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ProjectComment is a Group of many projects centred around comments, but, more importantly, constructive comments. Every week, one admin from ProjectComment will write an informative article on commenting that will hopefully be useful to you! Please help support us by +fav the article and contribute your thoughts and opinions on the matter. Love


This article aims to show you how to format your constructive comments, and why you should format them in the first place. 'Formatting' in this case means making your comment more readable with a few simple steps.
Many of us simply write down the good and bad things we notice about an artwork, along with ways to improve the bad ones, which can lead to a unstructurized outcome, which makes understanding the comment and following the advice given harder.



Why should I format my comments?


:bulletblue: Clarity and legibility. A wall of text is much harder to read and comprehend than a well-structured text. Just think of having to read a page full of justified text without line breaks or paragraphs. So, the person you wrote the comment for will have an easier time.

:bulletblue: It's useful for you as well, since having a structure for what you want to write helps you actually writing it. You're not writing an essay of course, but the same things helping you to write a good essay can help you with writing a good constructive comment. Organising your ideas and thoughts is one of them.

:bulletblue: A well-formatted comment has the added bonus of looking better than a wall of text, at least in my opinion. ;)



How can I format my comments?


:bulletblue: If you use the 'sandwich method' to comment, you can easily insert a line break between your points. It's the same if you decide to follow the steps of 3wyl 's great article here. Working that way already provides you with a solid structure, so you can use line breaks to emphasise that structure. The same goes for your own commenting techniques of course.

:bulletblue: If you're writing a more detailed constructive comment you might want to insert breaks inbetween your main points, or maybe group everything you like about the work, things you think could be improved and how to improve them into paragraphs.

:bulletblue: Concerning quotes (literature pieces): Make sure you label them as such, e.g. through italicising the quote for example.

:bulletblue: You can also use bold and italics if you want to emphasise a certain point.



An Example


Let's take a look at the following example.

This already is a good comment, stating things the commenter liked and things the commenter felt could be improved at the same time.

"This is a very interesting painting! I love the earthy shades of the girl contrasting with the colourful lights in the background, it creates a lovely atmosphere. I also think that the shading is very well done overall, although it's still a little unrefined in certain areas, like her hair for example, but I guess that's because this is not a finished piece of work. If you do intend to finish it I think it would be best to work on the hair some more, as well as refining her features a little more. Right now the whole picture looks a little blurry, since the shading lacks sharper lines and a clear focal point. Other than that it's a good piece already, and I'd love to see a finished version, as I'm sure that would be even better!"


Now, to make the comment more readable:

"This is a very interesting painting! I love the earthy shades of the girl contrasting with the colourful lights in the background, it creates a lovely atmosphere. [insert line break (1)] I also think that the shading is very well done overall, although it's still a little unrefined in certain areas, like her hair for example, but I guess that's because this is not a finished piece of work. [insert line break (2)] If you do intend to finish it I think it would be best to work on the hair some more, as well as refining her features a little more. Right now the whole picture looks a little blurry, since the shading lacks sharper lines and a clear focal point. [insert line break, change order of sentences (3)] Other than that it's a good piece already, and I'd love to see a finished version, as I'm sure that would be even better!"

(1) I inserted a line break here, because that is the end of the first positive statement.
(2) Another line break, because we're coming to the 'things to improve' section of the comment.
(3) Last line break, because we finished with our 'to improve' section, but still want to say something to encourage the artist. I also changed the order of the two sentences before the line break, as I felt it would work better that way around.


Leading us to this:

"This is a very interesting painting! I love the earthy shades of the girl contrasting with the colourful lights in the background, it creates a lovely atmosphere.
I also think that the shading is very well done overall, although it's still a little unrefined in certain areas, like her hair for example, but I guess that's because this is not a finished piece of work.
Because of that the whole picture looks a little blurry, since the shading lacks sharper lines and a clear focal point. So, if you do intend to finish it I think it would be best to work on that, especially concerning the hair and her features.
Other than that it's a good piece already, and I'd love to see a finished version, as I'm sure that would be even better!"


