Update: I blurred the BG a bit, so as to create more perspective. I feathered the edges of the model a bit (as much as I could) I made the lighting on the model self more dramatic. I scortched the earth.
Thank you very much to , , and for all your helpfull advice!!!
The original is still here in my scraps if you want to compare... [link]
The maintenance of the detail of the 'model' figure is excellant; I have always admired how you maintain the 'realness' of the figures in your work more than so many other artists do. You did an exceptionally good job of editing out and cloning over the blood on the originals hands *sigh .. hmmm (licks.lips) blood (iron.smell.stomach.growl)*. and the flow of the fabrics is soft and sweeping and nicely reflective.
I do have some problems with the areas to the figures left and right, on the left its somewhat confused, (obsidian?smoke?) and on the right there is a massive loss of texture that yeilds an abrupt jolt in the perspective that might have improved the dimensionality. Likewise with the flames. While flames themselves are a fluid, they contain an infinate variety of texture withing and around to lend more of an appreciation of detail in works. Now, it may be just my own preferences in effect here, my desire to be transported not to a graphics novel or to my own rather insubstantial visual memories (hmmm @ the damage done.. ♪ ohhhhh ... the damage done ♫) I, as a sometime photographer, with some background in acrylic painting and graphite work, and belonging to the 'period' I did desire a deeply detailed and textured reality in the plastic (and now digital) realms; so take alot of that with the usual "Lot's wife" pillar of salt eh?
Yes, looking closely again, there is a difficulty with keeping detail to promote dimensionality. (lusting and finding the detail in the maintenace of the model's image).
I am so EXCITED to see you back working though my friend; and also excited about doing some photography of myself for my next commission with you!
Summary: This piece is quite good and demonstrates the artist's continued growth in manipulation technique and her obvious talent.
In response to your thread in the Premium Members forum.
Overall the image looks at first sudden glance okay with the colour scheme appropriate to the theme/title you set. But when I look carefully the different elements and zoom, I see some things that are off.
Lighting/Shadows: There's lighting coming from every direction affecting the model from behind, the center fire piece, the overall climate (sky) and the front light. However, the front light hitting the model looks different from the one that's behind and the lighting and shading doesn't seem to be executed well. There's center piece fire would have a far pronounced effect on lighting around the bottom of her chin, neck, (even the part where there's shading; which will be reduced), the left and right hand and the dress and is at present muted. Also the fire piece also has some black edges around it which seems more like extraction artifact than smoke and doesn't fit too well with the image as it looks kind of 'pasted in'. Which means the opposite of the palm would have a darker tone. Strong light source means strong shadows, but since it seems to come from different directions, tone down the shadows a bit in the dress by using a soft brush and softly masking the edges. Also adding dark shadows in the left leg's inner part (thigh, behind knee, etc). Or you can take off the front lighting and create a dark shadow around the front features that isn't affected by the centre fire piece or the background one (to create somewhat of a silhouette feature). The halo around her head and outlines of clothing is good addition. Since there is also a front light coming and lighting (considerably) a lot of the front features of the model, the shading of her clothes to blend with the ground is affected. Using a mask layer to fade away the dress in the ground might help, as the dark shading looks out of place and contrasts with the dress' outline which is lighted.
Use of stocks/blending etc: The overall background is quite affected by the way you blended the image of fires and coloured it. It's as if the model is placed in front of a cardboard cutout of a burning place. The faded/hazy look in the sky with 'scratches' (rain or sparks?) doesn't seem to translate to the foreground and only looks like a background element. I know it's hard to blend fire together, but colour balance of the fire stocks seem imbalanced in here. Considering such a strong/warm light, also the shading in her dress in the ground is off. Fire would have a very hot/yellow centre at the lower area. Adding some dark oranges and some dark yellows at the edges might help blend them. But only at the top of the burning flares....
A personal tidbit, I wonder if allowing the ground to be more scorched/burnt black may help it seem more pop out and help blending with a few highlights of burning here and there... The smoke I think if you reduced the opacity gradually at the top and still used some bright red and orange flares as sparks and fire 'tongues' could help. Add more volumes to the fire.
Also, since the background stocks seem to have a blur effect on them (or maybe because of the resolution of them?) they look off when zoomed in. So use a moderate zooming in viewing deviation so it doesn't blow up a lot. Sometimes it's hard to find the correct stocks, and that's when it helps a bit to not have it zoomed a lot to take off that first thumb versioned good look. The extraction of the model itself looks a bit off but blending and lighting it around the edges would help. Of what I mentioned about the hazy sky, I do love the texture in it, however it seems far too out of place and probably a reason it looks out of place with such strong contrast in the background and almost smooth-no textures in the foreground.