Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Ever wanted to know the key in giving better comments? Tired of your ordinary short phrases that go no where, and have no point? If you are trying to improve your comments, look no further than this guide here.


TODOHow To Give Better Comments


During our visit here at deviantART, upon submitting our deviations, what is expected next? Comments! However, here's a little fun past-time activity: take all the excellent, if not better, deviations comments in your gallery. Now take a look at all the deviation comments you've ever received. You will notice that good comments don't happen as often as they should. Although we all want good comments and to be better commenters ourselves, we have to act upon it instead of just sitting around and hoping to receiving nice comments after submitting something. Give, to receive.

Here I show you the basic concept of commenting, to make yourself a better commenter; and I don't mean being a 'good' commenter since everyone comments in his or her own way. That is why I use the word "better" instead of "good".

Most often you get quick comments which only express the viewers' first impression of the deviation, and avoiding going in-depth with what is actually there and besides the mere flash of colors and/or concept. This provides the artist with nothing except the mere knowledge that at least their art is cool, so skip the "Cool" or "Wow +fav" one-liners. If you are quick to comment simply to increase your comment count, I suggest you stop doing that. It goes no where and has no point because please bear in mind the concept of quality over quantity.

The whole point of commenting is to express both your positive and negative thoughts on whatever piece; the positive will act as compliments on the artist, while the negative will help them realize their mistakes. When we point out mistakes, we often do not know how to say it constructively, and in the end we tend to skip the negative all together, which is a big no-no. Speaking of which, if you have received the ultimate critique, do not fret; it is not directed to you as a person. Do not take them as personal attacks, and feel all mad and confused. This should be a helpful learning tool. If it is constructive, the person is safe. If they are just being mean, well, then you may file a report upon the event.


TODOComment Skeleton Structure


Here lies the basic concept of being a better commenter, even if you already know how to comment, applying this skeleton structure in your commentary posts will help you help others.


TODOSkeleton: Interpretation


This is the best part in the skeleton structure; it provides the artist your view on his or her piece by freely expressing what you see. Here you express your feelings towards the art itself, for example, how it moves you. Putting your feelings into words rather than just saying 'cool' always gets the recognition of the artist [whose artwork you are commenting on], and even by others who have been reading through previous comments [in order to get some ideas]. Also, prior to commenting, I suggest you look at the art in full view. It would be much easier for you when coming up with your own interpretation. And of course it would be more fair on the artist.

Interpretation offers the artist a little understanding of yourself, of who you are, because art is a mutual share of connection; between you and the art. While the artist may not be out of the picture, he or she may step aside and observe how others observe their art. Before replying to comments and including your own interpretation, it is definitely worthwhile to read and understand that comment/critique very carefully. Art should be about interpretation when it is being viewed by someone else other than the artist himself/herself.

Try to imagine yourself seeing the same piece in an art museum. You step closer (full view), analyzing it, examine and appreciate the details… your mind will begin to make up an individualistic interpretation. It is not about being right or wrong because everyone sees differently. Perhaps you'll see something different if you look at it again 5 minutes after. To hear your voice and to see how you connect with their art, is indeed a pleasure for every artist.


TODOSkeleton: Critique


When critiquing a piece of work you might say to yourself, "I don't have an Art Degree, I should keep my mouth shut". That's not true. When art is being shown to the public, it is up for all sorts of comments and thoughts, so why not tell them what you see, including the negative? It is ok to point out the errors even if you do not know the artistic term for it; it still provides a realization to the artist. Before stating what seems wrong [to you], do read the deviation description for something the artist may have already covered, such as critiques on their own work and/or style, so as not repeat what has been said.

Critique is not something you can learn from an art school only; it's the errors you see and your ability to tell the artist just what you see in a constructive manner, with sincere suggestion for improvement. Many times you see low quality art, you would want to start critiquing since there are more things to point out for improvement compared to work of higher quality. Even in the masterpieces you can still find something to suggest for improvement, and as long as you are polite, this would not be an offence to the artist, so do not be afraid. The only way you may be hurting them is by candy coating with words like "Oh you can do it better next time". That is not critiquing. Avoid this at all cost. Be direct and firm.

For an example: If a deviation is a drawing of a hand, and the fingers just look wrong, simply point out what you see looks wrong. Such as: "It looks like one finger is out of proportion, like its much shorter than the rest. Perhaps you can look at your own hand for reference in drawing hands to get a better look at the autonomy". That should do it. Avoid something like: "The hand has one short finger! That's cute".

