the brush stroke is a little bit rough, and i think the roughness applied to the planet fairly well, you may wanna add some highlighted edges on the texture to show some terrain.
the nebulae is very very nice, if you are going for a reall rough feeling of brush strokes, you may want to have them all going at the same direction or focusing on one point to create emphasis, some spots can use a bit control on the color. we're seeing some overlapping shapes, which is a good use to suggest perspectives and to create depth, alos the varying size of planets can really help put variety on your page. good work, great contrast!
Instead of going 100% texture or 100% brushing for planets, I suggest you use both, create a texture for your planet and paint and smudge on it, it works quite well. [link] <- go there to see one of my planets using that idea. It turned out quite well even though the picture never got finished.
Also you need to make the planet appear more spherical, you did well painting it but it looks slightly flat. You could fix the flattness by painting with a 1 px brush along the edges of the planet. Just as you would paint a horizon on earth with long and horizontal strokes, you should paint the horizon on this planet. Of course, make sure you keep the lines in a circle around the planet.
Heres a 100% painted planet by me [link] You can tell I messed up on the big planet by the angle of its features.
They dont fit perfectly with the planet.
Excellent work. Good use of bright white to contrast against the infinite black. Colors blend well in my opinion. And I have to disagree with Sam about the stars (no offense, Sam). I actually prefer some stars in the background. Not too many though and not as bright either. Which brings up another issue...really sharpened stars adjacent to dull stars give off an excellent sense of depth to the piece, variety if you will. Take this as you will. It's an excellent piece. I guess it just depends on the viewer, but ultimately only you can decide where you want to go next with this. I look forward to your next piece as always.
thanks man, i'm glad you liked it. and thanks for the tips. I tend to use total blackness in my work for a sense of depth and to add the expressional 'feeling' of loneliness of the celestial objects and to bring the subjects within each other. (my lack of vocabulary really kills me).
as for improving the pic, ill take note of you guys' suggestions and see what i can come up with. (but i'm bound to just take em and use them for another work)
Right pros : 1. Good use of darkness - negative space. I'm glad you didn't filll that with stars, looks better imo. 2. Nice neb detail and planet texture.
Negatives: 1. Although the planet is very good, i don;t think any of them should be there, they just seem to ruin the scale of the piece - nebulae are HUGE. So yeah.
2. You have an awful lot of pure white in the centre. For me, too much.
thanks for the comment. I know it's not particularly realistic, well not at all really, but i liked it this way because its more expressional. it goes in my science fiction/fantasy abstract type of category i guess.
Hmm perhaps its not realism i care about too much. I mean i understand it would make it more realistic, i just find that when a picture has a really good sense of scale it evokes more emotion - becomes more overwhleming.
you're right about that. a sense of scale prolly would have made this piece more likely to evoke more emotion, but taken that the first part of the series had a rather large planet in it too, i didn't see fit if i made the planet smaller. or no planet at all (if thats what youre talking about) actually, this was just a repaint of the previous version, and i didn't have any good ideas about it anyway. heh so it should have been called "Astrea Revisited" or something like that hehe
anyway i'll take note of your ideas of scale for my next ones though, good ideas.