How to review/critique well?

11:28 PM, Monday March 9th 2020

I was just wondering if anyone had some advice on reviewing/critiquing others work on Drawabox? I've only completed lesson one, but would like to help others by reviewing some homework. However, as I've never really reviewed someone elses homework before, I am a bit unsure about how to do it in a way that would be constructive/helpful.

To those with experience, how do you go about critiquing others work? Do you have any examples? And to those looking to have their work reviewed, what do you look/hope for in a review?

Thank you for taking the time to answer!

6 users agree
11:45 PM, Monday March 9th 2020
edited at 11:46 PM, Mar 9th 2020

You look over the submitted work. From what you see you then go look thru the lesson text to find the exact section that explains the errors they are making. You then link them back to that section, adding some useful comments of your own if you think that will help clarify.

For the earlier lessons specially, everything is on the lesson text. You don't really need to come up with critique as much as point them to the right lesson and section. If you know something that's not on the lesson text, then don't make it part of your critique either.

The creator has included and also omitted just the right things from lessons, and all that comes from years and years of experience giving critique to thousands of students. You shouldn't claim to know better when just starting to give out critique.

edited at 11:46 PM, Mar 9th 2020
11:09 PM, Tuesday March 10th 2020
  • If you know something that's not on the lesson text, then don't make it part of your critique either.*

Does that include personal advice from experience? (for example: Try adjusting your speed when doing lines to find out what pace yields the most accurate/steady lines) Or would it be best to omit it?

I think my biggest concern is that I probably don't know better, and so feel unqualified to give a critique. However, as it's encouraged on the website, I thought I'd give it my best shot.

Thanks for the input:)

12:07 AM, Wednesday March 11th 2020
edited at 12:08 AM, Mar 11th 2020

Does that include personal advice from experience? (for example: Try adjusting your speed when doing lines to find out what pace yields the most accurate/steady lines) Or would it be best to omit it?

Think about it this way:

  • Why adjusting your speed good? Because it yields accurate steady lines.

  • Is "making accurate steady lines" part of the lesson material? Yes it is.

So actually you are not introducing something completely new with that kind of advice. You are just expanding on what was said on the lesson, based on your own experience. This is actually good.

This does mean that you, as the one giving out critique, will need to become familiar with what the lessons say in far more detail than someone that's just doing the lessons (which is good for you too).

edited at 12:08 AM, Mar 11th 2020
3 users agree
4:49 AM, Wednesday March 11th 2020

On the more technical side of critiquing homeworks, for lesson 1 and 2 in particular I really like the method where you go through the submission exercise by exercise in a sort of bulleted list.


Your superimposed lines are good, insert stuff here for detail

It looks like you might have rushed through your ghosted lines, so slow down and be sure to bla bla bla

You can see a more thorough example of this on my profile in the replies section. Makes it easier to break things apart and be clear about what exactly you're addressing. Typically I see improvement throughout the lesson, and so will edit some of the first things I said when I'm finishing up the critique.


First version- "Your ghosted planes seem to have a lot of arcing lines, and you might need to work on your accuracy a little bit. Arc the other way, and take your time ghosting each line carefully."

Second version, after seeing the lines in the organic perspective exercise looking straight and accurate- "Your ghosted planes have a lot of arcing lines that aren't super accurate, but you improve on that later so good job!"

Being formulaic about it can make it a little bit tedious, but this way I can't miss any of the exercises in the lesson (and can reorder things chronologically in my critique even if their hosting site screws up the order)

3:34 PM, Wednesday March 11th 2020

I like that idea! I noticed a similar pattern in my own review. I'll make sure to take notes on the student(s) improvement in particular areas over the lesson, so I don't accidentally end up focusing on a problem that may have already been resolved naturally.

Thanks for the advice!

2 users agree
6:08 AM, Tuesday March 10th 2020

In addition to what Yoyobuae has said, trying to find positive things to say about the person's work as well, we're not here to sugarcoat things but it's important to also point out what someone is doing well and should continue to do, because they may not even know they're doing that thing right. Also if you want to see critiques done well and the kinds of things we tend to pick about people's work, you can look over the critiques provided by myself, Svendogee, Sluggydragon, qzhans or even Uncomfortable himself.

10:56 PM, Tuesday March 10th 2020

I didn't know I could look at others critiques! Thanks for pointing it out. I'll look through a few, and see if I can get a better idea.

1 users agree
10:50 PM, Sunday March 29th 2020

Thanks Raynerain for asking this, and everyone who replied. I was wondering about this too and the info here is super helpful. I thought it might be better to wait until I'd passed some later lessons before offering critiques on lesson 1 but it seems not.

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