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Critiques And Suggestions On Art Page

Posted by: JC Findley on 05/21/2013 - 1:56 PM

While I take every critique seriously and decide if I want to listen to it or not, the comments below the art are NOT the place to do such things. You can give a critique in the threads if asked for or if you want to provide an unsolicited critique, by all means send a PM but this is a sales site, not a photo sharing or review site and any comment that could possibly negatively effect sales should not be posted below the image.

If you do it to mine, I will simply delete the comment.


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 05/21/2013 - 2:04 PM


Posted by: Roseann Caputo on 05/21/2013 - 2:06 PM

Sounds about right.


Posted by: Zeana Romanovna on 05/21/2013 - 2:11 PM



Posted by: H Drew on 05/21/2013 - 2:17 PM

Say what you want on mine. I will leave it. don't really care if it is positive or negative


Posted by: Lois Bryan on 05/21/2013 - 2:38 PM

I agree with JC.


Posted by: Roy Erickson on 05/21/2013 - 2:40 PM

I agree - but - Anyone mind if "I" ask what brought that on?

HD - don't wake up the alligator.


Posted by: Dan Carmichael on 05/21/2013 - 2:49 PM

Also, agreed. However, I did not know we had the ability to delete comments from others. I'll take a look.


Posted by: H Drew on 05/21/2013 - 2:59 PM

@ Roy; Not fraid of no Gator!

Photography Prints


Posted by: Mary Bedy on 05/21/2013 - 3:05 PM

I have a question on that - I deleted a critique comment under one of mine and the subsequent reply I made to the original commenter. The comment is gone, and so is my reply in the regular view on my page, but in the activity thread, my response to the comment is still showing even though I deleted it under the image???


Posted by: Mike Savad on 05/21/2013 - 3:06 PM

it doesn't happen often, but when i get a critique on it, it's deleted as soon as i see it. not the place for it and i know i didn't ask.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Isabella F Abbie Shores on 05/21/2013 - 3:22 PM

It probably is that search wait thing going on Mary


Posted by: Candi Edie on 05/21/2013 - 3:22 PM

I completely agree, JC.


Posted by: Mary Bedy on 05/21/2013 - 3:55 PM

Abbie - I deleted it a few days ago.

Oh well, it's only showing in the activity view which buyers don't see anyway, so it's not that big a deal.


Posted by: Loretta Luglio on 05/21/2013 - 4:17 PM

I agree. I recently sold a print to someone in Springfield, MA and one of the new 'congratulations' comments asked 'if that was just glare in the upper right hand corner? Well it was not and I promptly deleted the comment and sure enough, the buyer came back twice to look at it. If he had seen the comment he would have thought something was wrong with the print! People don't think before they write.


Posted by: Cynthia Decker on 05/21/2013 - 4:25 PM


Unsolicited critique doesn't belong anywhere, IMO.


Posted by: Janine Riley on 05/21/2013 - 5:21 PM

just to be suuuure............

Is stating that you enjoy some one's use of composition or contrasting color in a comment considered a critique ?

I sure do hope not.


Posted by: Deborah Smolinske on 05/21/2013 - 5:42 PM

I value comments that say something along the lines of "love the composition, use of colors, great light," et cetera, et cetera. I don't consider those critiques, or if they are, at least they're positive.

But a comment such as "great piece, but it would look even better if you cloned out the tree in the corner" or even "what's that funky-looking thing in the background?" is a critique and I would delete that immediately.

Many people do read comments when they're thinking of buying (I know I do), and anything there can have a subliminal effect on the reader. Positive remarks can help sell a piece; negative remarks (or even so-called "helpful" ones) can ruin a potential sale.


Posted by: JC Findley on 05/21/2013 - 6:31 PM

From my perspective, anything positive, use of color, composition, etc is absolutely fine. If it can help the image sell then great.

The critique that generated this thread read something along the lines of this.

