Kitty Heaven



I’d love some feedback on these paintings/drawings please. I’m an aspiring wannabe illustrator.

Cheers, Iva


Below is the standard reply I use when I see beginner artists who are asking for critiques in the WIP forums:

It’s really hard to critique works from artists who are still very early in their artistic development, just like how it’s very hard to critique someone’s language skills if they are just starting to learn a new language, because so much of what they do is wrong.

To critique beginner’s work would no longer be critique–it would become instruction in all the basics, because you would have to explain every aspect of the visual art foundation in detail and how they related to the mistakes made in the image–from composition, perspective, values, lighting, tonal composition, atmospheric perspective, color temperature, color contrast, radiosity/color bleed, deceptive colors, contextural color illusions, anatomy, figure, psychological and physiological roots of body language and facial expressions, aesthetic sensibility, hierarchy of edges, brushwork, line quality, visual storytelling techniques, and so on.

My suggestion is for you to focus on learning the critical foundations of visual art–don’t rush into trying to construct your own images because you lack the necessarily knowledge/skill/experience to do your ideas any justice at this point. Head on over to the Art Techniques & Theories forum (linked below in my signature) and start reading the sticky threads–they will help you far more than any critique you’re going to get at this point, because any critique you get would essentially be very condensed and simplified art instruction anyway, and they won’t help you that much if you aren’t learning those instructions in proper context through a carefully laid out learning/teaching plan.


Sheesh, that “standard reply” Copy/Paste is… IMHO, rather superfluous. If you can’t critique an image itself, just go for the artist instead, tell them they’re beginners and have to learn everything? Good job, you’re a real motivator. And a real help, especially considering that you’re really putting the effort in there to tell them something about the actual images… Oh, right, you didn’t.

So, towards a proper comment:
I for one rather see a distinct style in the images above. As it seems you’re going for a very 2D-ish kind of image, my initial suggestion would be to look more into line thickness, e.g. the first image with all the cats could use some variety in that regard. And while the other two images have them, the first also seems to be missing some shading, and looks rather flat (even for 2D, if you get what I mean). Can’t say much to the second, that horse looks kinda creepy to me, and missing colors or more gray it also seems as if all the trees are on the same level as the horse. Could be what you’re going for in terms of style, but is a little irritating to view. But the third one is really cute and well done. :slight_smile:

Anyways, just my 2 cents worth to counteract that “copy/paste” reply I’ve seen way too often lately. I’m by no means an expert myself, my critique above is just my gut telling me what I think is missing in those images you posted.



The standard note to beginners are necessary if you really want them to become better artists in an efficient manner. Telling them what’s wrong with the images they post only works as a temporary band-aid for all the leaks in their “artistic boat.” They’ll maybe patch up a few of those leaks in those images, but the overall quality of their work and their understanding as artists will still be far from proficient. So what happens the next time they post more equally beginner level works, with a bunch more leaks that needs to be patched up? You go through the same thing again, and that just isn’t an efficient way for an artist to learn and grow in a manner that is actually effective. This is something all advanced artists understand, because they have been through the journey, and they know what really matters in an artists growth and development.

The most effective way possible for any artist to learn and grow so that their work will have significant leaps in improvement, is to simply buckle down and study the critical foundations of visual art. There is not other way. By doing their own thing full of mistakes and repeating the same misunderstandings, and having others give them a few tips here and there over and over, is not nearly as effective for their actual artistic growth.

Beginners don’t even have the necessary insight to be able to implement or make sense of much of the critiques they get, because they haven’t studied any of the foundations yet.

Have you actually been to the Art Techniques & Theories forum at cgtalk? Have you actually read through the sticky threads there? If you have, then you’ll understand why I keep sending beginners there–it is the best thing for their artistic growth.


I’m not saying that the advice in general isn’t a bad idea. And although simple suggestions might be a band-aid approach, it’s also a way to motivate a person to improve on an image.

Posting the exact same reply feels like you can’t be bothered to say anything in regard to the images themselves, which is IMHO what people are asking for. Of course, if something is way off, a note or link to the stickies and what not is fine and dandy. But at least tell them something on a personal level by writing something yourself, rather than just copy-pasting some reply you’ve cooked up at some point and now feel like pasting when you see a couple of mistakes, where a single suggestion might not suffice to get the image up to CG-Talks (rather high) standards.

IMHO, it’s very demeaning to not even go to the effort of writing something new, and seeing the same post in several threads was just bugging me. One could just employ a bot for that.


You’re are not considering the fact that I give very detailed and thorough critiques for many of the threads in the WIP forum, and I post that form reply ONLY for the total beginners who really should just be learning the basics instead of posting stuff that shows they haven’t studied any basics at all. Just do a search for all the in-depth critiques I’ve given in the WIP forums in the last year alone–it’ll make your head spin.