Although critique is inevitably related to what you know and how much you know about the process of creating art, and art itself, you can always use it to your advantage when giving a well thought-out and helpful comment.


TODOSkeleton: Compliments


After you have provided criticism(s), perhaps it is time to point out what you like about the art itself. Tell the artist exactly why you like the art, and not just by using one-worded phrases, e.g. "COOL!" State what you like in ways that proves the art has its strength. By doing this you give the well-round pat on the back to the artist, which will often give the artist some energy to smile, at least. Compliment on the things you like and do not state "I love the colors! I love the forms! I love the eyes!" You would just be stating the obvious. Try avoiding that as it has most probably been repeated. Put yourself in the artist's shoes. Doesn't it feel a BIT dull after getting the same comments over and over again?

A compliment should be followed by the reason for the compliment, i.e. just what you like about the piece. For an example, when saying you like the colors do not simply say, "I love the colors" and just leave it there. Put more thoughts into it by saying, "I love the colors, the way you use them effectively to set the mood in the art itself. That is what first caught my eye". As you can see it is more read-worthy than your ordinary "I love the colors!" So why do you love it? Artists often ask themselves that and do not bother asking you; they are busy reading more comprehensive and constructive comments, so they will simply glance over yours and just get it over with. You do not want that to happen, do you? Your efforts will then be rendered useless.

You will most probably never comment on the same piece again, so why not give it your best? No time? Make time, or leave it when you have the time. As I venture about the community, I've seen people complaining about being bored, with absolutely nothing to do. Well now you have something to do, and offer support to artists and to the community at the same time.


TODOSkeleton: Ask Questions


This is an extra thing you may want to include in your comment. There are lots of times you wonder how the artist did that effect, or what tool they used in their art. If it hasn't already been mentioned in the description, just ask. There is no punishment for asking questions, often the artist would be glad to help you out, and if they do not, well, at least you asked. Asking questions provides a small interaction between you and the artist, where you can learn from those you admire. Although they may not reply you all too soon, they will eventually spill out what you need to know.

Questions will lead to interaction and might lead to friendship. So take it seriously and do not be annoying by asking questions that have already been answered. What sort of questions are you able to ask? Anything that might interest you, or if you want to learn more about the materials used, the tools, techniques, etc.


TODOReminder


There it is, the basic skeleton structure to help you become a better commenter, so take this and apply it to your normal commenting style. If you are worried that it will change your style, fret not, because this is skeleton structure will slip on nicely with any comment body. This 'skin' will hold up the appearance of your comment, and enforce its standing. Although with the skeleton structure in place you will still need to work at your comments. Master them by experimenting with various styles in delivering comments.

:bulletred: Extra tips in making your comment a bit more professional:

:bulletgreen: Spell check, grammar check, and punctuation check:
Use MSWord for it, or any text editing program that may offer this feature. This will help your writing to be completely or at least almost error-free (Highly recommended).

:bulletgreen: Revise:
It is best to revise what you have said to see if it is clearly written for the artist to understand. Do not have it all in a confusing bunch, otherwise what is the point? Revision helps you make changes in certain aspects of your comment so as  enhance it, because when reading something after you have written it you would most likely be able to improve, by making it sound better, be more helpful, as well as appear more visual and more real.

:bulletgreen: English & Other Languages:
Use simple English if you can; don't burst out your vocabs which may be an inconvenience to the artist as not everyone's first language is English. I encourage you to use English if English is not your first language. Practice makes perfect. However, if you feel that expressing in your language may better benefit the artist, be sure that the artist speaks and reads the same language.

:bulletgreen: Emoticons:
If you feel the urge to use them, few should be fine, as too many will be a distraction.

:bulletgreen: Endurance:
It will take a lot out of you and your time in deviling one of your most thought-out comments (by applying the comment skeleton structure). It is good to keep on giving until you feel your fingers need resting. Your dedication will help so many, and what better way then to give back than to give a better comment? Build up your endurance, the more you do it, the less work it will be. Do not forget to have fun when commenting though; this may seem like a chore, but it is only so if you think of it that way.


TODOFinal Thoughts



That is all there is for the basic concept to give a better comment. If you adopt this skeleton structure you will definitely deliver more successful comments, which the artist and those who may be reading your comment can really relish upon. It provides a sense that you care, that you have looked at their piece in depth and did not just glance at it. With the thousands of submissions deviantART receives on a daily basis, you will see that comments are rarely given, and good comment even rarer. Despite the facts, use this skeleton structure to your advantage; you will definitely stand out among the sea of "Cool" and "Wow" comments.