Absolutely beautiful. I recommend you crop out some of the top because the water is centered, (My guess is a recommendation for use of the rule of thirds?) and straighten it out as the water is tilted and wants to pour off the right of the page. If you did that it would be a perfect 10. (paraphrased as I deleted the comment and am writing from memory.

Actually, the water IS tilted slightly but considering this image is one of my top sellers and has produced over a grand in revenue, AND is hanging above me as I type this as a 36 inch framed print and I have not noticed it before it does not seem to be a lim factor on it. Now, had this been a PM, I would actually be appreciative of the critique, but there is no place for such things on a page clients look at.

Now, since I straighten everything I wondered if this was right and how I missed it. The reality is the water is .32 degrees off tilt. Most eyes will not catch that but I generally do. That said, I straightened this image off the Capitol Building which is where the eye focuses and it IS dead straight. As far as the rule of thirds, I OFTEN split water down the middle and could care less what the rules say in those images, the second one below is also split and also a top seller regardless of splitting the water though it has also got private critique on not using the rule of thirds.

Art Prints

Sell Art Online

Again, I always welcome critique in private but the sales site page is NOT the place to give negative ones.


Posted by: Phyllis Wolf on 05/21/2013 - 6:40 PM

I agree on the un asked for "critique", ...
and if everyone follows "rules" and does everything with the "proper" technique, there will be no originality and everyones stuff is all going to look similar. I already see far too much that looks the same as it is now. All the same = boring.


Posted by: Loree Johnson on 05/21/2013 - 6:43 PM

A big part of knowing the "rules" of photography is knowing when to break them.....:-)


Posted by: Candi Edie on 05/21/2013 - 7:06 PM

They call it art because there IS no hard and fast rules you have to follow each and every time.


Posted by: Nature's Details on 05/21/2013 - 7:20 PM

[quote] Say what you want on mine. I will leave it. don't really care if it is positive or negative [quote]

I completely agree with H. Drew. Sometimes we get far too caught up, in calling every little bit of constructive criticism "negative". An honest comment (feedback), is not necessarily a "negative" comment. I think most of us, if we are completely honest with ourselves, are able to tell the difference between "constructive" and "negative". And if completely honest with ourselves, we may quite often agree with the "constructive" ones. Purely "negative" and or obvious "revenge" comments, would be deleted from my page.

Also, I never really get a whole lot of positive comments (or otherwise), so bring on the "constructive" ones, if nothing else it will help in the search. :) I do not think a buyer is going to decide on a purchase, based on critiques. They will either like it, or not like it. I do not decide on going to a movie, based on a bunch of "stuffy critiques", but I bet the movie makers pay close attention to them???

We are not selling the artwork to OURSELVES. A constructive critique from a fellow member, or better yet a buyer, may lead me to make a change, that will help an image sell better.

EDIT - However, if the majority of people from FAA do not want "honest" comments below their work and are just looking for people to "blow smoke" [edit] sorry if "blow smoke" offended. For me this term is in reference to having our "ears tickled" and it was not meant to offend [edit], FAA should include a message at the top of the Comment section, that makes it clear. As fellow members (artists), we may understand the "unwritten rule (policy)", but a buyer may not.

EDIT2 - I have used the "Critique" groups a few times and it led me to make some changes to one of my images, which I reloaded to different sites (off FAA) and received great feedback on the changes. I have also decided not to post a certain image, based on feedback here. The "honest" opinion of the image I decided to delete is a GREAT thing. If a buyer goes to your profile and there is art there that is just not "up to snuff", that may be one of the first images viewed and you could lose that potential buyer "for good".


Posted by: Ann Powell on 05/21/2013 - 7:24 PM

Sometimes I do not even have time to look at my comments --, so it is a good thing you noticed the negative remark in time Loretta. After reading of the option to do so in a previous discussion I went ahead and made the comments not show on my AW page. I am not sure if it makes much difference.
I agree a negative remark does not belong on the the comment section for potential buyers to see.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 05/21/2013 - 7:26 PM

it's not about good or bad critiques - it's getting them and displaying them on your store - it's not professional. this isn't a critique site, and none should be given unless asked, and only then in private or off the image. you just don't want to divert the buyer. i don't think anyone needs to be reminded that comments like that aren't needed in a store.

there are groups just for critiques if you don't know how to critique yourself. that's what it's for, not under the image.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: JC Findley on 05/21/2013 - 7:33 PM

Tiny, is there anything you won't argue?

