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Submitted on
December 24, 2009


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This guide was written by ProjectComment as a Group, by deviants for deviants. Not only have we sought suggestions from our volunteers, but we have examples of constructive comments from the rest of the community as well, making this a true, collective effort. After reading this, it will be hard to not write a constructive comment.

Each category of art has its own set of pointers in alphabetical order, suggested by our volunteers. If you have any more to contribute, spot a mistake, etc. please feel free to contact us! :D

General Pointers for All Categories
(Contributors: AGBBibag, Anjellyjoy, art-acheiver-4eva, CyberChristFF, eldestmuse, Kaz-D, leannecoleman, MachinesBleedToo, pullingcandy, seventysevenpercent, xblackxbloodxcellx, Zombienvy, 3wyl)

:bulletblue: Atmosphere/Mood/Feelings created – Does the artwork evoke any feelings and emotions within you? What kind of atmosphere/mood/feeling does it create?

:bulletblue: Colours – Do they compliment each other well, or do they contrast? Are there lots of colours or a few? Do the colours aid in conveying the atmosphere/mood? Are the colours too bright or too dark? How well are the colours blended in together?

:bulletblue: Composition – How are the elements/subjects arranged? Should they be positioned differently?

:bulletblue: Concept/Message – What do you interpret it as? How successful is the piece at portraying the concept/message? Is it open to interpretation or really directed? Was the concept/message well executed, and if so, how?

:bulletblue: Contrast – Can you compare aspects of the piece against each other? Is there a contrast of concept, colour, etc.?

:bulletblue: Initial Impression – What were your first thoughts and feelings when you first saw the piece? What impression does it give you immediately?

:bulletblue: Originality – How creative is the piece? Does the piece set itself out against all the other pieces you’ve seen?

:bulletblue: Style – Is it modern, elegant, abstract, classical, psychedelic, surreal, realistic, 'cartoon style' etc.? How does the style reflect the atmosphere/mood? Does the style say something about the concept? Does this change the atmosphere of the story, concept, message, etc. at all?

:bulletblue: Technique – How was the art created? Was the technique effective?

:bulletblue: Theme – Does it have a specific theme or are there many different themes? What theme speaks out at you the most?

:bulletblue: Your Opinion – What parts do you like and what parts do you dislike? What, if anything, needs to be changed/improved? If you had to sum the piece in one word, what would it be? Does the piece make an impact on you, and if so, in what way? Is it profound (deep), poignant (moving), intense?

General Pointers for Digital/Traditional Art
~ Can also be applied to Artisan Crafts
(Contributors: AGBBibag, leannecoleman, xblackxbloodxcellx, Zombienvy)

:bulletblue: Line Work/Brush Strokes – What is the quality like? What kind of brush strokes are there? (Hard, soft, loose, technical, precise, quick, continuous, sketchy, graphic etc.)

:bulletblue: Medium/Materials Used – Are there many mediums/materials? If so, how well do they work together? If there is just one medium/material, is that better or worse than many mediums/materials?

:bulletblue: Shadows/Lighting/Blending – Is it too dark, too bright, not enough blending in places? Do the shadows correspond with the lighting? Are the shadows/lighting too harsh in places? How well are the colours, concept, texture, etc. blending in together?

:bulletblue: Texture – How do you think it feels? What is the surface like? Does it appear rough, smooth, bumpy, ridged, etc.?

Constructive Comment by Cheinei on Batteries Not Included by MGillustrations:
~ I thought it was a photograph at first. Funny concept! That's a nice realistic babydoll. :lol:

It's original too! I havent seen anything like this on DA, so it stands out a great amount. Not many things catch my eye, but you're obviouly a diamond of an artist. An artistic eyecatcher, indeed. :nod:

Your shading was done very well. It represents a photograph nicely. Your light shading makes it look like a photo that had the contrast increased.
There's a nice smooth but grainy texture going on in there. That's good to do when drawing skin. You even threw in some crosshatching. Good work on the different shading techniques.

Keep up the good work! :heart:

Specific Pointers for Digital/Traditional Art
(Contributors: AGBBibag, leannecoleman, xblackxbloodxcellx, Zombienvy)

:bulletblue: Illustrations: Narrative – Is there a narrative? How engaging is it? Is it more concept driven? Have various general artistic techniques been used? (Seek general digital/traditional art pointers for additional help.)

:bulletblue: Piercings/Body Art/Tattoos: Type – What type is it? Are there any things to consider such as symmetry, jewellery, etc.?

:bulletblue: Prints: Clarity and Evenness – Is the print clear and understandable, constant and consistent?

