This is amazing. Ar-Pharazon looks like a mad prophet, it's perfect. XD
I agree that the Tree symbols may not entirely fit, but eh, it's not a big enough deal for me to complain too much about.
But it was the crazy eyes that drew me in! Those mad numenorians!
I know they had a white tree of their own, but it's possible the Numenorians could have chosen a different emblem. With the political climate in Numenor at the time of this scene, sailing to the True West -- that tree was the symbol of the agreement with the Valar: the island's protection so long as they don't try to go west. I doubt they'd want that tree on their breast anymore... It's an Interesting choice, and an interesting debate: what would Ar-Pharazon have chosen for his standard?
Meanwhile, that's not something easily changed on your piece, so don't touch a thing! It's splendid!
An abstracted tree? Like on those breastplates of yours, perhaps... That tree has been so much a part of the background of ideas on Numenor, that it has lost its power and original shape, literally as well as figuratively. It ceases to look like a tree, or represent what it used to mean.
Colors... part of your question perhaps answered.
I hate this too (interpretation!). Just keep in mind that your painting has its own integrity, its own identity as a piece of art. The Silmarilion has equal integrity: don't let it bully you!
One suggestion, if you want it--if not, just delete this unread:
The bottom half of his black tabard/surcoat is a little confusing, because it aligns closely enough with his legs that it seems to be hanging *behind* them at the bottom, even if it's clearly belted in front above that. I'd suggest having it follow the same curve from stomach to thigh that his armor does, and also to overlap slightly on both lower legs so we can tell it's in front of them.
Please let me know if this doesn't make sense; I'm not sure how to describe things. And of course, ignore me if you disagree; you're the artist.
Well, I wouldn't have noticed the tabard alignment on its own, but it makes the legs look very odd--straight lines, no curves, especially the leg on our right. That's what caught my eye. If you see the black tabard as something like a cape lining in back, then you have an odd-shaped leg where the pants run into the boot without anything being wider or narrower - no rounding for the knee or calf, no blousing of the pant leg just above the boot, OR wider boot cuff over the pants. And since the artist is otherwise *great* at giving the clothes heft and bulk, that seemed unlikely.
One of the most impossible things for an artist (in any medium) to catch is the accidental alignment of elements that are fine in their own right, and can only be mistaken by an outside eye, whether it's lovely bubbles of energy that happen to resemble a teddy-bear face, or a horse's head aligned with the unicorn-horn shape of an unrelated bridge shadow--both of which I've seen on DevArt--or accidental overlaps of words, whether it's "Watch the blackboard while I run through it again" or "Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge."
I'm mostly a writer (though often blocked) rather than a visual artist, but the ability to spot accidental juxtapositions is handy anywhere.
And it's something we all have to do for each other. I've mercifully forgotten most of my own clangers that friendly beta-readers had to catch for me, but let's just say I've made my share of 'em.
My basic rule: Never crit an artist who isn't good enough that you're catching the one thing you can imagine they might have missed--nor, if possible, an artist who isn't good enough that they can confidently ignore you if you're missing the point. And *never* be mean about it; if they're good enough to be worth critting, they deserve one helluva lot of respect.
I'm just surprised that you've singled out this one detail and have overlooked the strange juxtaposition of the tiny background figures at Ar-Pharazon's feet. It's a greater leap of belief to imagine these people as standing below the main scene and the invisible cliff which has to be there, than it is to imagine the placement of the man's knee. But I'm only one set of eyes.
I'm glad you have such high standards! Lord knows I'll plunge into any critique democratically and with zest. Whatever helps.