How to Critique your Colouring

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

I've had a few requests to share this post which was a popular one over in our Facebook community - please do take a read as this lesson is just as important as learning actual colouring techniques if you want to improve. So please grab a cuppa, take a read, then let me know your thoughts in the comments below When sharing your photos, or even just assessing how you are going with your colouring, it's really important to be aware of the type of comments you use. How we speak to ourselves and about our work directly influences our confidence, motivation, and determination - which in turn will affect whether you succeed or fail at learning this skill. 90% of learning comes down to attitude - not talent, not skill, not how much you know. Even though you might not realise, negatively speaking about your work is not constructive and this leads to feeling "not enough" or like nothing you do is perfect - like we shouldn't bother continuing because we are never going to get it. Learning how to speak about your work isn't about always being overly positive to the point of inauthenticity either - but it's about taking the negative out and instead focusong more on being constructive. Your openness to being a beginner, to accepting that mistakes are part of the learning process, and that perfection is not the aim of taking any class or doing any colouring practice will determine your ability to keep going, to keep reaching for new challenges, and therefore new achievements. So I wanted to do a writeup here on how to change, or atleast be aware, of how we speak to ourselves so we can gradually implement some of these strategies in our lives, to help remove some of the pressure and judgement we place on ourselves. Often when we feel pressure, we seek to change the activity, thinking it's too hard so we won't bother, but instead it's important to seek to change ourselves and our attitudes toward these challenges. The only failure you can have is the times you give up on yourself before you've even allowed yourself to grow - so let's change our way of thinking for a better, more confident, more open you STEPS TO HEALTHILY CRITIQUING YOUR WORK
So let's talk about how we critique our work, which is usually first done when we assess our work ourselves. Firstly, it's important not to judge a half finished technique - it's always going to look a little wrong or stand out to you until your entire piece is finished. Resist that urge to keep restarting - it's not doing you any favours in learning and progressing with your colouring. If you are really unsure though, pop a message and photo over to me privately so we can chat about the next steps. Secondly comes how we speak about our work. When you've finished your colouring, or viewing during the process, change your perspective so you aren't looking in that upclose mode we use for colouring, 20 cm from our work. This is not how art is meant to be viewed. Hold your colouring at arms length, prop against a wall and take an actual step back - try to view the whole picture rather than just looking upclose for mistakes and errors. Try to change your eye to see the whole thing like as if you were viewing a friend's colouring - don't point out to yourself the areas to work on. Changing our perspective to appreciate our work as a whole allows you to have a greater understanding of how techniques come together to create a finished piece, and allows little mistakes that no one is looking at, fade into the background.
The wording we use when we first look at our work is very important. Firstly we need to take the time to point out what we've done *right* - it's a step that is missed so often but it is crucial in critique, confidence, and motivation. I guarantee on every single colouring there is a lot of good that deserves celebrating. Try pointing out two things you feel you've done well or improved upon from last time - it shows you that you are learning and achieving each time you colour. When you share your colouring online, consider sharing these two things and notice how people's opinion of your work changes - we celebrate your achievements with you, but we look for mistakes if you point them out It's so much more empowering to acknowledge the growth you are having with every piece, and a piece doesn't need to be perfect for there to have been a good lesson involved.
Then we come to the areas we don't love - but we need to face these constructively instead of negatively - eg. Instead of "I messed up the wings", "my fine lines are a mess", or "it's not perfect but...." try something like "next time I'm going to work on xxx to achieve xxx result". So this may read something like: I "next time I'm going to work on leaving more gaps between my strokes to emphasise texture". Notice that you've taken away that negative emotion so you haven't done anything "wrong"- but you are still learning on your colouring journey (as we all do). A lot of people say they learn best from critique - but as you can see, there's a difference between saying something is not good enough and just reminding yourself that it's all a learning journey with no reason to place pressure on. Critiques should be done privately or with myself as part of your free private tutoring with your classes, as you are keeping these growth lessons your personal achievements. Remember aswell, many times we don't know what we may tweak to get a better result, and this is why it's so crucial to ask for help here instead of just thinking it's wrong or putting aside in frustration - use the help that is freely available for you so we can work on these steps together until you feel more confident yourself to see and understand.
If you struggle with perfectionism or low confidence, try using a journal to record these steps so you can make this a part of your learning process. It will also help you log your colouring progress, helping you to easily flick back and see over time how you have progressed, which can be a very empowering thing to remind yourself that it's just a journey and you don't have to learn it all in a day to be worthwhile doing. actually get in the habhings to work on, and also those positives from Step 2 if All of a sudden you have taken what you felt was a negative attempt at colouring and made it a positive step forward - showing you that every single time you colour you are improving and learning and it is important to have these challenges to learn from. CONCLUSION
I hope this may help some of you to assess the way you speak to yourself about your work. Don't let fear of mistakes stand in your way of learning - that inner critic is wrong when it says you aren't good enough. Tell it right back that you are and that you are just learning - you are a journey of growth, and you don't need to learn it all or be a pro in one day, one lesson, 10 lessons, 50 lessons. Achievements in life require you to take challenges - embrace and seek these challenges, and take them bravely and without any pressures or expectations, knowing you are growing not just in your colouring but in all areas of life and you are a person every single time you try You don't ever have to be great to start, but you do have to start, and continue, to be great Happy colouring x
I personally challenge you this week to take 15 minutes to prioritise you for self-care, to make a start, share your progress, and point out 1 thing you feel you've done well. If you aren't in class yet, find freebies on our homepage at x

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