I hope this guide is beneficial to you in some way. If you want to stand out in your art, in being an individual, then why not do stand out in every aspect, in everything you do? Even commenting?  

I would like to thank all 'bad' commenters out there for encouraging me to write this guide. I dedicate this to you.


TODOCredits


:pointr: Project Director: ZirTuan
:pointr: Project Editor: snowmask
Add a Comment:
 
:iconabsolutelyfascinated:
AbsolutelyFascinated Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks for the time and effort you took to teach us all a little more about commenting here on Deviant Art. I will definitely keep these hints in mind when searching and commenting on people's pages. :)
Reply
:iconzombexor:
Zombexor Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It is rather irritating to work a long time on something when all you get is "Awesome"
Uhm excuse me, is that all you have to say? Maybe I should link this to a certain few people...
Reply
:iconjust-call-me-j:
Just-Call-Me-J Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2015  Hobbyist
Ugh, I'm so tired of working for hours on a project, and then getting one- or two-word comments. I often have to ask the questions about what they liked and why.
Reply
:iconask-mfy:
Ask-MFY Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Well Yeah But...There Is One Thing That Probably Won't Change Outcomes no Matter How Professional You Type

Likeness
Reply
:iconnukeshi:
Nukeshi Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you a bunch for taking the time to write this! I know a lot of people could use this. 
Reply
:iconthecoolwaffle:
thecoolwaffle Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Nice tutorial . It really helped me ! 
Reply
:iconbigbubby-1:
Bigbubby-1 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2015
I should have read this earlier! 
I am one of those awful commenters  who just write one word comments of praise. I think I have taken this to heart.
Reply
:iconcatalystcrystal:
CatalystCrystal Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This was a lot of great tips and pointers for how to give a more constructive comment. It's helping me a lot to pay more attention to the kind of feedback I give to people as well. Thank you for the guide!
Reply
:iconhimitsuuk:
HimitsuUK Featured By Owner May 31, 2015   Photographer
Cool!

(Sorry, I had to).
Reply
:iconmartinjohnborja:
martinjohnborja Featured By Owner May 18, 2015   Traditional Artist
Reading your post has given important insights in sharing one's personal view of another person's art.
Putting them into words and in structured details of what's off and what's really effective and what came across to me as a viewer engages the artist and helps him/her grow.
Great write up!
Reply
:iconquillandink449:
QuillandInk449 Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Thanks for all the tips ill be sure to try them :)
Reply
:iconflutterpie2398:
FlutterPie2398 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow! This will really help me understand on how to be better at commenting. I only realy fave and never comment, but now I'm going to try and comment more! Your guide is awesome! :D
Reply
:iconkiwifruitcrumble:
KiwifruitCrumble Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This will help me so much, thanks heaps for making it!
Reply
:iconkelly00000:
kelly00000 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Incredible.
Reply
:icone460:
E460 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2015
Thanks a lot for doing this. :)
Reply
:iconflygonsofsanfranfall:
Well, after so many people put this guideline to use, I feel like another "cool" commenter. But I have to thank you for this guide. After all, we all know how to comment, but this helps put things in depth. I mean, commenting was my main method of getting noticed, but I barely even tried. Thanks for posting this how to, it helps a lot!
*That felt like I was advertising something. "I used to blah blah, but with the Amazing Somethingizer I'm so much better!!"*
Unfortunately, you didn't do anything wrong (I think) here, so I can't reflect on that part. But still!
Reply
:iconsketcherskyfalcon18:
SketcherSkyfalcon18 Featured By Owner Edited Jan 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Excellent guide! All I keep getting is just a bunch of people favoriting my art instead of saying something nice. Even though that doesn't bother me still. None of those "make your profile more interesting!" really helps because I don't really have the money for Premium :/ But I have tried to give people notice as well u-u I will keep on trying :) thank you for writing guide btw!^^ It will really help out
Reply
:iconsketchevrywir:
Sketchevrywir Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2014
Well, here goes my first try then, after reading this. :) Thank you a lot for writing this journal, some of the tips were really helpful, especially the  'give critique part' since I am kind of afraid of giving critiques... It's not my best thing. And not here either, apparently; or you just wrote a really good journal. 