Constructive Comment by SouthernRose42189 on Mirror me by quaint-illusions:
~ I love the whimsy I'm feeling off of this image. I know you were shooting for realistic, and the background does feel real, but I love that the girl seems like something plucked from one of my childhood dreams and her wide eyes are telling me she knows she is out of place here. God, this image speaks to me!

I like the placement of the girl in the water and her wavy reflection in the water, and the placement of the mirror in her arms creates a great enter point that draws the eyes, because its so bright.

In my opinion, its perfect. I love this little fairy and I wish i could speak to her and comfort her, cuz she just feels a little lost to me. I just love that you made her so real to me that I already want to reach into my screen and help her out!

General Pointers for Photography
(Contributors: pullingcandy, 3wyl)

:bulletblue: Exposure - How well exposed is the main subject matter? Are any areas overexposed or underexposed? How do you think they could improve on that?

:bulletblue: Focusing – Is the depth of field enough to capture the subject matter? Do you think some parts need to be focused and some not? What type of effect does the blurriness convey?

:bulletblue: Lighting – Is the lighting natural, harsh, soft, etc.? Could it be improved? How so? How does the lighting emphasise the concept?

:bulletblue: Model - How effective are they in portraying the concept? Do you think there should be more models? Does the model have too much make-up or not enough?

:bulletblue: Positioning/Framing - How well is the subject matter positioned/framed? Could it have been positioned more to the left, right, centre? How is the composition of the piece in terms of how the photo is positioned/framed? Could it do with some cropping?

:bulletblue: Shutter Speed - Can you distinguish whether the shutter speed was long or short? What type of effect does it create?

Constructive Comment by SpinningStarshine on Movement city clouds by PLI4:
~ I admit, when I saw the first part of the title of this photograph, "Movement," I was puzzled, because this photo seemed very still. Then I read the second part, "City Clouds," and I understood a little bit better. How I see it is there's supposed to be movement in the sky and movement on the ground.

A title is an opportunity to enhance a photo some way, to give it a new dimension and/or to explain something about it. Your title does that, but problem is that your photo doesn't reflect the title as well as it could. Right now, when I look at this photo and its title, I don't say, "Oh, I see that in the photo!" I say, "Oh, that's what was meant to be in the photo."

I'm guessing that you're using a simple digital camera, one where you just point at your subject and hit the shutter button. These cameras are limited when it comes to you choosing the settings, but there are techniques for them that will help you better capture that movement you're looking for. Check your camera. Does it have a ISO setting or a shutter speed setting? By adjusting those, you can capture the traffic in a blur, which really tells the viewer that there's motion. It would work on the clouds, too, making them seem dragged out across the sky. (If you could do this, I suggest using a tripod instead of holding the camera in your hands.)

Don't have those settings? Don't have a tripod? It won't work on the clouds, but if you snap a photo while traffic is moving quickly past, that may blur the cars, too. (It's easiest when cars are moving past you from side-to-side, though.)

Lastly, I think where you took your photo has the right idea: you really got a good view of the cityscape. But the bottom feels a little cluttered, and I don't think it places enough emphasis on the passing vehicles. I think it'd look better if you had stood so that the train and cars were at a closer distance. You could still capture the cityscape and clouds by crouching and tilting your camera up a sharp angle. You don't always have to stand. ;)

I understand your idea/concept (there is movement in a city and movement in the clouds above), and I think it really has potential. My comment was rather long, but I hope it was helpful to you. =)

General Pointers for Literature
(Contributors: art-acheiver-4eva, eldestmuse, Kaz-D, seventysevenpercent)

:bulletblue: Characterization – How are the characters portrayed? Are they effective in setting the mood and atmosphere? Are you particularly fond of a character?

:bulletblue: Description – How well is the scenery described? Can you picture things clearly in your head or are some parts blurry? Is there lots of description or few? How does that create an impression on you?  

:bulletblue: Diction (Language) – Is the vocabulary simple? Is the diction harsh or soft? Does it reflect the atmosphere/mood/concept/etc.? How well is the concept expressed? Could the phrasing be improved?

:bulletblue: Flow – Is there a meter? If so, can you identify it? How does the flow reflect the concept/atmosphere/mood/tone of voice? Does it flow smoothly or is it choppy?

:bulletblue: Grammar/Punctuation/Spelling – Are there any typos? Does the piece contain correct grammar? Could a punctuation be replaced by another?

:bulletblue: Plot – Is there a specific plot to everything? Where do you think it is heading? Is the plot engaging or boring?

