Some might wish Long Journey Back were in colour, but by choosing greyscale, *Daldbaatar did the perfectly right thing. A mysterious warrior marches towards the viewer, backed up by an army of quiet, giant monsters. Had it been in full colour, it would have been hard to avoid it looking overloaded.
The structures are detailed and effortlessly rich in variation, apparently without use of photographic textures. The materials are easy to tell apart as well even with some areas of visible brushstrokes. The general distribution of detail works nicely, falling off to the sides of the picture.
For all praise, there is still room for improvement. The monsters' weapons pose a small problem in the composition, making long lines that are not all evenly balanced - this mainly is a problem at all because of the central focus on the human figure. This might have been fixed if either the weapon shafts in the back had been more visible to team up with the spiked staff of the monster to the left, or spaced like spokes on a wheel to point towards the human. There is a tangent where the space between the largest monster and its staff conincide with the human's flank, and another where the elbows of the monsters on the right meet. Altogether the picture leans slightly to the left. Maybe if the largest monster were a bit lighter this could be fixed. The human is holding a naginata-like weapon, but the shaft doesn't show up over his shoulder. This sometimes causes confusion, even if perspectively correct; it is often better to see both ends of staff weapons.
Storywise, the picture is great and mysterious. I wonder, why does the human wear a blindfold? Who are the spiked and armed giants? What might their powers be? And, the long journey back to where? The human seems firmly rooted in his surroundings because of good contrast handling.
The atmospheric conditions are mysterious as well, somewhere between dust and fog, hiding parts of the human's giant companions, giving a feeling of anticipation. We cannot see the end of the army, which makes us wonder how many there might be.
Long Journey Back is one of the best executed black and white pictures I have seen lately. I'M certainly looking forward to more!