Free Critique

You don’t want to be critiqued? What? Actually, this is one of the best ways to improve our painting skills. Understand, a good critique points out the both the strengths and weakness of the painting. We learn by our mistakes and each mistake is a stepping stone to a greater success.

One of the first things to consider when receiving an artistic critique is whether the critic is expressing personal taste, or if they are pointing out a problem based on a fundamental principle that is not followed in the painting.

When I critique I like to point out what’s working and what’s not, and explain the principle that are not being adhered to, and causing the problem. Don’t be afraid – submit those paintings and let’s improve our skills!

Each month send me a nice digital image of the current class painting and will choose several to critique. This is done anonymously and is beneficial for all the students. I will send a personal email to those selected for the critique.

When you take your pictures be sure they are well lit and not blurry – a simple jpeg is nice. Keep the files no larger than about 2 MB and you can ask questions if you like. I may not be able to answer you, but I will post a few of the paintings for the monthly critique – no names attached.

Send images of your work to:

Subject Line: Critique




Good color, strokes look good, but I would like to see more strokes overall and breaking up or separation between the strokes. For example, on the yellow wall in the top right. (More contrast.) The values on the table in the shadow seem a little light. Did a great job with the waiter and people. Front sitting woman’s head seems a little big. Light post is leaning slightly to the right. Good job overall!


Good handling of values. Sky on the left side could be slightly lighter. Water is fantastic. Rocks could be a little more angular in the boulders. Very impressive overall.


That tree is amazing next to the house – wow. Some of the strokes on the path seem artificial, probably because they are too much the same size. Cloud looks good on the top, but a little too hard edged on the bottom. House is perfect except the white painted windows under the porch are too bright. Should be a darker value. Top left corner of painting is pretty amazing.

FullSizeRender copy

Nice, fresh brushstrokes. Image a little blurry at the top, hard to tell. Light on the pines seem a little too bright. Rocks are nice and angular. Water at the bottom has strokes on an angle instead of flat giving a strange tilting feel. May need some more highlights on the water. Perhaps a little more edges and angularity on the mountains between the shadow and light, but it may because its a little blurry. Good job.