: Critique Forum


TerryCurley
03-28-2016, 04:02 PM
Dick brought up the idea of a forum for straight talk critiques and I think it is a really good idea and would like to give my thoughts on the subject.

I'm of the opinion that posting it in the media forum (like "oil painting") can be confusing as to whether the artist wants to just share and get cheered up by those that like it, or actually wants a helpful critique to improve. Telling people that they should specify which they want will soon be forgotten but there is no confusion if there is a forum specifically for Straight Talk Critiques. I think as it is right now we are reluctant to give an honest critique unless it is specifically asked for. And at times an honest critique is giving when not asked for and the artist may not be in the right state of mind to handle it.

If we do have a Straight Talk Critique forum there has to be some strict guidelines to using it. Here are some things that come to mind and I'm sure not everyone would agree with me:

1. I think it should be private as in 'Members Only'.

2. I think there should be no generalities in critiques. We can't have someone say something negative (like "it's non-realistic") without that person also suggesting a way that the negative could be corrected next time. Say "if you add shadows it would make it more realistic." Or say "water should reflect the colors of the sky" instead of saying "the color of the water is off".

2. Personal choices need to be excluded from the critique. If a person chooses to take 4 months to do a picture and another takes 1 hour, that is their personal choice and it should not be considered a fault.

3. In the vein of choices, a person that does not like the media used should not be critiquing the picture. If you don't like water color then don't critique a watercolor painting. Same with Genre.

4. We need to know the artist's level so it can be taken into consideration. We can not expect someone new to art to be as good as someone that has been at it for decades. (though there seems to be some here that are.)

4. The artist should be able to say 'Please ignore the boat in the painting' and have the person critiquing actually ignore the boat, instead of commenting on it.

5. The artist should be able to ask a specific question and have that question answered instead of getting a general critique. "Do you think the hand is too small?" The answer should not include "the sky is too dark and the mountains are too light...." with or without a critique on the hand.

6. The artist requesting the critique needs to not argue with the critiquing person if he/she doesn't agree; however responding to the critique with a justification as to why it was done the way it was done seems appropriate to me and could open up a dialog of how it could have been done differently. An example would be "The trees in the back look out of focus and too light", an appropriate response could be "things far away are out of focus and light, that's why I did it that way". The person critiquing can open up a dialog by saying something like well if the are suppose to be far away they should also be smaller.....and so on. If the artist were just to respond 'No you are wrong' then it shuts down the dialog or causes defensiveness.

I believe there is nothing more valuable to an artist than an honest helpful critique by someone that knows what they are talking about. If we don't know how to improve the picture than we shouldn't be critiquing it.

I'm sure we can think of more situations that are common problems if this is going to be considered. Personally I hope it will be considered.

Susan Mulno
03-28-2016, 04:13 PM
I like your suggestions TerryCurley and feel they are good guidelines for anywhere.

Might I suggest instead of a new thread we could re-name "Work In Progress" it is private and no one is using it anyway. Just an idea.

Mel_Robertson
03-28-2016, 04:19 PM
it's a great idea... wouldn't adding a Critique forum implicate no critique should be given in any other forums?

abt2k15
03-28-2016, 04:33 PM
i do agree with some points but overall i do not agree on guidelines about how to critique. the example for the hand is perfect. if you notice that something else seems to be "off"
like you said why not saying so? if you have a forum category dedicated to critique you know what you might get - critique. if you sensor the critique to your liking how can it be honest critique?

i mean i fully agree if someone does not bother to give critique to questioned point ( the hand ) but only other things - thats kind of not the point but if you spot further points where
the artist can improve - why not say it? it opens a discussion. censoring always cuts discussions short. i think you rule out that kind of problem by having a subforum in the first place.

about the artist level : you will see when you see. it sounds dumb but its like that. if im more advanced in a certain point i can spot whats wrong and i can share information. if i cant see a mistake or
something to improve i might not be on that level and i can only give an opinion. also i might be better at lets say forming shapes but i totally suck at composition. how is he compared to someone
who makes beautiful compositions but is not able to define shapes that well? ^^

you dont have to accept the critique given but you should always think about it even if it annoys you and if you want to not read certain things you might just want a cheer post and not a critique...
your guideline also imply people would actually talk some persons work down just to diminish it. why would someone sign up on a forum just to diminish the value of someones art? only if its personal
and no guideline will prevent them from doing it so its another point for me of why strict rules are pointless in that matter.

Bushcraftonfire
03-28-2016, 05:34 PM
I think I have to agree with ABT on this.. If you want to get a critique.. put the work up.. and hopefully people will critique it in a positive manner. If you want a critique of a hand (and not a mountain) then crop the picture so only the hand is there. That will make it easy enough. But honestly.. if someone sees something off in the mountain.. why would you not want to improve it?

OTOH!!!!!!

Understand that a critique is ONLY someone else's opinion. Some people are very proficient in their skill.. and I would put a higher value on what they say.. but in the end.. it's YOUR work!

TerryCurley
03-28-2016, 06:35 PM
I like your suggestions TerryCurley and feel they are good guidelines for anywhere.

Might I suggest instead of a new thread we could re-name "Work In Progress" it is private and no one is using it anyway. Just an idea.

