How to ask for a critique?
Hey everyone, I go on the art forum often to see if there is people asking for help with their pieces or for general critiques on their work. In fact, I made a post last year, where I did my best to do in-depth critiques. It sort of fell out of use, as people tend to prefer a post for their own art.
In these threads I generally see one of these:
- Hey, I want to be good, how? [no image]
- What do I improve in this drawing? [image]
- Hey, these are my last 3 pieces, what should I improve? [images]
In case 1, you are not giving anything and you'll receive generic answers that might not help you at all. I case 2, you are providing an image, which is better, but you are still being vague. In case 3, you are asking for too much at once and will get less in return (either people will focus on one piece only or provide general answers that sort of apply to all), there is a lack of focus again.
In all of the cases there are two crucial elements missing:
The goal and the focus
The aspiring anime artist has a completely different goal from the aspiring Magic the Gathering artist. They will also have different focal elements for each of their pieces. This doesn't mean that both of them don't have overlapping areas to improve, as is generally the case with fundamentals.
To express your goal, you can use another artist or artwork ("I want my pieces to look more like this"), or you can state the general style you want: "My goal is to make work that looks photorealistic". Avoid using vague sentences like "I want to draw anime", Akira is anime just as much as Lucky Star is.
To pin down the focus, be as specific as you can. For example:
"When I was drawing this I could not, for the life of me, figure out the way to draw the arms, what lines should I draw? how do the muscles look in this pose?"
"How should I change the lighting to achieve something similar to [goal]?"
"How well are my colors working, keeping in mind that I'm striving for something similar to [goal]?"
"Are my values right?"
"Are the materials distinct?"
"What elements in this piece should be improved upon, if my goal is [goal]?"