Crit Quad #2: Watercolor Figure Painting

Crit Quad of a watercolor figure painting by Nitya. Art critiques by Prof Clara Lieu and Art Prof Teaching Assistants Alex Rowe, Deepti Menon, and Yves-Olivier Mandereau.


Related Videos
Youtube Playlist: Video Critiques on Art School Admissions Portfolios
Youtube Playlist:  Crit Quickies, 1 min. critiques on artworks
Crit Quad #2: Acrylic Portrait Painting


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

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PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.

Recent Crit Quickies!

Crit Quickie, featuring a comic panel by Myke Metts. Critique by Teaching Assistant Casey Roonan.


Crit Quickie, featuring a grisaille portrait painting by @tgarney. Critique by Teaching Assistant Alex Rowe.


Crit Quickie, featuring a painting of a tree by @bethanynmurray. Critique by Teaching Assistant Annie Irwin.


Crit Quickies are 1 min. critiques by the Art Prof staff.  Submit! Post your art on Instagram and tag us @art.prof w/ #critquickie. Watch more Crit Quickies in this playlist on our Youtube channel.

We accept submissions from artists in 8th grade and up. Please know that due the volume of submissions, we are unable to provide a Crit Quickie for everyone who submits. If you’re an art teacher, you’re welcome to submit on behalf of your students!


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages to learn visual arts in a vibrant art community. Imagine all of the resources here on our blog, except exponentially bigger, in greater quantity, and in more detail. Our Kickstarter campaign hit its $30k goal on July 19!  Get info on our future launch by subscribing to our email list.

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Keep Looking For Your Artistic Dreams

Alex1

by Alex Rowe

When I was an art student, and even a year or so after I graduated, I had a very rigid idea of what my work and my life as an artist would look like: I would illustrate books, and only books. End of story. Spoiler alert to all of you young artists out there: this is not the best course of action. Pursuing a specific dream, like book illustration? Totally fine! Limiting yourself professionally and creatively? Not so much. I fell into the trap a lot of young artist fall into: limiting my work by keeping my dreams too narrow. Whether by not taking some classes because they didn’t fit with my goal, or even not drawing some pieces I thought of because they didn’t work with the portfolio I wanted, I was limiting myself as an artist.  

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The problem with staying focused on a goal is that we sometimes ignore the directions that our work is trying to take us, and when we stray too far away from our true work we lose focus on why we make art in the first place. A career in art is not a simple trajectory. There are many turns and surprises that it can take us that we don’t even expect!

In my case, some of my jobs out of school were t-shirts and logos for local bands. I had to learn a lot of things about design that I neglected to learn earlier, but this work brought me more and more joy as I completed projects. The key is to be open to these surprises. Let go of your dreams in order to find them again. Ask yourself, why do you make art? I think you’ll find the answer is much more broad than any specific goal that you’ve set.

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How do you avoid being trapped in a goal that’s too specific? Simply be mindful of your artwork, of what brings you joy, and what your artwork is trying to tell you. Don’t try to make your work fit a specific goal, but try to find a goal that fits the kind of art you enjoy. In my experience, as I let go of the assumption that I knew what I wanted to do, I’ve been having so much more fun making my work again! And you know, that reinvigorated love has made me still work on a portfolio for book illustration – as well as other things.

Fear not: as grim as the career of an artist may look at times, there are more ways than ever to get your work out there and make it work! I found little success when I was just looking at book publishers – but now that I’ve started meeting local bands, interacting with small businesses, and even joining a gallery (trust me, the last place I thought my work would fit!) I’m slowly finding people who I can work with as an artist. Be honest with your artwork, and the right venue for it will come.


Related Articles 
My Poisonous Checklist, by Clara Lieu
One Simple Purpose, by Clara Lieu 


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

FB    Youtube    Pinterest     Instagram    Twitter    email    etsy


PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.

Crit Quad #4: Hiratsuka Niki

Ballerina No. 4

Hiratsuka Niki
“Ballerina No. 4”, conte crayon on paper

“Inspired by Edgar Degas’ work, I chose to explore the theme of the “backstage ballerina” in this piece. The dancer is depicted in the midst of a warm up stretch. Wholly unaware of being viewed, and engrossed in an inner world, the subject unintentionally reveals components of her private self. In not attempting to showcase her beauty she embodies more of herself within this intimate moment of self-contemplation. This paradoxically brings to light a form of beauty which cannot be witnessed onstage.”


Casey Roonan, Teaching Assistant
Casey Roonan, Illustrator & Cartoonist
“This is a very elegant piece in a few ways.”
Mentioned: John Singer Sargent, Wally Wood, Bernie Wrightson, Edgar Degas


Annie Irwin, Teaching Assistant
Annie Irwin, Weaver, Textile Artist, Painter
“The way the conte crayon is applied to the surface has different weights to it, you’ve managed to accomplish a range of value.”
Mentioned: Seurat


Alex Rowe, Teaching Assistant
Alex Rowe, Book Illustrator
“In just a few simple marks you’ve captured the darkest shadow, the light, the reflected light, the light hitting right on the forearm, that is absolutely beautiful.”
Mentioned:  Coles Phillips


Clara Lieu, Visual Artist & Adjunct Professor at RISD
Clara Lieu, Fine Artist & Adjunct Professor at RISD
“What I don’t see in the drawing is your opinion. What is your view of ballet?  How do you see ballet?”
Mentioned: Misty Copeland, A Life in Motion


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts for people of all ages and means. artprof.org features video courses, art critiques, an encyclopedia of art supplies, and more.

FB    Youtube    Pinterest     Instagram    Twitter    email    etsy


PORTFOLIO VIDEO CRITIQUES
Prof Lieu offers video critiques on portfolios for students applying to art school and working artists. More info.


ART DARES
Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories!  More info.


ASK THE ART PROF was a written column in the Huffington Post from about art related topics. Visit our Pro Development page.