Art Critique Vs. Art Bashing: How To Art Critique Right (2024)

Learn how to art critique the right way. Now more than ever, there’s so much online accessibility to art with many artists taking part in social media and online communities. Unfortunately, not everyone online has other peoples’ best interests at heart. This article covers the main differences between a constructive art critique vs. harmful art bashing, how to give a proper art critique, and how to react to art bashing. It’s important to know that while posting art online or showing it off can be fun and great to build your community, there are some individuals that don’t pay attention to the feelings of others when it comes to art.

Sadly, some artists have experienced hostile “criticism” that is neither constructive nor supportive of the artists and/or their work. Hostile criticism can be emotionally damaging at times. This is not a critique but rather a type of online harassment. Like putting someone down.

On the other hand, many online art communities are supportive of other artists and are willing to give advice to those who ask for it.

Table Of Contents

  1. What is An Art Critique?
    • What is NOT an Art Critique
  2. Why Art Critiques are Worth Your Time
  3. How To Spot an Art Critique
  4. When to Give an Art Critique
  5. How to Give a Valuable Art Critique
  6. Art Bashing
    • Types of Art Bashing
    • How to Spot Art Bashing
    • How to Protect Yourself and Recover from Art Bashing

What is an Art Critique?

An art critique is a type of constructive criticism or feedback that is made with the intention to help someone improve their art.

The purpose of an art critique is to help inform the artist, both pointing out the strong and weak points of an artwork, not just the bad points. This is an especially important note because their (art critiques’) purpose is beneficial to the person receiving the information.

Think of it as helpful and valuable advice for your art.

An art critique usually focuses on all aspects of an artwork including technical skills, ideas and thought processes, and even the creation process of the work which encompasses concepts and materials.

It is mostly given by professionals or people in that particular field.

Examples of people giving art critiques are professors, mentors, teachers, artists, and/or people working in the industry. They can even be your peers and classmates. So, they’re usually people with professional working experience and most likely some amount of success.

An art critique helps you understand the process of creating art. It helps guide you in a positive direction while helping prevent certain bad artistic habits. That’s the only way to get better: learning from your mistakes.

A sample critique would be if an art instructor told you that you spend too much time on an artwork or challenging the way you think about new ideas. It helps improve your work exponentially and quickly, while helping preparing you for real- world challenges. It’s definitely a good situation to be in if you take art seriously and want to succeed in this field. Because most likely, there’re going to be a LOT of mistakes made but it’s a part of learning, so you’re good.

What is NOT an Art Critique

There are many ways people can talk about art but it’s important to distinguish an art critique from common one-off statements if you either want to give a legitimate meaningful critique, or want to avoid being offended by a useless comment that doesn’t help you.

Here are examples of what is not considered an art critique or how, given certain parameters and situations. Some of these can be helpful to you or other artists but it always depends on the situation and context so use your best judgement when either giving these comments or receiving them.

  1. Opinions
    • There are many opinions when it comes to discussing art but remember they are just that: opinions.
    • Opinions on an artwork may not be considered art critiques to some because they don’t usually have the main intention of helping the artists improve their work idea-wise nor technically.
    • They usually start with an ‘I’ statement, like “I like this piece” or “I think this artwork looks like . . .”.
    • Most opinions are short comments but some can be quite long.
    • Basically, they’re just someone’s individual point of view. An expression of how the viewer feels about a piece which may or may not take into consideration the artist’s feelings or efforts.
    • Take into consideration that opinions come from people who may not be in or fully familiar with the art community.
    • Remember: These statements might not be honest or true, so take them at face value, first, then use your best judgement if you find them helpful or not.
  2. One-Sentence Statements
    • Simple statements or comments that talk about 1 point or aspect of a piece without going into any sort of detail.
    • These don’t take much artistic intellect.
  3. Compliments
    • Mostly harmless, short statements.
    • These definitely make artists feel good but they’re not constructive when they don’t go in-depth about why an artwork is great.
    • Basically, they’re just nice opinions but non-constructive, like “I love this!”, “Great job”, or “I wish I could buy this”.
    • Yeah, people may like the way your work is already but sometimes too many compliments without constructive feedback can stop your growth as an artist or even set a high standard for your work that you feel you might not be able to meet later on.
    • Relying too much on compliments as an artist can be detrimental to your work, while giving them thoughtfully can be beneficial in connecting with one (an artist). It really depends on the situation and how you want them to work (or not in your favor). So use your best judgement when receiving or giving compliments on someone’s art.

In the next section, I explain why art critiques are valuable to both the person who is receiving one and the individual who’s giving it.

