A Pocket Guide to Critique digital download

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Say goodbye to meaningless artspeak! This concise little digital book makes the visual language accessible to artists and art-lovers alike. When you understand the structure and functions of the elements and principles of art, you will gain fresh eyes and the vocabulary to articulate what you are seeing. You will have the tools to intelligently analyze art using clear and informative language.

Lose your fear of feedback. The framework and questions outlined here provide a format for critique and analysis that is productive and emotionally safe.  Use this book in a group or alone to help you clearly and more objectively focus on where you need to further develop your vision and your skills as an artist.

Criticism should not be querulous and wasting, all knife and root-puller, but guiding, instructive, inspiring. 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gain the fresh eyes necessary to objectively evaluate your artwork using the elements and principles of art as a framework for analysis.

Learn which questions to ask in order to discover and solve design issues.

Wake up your ARTIST'S EYES!


Why Critique?

You make art because you have messages and ideas you wish to communicate in the visual language. You might wish to raise awareness about an issue, make viewers ask questions, express your own emotions, or simply bring beauty into the world.

You see things in your mind’s eye or in the world around you and bring them to life with paint on canvas, with cloth and thread, or with malleable clay. You choose the medium that calls to you and get to work. You create art because you need to.

It is the rare artist that then hides her work away, never sharing her message. It is even rarer for an artist to think he has no more skills to gain.

Hence: CRITIQUE. You need to see your work through clear and fresh eyes, to find where problems lie and gauge whether your message is clear and understandable. This analysis is the pathway to your growth as an artist.

Unfortunately, whether it is coming from yourself or others, judgment can be harsh and terrifying. Are you good enough? Will anyone understand your work? Will you feel like a failure? Conversely, insincere praise feels like a useless platitude.

An emotionally safe, objective, and analytical evaluation, using the framework outlined in this booklet, will help you to clearly see and understand what is happening in your artwork.

A good critique analyzes each element and principle of design in the artwork being evaluated. It helps the artist to see where and why the composition is strong, and where it is lacking. It can be a critical tool for growth.

A good critique helps the artist learn from each work which direction to take for the next creation. The questions and struggles and inspiration experienced in the last work guide you forward.

Objective critique is a learning tool, rather than a judgment of the artist’s worth or skill. The artist learns to more clearly understand the visual language he is speaking so that he can more effectively convey his messages. She sees where she needs to hone her technical skills, then gets to work.

Critique is a way to gather information that can help you become a better artist.


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