Abelo and Phoenix: Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate it.
Abelo: I think I understand what you’re saying: The strong textures in certain areas detract from those with less and make them look flat. I actually built full textures into each area on Thor including his skin. However, this cannot be fully appreciated at the scale limitations of the jpeg provided. I don’t fully agree with the texture contrast argument though, because by nature the girdle which is made of a nurled like iron material has more apparent texture than skin. To make the girdle with less texture to the point that it does not compete or “flatten” the look of the skin (for example) would completely obscure my intent to show that the girdle is made of a tough material. Much of my choices concerning texture were premeditated and I will concede that they are a matter of taste, namely my taste. Sometimes, you get these things right for the viewing audience, and sometimes they come off as a bit “off”. (Sorry for the pun)
I think what you are seeing as flat is due to a smaller range of value changes going from light to dark. I believe that changes in value (light and dark) and value placement are a vital part in creating a volumetric quality to a painted object. However, in the case of this painting, with the introduction of the glowing hammer (a relatively strong light source) I had to take into account that it tends to wash out some of those values. Taking also into account that there is a secondary light source to Thor’s left and some assumed reflected light, I think I portrayed it accurately.
I must say that your criticism forced me to re-examine my approach to making this image of Thor. For that I am thankful that you shared your thoughts with me. In the end, I think I made the painting to the aesthetic that I preferred and to the best of my technical ability at this time. I look at each of my paintings that I do as an exciting journey to further enlightenment and betterment. Thanks for sharing in that journey.