And why would I rewrite the same advice over and over if it’s the exact same advice? The whole reason I started to use that form reply for beginners is because I keep having to write the same reply over and over–dozens and dozens of them, all the time. How about you try volunteering your time for several hours a week just to help out with in-depth critiques in the WIP forums. After a few months, you’re going to want to have a form reply for the total beginners too, especially when it becomes painfully clear that the only thing that will help these beginners is to convince them that they need to simply slow down and learn how to walk before they try to run. After the nth time of saying how the person needs to learn the basics because they don’t understand anything about composition, values, lighting, colors, perspective, anatomy/figure, and so on, and their images have problems in all of those areas, in every part, every corner, you’re going to want to find a way to tell them all that in a way that is sufficiently in-depth, but without you having to write the same thing over and over. Beginners all share the exact same weaknesses in their artistic development–it is not like giving intermediate and advanced artists critiques where each image has unique set of problems to troubleshoot. All beginner’s works have problems in every single area of the basic foundations. That is why a form reply is sufficient. It’ll help them realize that they need to learn the basics, and I point them to the place they can best do that.

Nobody else even bothers replying to the posts by the total beginners, because they know any specific pointers for the images are not going to be of much help in their actual artistic development. Only studying and learning the basic foundations will.

You try and reply to all the beginner posts for a few months, non-stop, spending several hours of your time every week doing it. I will bet you that you will end up using a form reply of some kind, or simply rewording the exact same set of advice over and over and over.


I admit that I am more of a lurker than an active member in these forums because I haven’t been very active with my art-hobby, and no, I don’t know or track how many helpful posts you’ve made to other members and didn’t want to imply that you’re replies in general are bad, if I came across as such, then I’m sorry.

Overall, it might be more of a problem with forums in general that posts asking for comments or help remain unanswered because no one can be bothered to reply. Then again, that’s what a sane person might have to expect when riding the internet, and if no one replies, then that might serve as an answer in itself: Either the community currently isn’t in the mood, or one needs more patience for someone to reply, or one needs to add some more UUMPF to ones work to get some attention.

Nontheless, I stick to my opinion that a canned reply is bad unless flavored with at least a few comments on the actual work that has been submitted. Just a single, specific pointer might help guide a person to the next step, rather than getting him/her stumped because of the vast array of things he/she has been told to take of. If it takes you a little longer to write a reply, then sure, others won’t get one on that day. And then there might be a backlog. But if that is the case, then this forum is understaffed, or the community not very communication-friendly - or not as large as one might think.
I don’t want to open a big can of worms and debate (especially in this thread which should focus more on the submitted art!) on how you or rather, how this forum should treat its users, even the complete beginners (though I’m not sure I’d agree with you on this particular case). I’m just a User like any other and don’t run things or even post that often, so who am I to criticise when someone does reply, even if it is pre-made?

IMHO, the standard reply simply tells every other viewer to not bother anymore, the OP has been answered and deemed wanting in nearly every regards, and thus no one feels inclined to comment any further. I guess I’m the exception. But if it’s just up to you to keep this WIP-Forum happy, then yeah, a canned reply might be better than nothing, but it also tells something very sad about the state of this forum.



I respectfully disagree. This forum is for WIP - work in PROGRESS, not finished amateur/beginner work. This forum is to help people struggling finishing a piece, not critiquing their work in general. That is beyond the scope of this forum, and honestly, it’s distracting. Perhaps the site needs a “newbie” forum where people getting started could go? Oh, wait, it’s already there, Luna posted links to it. :slight_smile: Not trying to be a smartass, but, really, that’s what he did.

If you problem is how Luna handles his job as moderator, then apply for the job of moderating this forum. Personally, I think he does a great job, and he has very valid points he’s making. A lot of newbies end up here, and honestly, the work being discussed and posted about is way above their level, and this forum is not to teach art and technique, it’s about specifically solving problems and showcasing work as it’s created. They can learn by reading the posts, but for Luna or myself or anyone else to tackle the job of teaching people how to become an artist ignores the intended purpose of the forum, and clutters it up.

One last thing - as far as I understand it, Luna does not owe every single person who posts a handwritten, personal critique. This forum is mostly volunteer driven, so I think a better approach for you is to do what i do - give the poster your thoughts, even if Luna has posted links to the newbie forums. You are more than welcome to do that, as I am, as well as everyone else who does. I do it because I enjoy it, not because i have any opinion of what Luna posts, or how he does it.


Like I said, I’ve got no gripes with Luna in general, just with that canned reply. But I also said that I’m not as active a member as others, and my opinion might not matter because I don’t have as big an overview as others.
I do however wonder if the forums need a better headline or description or something, if “beginners” shouldn’t post their WIP here, even though the title suggests otherwise.

I for myself am beginning to question my perceived position of these forums, I always thought this was a great place for beginners to get comments and suggestions, but it seems like the bar has been raised somewhat in these recent years. Luna has written a post about the submission and judging process, it hints at how things have changed from the past if lots of people question it.

Anyways, I’ve said what I wanted to say, do with my opinion as you please! :wink: You active peeps know better what this place represents and what not, I might be misguided by old times.


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