I think that is an excellent idea if it is decided that we will do it.

TerryCurley
03-28-2016, 06:38 PM
it's a great idea... wouldn't adding a Critique forum implicate no critique should be given in any other forums?

Yes I would think so, but saying you like a picture is not critiquing it in my opinion. So those who don't want their pictures to be analyzed would post it in their media.

I do see a problem with double posting though. Don't know about that issue.

TerryCurley
03-28-2016, 07:00 PM
i do agree with some points but overall i do not agree on guidelines about how to critique. the example for the hand is perfect. if you notice that something else seems to be "off"
like you said why not saying so? if you have a forum category dedicated to critique you know what you might get - critique. if you sensor the critique to your liking how can it be honest critique?

i mean i fully agree if someone does not bother to give critique to questioned point ( the hand ) but only other things - thats kind of not the point but if you spot further points where
the artist can improve - why not say it? it opens a discussion. censoring always cuts discussions short. i think you rule out that kind of problem by having a subforum in the first place.

about the artist level : you will see when you see. it sounds dumb but its like that. if im more advanced in a certain point i can spot whats wrong and i can share information. if i cant see a mistake or
something to improve i might not be on that level and i can only give an opinion. also i might be better at lets say forming shapes but i totally suck at composition. how is he compared to someone
who makes beautiful compositions but is not able to define shapes that well? ^^

you dont have to accept the critique given but you should always think about it even if it annoys you and if you want to not read certain things you might just want a cheer post and not a critique...
your guideline also imply people would actually talk some persons work down just to diminish it. why would someone sign up on a forum just to diminish the value of someones art? only if its personal
and no guideline will prevent them from doing it so its another point for me of why strict rules are pointless in that matter.

Well I guess if you have a WIP and you are working on a hand and you just want someone's opinion and thoughts on the hand and you already know that the rest of the paintings needs a lot of work and would rather not talk about those other things it would be kind of nice to just keep the critique to the hand. I no longer do WIP because I've faced this several times.

As a former moderator I know there are many people that want to bring other's down. Saying rude nasty things like opening a critique with words such as "What a Mess". Yes it is rear, but it is for these people that we have guidelines.

Also as a fairly new painter I don't want my work to be judged as an experienced professional artist. I just want pointers to the next baby step I'm capable of doing at my own level. That's why I said the person submitting the art should state their level. I was not referring to the person giving the critique.

Anyway I'm just throwing out ideas, whatever is decided is fine with me. BTW this is not an original idea. This is how Wet Canvas (which is the most popular of artist forums) does it. They have a separate critique section and guidelines for the artist that is submitting and the person critiquing.

leighann
03-31-2016, 09:32 AM
I like all of your points TerryCurley :biggrin:

bbbaldie
03-31-2016, 01:01 PM
Great idea. That being said, I'm picturing Jackson Pollock asking me for a critique, and me replying that he's clearly not cut out for art, perhaps he should go into sales. ;-)

My point is that some art just doesn't appeal to me, when that's the case, I'll keep my mouth zipped. And I hope that others might agree that there's a good rule of thimb for them as well.

leighann
03-31-2016, 01:27 PM
I like your "rule of thumb" bbbaldie :biggrin:

I like all mediums I guess, but since I mainly stick to one, I generally don't throw criticism around.

Since I'm on Instagram a lot, I have seen some "art" that I have wanted to criticize, that's for sure!! Some people draw and paint some interesting stuff!! :vs_shocked:

SuddenLife
03-31-2016, 03:38 PM
Really like this idea. I often find it hard to pinpoint wether or not someone's open to feedback unless it's stated explicitly, so this would certainly help.
I don't really feel like we need too many guidelines. Mostly because this forum doesn't really seem to have rude people on it, so anyone critiqueing will probably be polite about it; I have enough faith in that to not feel rules are needed to keep this userbase in check.

TonTon
03-31-2016, 04:03 PM
Here is what I am working on right now. It's a painting of my son when he was 3 . He swiped a doughnut from the gas station lol. I'm using acrylics and oil paints for this. I tried to do what Terry and Bush told me and add more lighting. This took 3 hours so far. Still a lot to work on but I think its getting better.

bbbaldie
04-05-2016, 10:24 AM
Here is what I am working on right now. It's a painting of my son when he was 3 . He swiped a doughnut from the gas station lol. I'm using acrylics and oil paints for this. I tried to do what Terry and Bush told me and add more lighting. This took 3 hours so far. Still a lot to work on but I think its getting better.

Excellent work, look forward to its completion.

Acrylics AND oils? Really? Weirdly cool.

dickhutchings
04-05-2016, 10:34 AM
They told you to add more lighting? I feel like there aren't enough darks. It seems to need more contrast.

TerryCurley
04-05-2016, 01:47 PM
This thread has been bouncing around for a week now so I'm guessing that means we are not going to implement the idea?

dickhutchings
04-05-2016, 02:17 PM
This thread has been bouncing around for a week now so I'm guessing that means we are not going to implement the idea?
I don't know how to create a new sub forum so let's all just mention the type of critique we are looking for when we post. You know me, I want the strong type of critiques. Circles and arrows and red marks. That's just me. That's what I'll be looking for on everything I paint.