list everything that could be improved, but I think it is healthier and more honest to point out a thing or two that could be worked on, rather than providing only undiluted praise.

Sorry for being a very skeptical me, but I must say that while I think the kudos are nice and I also enjoy giving and receiving encouragment, I think that when the volume of praise gets very high or when the poster only posts undiluted praise on painting after painting after painting, the comments cease to be fully believable.

I believe it is really important to formulate critique as personal opinion rather than as unquestionable truth, not to be patronizing and to be invariably constructive and respectful... but I suppose this is obvious. And I really think that critiques by people without a ton of experience painting can be very valueable as well... Being observant and perceptive is not the same as being able to wield a brush!
I have to say that personally I only give critiques and comments on paintings I already find attractive for some reason--if something really does not appeal to me, I do not comment at all (sometimes of course I also do not comment for otehr reasons--like lack of time...).
And finally, I make commenting and critiquing a part of my own learning process: trying to artciulate why I like somethng or why something bugs me in a painting, makes me learn myself. Saying "this is beuatiful" expresses my admiration (and often enough I can't really go beyond that) but teaches me less than explainign why I like something r waht would make me like it even more!

Oh grief... I do go on, don't I?

I really hope people will not be too intimidated to post their work nor so reluctant to hurt someone's feelings as to forgo offering critique, analysis, or suggestions!

Olga


I think Char and Uschi also got it just right by emphasizing intent and the need to ASK for critique if one wants it!

Last edited by Olga : 04-13-2006 at 06:21 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #22   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2006, 07:27 AM
painterbear's Avatar
painterbear painterbear is offline
Moderator
Oakwood, Ohio, near Dayton.
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 42,775
 
Hails from United States
Re: A Question on Critiques

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olga
I believe it is really important to formulate critique as personal opinion rather than as unquestionable truth, not to be patronizing and to be invariably constructive and respectful... but I suppose this is obvious. And I really think that critiques by people without a ton of experience painting can be very valueable as well... Being observant and perceptive is not the same as being able to wield a brush!
I have to say that personally I only give critiques and comments on paintings I already find attractive for some reason--if something really does not appeal to me, I do not comment at all (sometimes of course I also do not comment for otehr reasons--like lack of time...).
And finally, I make commenting and critiquing a part of my own learning process: trying to artciulate why I like somethng or why something bugs me in a painting, makes me learn myself. Saying "this is beautiful" expresses my admiration (and often enough I can't really go beyond that) but teaches me less than explaining why I like something or what would make me like it even more!

Hear, hear. Ditto to what you've said, Olga, that reflects what I am thinking also.

It is important to remember that a critique doesn't mean something must be "critical" to be meaningful. Expressing what you've gotten from a painting or pointing out parts of it that really appeal to you is a valid critique as well.

I've noticed several threads recently where the artist expressed what his and her intent was when the painting was made. This is very helpful when formulating a response. As far as having to use "artistic terminology" goes, my reaction to that statement was "WHY?" Does using multisyllabic terms make them any more valid than simpler terms that express your thoughts clearly so everyone reading them can understand? I had an excellent professor in college who showed us how to write clearly, succinctly, and without artificial frills (i.e.,too many "big" words trying to impress him ).

Mike, you've started a very interesting thread and generated a lot of thinking and sharing ideas with one another—another wonderful aspect of Wet Canvas.

Sylvia
Reply With Quote
  #23   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2006, 01:59 PM
juneto's Avatar
juneto juneto is offline
A WC! Legend
New Canaan Connecticut
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 15,896
 
Hails from United States
Re: A Question on Critiques

In the Classes I attended ,when a Beginning Painter , and there were many . Every teacher I had critiqued hard, that was the way we learned not to make the same mistake over and over again. It also pointed out things that New artists don't even see . Without pointing out errors that won't pass muster, growth will not take place.
If WC is a Learning Place, critiques , should be a necessity, naturally, in a Kind and Civilized way.
I learned to be Hard - Nosed about it and view it as the only way I could get better , yes , it was often very Painful.The errors are there for everyone to see , so they need correction for anything to change . Finally after a considerable time ,You are able to look at your own work ,critically ,because that is what your Viewers and Judges will do at the end of the Game. It's that, or remain static .
June
__________________
Follow your Bliss and the Universe will open doors for you , where there were only walls. Joseph Campbell


http://blogmomcom.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #24   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2006, 02:19 PM
Becky-Bob's Avatar
Becky-Bob Becky-Bob is offline
A Local Legend
Fargo, ND
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,757
 
Hails from United States
Re: A Question on Critiques

From my prospective, which I know is still quite narrowed I'm finding that if I actually am brave enough to critique, I learn something from the experience. Its almost as though IF if you speak it, it solitifies within you. The more you practice something, the more your eyes are open to more...the more that artist's eye develops.

