How to Self-Critic


As an artist, beginner or advanced. It is important for you to know how to self-critic your own work in the right way. 

So let’s talk about how to self-critic:

1) View From The Eyes of an Outsider

You should view your artwork from the eyes and perspective of an outsider. A good way to do this is to not look at your work for an hour or more. If you can, leave it for a day and come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes. Try taking a photo of your work to look at your art from a different perspective. You will see the things that you never realised before and what needs to change.

When you are drawing, one of the things that I always tell my students, either they’re doing pencil drawing, charcoal, especially when it comes to oil painting, guys, it’s beneficial to look at your painting from a little far away. Put down your easel, or if you are doing on a paper, put it on a table, and then get away from it, go a little further away, look at it from far away and see what you have done. It will definitely change your view regarding your drawing or painting.

If you don’t view your work from an outsider’s eyes and perspective, you might become too nice to yourself and you’re work and won’t be able to see if you’re work’s need improvements or not.

So make sure to be honest with yourself when it comes to your art.

2) Don’t Be Too Harsh on Your Work

Pretend to be someone else who hasn’t seen your artworks before. Imagine what they would say and which areas are really good and which areas may need improvements. You should do this with all your work, not just for one piece. This is a useful second self-critic, you can track your work through time and see your progress and how your work has improved since you have started to self-critic. Has your style changed over one year? You can see the changes in your works and what areas to focus on to improve. These areas may have changed from last time and that’s fine.


3) Ask Yourself About Your Style and Creativity

It is important that you challenge yourself as an artist so ask yourself these questions when you are self-criticising. 

  • Are you pushing your boundaries? 
  • Are you trying new things? as well as experimenting with other styles?

It’s always good to get out of your comfort zone and allow yourself to create art in other sizes to see what works for you.

Be careful with this point, when you are pushing your boundaries and trying new things, don’t ever hate your work. If you over criticise it and you begin to hate your work so much, it will discourage you to continue. You should avoid this as it’s not a healthy self criticism.


4) Never Compare Yourself to Other Artists

Everyone has their own hand movements and everyone has their own style, even yourself.

Whilst following an art course, It doesn’t mean that your style is going to be exactly the same as the teacher’s style. You can come up with your own drawing and style if you wish, even for art courses. You can interpret the task in your own way. So try to have a positive outlook and compare your current artworks to your past artworks rather than other people’s.

Also as important as it is to find the areas of your work that needs improvement, it is equally important to reward yourself mentally for what you have done and how much you have improved over time. Even, if it’s one week, two weeks, one month, or even a year. The longer you can wait to compare you work with previous work, the better as you shouldn’t expect huge improvement within a week. It takes time and thats ok.

5) Identify The Areas You Have Improved

After you have done the comparison within yourself and your artworks past and present, it is time to find out the areas you have improved. Have you have tackled the areas you need to improve? For instance, if you have a color pencil drawing that you are uncomfortable with. It could be that you are uncomfortable with areas such as the color of the skin, the eyelashes or even, struggling with highlights. When you have identified the areas that you need to improve, begin to practise these as then your whole artwork can be improved.

I have created 2 FREE ebooks for you that cover 10 Steps to Improve your Art and 10 Mistakes to avoid in Realistic Portrait Drawing.

If you would like to gain in-depth knowledge and improve your art skills in a specific medium, I have created art courses for you that I have reduced in price by 50% for you all to enjoy during this difficult time.

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