The first thought that came to my head when I saw this was, 'this is gorgeous!'. Then I read the title and wondered why Venus is depicted as such a dark destructive force. After reading the description, it all makes sense. And I have to say, the thought process, concept and the execution is marvelous.
The colors and lighting in this one is so outstanding. I can feel the warmth in the atmosphere with the colors chosen. The thing that is the most outstanding though is the use of textures. It goes with the warm colors giving it a very dry, destructive feel. The little particles and the texture of ashes floating around brings a feel of motion to the artwork. Great choice with model stock selection too, she has a godly feel to her, esp. her pose.
The only thing that is distracting a little bit is the painted back light around the model's edges. It looks too strong and uniform and just doesn't work with the otherwise flawless work. Reducing the opacity or even getting rid of it should do the trick.
Not that I am asking for it but if I had a bigger copy of this without the dA watermark (which is taking away so much from this beautiful piece), I would stare and admire every inch of this for hours. I really hope you create a tutorial for this.
The artwork looks great! I love the way it goes from light to dark. The motion of the ribbon and wings looks great and very convincing too. The flowing hair add greatly and beautifully to the wind effect. To me it somewhat conveys that she is moving at a very fast pace and running away from whatever there is in the light. I love the overall color theme. It compliments the tone of the work and helps blend all the stock images very well. The landscape format adds to it too, like it could be a screenshot from a movie.
The only thing I could point out which might need working on is the positioning of the wing. The peak of the wing should be above the shoulder in the position it is in. Also, it should be moved a little inwards. You could also add a couple of feathers coming off but still a little attached to the wings to add to the effect of decaying wings.
Great lighting, great colors, great execution, I love it!