Why Art Critiques are Worth Your Time

From an Artist’s Point of View

Art critiques don’t have the intention of being malicious or mean. They come from a place of respect and understanding, with a desire for another person’s success.

Although some critiques can sound nit-picky or like the critic is pin-pointing just you, they’re not.

Everyone has a different view and perspective when viewing art.

So, it’s very important to know that critiques are not personal in any way and not directed at who you are. And that’s okay if your work receives varying opinions. Not everyone will have the same thought for an artwork. That’s what makes art so unique.

Everyone views art in their own way and isn’t bound to any one interpretation.

“Not everyone will have the same thought for an artwork [. . .] Everyone views art in their own way and isn’t bound to any one particular interpretation.”


Lastly, having many art critiques for your artwork can be a wonderful thing. With multiple art critiques, you have different types of eyes and opinions on your work. This is great because it allows you to see a different side or new idea of your work, that you may not have thought of. This helps your creative process by challenging you to think outside of your normal ideas and techniques to create a more informed and knowledgeable artist,you.

From a Critic’s Standpoint

Giving meaningful and thoughtful art critiques improves your ‘artist’s eye’, which helps you recognize what needs to be improved in not only someone else’s work but in your own as well.

When giving an honest and helpful art critique, you’re also more aware of mistakes and areas that need improvement. You’re helping another artist out by giving them valuable advice. It’s a win-win situation!

The best, most successful artists, take critiques as a chance to grow and become better at their craft, not as an insult.

How to Spot an Art Critique

1. Usually in a productive work environment with at least 1 professional artist. Some examples include a classroom, seminar, portfolio review, study session, workplace, panel or convention, group meeting, or on a team project.

2. Art critiques discuss changes and fixes to an artwork. Basically, how to make it better than it already is or how to improve weak areas.

3. When a critic or person critiquing, points out what’s not working but immediately follows that up with an improvement on how to fix the work. For example: “this looks rough and doesn’t look like you spent much time on it. Instead, try spending a bit more time on your idea and practice your techniques for the next assignments. It’ll make your project look professional and clean while painting you as a hireable artist.”

When You Should Give an Art Critique

1. When an artist specifically asks for an art critique or review.

2. In a classroom setting where feedback is asked for by the instructor.

3. When reviewing an art portfolio.

4. During judging for a competition or similar event.

5. Any other event that specifically prompts an art critique.

When NOT to Give an Art Critique

Art critiques when given unannounced, can actually be quite rude and disrespectful to an artist. This is because not everyone is in the mood at all times to receive these critiques. It can be draining for someone to constantly have their art reviewed when unprompted, especially in settings that don’t call for it. Not to mention, it can make the reviewer look like a total jerk.

So, the setting is incredibly important if you’re giving a good art critique.

Here are some situations and settings where it’s NOT okay to critique someone’s art.

  1. On Opening Night at an Art Gallery or Show
    • Art galleries and art shows are all about showcasing the artists’ talents.
    • This is a night for entertainment, celebration, achievement, praise for their hard work, and an overall fun night, not another art review.
    • Here, viewers have the opportunity to connect and talk with the artists, not tell them how they should paint or draw. Positive comments and potential clients are a main focus for artists on these nights. Most artists want to be appreciated for their hard work and sacrifices. So, you can give it to them if you feel comfortable doing so.
    • Instead, keep your criticism to yourself. These events aren’t about anyone else except the artists and those who helped put on the show.
  2. When an Artist is Selling their Work In Person
    • This follows the same ideas as mentioned above.
    • When an artist sells their work (either online or in-person) they’re presenting their work AS-IS!
    • This isn’t the time to be telling them how to improve their art.
    • Usually when an artist has their work for sale, they feel their work is at a professional quality to do so. It’s beyond disrespectful and rude to critique them when they are selling. Instead, praise them for what you do like, if you want to.
  3. When the Artist Has NOT Asked for it and Is Merely Showing or Presenting Their Work
    • Again, same exact principles as 1 & 2.
    • NEVER give an art critique in an un-prompted setting. It can come off as rude and disrespectful.
    • Many people don’t want advice when it isn’t asked for. Same for artists and their work.
    • When this does happen, a lot of artists will smile and agree with the critique so to not be rude (I definitely do this). But most likely, they won’t think about that critique again nor take it to heart and just continue with their day.
    • Many artists are self-aware of their own skills and talent. And chances are, they have a pretty darn good idea of where their skills are at, myself included.
  4. Any Relaxing or Fun Event that Isn’t Art-Centered
    • It can be anything from a wedding, convention, family get-together, or a vacation.
    • These events and settings are joyous and most people want to enjoy them without thinking about work. The same applies to artists (although not all of us). But if an artist asks for a critique, better to give the advice AFTER the event as they’ll be more prepared to respond and value your critique.
    • Quick Story: I went to my sister’s wedding and just wanted to enjoy the day. I did, for the most part. But at dinner, I just wanted to eat and relax. These types of events are extremely draining for me. Basically, my relative kept asking me questions about my blog and art. I understand his comments were extremely helpful. But honestly, I just wasn’t in the mood nor felt I had the energy to continue. I felt I had to appease him by keeping the conversation going and I was out of it by the end of the night. I remember some of what he said (more like 20%) but couldn’t recall the rest because my mind wasn’t in the head space for that.

