For starters, the lighting in this is just gorgeous. The way it reflects off of and illuminates Akataras is simply superb. The lightning is a really nice touch and adds that little something more to the dark background. The soft glow in the top right is great spot for the light source, and helps frame the shadows and details well, it's particularly effective with the pose and angle used as well.
Speaking of the pose and angle, there's not much I can say about it that I didn't already say on the flat colour version of this. It's definitely a unique perspective to see him from and the pose lends him a sense of power and strength. It works well with the lighting and reflects the character's personality and nature. It displays the tension of his muscles and both the inner and outer strength that Akataras can exhibit.
Like with the flat version, nothing in the piece distracts from anything else. Everything blends well together and Akataras stands out against the background without feeling out of place. Even with all the extra detailing, shading, lighting effects and patterns, the entire piece feels like a whole, no individual component outshines any other aspect. (And I mean that in a good way, as in every part is of the same high quality) This makes it even more impressive that the dragon himself is the main focus but still doesn't distract from the background or the atmosphere. Your eyes are drawn to him, but at the same time acknowledge everything about him and everything around him. Akataras' presence in this is absolutely astounding.
I love the colour palette it has. The dark blues, blacks, turquoise, teal and white shades all set up the atmosphere and tone that the piece displays. It's neither an entirely broody, sombre atmosphere, nor a bright shiny one. It strikes at a borderline between the two, giving the image an atmosphere of determination and power. Like Akataras himself the piece stands at the middle between light and dark (leaning ever so slightly toward the dark, but still close enough to the light). The brown shades for Akataras' hair also blend into the atmosphere and colour scheme, as do the pink flesh tones of his scar. One of the things I was concerned about was how well those colours would work with Akataras' standard tones, it's great to see them in a way that doesn't look out of place.
The scale pattern is a real treat in this artwork, amidst the lighting, shadows and shades, the scales add an additional layer of depth to the image and Akataras' appearance. As they're such a small (but also an important) detail, I don't often see them represented, or mention them when detailing what I'd like to see in art of them. I know how much of a nuisance they can be to render and seeing their pattern on him is simply excellent. It gives the darker areas of his body some texture and definition and helps emphasise the fact he's a dragon. Even with the scales his body still looks smooth amidst the muscle texture and complements the other details making the image and design feel complete.
Overall the artwork has a professional feel. (Which is only to be expected) It not only suits and represents Akataras as a character perfectly, but looks as if it could easily have been an image taken straight from a popular comic book with a well-known and established characters, instead of just being the character of some random internet user. You've really given Akataras a sense of life and presence in this picture, and brought a character to life that I'm often hesitant to see drawn because of his importance to me. You managed to not only integrate additions to his design, but do it while staying true to what you know of the character and representing him in the perfect atmosphere.
Amazing work. Original and clearly the labour of someone with exceptional skills in this particular style of art. Absolutely amazing.
This REALLY came out polished and nice! The lighting's really added a lot to the finished drawing, he blends very well with the background without getting lost in it, and the character has a very powerful stance with this angle, which he did in the flat version too. I love this, and I'm glad to see the commissioner does too!