A few words about cri0ques…
Although these activities can at times leave an artist feeling vulnerable
or inadequate, they are only intended to help you think more deeply
about how you can be better. These activities are not meant to make
you feel like a failure, but to help you know how to succeed.!
We cannot grow in life nor can we grow in art if we do not have a source of
objective feedback. A critique provides us with some insight into how our
artwork is communicating without our personal feelings, attachment, thoughts
processes, or biases getting in the way. Think of it as a friend telling you that
you’ve got food in your teeth. They mean no harm, they are simply telling you
something that you cannot see on your own.!
Analyzing and talking about art helps us develop our own judgment skills. We do
spend time judging all day long, be it deciding if that girl’s pants match her shirt
or if we like what the cafeteria is serving for lunch. But it isn’t until we really sit
down and think about why those colors don’t go together or what doesn’t quite taste
right about the Tuna Surprise that we can avoid making the same mistakes in our
clothing choices or cooking. Being able to talk about what works well and what
needs growth in another person’s artwork helps us do the same thing with our work
without feeling so bad about it. !
1. Put up your composi-on and aﬃx the s-cky note from the top of the pile on
2. Choose a number out of the hat and ﬁnd the corresponding artwork.
3. Discuss the following topics on s-cky notes:
1. Close your eyes. Keep them closed. When you open them, remember
what the ﬁrst thins is that you no-ce. Why did you see it ﬁrst?
2. Where did your eyes go aIer the ﬁrst thing you no-ced? What elements
and principles did the ar-st use to direct your eyes in this way?
3. Talk about the composi-on of this work. Is it eﬀec-ve in keeping you
engaged in the work of art or would you move or change something to
make it more interes-ng?
4. What are the strengths of this piece? Speciﬁcally name at least two
things that keep you interested in this work of art.
5. Based on what you’ve observed about the strength's of this piece, give
this ar-st a few ideas of how they can challenge themselves on the next
assignment. What are some areas of growth that this person could
pursue? What could they do to make this work even beTer?
4. Aﬃx your comments to the edge of this artwork.
5. Return to your seat and wait quietly when you are ﬁnished.
1. Observe your object with as much detail as you can. Feel it with your
eyes closed. Find the darkest areas and the lightest highlights.
Think about what the object is used for, how it is made, and how its
texture is related to its purpose. What role does the texture play in
the “life” of your object?!
2. Describe the shape and texture of your object in words. Try to describe the texture as if
you were telling someone without a sense of touch. Describe it as though you were
explaining it to a blind person. What shapes are there within the texture? Make a list
of of ten adjec-ves that describe the texture of your object.
3. Distill the texture down to a basic pattern. What series of shapes can you ﬁnd
within the texture. Would you describe the texture as being geometric or
organic? What basic shape best ﬁts this texture? Design a pattern that might be
applied to a fabric or wallpaper based on the texture of your object. What shapes
will you use? What areas will be dark and what areas will be light? Is the pattern
simple or complex?
3. Draw a two-inch square. With as much detail as you can, fill this square
with the texture of your object. Draw the basic structure with pencil and
fill in the rest with pen. Check the proportions within the texture to make
sure everything is in the right place. Look for every nuance and shade
within your values. Make sure you are using the full value scale!
4. Draw a four-inch square. Inside this square, do a
zoomed-out drawing of your object so that you can tell
what the whole thing is. Think about the composition of
your object within this square. You object needs to
touch at least two sides of your square.
5. Choose two more objects with textures strongly contrasting
your original object. Place this textured object next to your
first. Draw a second 4- inch square. Inside this square, draw
the two new objects and your first object so that their
textures fill the entire picture plane. Arrange the textures/
objects in a pleasing way (think about rule of thirds, amounts,