Keep reading to find out how to give a valuable art critique and what it looks like. And if you don’t know how to art critique or give a proper critique, I’ve made a quick guide to help you understand the art critique process below!

How to Art Critique the Right Way: Give a Valuable & Meaningful Art Critique

1. Start by asking what the artist specifically wants to be critiqued for and why they want to be critiqued.

  • This will prevent you from making any unwanted comments or accidentally offending the artist and coming off as rude, mean, or insensitive.

2. Give your thoughtful opinions based on the answers from the previous step.

  • If the artist wants their work to be at a professional level, point out exactly what is or isn’t working.
  • If there’s an area where the artist is lacking, immediately follow it up with what they can do to improve that particular area of work.
  • Remember: don’t over-critique someone’s work or the artist might feel that they’re being made an example of or feel badly, especially if it’s online or they’ve never met you before.
  • If you’ve never met or engaged with the person you’re critiquing, keep the areas of improvement to max. 2 things. Neither of you have met prior, so there’s no guarantee the artist will take the critique as valuable feedback.

3. Point out their strong points.

  • Not only will this make other artists feel better but they’re more likely to take your critique in a positive manner and fix what wasn’t working.
  • It’s always great to be cordial with one another, especially in the art community as fellow artists are usually more than happy to extend a helping hand for those who are polite.
  • Not only that, when good compliments are given, people are more likely to remember and interact with those nice folks.

4. Try to give thoughtful ideas that the artist might not have thought of.

  • For example, you could say, “This tree painting looks nice but why not put the tree in a pool of water to show that It’s growing from the sea, since you said it needs saltwater to survive.”
  • These types of comments really help motivate others to continue with their art and projects in the best possible way.
  • Not only does it spark a new idea but it can really improve an artwork and push it to the next level.
  • You can think of these comments as leading another artist to a gateway for more inspiration and creativity.
  • Not only that but you’re critically thinking about an artwork as well and approaching it from a new standpoint, something that you can use for your own work. It’s a win-win situation!

5. End the critique with a positive comment.

  • Here are a few things you could say, “you’re doing a great job so far”, “you’re work has been improving, keep it up”, “I can’t wait to see more of your work”, or “you’re on the right track”.
  • This is important because it makes the artist feel really good & that their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.
  • These comments blatantly acknowledge the artist’s time, the skills they’ve learned with the sacrifices they made, and their improvement.
  • It gives artists a big feeling of accomplishment and sense of achievement.
  • Positive comments on artwork leave artists with a positive feeling, motivation, and willingness to keep making art and it’ll make you feel good, too, knowing you made someone’s day a little bit better.
  • Not only that, they’ll most likely remember for saying kind works about their art. As an artist, it really means a lot when someone acknowledges my efforts and work.

For an even more in-depth look at how to give a meaningful but not mean art critique and how to distinguish good critiques from bad ones, here are some helpful links below:

Art Bashing

“Art bashing (and any type of verbal harassment for that matter) creates a hostile atmosphere that produces instantaneous negative feelings and has intent to harm, either physically, mentally, or both.”

– Drawism

Art Bashing is when someone makes a negative comment or controversial opinion about someone else’s artwork, that is neither constructive nor positive towards the artist. These comments are usually said without thinking about the artist’s feelings & are extremely opinionated. These types of comments reflect the commenters’ feelings with no consideration to the artist while being mentally hurtful to the artist.

Most often these comments come from people who might not know how to art critique or have little to no interest in giving one.

It is important to know when you or another artist is art bashed, so you can remove yourself from a hostile situation and replace it with a more positive environment❗

It’s never okay to harass someone, period. It doesn’t matter if the bashing happens online or in person, or even if it’s not about a person specifically but about an action they took, harasing someone is never okay‼


Because art bashing (and any type of verbal harassment for that matter) creates a hostile atmosphere that produces instantaneous negative feelings in someone.

