Why blowing off a Critique is a bad idea…

Your work MUST be up at the critique on Friday if you want me to grade it Monday, even if you’re sick the day of a critique. Period. Even if it’s an excused absence. If you can’t be there for ANY reason, be sure to have someone bring your Artwork to class and get it back to you that night. I WILL NOT GRADE ANY ARTWORK THAT HAS NOT BEEN UP AT THE CRITIQUE. How this continues to confuse AP students is beyond me…

But let’s say you’re behind because you procrastinated and/or started over three times and now it’s Friday and you’ve got nothing, zip, zilch, nada. So you decide to just cut AP that day so you wont get that look from me when I ask you why your work isn’t on the wall. You know the look… 


The King, by Kristia Bondoc, 2014

But remember, being present for and participating in critiques is worth 50 points, your art is worth 100 points. So if you cut class Friday to skip the Critique, then I’m not grading your art on Monday, therefore you’re getting a grade of 0/150, the biggest “F” imaginable. Then, you’ll get this look:


The Look by Paola Lopez, 2010

Even if you had an “A” before, blowing off a critique will literally KILL that good grade. Don’t do it.  Just man up and be there and participate so I can give you at least 25 points just for tossing out a few comments about the other work in the critique. Or even better, put SOMETHING, ANYTHING up, even if it’s the version you had to dig out of the garbage, so that I can give you some points and possibly grade the thing on Monday and not have to explain why you’re suddenly failing to your parents. OK? Then, I’ll give you this look:


King by Chelsea Rinsel, 2012

If it’s a total piece of garbage that you’re tacking on the wall and YOU know you could’ve done so much better (if only you hadn’t put it off until Sunday afternoon…) you can REDO it later to improve your grade. But Redo’s are VERY LIMITED. Don’t waste them. I do know how hard it is to stand in front of art that you’re, ahem.. less than proud of, but it’s part of the process. Next time, hopefully, you will not make the same mistake. However, being there and participating and putting up your work (even if you HATE it) really will SAVE YOUR GRADE.

Not doing so? Well… the assignments are like dominoes, my friend, and when you fall behind on one you’ve got two to do by the next critique and well that’s just too much, I mean you’ve still got homework for your other classes, and your parents haven’t let up and then there’s your social life, or lack thereof… Get my point? 

Glad we’re all on the same page. 

Keep up with critiques so you don’t get this look:


King by Jairo Jimenez, 2013


Critiques: Whats the point & How’s it Work?

Your work will be critiqued THE DAY BEFORE IT’S DUE so that you have the option of taking some of the valuable feedback that you get from your peers at the critique and apply it to your work as you complete it. Learning to critique art is a vital part of an artist’s growth. It’s important to critique yourself as well as other artist’s work. I really believe that the critiques we have in AP art teach you much more than any other aspect of the class.  

Critique’s are NOT optional. If you don’t put your work up for critique, I will not grade it the following day. Seriously. And if your art isn’t at least 80% complete, we will not critique it.  



You can get up to 50 points for a critique– 25 for putting up a piece of art that’s at least 80% finished, and another 25 for participating by giving a few comments to your fellow students when it’s their turn to stand nervously in front of their art. If you neglect either part of your responsibility in the critiques you’re only getting 25/50, not pretty! So be sure to participate and have your art up on the wall.


We’ll always strive be courteous and constructive. I encourage positive phrasing and focus on each artwork’s strengths first.  Avoid words like “favorite,” “the best”… Focus on the objectives of the assignment!

Here are some phrases that might help you get started:

Always start with a positive…

* What really caught my eye was ________.

* That artwork shows ______ really well.

* That artist is really skilled at _________.

and then go to CONSTRUCTIVE criticism…

* I think _______ would improve that artwork.

* I’d like to see more of __________.

* I am a little confused by ________.

Don’t say “finish it”. That’s a given!


Below is an example of the critique form you’ll use in class to jot down your thoughts so you’re prepared when it’s your turn to speak about your work, or when you’ve got comments for your fellow artists:


Critique Directions:

Display your artwork and put your name on a note under your piece.  After all the work is up, do a “gallery walk” to carefully look at all the art.  

Choose 3 different pieces of art to write about, focusing on the Elements and Principles of art and the requirements of the assignment. Write the artist’s name and medium used on the lines provided.  Then, give two positive comments focusing on  the elements and principals of art.  Refer to the copy of the  Elements & Principles  of  Art handout if you need help.  Also, give one piece of constructive criticism- something that could be improved.  Be as specific as you can and do not say “finish it”.  Consider what could be changed or added to make the piece better! Finally, write about your own work.   

1.  Artist:___________________________ Medium:_________________________

Give one positive comment in reference to the dominant elements & principles used in this piece.

What could be changed or altered to improve the parts of the work that are finished now?

2.  same as #1

3.  Same as #1 and 2

4.  YOU:______________________ Medium:_________________________

 List the visual references you used to create this piece. 

Give one positive comment in reference to the dominant elements and principles used in this piece.

What could be changed or altered to improve the parts of the work that are finished now?

What do you still have planned for the unfinished parts of this piece? (be specific- do not say finish it!)

Make note of any feedback from today’s critique that you think was helpful and would like to incorporate into the piece before you turn it in.