Okay, firstly: This is absofrigginlutely one of THE coolest things you have ever painted.
Now that that's outta the way, I'll start with first impressions: - What first pops out is the spectacular composition. * the subtle perspective is very appropriate and expertly executed * the wide-angle lens look gives it a very cinematic and dramatic feel that wouldn't have been achieved so well without that addition. * the sweeping wing in the foreground perfectly compliments the circular energy blast in the background and unifies the piece beautifully. - Color choice (going off of the Downloaded version, not the DA preview) * the molten orange color is very effective, though I would have liked to see more emphasis on a complimentary blue, presented perhaps in the shadowy parts as a second light source, or perhaps thrown in there as an accent color in some fashion.
On Closer Examination: - Details *stunning, just stunning. The details really sharpen up the picture in a way that I would have just said "eh, good enough," but you took it further and it really pays off. *The feathers, I think most would agree, are just plain incredible. The light hits them just right, and they definitely look and feel soft yet powerful. *The armor design is very effective, but I think the rendering could use a bit more reflection and shine. I can't quite tell what material Stardust's armor is made of, and he gets a little bit lost in the picture. In contrast, Sovv's armor stands out quite well and is clearly metallic in nature. *The buildings have a perfect weight and dimension to them. They appear like a mix of old and new which adds to the futuristic theme, but it still feels original and believable. Unfortunately, some of them look rather bland in that they appear like large solid blocks of concrete, especially the large one in the right corner. Granted it is hazy and smokey, there are no distinguishable windows or difference in construction material. Despite this, the design and execution of the city scape is extremely effective and gets the point across wonderfully. (I LOVE IT!) *Somehow, when High-Guard said Stardust looked pasty, I still can't help but feel like he seems a little pasty. IDK I think its psychosomatic now! LOL *Lastly, when i actually look at the positions of the body, I wonder if Stardust's head seems a bit too far away from his shoulders. Perhaps it is just the armor, but it does look the slightest bit odd the more i look at it. I also sense slight hesitancy in drawing the place where Sovv's wings meet her back. It just feels to me like you weren't quite confident in how that part should work. It looks fine, just not quite as confident and powerful as the rest.
OKAY so all in all, this thing BLOWS MY FRIGGIN MIND! and I am super jelly of your skillz. I took the time to do a critique because I feel like you deserve an honest, thought-out response because you put so much effort into this. I love how you never sacrifice your style for anything, and your style is so unique and beautiful. It translates so well to whatever you put your mind to.
Keep up the great work, and I will always be here to cheer you on! This took my breath away.
Yeah nailed it! His backstory is that he was abducted and forced into service for the 5th Column ~33 years ago, pre-Council takeover. He was transferred around to various Temporal Fortresses in throughout time for those decades. But one day, a team of heroes happened upon one and stormed it. He was taken prisoner as he reluctantly surrendered (and someone had some respect for the Geneva convention's rules on killing doctors/medics), and brought back to the heroes' original time -- only 6 years after his abduction. So from his perspective, he is now 55, but when he was brought back and matched up to the missing person's report, he should have only been 28.
So his whole character concept is kind of twofold: (1) he was a long-time member of the 5th Column, and even despite resisting for many years, their methods of torture and brainwashing worked even on him, and he is now on the road to recovery under the watchful care and eye of his supergroup that took him on contractually, and (2) trying to readjust to life being twice as old as he should be given the time he now lives in -- basically like he got stuck in the past. He spent over half his life living in barracks and labs, and now he's trying to regain something from the life he left.
I guess there is a (3) in that the machine he invented to help him do medicine (its practically blood magic but its some kinda weird 5th tech), is also killing him. So depending on how badly he's needed in the field and how much he has to use the machine (resurrecting people in the field really taxes him), he is anywhere from a light cough to mild hemorrhaging to coughing up blood at the worst. He's working on a fix, but its challenging equipment and he doesnt have loads of free test subjects like the 5th supplied him.