I don't give out 5 stars lightly.
This is one of my favourite pieces of art in all of the portal. I am not joking.
The composition, the lighting, the colours; all of it is great. But really, REALLY stands out is the characterizations. There's so much personality, so much narrative and character defined... without a single word spoken!
From the highly exaggerated, hyper-violent clusterfuck used to represent the story being told, to the chaotic looking fireplace scene with the two children huddled on the ground, it all just drips with personality.
Every little design choice I find seems to accent the scene as a whole. The exploding fireplace shows how chaotic the scene he's describing is. The veins on his arm, the impossibly deep scratches he's making on his helmet, and his sharp toothed spitting mouth all show just how overly dramatic and intense he's being. The poses of both the children and their facial expressions define both their personalities immediately. The circular space they have between them an all the fire, blood and chaos enhances their look of being small an terrified. The sheer illogicality of the scene the soldier is describing shows just how much he's over-embellishing the story to scare them.
All these, just to name a few.
Seriously, this is brilliant work. I dream of one day being able to do art like this.