Seriously, if you want "honest" critique on your image on a sales page then great. If YOU do not pay attention to movie critiques then wonderful. But, there are in fact many people that do pay attention to such things and will not go to a movie with a bad critique. When it comes down to it, even an "honest" minor critique can point out things the buyer wouldn't notice and wouldn't have even cared about until it was pointed out. This is a commerce site and NOT a how to improve your images site. This is not Facebook or Flickr. Most artists are here to sell. Hey, if someone genuinely wants to help you, unsolicited or not, then send a PM. The artist gets the message and can make the improvements in private, not in public.

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Posted by: Christine Till on 05/21/2013 - 9:55 PM

Oh Tiny, you're like a crocodile. Once you bit into something you can't let go.

No matter what, I'm with JC on this one.
In the years I'm on FAA I got 2 "well meaning suggestions" ... I deleted both of them right away.
Then I took a close look at the poster's work, left a "well meaning suggestion" on his piece ... and watched my post disappear. LOL

I also deleted and delete comments like "Nice picture" or similar. They are of no value, so why keep them?!


Posted by: JC Findley on 05/21/2013 - 9:59 PM


Posted by: Nature's Details on 05/21/2013 - 10:00 PM

@ Mike,

I just do not equate a scratch on a car, the same as a supposed "flaw" on an image.

A scratch on a car, is a DEFINITE FLAW. There is nothing else that it can be.

If someone makes an opinion on a photograph, that they "think" is a flaw, it very well might to be "them". To someone else, it might just be what they like.

A scratch on a car for sale, can never be anything but a "flaw", in the eyes of any person.


Posted by: JC Findley on 05/21/2013 - 10:07 PM

Here, let me try this debate thingy....

Not true, a scratch is not always a flaw but rather simply a sign that a truck has been used for what it is designed for and in the case of a work truck, scratches simply do not matter as much as that beautifully tuned 351 thundering through the duel exhaust and the Super Swampers below. Scratches smatches.

Art Prints


Posted by: Mike Savad on 05/21/2013 - 10:12 PM

of course it is. but i want to make the sale. i don't care if the car is missing the engine and the two wheels on the opposite side of the car, once i make the sale, you own the car. the flaws don't matter. it's the fact that someone pointed them out - i lost the sale.

most may not notice a scratch on the bumper, or care. but it can affect the sale of the car.

just pointing it out is enough to prevent the sale.

2 weeks ago we bought a cake. i tasted a perfume or soap taste in it. others thought it was mold. we are now hesitant to buy anything from there again, even though we've been going there for years. now if i were to tell people the name of that place, chances are their sales would go down a lot - even if it was just that one cake, it can be enough to change someone's outlook of a place. the rest of the cakes may be totally fine. once it's spotted though, you lose business, even if there was nothing wrong with the cake, if people knew to look for that one thing, they may actually taste it.

but the main point is - we don't want comments that devalue the work any. there should be no reasons to not buy something. it's hard enough to sell in the first place.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Nature's Details on 05/21/2013 - 10:14 PM

[quote] Oh Tiny, you're like a crocodile. Once you bit into something you can't let go[quote]

@ Christine,

I like to debate. I think JC does too, or he would not be studying law.


I think there are some people who are just not able to handle debate. ( I am not talking about JC). Their idea of a discussion is, OP shares "opinion" and then they share their "opinion". And that is that. End of story.

As soon as the OP comes back with a new argument to support his opinion or a different angle, they lose it and fall apart. Then they get upset and make comments like, "because the OP came back with a new supportive argument, then their comment is not being appreciated and they are being hounded."

The real problem is, they just do not understand what a rebuttal is.

