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Entry #2

Critiquing vs Personal preference

2010-11-23 12:19:51 by emiliapaw5

After being on for a while and reading other people's comments I noticed that a lot of people think critique and personal preference is one and the same, but they greatly differ, here is a short definition of both:

'Critique is a method of disciplined, systematic analysis of a written or oral discourse. Critique is based upon an informed opinion, and never upon personal opinion. Informed opinion is accepted as being technical knowledge, personal or professional experience, or specified training.' source taken from wikipedia

'Personal preference is a choice ofpersonal taste. The selecting of someone or something over another or others.' source taken from

Here is a few examples that I found in the reviews, I will keep the writers anonymous:

'Too bad her skin is pale'- this is definitely a personal preference, the comment is directed at skin color(as to preferring other skin colors) rather than there being something technically wrong with the skin of the character.

'I love this painting. Tasteful and well detailed, and I get a bit of power from the painting; she's realistic and not exaggerated, and you get a clear sense of humanity rather than simple sexual objectification.
The biggest problem I have is some things seem a little off, for some reason her eyes and nose are at a disproportionate angle to her mouth. Her feet are a little strange too, the big toe on her right foot is twice the size of the other one and seems to take up a bit too much of her right foot, and equally on the left her toes are bunched together in an awkward way.'
- this is an example of a good critique, first the reviewer compliments the artist, mentions the flaws with fact to support their comment.

'I don't like her long hair and the sky is annoying'- when the word 'like' is used then the comment immediately becomes personal. What is the reason for not liking the hair? Is it scribbled onto the head or you just don't like long hair? There should be a reason behind a comment like that.

'You should learn to draw pretty faces'- this again is a personal preference, what if the artist painted an old wrinkly woman? Just because she isn't 'pretty' doesn't mean she is drawn incorrectly.

When critiquing don't be mean and call someone's work 'terrible' or call the artist names.

Have a fact behind every comment (eg: the elbows are too high, they should be by the waistline), it would help to know the principles of art such as composition, balance, focal point, color theory, anatomy etc, to critique more sucessfully.

Try not to say that you don't like something, this immediately makes it personal, I'm not a fan of marvel characters but I appreciate the effort and the technical part behind it, so if I ever critique a marvel styled piece I will only point out the flaws and I will not say that I don't like their character's face, clothes etc.

Try and find something you like in a piece to not take away from the artist's confidence in themselves.
Don't give a piece a bad rating because you don't like it, if it's done correctly then give it what it deserves on a technical level instead.

I'm by no means a professional in art or critiquing, I'm just writing what I feel about this subject and I hope it helps others to be more considerate towards others and their works. Feel free to add anything else I have missed or might be wrong about, I'm happy to listen:)


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2010-11-23 20:25:23

I completely agree, opinions should always be backed up by reason, and at the same time, don't act all powerful, know it is only your opinion. But here is my opinion about your art, its all amazing, I love your style and I love your all around color choice.

emiliapaw5 responds:

Thanks :)
I completely agree, some people act as if their personal opinion is golden, but what is golden is a helpful and humble opinion in the end, that is what can help an artist grow.

Thanks for your input :)


2010-12-02 19:35:06

This would make an excellent thread in the art forum! *hint* ;D


2011-01-21 06:59:20

I agree.

But the problem is that most users on this site aren't trained artist, and cannot express what they see in a way that would further you as an artist. The best they can do is tell you what they like and dislike. And I've found that, that in itself is unique and helpful even powerful. Just listen to them and try to look at your art again, trying to see what they see. They are your audience after all and more that often they'll see things you missed.

If you want a "critique", you should make friends at your local cartoon/illustration/arty association. That's where you'll find the best advice. Professionals in your industry =).

Goodluck =)


2014-10-20 19:27:02

You know, that's changed a lot in the past few years, since you wrote this.
Hope you'll come back and grace us with your presence again one day!
Also, a lot of the truly subjective 'reviews' are nothing more than pep talk and sly jokes to amuse the artist :3