Art critiques

My-studioAs a teacher and professional artist, Georgia has a passion to assist artists to advance their work. She hopes what she has to say will help them understand the merits of their current work and how they can improve upon it in the future.

Below, Georgia explains the benefits of having your artwork critiqued by a professional, followed by information on how to contact her and a checklist of areas she will critique.

As an art instructor, one area that gives her pause is when she is asked to ‘critique’ a student’s latest effort. The word itself means to criticize, which sounds quite onerous, and it can be. The process of critiquing should be one of learning. Yet, if people feel they are being ‘criticized’, it is difficult for them to be open and there by to learn. Georgia knows from experience if she feels she is being criticized, she closes her heart and mind to what is being said to her. So, when she is asked to critique an artist’s work, she will start with the positives first and then gently move into how she feels the piece could improve. It is important to her that the artist come away with new ideas and renewed confidence.

In the art world, ‘critiquing’ is part of the process, whether you want your work accepted in a juried show or by a gallery or even by friends and family. As an artist your work is constantly being judged. You are asking others to evaluate the merits of your work all the time. Unfortunately, you may end up with someone’s opinion you don’t agree with. Georgia always says to her students, if you are not prepared to hear a negative remark, don’t ask. Or, if you do hear a response in the negative, learn from it. Not an easy thing to do, as artists by nature are emotional and tend to wear their hearts on their sleeve.

One of the most stressful times an artist encounters in having their work critiqued is when they enter a juried show. This time is fraught with anxiety and denial until/unless they are accepted. The very first show Georgia entered, she sent in two pieces. One was accepted and won best of show. The other was rejected. The judges gave Georgia (and all others who entered) a written report which outlined what they liked and what they felt could be improved about both pieces. She learned from the experience. She learned from what they had to say, not just the relief of having a piece accepted.

But in all the shows she has entered since, she has never received any feedback about what they liked or disliked regarding her art. Rejection, without comment/explanation, is not a learning process. It is only rejection! She feels strongly that if you are paying $10- $20 per piece to enter a juried show, they should give you a written ‘critique’ of your work. In this way, you realize why your work was accepted and why it wasn’t. It will also help you understand the merits of your work, positive or negative. The process of drawing and painting should always be about learning how to improve, to grow and be creative. It should never stop.

Her opinions are based on three factors: use of colour, design and balance.

If you are ready to have your work ‘critiqued’ fairly and have a positive learning experience please read the following simple instructions. Georgia will also send you a free check list which you will find useful when you start your next painting.

Georgia appreciates the opportunity to view her work and be part of your artistic journey as you move forward with increased knowledge, improved skills and greater confidence.

It will be money well spent!

How to have your work critiqued

The information you receive will be much more than if your work was being judged by a panel or by a single jurist. To that end, Georgia asks for far more information that will help me evaluate your work. The more information you can give her, the more she can help you.

1. Take a clear image of your work (no flashes or bright light) and send it to Georgia at info@georgiayoungs.com Make sure your image takes up the whole screen of your camera. If framed, do not include the frame in your photo unless you want that critiqued as well.

2. Please include the following information for each artwork:
Image size
Medium used
Year painted
Title (if any)
Frame medium (if included)

3. Number of years you’ve been painting

4. Have you received any previous instructions? (Yes or No)
If Yes, how many years?

5. If your work is to be entered in a juried show, the title or theme of the show

6. Any comments you may have about your work

Fee
$20 CDN per image – minimum 2 images and maximum 5 images per session
Enter online your method of payment and upon payment I will send a written critique within two weeks.

Critique Outline: (Areas considered and commented on)

Over all first impression(s) followed by:

1. If the work was created for a juried show, Georgia will evaluate it on:
Painted to the theme?
Painted recently for the show?
Comments:

2. If you want the frame included, Georgia will also critique that aspect as well.
Does it enhance or detract?
Is it too heavy too light?
Colour
Medium of frame
Liner and or mattes used?
Comments:

3. Design
Is there a focal point?
Are there two other lesser focal points?
Does the eye move around on the canvas/paper?
Is everything happening all in one area?
Are there lines taking me out of the picture?
Is there a centred image?
Is the picture divided unevenly or in half?
Does the perspective work, moving me from back to front or reverse?
Does the perspective of buildings or objects work, is it consistent?
Do objects closer appear closer or not?
Do the brush strokes help or hinder?
Is there too much being told?
Is the image captivating or imaginative?
Does it capture the imagination?
Comments:

4. Use of Colour
Is there good use of colour – primary/complementary?
Is there too much colour?
Are the colours muddy?
Does the use of the colour palette enhance the image?
Does colour help my eye move around?.
Do the colours enhance the perspective, cool vs warm?
Is there proper use of dark, intense areas to enhance perspective of the picture/ objects?
Comments:

5. Balance
Is there a light source?
Is there good use of a light source?
Does the light source make sense. Are the shadows consistent?
Is the balance between the light and dark areas?
Is there balance in the piece or is it top or bottom heavy?
Does the eye move around or get stuck in one area?
Is the style consistent?
Is there freshness about the work or does it look or feel over worked?
Comments:

Please contact Georgia for more information.