I am questioning though, since I really am font of the comments with the smaller letters, but are they readable enough? Anyone else willing to answer this is appreciated too. 

Lovely inspiration you have for this journal, by the way. :XD: 
Reply
:iconkokoro-tokoro:
Kokoro-Tokoro Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is a really great guide! This guide is easy to follow and lays out a basis for the newer Deviants here~ I know I would have loved it if I had this when I first started here. Though there are some artists who, even though they encourage critique on their art, do not take it well even if you are polite about it. Not all artists are like this, but there are a few peppered in there. Don't let them discourage you from posting critic.
Reply
:iconthunderousblaze:
ThunderousBlaze Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014  Student General Artist
I seem to be a victim of giving those generic repeating comments :(
This guide really opened my eyes and was very helpful! Thanks!
Reply
:iconxsweetsfreakx:
XsweetsfreakX Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you~ This was quite helpful!
Reply
:iconkittendiotima:
KittenDiotima Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014   Photographer
Thank you SO much for taking the time to write such a well thought out "How To."  I was a professional theatre artist, and it always amazed me how few pros really understood how to give a good, useful, critique.  This is a very nice skeleton, and i will def use your suggestions.  I was taught by one of my teaching mentors that it's always good to start off with what is positive, as that will put people in a relaxed place to listen - and to avoid using words like "but" or "however," as those will undercut everything you said was positive.  Like: "this would be good, but then you went and did this."  Rather, "this is good because you did these things.  Where it can use improvement is here."  It's sometimes a bit awkward, but it really works well.

Anyway, you're def a great example of what you're asking us to do, you put so much work into this, you're endurance is amazing, thanx again. 
Reply
:iconyukuii:
Yukuii Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014   Digital Artist
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconkari5:
kari5 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014
i like deviantart i have join deviantart in 2007 :)
Reply
:iconcongitune:
Congitune Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm new here (like some others I've seen in the comments), and I'm not really used to having any kind of a noticeable presence on the internet. I signed up for this site to hopefully get used to internet communities. This should be very helpful in getting me started, thank you!
Reply
:iconbunnysteelestephanie:
BunnysteeleStephanie Featured By Owner Edited Jul 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I would love to get my comics copyright. I don't understand how to get coprig by deviantart.
Reply
:icongargisharma:
GargiSharma Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You'll have the copyright to all of your creations. There is no formal way of going about it, at least at this stage.
Reply
:iconbunnysteelestephanie:
BunnysteeleStephanie Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I would love to know where to get good copyrighting 
Reply
:icongiangtien:
GiangTien Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is uber-helpful. :D I'm very glad that you posted this!
My art though, is in no way amazing or extraordinary... So I'm not surprised I don't get a lot of comments or favs. XD
Reply
:icondolphinsrock101:
dolphinsrock101 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Student Photographer
thank you for writing this i don't get a lot of comments. most people just fav it and go on tthat is what bugs me. they take time to fav but to comment
Reply
:iconaesthetic-56:
Aesthetic-56 Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am only a newbie here, so reading this entry has certainly given me food for thought. OK then, in future I will try to give good reasons for my opinions about some the amazing artwork that is available on deviantART. 
Reply
:iconjhutter:
jhutter Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm new here too and this is very helpful advice.  Comments are something I never really gave much thought to - I was guilty of the one or few words type of feedback.  This is something I need to rethink and get a better handle on - I also like the start positive and end positive advice.  So I am off to make some comments.   I hope it is something I will get better at with time.
Reply
:iconwisteriaknights:
wisteriaknights Featured By Owner May 15, 2014
RIGHT!!!...I will do my best!! *poses a 'a nice-guy' pose* ;))
Reply
:icondducke:
dducke Featured By Owner May 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I've pledged myself never to fave-and-run anything, but I often struggle to know what to write. Artwise, most of my focus is on colours, design and such, and writing wise, often focuses on word choice and effects, but I really wish I could write more detailed comments. Commenting on everything I fave isn't good enough if the comments are, like, one line long. XD I like the idea of asking questions; it makes you feel more 'involved' in the piece and the artist will notice that. I love it when people ask me questions on my art, like 'what program did you use?' and such. I like to start with positives, then critique, then a morale booster, since I find the Sandwich method to be most effective. Starts positive, ends positive. This is very helpful; thank you!
Reply
:iconsararan:
sararan Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Amen! (sorry for the irony of the single worded comment, but I think this is the only word that could accurately sum up my feelings regarding this great article ;P )
Reply
:icongiangtien:
GiangTien Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
*slow claps and thumbs up*
Reply
:iconicefiredrag:
IceFireDrag Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
February 2004? Where have I been?

