Every artist is their own worst critic. However, we can also be blind to our own faults. Critiquing our own artwork is difficult due to our own inherent biases and judgments. But it’s not impossible. Learning how to look at your work critically but compassionately can help you grow as an artist. Here’s how to get started:
Objectivity is crucial when critiquing anything. When it comes to our own artwork, we have the tendency to either be too harsh to too easy on ourselves. Instead, take a step back and view your piece how an outsider would view it. Don’t ignore your mistakes, but don’t overinflate them either. It can help, too, to step away from your painting for some time and then come back to it with fresh eyes.
To be clear, there is no sure-fire way of doing this. Objectivity is something that every single person struggles with. But so long as you try to be objective, then you will start seeing your artwork in a more balanced way.
Look at the Big Picture
As you study your artwork objectively, you’ll start to notice areas for improvement. Don’t focus on tiny mistakes, but instead look at the big picture. For example, it does no good to fixate on one tiny error. Even the best painters make these mistakes. But if you step back and notice that you struggle with perspective or that some of the colors look out of place, then you can make a plan to improve these skills.
Find Areas of Greatness
We have a tendency to focus on the negative instead of the positive. While finding mistakes can help us grow as an artist, it’s important we don’t go too far. If you only focus on the negative, you’ll quickly become discouraged. So, after you’ve found your areas of improvement, look for areas of greatness. In other words, find parts of your painting that you did well on and are proud of. Give yourself a pat on the back and remind yourself how hard it is to accomplish this task.