Stating an opinion and the back and forth presentation of supportive arguments and rebuttals, is what discussion is. Neither side may ever agree with one another. In fact if it is true debate, both sides should be of such differing opinion, that they never agree.

But a good discussion, does not mean we all have agree with each other. How boring would that be. Although, if you take a close look at society today, that is how everyone [edit] a lot of people [edit] seems to want it. Some people seem to want a community of like minded individuals (not talking about FAA), where everyone agrees on everything and as soon as someone has a differing point of view, it becomes "attack" and not "debate".

The thing is, a lot of times those that can't deal with true debate, will turn to personal attacks, because they are at a loss of what else to do.

This does not mean that the OP is right (including me), but an opinion does not have to be right, it just has to be supported, without resorting to attacking the "person". Sometimes, it does not even have to be supported by facts [edit] (the opinion can be based on feelings, or yes, even faith [edit]), although there are many times when an opinion is formed around facts and it is important to include these in the supporting arguments.

***this reminds me of a recent thread, which shall not be named*** [edit] although i would have to admit, that i was getting flustered by the personal attacks and pushed back harder than i normally would have on a site like this. [edit]

That was not directed at the topic of this thread, or anyone on this thread. It is just a response to the whole "crocodile" thing.


Posted by: Nature's Details on 05/21/2013 - 10:16 PM

[quote] Not true, a scratch is not always a flaw but rather simply a sign that a truck has been used for what it is designed for and in the case of a work truck, scratches simply do not matter as much as that beautifully tuned 351 thundering through the duel exhaust and the Super Swampers below. Scratches smatches. [quote] - JC

@ JC,

great point!

I don't think this is what Mike had in mind, but you make a very valid and great "supporting argument"..

You see.... this can be fun!! And I do not have to attack you. :)


Posted by: Dan Turner on 05/21/2013 - 10:19 PM

"i want to make the sale. i don't care if the car is missing the engine and the two wheels on the opposite side of the car, once i make the sale, you own the car."

Holy cow, Mike, remind me not to buy no car from you! Again, a horrible example for purposes of this discussion.

Note to Tiny: With all the lines, edits, quotes, parentheses, and sub-notes in your posts I have no idea who's saying what.

Dan Turner
Dan Turner Fine Art
Dan Turner's Seven Keys to Selling Art Online
To Enjoy Dan Turner's Pinterest Boards, Click Here


Posted by: Nature's Details on 05/21/2013 - 10:39 PM

anyways... i have enjoyed the discussion. time for bed.

thank you Bradford, for setting me straight.


Posted by: Michael Hoard on 05/21/2013 - 10:42 PM

Excellent forum JC to the point, any comment I have ever made brought nothing but the best interest to that particular photo. When I do critique I look carefully at another FAA members gallery and with respect to that artist regardless who you are if your work moves me, has that much impact on me I will comment sincerely. If you do not care to receive a comment from me you can simply delete it or perhaps the feature be done away with.

If you are not sincere do not even post a critique.

I can assure everyone my fellow friends, peers, mentors here on FAA any comment I have ever made where typed not a standard copy and paste critique as everyone is well aware of certain members come across as doing just that copy and paste.

I have a question for the entire forum, when a buyer does purchase your work, they have no need to critique but what about all the hundreds of people who visit your gallery or photo outside of Fine Art America are they not allowed to vote or critique our work like it or not. Does that take place.

The business here at FAA is just that a business working together in harmony with Artist, Customers, Gallery Owners, Collectors and Visitors and fellow members!


Posted by: Mike Savad on 05/22/2013 - 7:15 AM

dan it's not a horrible example, i can't help it if you or tiny don't understand metaphors and i needed to explain things in a literal sense. it's a fine example. simply put, if you mention the flaw you may lose the sale. if your a car salesman, they put a lot of pressure on you to make that sale, because that's how you get paid. you don't need a heckler.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Dee Browning on 05/22/2013 - 8:30 AM

Wow! A lot of discussion on this subject. In summary of what I have read, I agree this is a selling site only. And who is to say the person critiquing knows what they are talking about. I only comment on those images I like. I usually do not read what others write for it might change what I see and like about the piece.
I have been to many photography critiques and found myself disappointed when an image I found very appealing, not one of mine, did not appeal to the certified judges. One of my best selling images received a bad critique from certified judges. On the other hand, I have taken the not so great selling images and turned them into a great sellers following the advice from certified judges.