And that was that! Formatting your constructive comments (especially long ones) can make reading and writing them a lot easier. :)



Keep watch Added to my devWatch! of ProjectComment to find out more ways to help your commenting!

Riemea, posting on behalf of ProjectComment
Add a Comment:
 
:iconalishatano:
AlishaTano Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
This is my first time trying to learn about proper constructive comment... I had no idea there was a system in place. :sweatdrop: Overhaul Thanks for this, it's a really helpful read!
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
If you have questions on anything, feel free to ask! :) I wouldn't call it a system, it's more like... guidlines to help you I guess.^^
Reply
:iconalishatano:
AlishaTano Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
:p I guess I've got one or two questions... how do I let the group know whether I've make a proper constructive comment? And, are those comments limited to pieces uploaded in this group, or can I try this anywhere?
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
So sorry for the super late reply! :ashamed: I hope you found the answer to your question in the mean time. :)
Reply
:iconjaiin:
jaiin Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2016   Digital Artist
 Very helpful !
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad you think so!
Reply
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:iconb00813s:
B00813S Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks!
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome. :)
Reply
:iconclowderorigins:
ClowderOrigins Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good tips! Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
My pleasure. :)
Reply
:iconphilota:
Philota Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
I wish more of the group members had read this post
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, this guide has over 2000 views, so I think a lot of members already saw this. :)
Reply
:iconmikesscribbles:
MikesScribbles Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
If I'm going past a few lines, I have a format I developed based on what is important to me. IT varies some based on Photo vs Drawing or other media. I choose to start with First impressions; on a community like dA, there are thousands of pieces of art on any of our watch list at any monent[mine is close to 4K right now]
 I believe any artist wants to know what the grab, or attraction was. 
Second: I have not been in a position of having to critique garbage, if I chose to review it, I have something in mind I want to highlight, or encourage. if there is an element that is particularly poor; chances are the artist knows that. I will emphasize the good and let the deficit speak for it's self. This being a community where comment is solicited, I will have to renegotiate how I deal with this issue.

 
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a good way to start a comment. :nod:
I think that depends on what kind of comment someone is writing. When someone is writing a constructive comment, pointing out flaws, especially particularly noticable ones (and how to improve them) is something they'd include, but they probably won't do that when they're just writing a comment to state their apprechiation of/amazement at the work. :)
Reply
:iconmikesscribbles:
MikesScribbles Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, said.
 Like in a group where I know someone wants comments I can be a bit different, where as a general complemantry comment is a much more delicate animal. 
 There are also times when I think the artist already knows the flaws, even if he or she has not said it,and I feel compelled to encourage what I see that is good, as opposed to expounding on every mistake.
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Indeed. That's a nice thing to do. :)
Reply
:iconmutenightingale:
MuteNightingale Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Oh, I've been using something along the lines of this structure all along ^^ When it gets longer than 8 or 9 lines I also leave an empty line. Helps a lot ^^
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
:thumbsup:
Reply
:iconryugassj3:
RyugaSSJ3 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Pretty much my comments say,man.
Reply
:iconomnikron13:
Omnikron13 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
'You can also use bold and cursive'

That is italics, not cursive... =/
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Indeed, "italics" would probably be the better word choice. At the time I wrote this article I was more used to the word "cursive" than "italics", which is why that's what's written here.
Reply
:iconcheliya:
Cheliya Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Uuuh I critiqued on two deviations.. also a bit like this, but honestly I didn't see any flaws. Those pieces were just AMAZING! But I'm not sure if I'm allowed to submit my piece now since it's not really constructive critism (since there's nothing to improve on imo...)
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's alright. Simply submit your piece to the group's gallery and link to the comments you wrote on your submission process. :aww:
Reply
:iconcheliya:
Cheliya Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Okay I've done it. Thanks :)
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem. :)
Reply
:iconapples-ishness:
apples-ishness Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for this article!
I've seen many "walls of text" comments. Breaking it up somehow also makes critique less daunting, at least to me.
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for reading! :hug:
Indeed. :nod:
Reply
:iconneonparrot:
neonparrot Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2013  Student Digital Artist
This is the most informative article out of all three, in my opinion.
And the only one where I don't have anything to disagree with :"D
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad you think so. :hug:
Reply
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