Everyone has feelings.

And those feelings can include sadness, depression, loneliness, anger, anxiety, regret, low confidence, insecurities, and fear. Not everyone deals with those feelings the same way.

Please remember that everyone is different on the inside. Not everyone has thick skin to harsh words. Some people are more sensitive to comments than others and that’s 100% okay. It’s not their fault nor is it up to you or someone else to fix that.

When art bashing happens, it creates an instantaneous divide and sense of uneasiness between the person who gave the comment and the person that received it. Sometimes, the effects of art bullying can be long- lasting. In severe instances, traumatic.

If you don’t have something nice to say, keep it to yourself .

It’s 100% okay if there’s something you don’t like about another person’s art. Maybe you don’t like their art style, their coloring, or their process. That’s 100% fine. No one is forcing you to like their art. But at the same time no one is telling you or anyone else to say mean things to another artist.

Instead, say something nice of the artwork that you do like.

We all must be mindful of our words and create a better tomorrow with positivity 😃

Types of Art Bashing

“It’s crucial to know when and how to keep away from people and things that will risk your mental health.”


There are a few different forms of art bashing. They’re great examples of how to art critique the wrong way and what you or the critic should not be doing.

It can happen in these ways:

  • Someone posts mean, unthoughtful comments on social media about the artist, their work, or both.
  • Saying their work isn’t good enough or putting that person down.
  • Drawing over or editing someone’s work in a malicious way that’s intended to make the artist feel negative.
  • Telling your followers or community to go after someone or their art.
  • Making fun of an artist’s work. An example, would be comparing someone’s drawing to a heinous person, act, or event that is riddled with negativity.

How to Spot Art Bashing

A surefire way to check if someone art bashes is when someone says or posts a short unthoughtful negative comment and doesn’t follow that comment with something positive or constructive.

Here are some examples of art bashing and mean comments on artists’ work, great references for how to art critique the wrong way :

When someone does this, they’re letting their words and comments sit so it can sink into the minds of their targets. This is a manipulative mental tactic used to make someone feel inferior, defenseless, and doubtful of their own abilities.

“The one thing you must remember, is that what these people say isn’t true. Their comments can be meant to get a negative reaction from you. Basically, it’s possible they may want to annoy and bring you down. Maybe even without realizing it.”

But the one thing you MUST REMEMBER, is that what these jokers say isn’t true. Their comments are meant to get a negative reaction from you. Basically, they want to annoy and bring you down. That’s the main point of harassment.

Harmful comments can be very dangerous tools that can shift someone’s sense of stability, protection, and confidence into a pile of rubble.

Yeah, you won’t get physically hurt from it now, but any type of harassment can have an enormous effect on someone’s mental well-being and way of life. It can even become so bad where your body maybe in stress mode and start to damage itself! So it’s crucial to know when and how to keep away from people and things that’ll risk your mental health.

It’s not always easy to get away from it but below are a few tips to help you stay away from and recover from art bashing, specifically online.

How to Protect Yourself & Recover from Art Bashing

  1. Take Time to Yourself
    • You need this more than anyone right now and deserve it.
    • With a calm mind, you can take steps to address the situation when you’re ready.
    • You’re also more likely to do something you won’t regret later on.
  2. If it’s Social Media, Feel Free to Block or Report Them
    • If someone said something mean and hurtful that really hurt your feelings, take some time to process the situation. How do those negative comments make you feel? What do you need right now in the moment?
    • You need to surround yourself with positive and supportive peers. And an art basher is neither of those. So block or report them if you feel comfortable doing so.
  3. Make Your Mental Health a Major Priority
    • When you surround yourself with the people and things you love, you tend to be mentally unbreakable. This is because you know what you value in life and aren’t willingly to give attention to things that take away from it. This is because surrounding yourself in toxicity is just not worth your time.
    • When we’re in a mental state of being happy with ourselves, accomplishments or not, we’re more likely to let negative things pass by us and move on rather than waste our time engaging in the negativity.
  4. Get Off Social Media
    • We sometimes don’t want to admit it (myself included, for sure) but it can be extremely stressful not to mention mentally draining at times. Especially with some platforms requiring you to post content and interact with users on a daily basis.
    • A well-deserved break is definitely needed. Try treating yourself to a self-care weekend retreat by doing things that make you feel amazing or pampered.
    • If you feel you need to get rid of social media completely, absolutely do so. I’ve stopped going on Instagram because I was so stressed about what others thought about my work or felt like I didn’t have enough artistic talent. Since then, I’ve been extremely productive and one of the results is this blog!
  5. Talk to Someone That You 100% Know You Can Trust, About Your Situation
    • It can be something recent or something that happened a long time ago.
    • Verbally talking to someone else about the incident helps you in 2 immense ways.
      1. This helps you relieve stress from the situation by getting it out of your system. It’s a weight lifted from your shoulders that you don’t have to continue keeping to yourself nor is it a situation that you must face by yourself.
      2. Your confidant can give you suggestions. Basically, you’ll be much better equipped and prepared the next time around when art bashing (or just harassment) does happen. Not only that but you’ll feel more confident in a negative situation that you’ll be able to get out of more easily.