I love showing my work and conversing with others about it while not revealing that I am the photographer/artist. Not revealing who I am, I can look at my work through the eyes of the viewer. I am always enlightened by what they see and feel about the piece.


Posted by: Cynthia Decker on 05/22/2013 - 9:06 AM

This thread has become circular and confusing. *rubs eyes*

Mike, your use of the word "heckler" is a great analogy. When I see a piece of artwork and in the comments there is some random critique - that's what it looks like to me. Heckling. It seems childish. Even if it has merit, the comments section is not the place for it on a site that is about selling finished work.

To a potential customer who is reading these comments, it may give them pause - make them say "oh hey, I didn't notice that, now it bothers me", or they may just say "so what, I love this picture anyway." Me? I'd rather not have them do that at all - or more precisely - I'd rather have them arrive at those conclusions on their own, because of their own observations of my work, rather than because some random yahoo planted the idea in their head.

Surely everyone here has had that experience where you're looking at something and you're enjoying it and then someone says to you "man that looks like a duck foot to me." And then all you can see is the duck foot. Forever. We are suggestible creatures by nature - it's part of what kept us alive in the caveman days.

So, unsolicited critique on a site about sharing works in progress? A site about developing skill and technique? Or even here, on a post where someone asks for opinions? Yea, sure, critique away. But in my store? You'll just wind up making me peeved at you and making yourself look petty.


Posted by: Gregory Scott on 05/22/2013 - 9:15 AM

Unsolicited critiques in comments are inappropriate, since faults are not something I would like to discuss on the page where I am selling an image. But I read ALL comments avidly, and have no scruples whatsoever about deleting any comment that does not seem appropriate for any reason at all. However, some people may get too many comments for this to be practical, or may not realize that comments can be deleted. I usually email a private critique if it is unsolicited. Because it's faster and more convenient, if I am suggesting keywords or have spotted spelling errors, I sometimes put those in comments since they're rather trivial anyway.

With regard to the "scratch and dent" controversy, I will say that a beat up vehicle is in itself an artistic and emotional statement. People love vehicles that help them do their work, and last well. Such old klunkers, beaters, and such can be a badge of honor. I complimented the owner of this VW bus for the "perfect patina" on his vehicle, and he understood what I meant perfectly, and took it as the compliment I intended:
Art Prints

Or in this case, the burrito drippings on the front of my shirt harmonize perfectly with the overall concept of the image:
Sell Art Online

Some "defects" in images are there for an artistic/conceptual purpose. If they rankle, that may be appropriate for the intent of the image:
Art Prints
I took the photo above after working very late one night, and I saw myself in the mirror as I brushed my teeth. I thought, boy, I look terrible! And I shot this self portrait as a caricature of myself. I think it's funny and terrifying and horrible. That's the intent.


Posted by: Janice Drew on 05/22/2013 - 9:47 AM

JC...I couldn't agree more. Critiquing an image on the actual art page, which is the artist's store, is bad for business. To me, it's the same as pointing out someone's flaws in public or in the company of other people. IMO, critiques should be given privately as not to plant the seeds of doubt in a potential buyer's mind. You don't enter a pastry shoppe and see sampling taste result signs in front of pastries.


Posted by: Mary Bedy on 05/22/2013 - 9:49 AM

I had a co-worker look at some of my Colorado vacation photos once, and she looked at a photo I had of a solid, beautiful, red rock wall (old film shot - I don't have it posted here although I might try scanning it), and said "there's a face in here!" Sure enough, there was what looked like a perfectly carved face in the top middle of the photo. It was matrixing, there was no carved face, but that's all I see now when I look at that photo. It kind of ruined the overall effect for me.

