i like it as a whole. not your best, but a solidly good piece. the blue sun is something newa nd you pulled it off really well, looks great. it also looks fairly round, which is hard as shit to pull off. so props there. i also really like the flares of the sun. those just look awesome, and very close to what comes out of me when i drink to much. Starscape is good. nothing mind blowing but they arnt supposed to be, so good work there. The planets is where my real beef is. Firstly, the textures are mediocre at best (in comparison to your other works). it also looks like you just copy+pasted the smaller one. which isnt necessarily a bad tactic (i do it quite often actually) but its too noticeable in this one. i would either shrink the smaller planet by about half, or use a noticeable different texture. My second beef witht hem is the lighting. in your last couple pieces you have had the shadow at 100% opacity, and although this is realistic, in a purely aesthetics sense, it doesnt work so well. to me it makes them look flatter, and since i cant see the rest of the texture, fairly dull. in your pieces: [link] and [link] the shadows of the smaller planets are a bit less dark, letting more of the texture show through and giving a better illusion of spherical-ness. I would do the same here, for this size of planets. Lastly, the small planet in the top left is very iffy. its atmosphere is brighter than the other two, which really draws attention to it and makes it very akward looking. honestly, i would get rid of it altogether, or maybe move it to a completely new location where the entire planet is visible.
All in all, a good piece. i know its not one of your spend a million hours on and such, but i still want to see you push yourself further. this is a good step, but i still really want to see you push your limits to the max. throw us all a curve ball, really step outside your comfort zone.
I have to agree with you the rays, I'd prefer if you more or less mirrored the blue whispy effect you used below the planet to be above the planet as well. It's the fact that everything is curved and liquid except the rays which are static, straight & pretty flat.
I'm not sure what edits you have made, but the planets look pretty darn good, but I think you should change the lighting angle if at all possible on the right one. I get the impression it is being lit from a light directly to it's left, so it appears to me to be 1/50th of it's diameter away from the sun
I swear I saw this great tutorial on atmospheric lighting on here at one point, but I can't seem to find it now. I feel like your planets are just spheres with no atmosphere, I think it would be pretty cool if you could add a tad bit more of a glow around your planets to show light refraction (if you had *just* atmospheric lighting on the right one, I think it would look more like a back light source, bringing the planet closer to the viewer). I think you can see it a bit here: [link]
The blue star looks great effects wise, but I still feel like it's slightly flat in the center, though I'm not really sure how that could be changed.
The background effects are supurb, I really like your galactic clouds and the stars, very well done (they seem slightly sparse to me, but it's better to err on the low side in my opinion ). Awesome work
Since you said that this artwork cannot be used in any way without your permission, I will change my profile picture if you tell me I must do so. I have not attempted in any way to claim your work, and I have actually been looking for this picture for a long time to ask if I can use it.
So, please let me know as soon as possible if it is okay to continue using this as my profile picture. I do not want to disrespect your rights as an artist.
I tried taking a couple of pictures after getting this as a print, but unfortunately they didn't turn out good (mainly cause the picture that came in was rather dark compared to the picture I see here. It was hard to see the flame-like strands that came from the sphere). If I can get a good picture of it I'll send it in. @_@