To learn more about dealing with art bashing and negative comments on your art, you can check this article out below:

Other Helpful Art + Artist Tips & Resources!

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  • How to Get Back into Drawing After a Long Break| Post
  • Art Update 1: Realistic Sci Fi Digital Painting and Process| Post
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  • 10 Dangerous, Lasting Mental Effects on Social Media Artists| Post
  • Free Printable Copyright Cheat Sheet for Posting Online Art| Freebie
  • Free Printable Download of Drawable Stress Relief Cheat Sheet| Freebie
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What art critique tips or stories do you have? Share your experiences below!
See you in the next post and keep creating!

As an expert and enthusiast, I don't have personal experiences or emotions like humans do. However, I have been trained on a vast amount of data and can provide information on various topics, including art critique. In the following sections, I will provide an overview of the concepts discussed in this article.

What is an Art Critique?

An art critique is a type of constructive criticism or feedback that is made with the intention to help someone improve their art. The purpose of an art critique is to inform the artist by pointing out the strong and weak points of an artwork, not just the bad points. It is important to note that the intention of art critiques is to benefit the person receiving the information. Art critiques usually focus on all aspects of an artwork, including technical skills, ideas, thought processes, and the creation process. They are typically given by professionals, such as professors, mentors, teachers, artists, and people working in the industry.

What is NOT an Art Critique?

There are many ways people can talk about art, but it's important to distinguish an art critique from common one-off statements if you want to give a legitimate meaningful critique or avoid being offended by a useless comment. Opinions on artwork, one-sentence statements, and compliments without constructive feedback are not considered art critiques. Opinions are individual points of view and may not have the main intention of helping the artist improve their work. One-sentence statements and compliments, while harmless and nice, are not constructive when they don't provide in-depth analysis or suggestions for improvement.

Why Art Critiques are Worth Your Time

From an artist's point of view, art critiques come from a place of respect and understanding, with a desire for the artist's success. They provide valuable advice for improvement and help artists see different perspectives on their work. Multiple art critiques can offer different eyes and opinions, allowing artists to explore new ideas and techniques. From a critic's standpoint, giving meaningful and thoughtful art critiques improves one's own artistic eye and helps recognize areas for improvement in both someone else's work and one's own. It is important to take critiques as an opportunity to grow and become better at the craft.

How to Spot Art Bashing

Art bashing is when someone makes a negative comment or controversial opinion about someone else's artwork that is neither constructive nor positive towards the artist. Art bashing can be harmful and create a hostile atmosphere. It is important to recognize art bashing and remove oneself from such situations to protect one's mental health and well-being. Art bashing can be identified when someone posts mean, unthoughtful comments without following up with something positive or constructive.

How to Give a Valuable Art Critique

Giving a valuable art critique involves several steps. Firstly, start by asking the artist what specific aspect they want to be critiqued on and why. This helps prevent unwanted comments and ensures that the critique is focused on the artist's needs. Give thoughtful opinions based on the artist's answers, pointing out areas that need improvement and providing suggestions for how to fix them. Also, highlight the artist's strong points and offer new ideas that they may not have considered. End the critique with a positive comment to acknowledge the artist's efforts and motivate them to continue their artistic journey.

How to Protect Yourself and Recover from Art Bashing

If you experience art bashing, it is important to prioritize your mental health. Take time for yourself and surround yourself with positive and supportive individuals. If the art bashing occurs on social media, consider blocking or reporting the person responsible. It may also be helpful to take a break from social media to relieve stress and focus on self-care. Talking to someone you trust about the situation can also provide support and guidance. Remember that art bashing is not a reflection of your worth as an artist, and it's important to prioritize your well-being.

These are the main concepts discussed in this article. I hope this information helps you understand how to art critique the right way and how to handle art bashing. If you have any further questions or need more specific information, feel free to ask!

Art Critique Vs. Art Bashing: How To Art Critique Right (2024)


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