This picture falled me into th slump for 3 weeks so hate this. but I must work up this completely b'coz i seemed to be unable to work any pictures if i don't work this over. I cannot help hating this picture.
I like the coat of arms a lot. It is not something I see a lot of, especially with the high-quality shading as seen on the animals that really makes their musculature look amazing.
That said, I really dislike the armor on the women. The colors and linework are nice, but that armor... Putting aside the fact that armor is not functional at all and makes my girl parts wince in sympathy - the armor does not match the coat of arms theme. I feel like I'm looking at two different themes that are fighting for supremacy. What am I supposed to experience from seeing this art?
Also, I think the elven lady's sword looks off, but I can't put my finger on why it seems that way to me.
The image has potential. I really do want to like it more. I believe you just need to choose which theme you want to communicate to the viewer. Is it about the regal/noble heraldry that represents the background/history of the characters in the foreground; or is it about the... oh, what is the word... cream puff? cheese?... 'fanservice' isn't quite what I'm looking for... fierce-yet-scantily-clad-but-dangerous women?
I agree with you about the Coat of Arms part, especially on the human,I guess is a human. And yeah the armor is more ornamental than functional, you can see that, but isn't it like that everywhere? I mean, games, movies etc? Not meaning that's normal or good or whatever, just saying it's like what you can see anywhere. Anyway, the reason I think the sword looks of is because of the style, all her armor is complex, carved and frilly, but the sword is quite simple and has colors oposite to the armor or just too bright, the red gems and the white eagle head for instance.
But I like it, it's a powerful image, but I agree with you is quite similar to any RPG fanservice.