Here's the result for the first assignment in my painting class.
The crit went really well. I was told that my mark making was very interesting and helped with evoking the sense of space. My prof made the comment that my painting was the "opposite of technique", meaning that I was responding to the space with the different types of brushstrokes I was using etc. Some of my classmates didn't like the strong horizontal of the buildings in the background but before I had a chance to defend myself, one of the other students defended it saying it helps ground the composition (which was it's intended purpose). She seems to be the only other student that I've seen so far that has more considerable painting experience but of course, it's just as interesting to see the efforts of the others.
I was a little dismayed that one of the students was taking the criticism personally. I know it's your heart and soul up there on the chopping block . . . but only 3 weeks worth (not a whole lifetime of painting). And I also know that you have to maintain your identity and artistic integrity, but you also have to give way to constructive criticism: it only makes you a better painter and artist.
We also began the conversation about painting the side of your canvas: painting as 3d object. I have to agree with my prof on this one: when painting an illusion of space, it doesn't make sense to break the law of the window of the picture plane. You need that 2d plane to create depth of space. I wonder when it would be appropriate to break that rule? This makes me think I'm gonna have to cover up the edges of my stretched canvases that have part of the image wrapped around the edges with tape or a frame or something! :O