Oh girl, it's so pretty... thank you! You know - I GOT THIS ENTIRE MOUNTAIN OF PICTURES FROM YOU THAT I HAD NO IDEA EXISTED ---
Ahem, I'm going to write a note about that, as soon as I get this conference proceedings written and submitted. BUT. Let me comment on this picture first. Keeping to the tradition that I like to show gratitude for giftarts by making it known that I studied it for a long time.
First off, give me a moment to suppress my awe at your digital skills. The colour scheme is lovely, bright but somehow muted or sad-ish. And the shading?? The realistic, line-less shading that takes advantage of contrasting foreground and background, with various light sources and various textures... girl, it is great.
The empty glasses look lovely. The bottles look lovely. Martin's lips and Nehmen's hands look lovely.
Sooo... if I may move on to some constructive criticism? I am very focused on shape and body form as an artist, I want things to look realistic. So in this painting, I see a lot of tiny shape mismatches, and it ticks me off probably more than it should. To my eyes, Martin's next is a little too thick, all the hands are too massive, and Martin's left hand should not be turned to this angle. (If you try to hold something the way he holds the bottle, you'll see that you have to wring your wrist a lot. More of the little finger side of his palm should be turned to the viewer, rather than the back of his hand.) Plus the glasses don't match the table - both in perspective (their bottoms should either be flatter, or the counter should be wider) and in shading (the counter is very dark, plus in Nehmen's shadow - at least the bottom parts of the glasses should then be darker). But, hey, most of these are just my personal preference as to proportions, so don't take it too seriously...
Let's see... in conclusion, I'd like to point out the quality of the colours again - you use dark/light and warm/cold colours very well here. There's a lot of contrast, which is perfect as there are no inked lines to guide the eye.
All in all, let me thank you again. I just wish I could prepare you equally great birthday presents.