Congratulations, it's always very difficult to paint a face with so much sensitivity and precision, using traditional painting. The color scheme fits perfectly with the character : pale, black, with warmer tones in the foreground to suggest a restrained anger. The precision in the drawing of his traits is rather incredible.
I'm not sure about composition and framing: did you have to truncate his head like this? It somewhat softens the dynamism of composition, in my opinion. I's rather see more flames on top of his head.
By the way, sorry about the low note on originality, but unfortunately, we've seen that pose on so many posters right now.
You're a very talented artist, keep going!
In the full painting, his head is not cropped at all, and there is more to his head and shoulders as well. I never crop my original paintings just in case I change my mind! LOL...Once I finish painting his wandblast in oils I will likely show a larger version of the whole piece. I find the small-ish aspect in which a piece is viewed online can compromise the impact of it. So, for that reason, I often crop it. In my FB cover version [link] you can see more of the background, which is actually a lunar eclipse in blood red tones.
I agree, this cannot be an overly original pose since it was obtained on the web and - apparently- used often? I could only find a small version of this pose, and I was searching for one where he looks directly at the viewer. It would have helped me alot if I could have found a photo with nice resolution to work from!
The original reason for doing this piece was actually as a traditional oil study for a totally digital painting....the digital painting has an entirely different background planned, as well as being a full length (whole body) version. It will be interesting to see the differences, and if I can capture the same nuances in his character through his features!
Thanks so much for the thoughtful critique, I appreciate you taking the time to consider it.