I wish I could've read this much, much sooner. I tend to leave comments that are way too short, and I'll try not to do that next time. Nice useful article with a lovely ending. Thank you so much.
Reply
:iconnaseem-art12:
naseem-art12 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I hope I can be more successful on DA now that I have read this journal!!
Reply
:iconnaseem-art12:
naseem-art12 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you soo much for posting this journal because I would NOT have made very good comments! I am pretty new to DA and this is really good advice to me right now!! Thank you!! I wish I had known about this journal right from the start!!
Reply
:iconsugary-cakes:
Sugary-Cakes Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you!I wish i read this sooner :3
Reply
:iconcloudddpa:
CloudDDPA Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I should have read this a long time before, I have such a bad habit of just leaving short comments

I need to work harder on commenting. This is very useful =)
Reply
:iconblackblader:
Blackblader Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, I took a look on the date of this journal and now I'm thinking to myself "Why haven't I read this before??!"

I'll surely apply this skeleton to my comments, beginning now with this one. Even if it shall take a while before I manage it just fine.

I liked how you explained things, giving examples and stuff. Made things very easy to understand, I normally freak out with lack of explanation, but this should do just fine.

And thanks again for having the trouble of doing this. I hope this helps me on my journey to become a better artists and if I'm successful, certainly  others will be too! Toddles! 
Reply
:iconazadenz:
azadenz Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for this journal. This is totally going to help my progress on deviantart, and my life in gerenal.
Reply
:iconmeguscarlet-cosplay:
MeguScarlet-Cosplay Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
Thank you for this tutorial about commenting on social media. Because it's not only happening on DA, but in all other websites where people share their art or other things.

We forgot how to comment. Maybe some people never knowed how to do it. This guide is simple to understand and well ordered. Every aspect of the skeleton is important, and it's similar to the points we have to take in count for writing in general.

Like other people commented before, this is a journal from 2004 and it's still active, that's amazing. Also, people IS commenting on it haha. You acomplished your goal.
Reply
:iconshethatknowsall:
SheThatKnowsAll Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Student General Artist
I really need to look at this more often. Thank you for writing it!
Reply
:iconlizzvisions:
LizzVisions Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Great advice !! It's working for me :)
Reply
:iconechowolf97:
Echowolf97 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, I'm surprised this has been here since 2004 and people still read it. I being one of those people. This is rather helpful although a lot to read for just commenting. Thanks very much.
Reply
:icontoddntheshiningsword:
ToddNTheShiningSword Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
One more thing!

For everyone who tries to type very long Comments, remember to Ctrl+C or whatever and copy the Comment part-way through so just in case something happens and you lose it you won't lose the whole thing!!
Reply
:icontoddntheshiningsword:
ToddNTheShiningSword Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think this is the oldest thing I've ever seen on deviantART!!! :wow:

Hmm. The primary problem with this is how it encourages Critiques as a way of making Comments better. A lot of people get butthurt over critiques and flat-out don't want them. I'd say give critique IF you think the artist actually would want one. If you give critiques to every artist you meet you're going to ruffle a lot of feathers.

Also, it is very possible for a very short Comment to be very good, especially if the deviation is the kind where humorous comments would be appropriate. 
Reply
:iconszzcarl:
SzzCarl Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I really must agree with you. A slightly negative comment would sometimes end up with hate all around the place. Its difficult to know who has this "ego" personality, and difficult to know- of all people how many ARE like this...

I am one such person who also gives balance and in-depth comment, but in the case of getting attention and getting people to know me, its is always better to not leap too far incase things really goes ackward between commenter and artist...

One commenting style i use sometimes- To "beat around the bush" with that negative comment, should the comment points out the most obvious/ugliest mistake that could certainly make the artist blush with embarrassment in front of their computer. 
Use "perhaps you could..." instead of "oh my, that is sooooooo wrong..." and things like that. A suggestion could usually be used to indirectly point out mistakes

And my...this post IS really old! Yet you and I are still here, commenting
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×

Featured in Collections

Journals news by CReevesABudd

Journal by sakunokishimori

Journals by Indigotip


More from DeviantArt



Details

Submitted on
February 13, 2004
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
18,835
Favourites
572 (who?)
Comments
720
×