What is a Constructive Comment?

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A constructive comment is a comment that serves a useful purpose. For many artists, constructive comments help them improve their artwork. For others, constructive comments offer insight, depth, new perspective and more. Ultimately, constructive comments encourage critical thinking of both the artist and the commenter, and they embody our values as a group. What are ProjectComment’s Values?

For ProjectComment, a constructive comment is…

  • Tailored to the artist and the art.
  • Precise in summarizing your interpretation of the piece regarding the concept, meaning and more.
  • Well-rounded and balanced in content, including things done well and not done well, things you like and not like, positive and negative, etc.
  • Targeted for artistic improvement, with suggestions of what to improve, how to improve and why the artist should improve in this specific area.
  • Justified with specific examples, evidence and explanations. This is done through 'why', 'how', 'what', etc.
    For example, what does this particular element create in / add to / contributes to...the piece, the subject, the concept, etc.? How and why does the element or artist do this?

Please take note that the above is to be used as a guide and basic foundation for your comment, not to be used or interpreted as the bare minimum required by ProjectComment. The above should help you expand upon your own comment. For further support, please review our Constructive Commenting: Guiding Questions (questions to consider when writing constructive comments) and Comment Hall of Fame (examples of constructive comments).

For ProjectComment, a constructive comment is not

:bulletblack: A line or a few lines - it is difficult to be constructive when writing so little.

:bulletblack: An Itemized List - or any list at all.

:bulletblack: Generic - feedback that could be applied to any artist or any art.

:bulletblack: Useless - no insight, no depth, no improvement suggestions, no justification, etc.

:bulletblack: Rude / Offensive / Insulting - constructive comments can be given (i.e. phrased) constructively.

Examples of Comments

The different parts (or 'structure') of the comment for both 6-7 Lines and 7+ Lines are as follows:
  • Brief Introduction - first impressions and feelings over the artwork.
  • The well-done elements – main idea, examples and explanation of what was done well.
  • The points to improve - what elements could be improved and how to do so.
  • Brief Conclusion – supporting message and encouragement to the artist, thus ending the comment on a positive or hopeful note.

6-7 Lines*

7+ Lines*

RED: The main idea of each point for further development later; something general to introduce your point and what you will say.

GREEN: Examples used as 'evidence' of the main idea, thus helping the artist to spot different elements or areas of improvement. No 'evidence' can cause confusion for the artist.

BLUE: Further guidance by suggesting ways to improve, specifically focusing on how. Simply stating what needs to be improved is not enough to help the artist.

PURPLE: Justification and explanation of the effect on you (the commenter/audience) by the different elements (red) and examples (green). This is important in highlighting whether the audience (you) was able to understand the artwork in terms of meaning and concept.

*Many thanks to Tuntalm for the examples.

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