HOW TO…Critique YOUR ART

Artists & Illustrators|Summer 2020

HOW TO…Critique YOUR ART
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts chair AL GURY shares four simple strategies for assessing your own artwork and correcting errors
AL GURY

Many of us have to rely on self-critique as we make and finish an artwork. Rarely do we have a reliable person to turn to for objective opinions on a work-in-progress. Combine that with our tendency as artists to be very hard on ourselves, and it can be hard to critique our works in a useful way.

Below are a few practical tips and things to think about when self-critiquing your work.

1 INITIAL AIMS

Not having a reasonable idea of how you want your next artwork to look and feel can cause a lot of confusion and frustration along the way. That is not to say that the organic evolution of a work should be disregarded, but to point out that a successful and strong work needs thought and planning beforehand to identify overall aesthetic goals.

These aesthetic goals are often, but not always, based in influences we have seen or learned from other artists’ works or traditions of art making. Take time to identify these goals as clearly as you can. Do you want the work to reflect the goals of previous works you have made, especially if they are intended as part of a connected series? Or do you want the work to reflect the aesthetic goals of another artist or school of art? These goals can be more technical and skill-based or they can be entirely subjective and exploratory.

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Summer 2020