Originally Posted by rrogerscg
- Composition - Do elements distract you? I want the entire canvas to be interesting, but I also intend on having the main focus be in the arena once the characters are in.
- Depth - I thrive to achieve massive depth in all my pieces. Do you see where I can work on it in this piece?
- Value - Do they appear correctly applied? I feel I have the basic lighting down, but maybe you see something I don't.
- Detail - Should I add more information to the piece?
- Anything else that comes to mind is appreciated
It's too dark overall to tell if anything is distracting. Honestly, that's the #1 issue. You have some shapes working, but they don't lead the eye to the focus, whatever that is - the eye is overwhelmed by black, and wanders.
I would strongly urge you work this out as a drawing, at least with basic block shapes, first.
As for depth, there are a couple ways to handle that - perspective by drawing, values (black to white) and hue (color). Distance is generally handled by making things lighter, and blending with whatever the color of the sky/environment is, or fading into dark colors. Since your piece is black and white, and you're not working with a drawing, then the only tool you have is value, and you'll need to make some major changes in the painting to accomplish that. In this case, with darkness being the overall theme, you'll have to carefully use lighter and lighter shades of grey the closer the objects get to the viewer, making sure those values are not the same as the values in the background. This is where color would make it a lot easier to accomplish depth.
Values: see above.
Detail: Yes, more detail is needed, as well as more definition to the space, the objects, everything in the painting. Right now, honestly, it's just swathes of black and white, and they don't read as anything to eye.
My strongest recommendation is to perhaps work more with a line drawing, get the composition established and then use value and hue to work the piece up. Landscapes like this are hard to accomplish without a strong drawing as a foundation. At the very least, color would help you immensely with what you're trying to pull off. Perhaps some study and practice with real night time landscapes, looking at how to use value and hue to establish volume and depth and such.