:bulletblue: Poetic Devices – Are any used? Such as rhyme, imagery, metaphor, simile, alliteration, assonance, consonance, repetition etc. How do these reflect the atmosphere/mood/concept/etc.? How do the poetic devices aid you in interpreting the piece? Are the poetic devices effective?

:bulletblue: Rhyme and Rhythm – Does the piece contain any rhymes? Be it couplets, internal rhyme, half rhyme, etc Is the rhythm like a horse trot or is it less strict?

:bulletblue: Structure/Layout/Presentation – Is the piece in a specific structure/layout/presentation? How does the structure/layout/presentation make you feel? How well does it convey the atmosphere/mood/concept/etc. ?

:bulletblue: Tone/Voice – What atmosphere does it create? Is the tone sarcastic, happy, sad, hateful, etc.? How well is the atmosphere/mood/concept/etc. expressed within the voice?

Constructive Comment by art-acheiver-4eva on i trust you to lie by sugarsnapsxx:
~ In my opinion, this has a rather confronting purpose to it, like you are trying to tell them that nothing they say is the truth. So, once again my opinion, is that the way you wrote it fits the mood/feeling to it perfectly; short, blunt and straight to the point.

'And I'll remember that' It's an abrupt ending to it, which fits in the 'straight to the point'.

'If anything, I trust you to lie...' I personally see this as more of a flowing sentance, especially with the ... at the end of it. It works as a repitition from the first line, but it wouldn't be ruined without it. The rhyming for 'crap' and 'that' makes the poem fit together nicely without trying to blur the sharpness.

On another note 'i'll' should be 'I'll', but other than that this is a great poem, short, not-so-sweet (especailly with what you are trying to put across) read.

Specific Pointers for Cartoons & Comics
(Contributors: Anjellyjoy)

:bulletblue: Character - What aspects of the characters within the comic have been introduced? Are they interesting and original?

:bulletblue: Layout - Is the deviation a page from a comic series? If so, what layout has the artist used? Are the frames layered, unusual and eye-catching and have they been used effectively?

:bulletblue: Script - Have words been used within the comic? Are they thoughts or dialogue? Are they necessary within the comic or do the images convey similar messages?

:bulletblue: Shading - For black and white comics, in particular, how detailed is the shading that the artist has used? Have lights and darks been applied successfully within the piece?

:bulletblue: Storyline - Is the story well planned and developed? Are there any twists or complications within the story?

Specific Pointers for Other Categories
(Contributors: xblackxbloodxcellx, MachinesBleedToo, Zombienvy, CyberChristFF [respectively])

:bulletblue: Artisan Crafts: Suitability/Usefulness – Does it look appropriate for the category it is submitted under? How useful is the product? Does it appeal to a wide audience?

:bulletblue: Anthro: Anatomy/Pose/Markings – How well are these to make the characters conceivable (believable)? Is the anatomy correctly drawn? What type of markings are there?

:bulletblue: Customization: Usability – How easy is it to install/use?

:bulletblue: Designs & Interfaces: Focus/Legibility – Does the piece motivate you enough? How focused is it? Is it easy to understand?

Constructive Comment by Lumysaara on Scale collar by Fifidor:
~ That is a very beautiful necklace, the scales picked for creating it have a lovely shine and that shade of blue is so intense :D
Very inspired pick for a color, as blue is the favorite color of the majority of people.
I also like the two silvery scales that act as a medallion, they create some diversity within the piece of jewelry, although I do think it would help if they were a bit bigger (you see, when creating a thick necklace, you don't need to act any sort of medallion, or if you do, it has to be something proportionately big, otherwise it will look out of place).
Oh, and what I also like is the fact that it doesn't have any sort of extension in the back. A lot of custom necklaces seem to have that nowadays, so that they fit any sort of neck, and it doesn't always look good.
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morningstarskid Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014  Professional Artist
This is for Inspiration.... :la:  
3wyl Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
LavenHeartfilla Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Wow! This is indeed a great help for me~ XD Thanks for the tips! 
3wyl Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I am glad! If there is anything more we can do for you, please just say!
Enthriex Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome guide, I truly appreaciate the efforts put into this, with this Im sure it has helped me plenty to express myself through comment a bit more, hope this ends being read by a lot more deviants cause this will incredibly help the community (:
3wyl Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Awesome! I'm glad. :hug:
rgate Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thanks you so muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh this really help me a lots \\\\\>w<////
3wyl Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I'm glad!
hefeigal Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is one of the most useful Commenting Guides I've seen on dA! Keep up the fantastic work! :D
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