I wouldn't want that to happen with something I have for sale here. I once saw a distracting element in a photo by a fellow photographer here and sent a PM. She promptly thanked me and cropped out that part of the otherwise lovely work.I have also emailed people when they have glaring typos in their descriptions or titles (which I would appreciate as well). I have no objection to someone sending me an email to tell me "there's some white showing on this one where you cropped...." but I would want them to have the good sense not to post it directly under the photo.


Posted by: JC Findley on 05/22/2013 - 10:15 AM


Posted by: Cynthia Decker on 05/22/2013 - 10:17 AM

JC, when all of his friends went to Easter Island they left him behind! It was tough on him - but he was stuck between a rock and a hard place.


Posted by: Mary Bedy on 05/22/2013 - 10:30 AM

You know what, JC? (and I know this is slightly off topic), maybe I'll actually post that photo and title it "find the face" - it's much smaller than the face in your photo - cool shot, BTW.


Posted by: Gregory Scott on 05/22/2013 - 10:44 AM

I agree. Hidden faces in images are something I don't want pointed out to people. What has been seen cannot be unseen, and sometimes this can be a problem. However, in your example, JC, I knew it was a face before I scrolled the title into view. People are very gifted in finding faces everywhere. I try to avoid doing it too much, because sometimes it can ruin the perception of an otherwise excellent image with a trite, unintentional subject..

I love the suggestion about friends from Easter Island!


Posted by: Janice Drew on 05/22/2013 - 10:50 AM

When I think of a face in rock, I always think of New Hampshire's emblem, the Old Man in the Mountain's profile. Unfortunately, it collapsed in 2003 and no longer a photo op.

Stone faces are cool.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 05/22/2013 - 10:56 AM

unless pointed out, i would just see a rock face and then just ask why? often it's hard to know why something was done, and when it's really obvious to the photographer, it may leave other people just scratching their head. kind of like the game --- where's jesus? is he in the tree? in the rock? in that window stain? i can never see it until someone outlines it.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: JC Findley on 05/22/2013 - 11:05 AM

Ya know, I actually shot this just to add to my texture collection in case I ever want to try textures but saw the face in edit and just HAD to put it up. (Easter Island is a tag) I used a touch of gausian blur around the face to bring it out more.


Posted by: Mary Bedy on 05/22/2013 - 11:09 AM

Well, it's a cool photo, but when you do the full resolution preview on the "eye" all you see in there is black and it's mega creepy! LOL. But I love the image - any rock face (and I have a few posted) is a great image, in my opinion.

EDIT - by "rock face" - I mean in the generic sense, not in the sense that you can see a face in the rock....


Posted by: Nature's Details on 05/22/2013 - 11:17 AM

[quote] kind of like the game --- where's jesus? is he in the tree? in the rock? in that window stain? i can never see it until someone outlines it. [quote] - Mike Savad

Yes but once it is pointed out, you DO see it. ;) That is good to know.


Whoever said that minds can't be changed on a forum like this, was wrong. After the great analogy from Bradford and some other arguments in the thread, I see where for some people, they would not want even "constructive" criticism on their FAA Artist Site.

I guess I come at this from different direction than a lot of you here, because it is not my income and I am still looking to learn. Point well taken though, regarding FAA being the "final stop" and not the "learning grounds". At least not in the comments area, as I have learned a lot by reading posts in the general forum.

It just goes to show that coming from different directions, can create very different points of view and/or opinions. It does not mean that either side is necessarily "wrong", just not the same. It is good to be able to discuss/argue/debate, all sides of a topic.

Thanks again.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 05/22/2013 - 11:21 AM

not always. usually it still looks like a smudge or some dirt on the glass. sometimes they can even draw an outline and i still don't see it. finding waldo is easier.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: H Drew on 05/23/2013 - 10:42 AM

Before I said "Say what you want on mine. I will leave it. don't really care if it is positive or negative"
For the most part that is true BUT if I highly respected the artist who was using constructive criticism, I would pay attention.


This discussion is closed.