Critique Basics

CIOS F255 - University of Alaska Fairbanks


A good informal critique depends on positive and honest constructive criticism. Your instructor will not allow the critiquing to devolve into negative or hurtful attacks but it should also give advice for improvement and draw larger connections.

A good way to start your critique is to say what you especially like about the piece. Be specific.  After covering what is successful in the work, go on to point out areas that could be improved. Try to frame your feedback with respect and with care for the artist’s feelings in 1-2 short paragraphs.

  • is it creative?
  • does it communicate the message?
  • what does it remind you of? can you draw any connections?
  • does it follow the assignment requirements?
  • is the medium used effectively?
  • what is the overall “feel’ of the work–do you like it or not, and why?

Critique grades will be based on the following criteria:

critique grading rubric


image of a clock montage with andrew jackson's face in the middle
I like this montage very much, especially the green inner glow effect of the clock face and the way Andrew Jackson’s eye is placed at the center. I also like the blue and green transparent washes applied over the coins. I see evidence of skill in using tools and techniques, including: selection, gradients, layers and layer effects, changing color (of the clock numbers), and more. The overall look of the piece is cool and, I believe, successfully evokes the theme–time is money. There’s only one thing that bothers me that I wish the artist had done otherwise, and this is the clash of borders: Jackson is in an oval outline, which is set over the clock’s round inner dial. I feel that the artist should have eliminated the oval and gone with the dial. Good work!