I know Spritey mentioned (don't know if it is in this thread) not feeling worthy of critiquing...and I've certainly felt that way. Also feel that some people feel, hmmmmm she's critiquing me? And thats their deal...no problem. But I also feel that we don't really reach a point of solidifying things in our minds....making them OUR truth, and then in turn having that truth actually affect our painting, if we don't speak it. I just think that that is a principle in life.
__________________
Becky -- I wish I were a glow worm
A glow worm's never glum
Cause how can you be grumpy
When the sun shines out your bum? My website
Reply With Quote
  #25   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2006, 02:22 PM
Aquarelle10's Avatar
Aquarelle10 Aquarelle10 is offline
A Local Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,659
 
Hails from Wales
Re: A Question on Critiques

Olga and Sylvia,I totally agree with your views and really admire how you've put your points across so well.

Olga,you didn't go on!

I hadn't thought about describing just why a painting actually works for me until this morning when I was sat looking trying to imagine what I would change had the painting been mine.

Listing what works for you as a viewer might be just as helpful as listing what we would like to see changed in a painting.Sometimes we can pull our own work to bits so easily.Hearing someone elses point out what is right in it is also very constructive.

This is a brilliant thread and all the replies are so interesting.

Jean.

Last edited by Aquarelle10 : 04-13-2006 at 02:27 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #26   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2006, 02:55 PM
maryanne's Avatar
maryanne maryanne is offline
Senior Member
Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia USA
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 223
 
Hails from United States
Re: A Question on Critiques

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olga
I do not quite agree with Celeste when she says that starting painters should not be given any critiques or suggestions.
As a beginning painter myself, I agree that suggestions are the only way beginners will make progress. If kindly given and specific, they'd be of great value in improving and not at all discouraging especially if mixed with praise for what was done well. Undiluted praise from every viewer does tend to sound insincere. If I ask for suggestions, I'm thrilled when a more experienced painter takes the time to point out where and how I can improve. If a person is too sensitive for constructive criticism they should just specify no comments - but I think they're losing out by it.
__________________
Maryanne
Reply With Quote
  #27   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2006, 03:41 PM
painterbear's Avatar
painterbear painterbear is offline
Moderator
Oakwood, Ohio, near Dayton.
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 42,775
 
Hails from United States
Re: A Question on Critiques

I've given this thread a rating and Mike a Merit point for stating his premise so well that it has lead to a very interesting and enlightening discussion and made many of us put on our thinking caps for a while today.

Sylvia
Reply With Quote
  #28   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2006, 04:08 PM
CharM's Avatar
CharM CharM is online now
A WC! Legend
Pinehurst
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 41,080
 
Hails from Canada
Re: A Question on Critiques

Slightly off topic, but not exactly... I received the Watercolor Magic Newsletter this morning and this was included:

Self-Critique Checklist—

Whether it’s a still life, pet portrait or landscape you’ve painted, put it away for a few days. Then with a fresh eye and an honest heart, take this checklist in hand and answer the following questions:

  1. Does your eye stop at some point that’s not your focal point or center of interest? Place the painting in front of a mirror and look at the reflected image. What do you see?
  2. Are your values accurate throughout the painting? Where is the value wrong? Should it be lighter or darker?
  3. Does a color stand out as odd? If so, adjust it or find three more places to add that color to pull it through the painting.
  4. How’s your drawing? Have you drawn an awkward shape? Does any object pull the eye away from the focal point?
  5. Hard edges can be important for the focal point, but a variety of edges in the entire painting adds movement and interest. Do you have too many hard or soft edges? Is there enough variety?
  6. Are all the lines of detail exactly the same width, length, value or color? Variety will keep the viewer’s eye engaged.

...and... Sylvia's right... Mike is definitely deserving of a Mentor Point!!!
__________________
Char

Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art. Leonardo DaVinci
Handbook Index ... Help for Newbies
Reply With Quote
  #29   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2006, 04:25 PM
mmcaloon's Avatar
mmcaloon mmcaloon is offline
A Local Legend
Plano Texas
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,911
 
Hails from United States
Re: A Question on Critiques

Awwwww Shucks.....

Just trying to learn. The level of lessons and wrokshops available around the area where I live to someone who works is very limited. Advanced WC classes are hard to make. If it wasn't for this place I don't know what I'd do. Whether you like it or not you guys are my teachers and mentors. I consider this a world class classroom
__________________
Mike ------- see my progress through the work that I share on my website

Newbie Help Posting Guidelines User Agreement Watercolor Handbook
GIMP Article

Last edited by mmcaloon : 04-13-2006 at 04:28 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #30   Report Bad Post  
Old 04-13-2006, 05:52 PM
Aquarelle10's Avatar
Aquarelle10 Aquarelle10 is offline
A Local Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 7,659
 
Hails from Wales
Re: A Question on Critiques

I've learnt so much from this thread too.I hope we can keep adding to it.I'll certainly re think how I offer feedback in the gallery now.

Thank you very much Mike and I'm not sure if it's okay but I've given this thread a five star rating too.The discussion has been so valuable.

Jean.
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:19 AM.


© 2014 F+W All rights reserved.