red_satin_doll: (Default)

Click on all images below to view full-size (They don't look at all right downsized. 'tis most distressing.) All artwork by me unless otherwise noted.


Gift from my amazing friend and a jewel of this fandom [ profile] spikesredqueen for my birthday (Feb 2015, not snaggable)


"Winged Buffy" banner, a gift from the fantastically talented and generous [ profile] comlodge, (June 2013, not snaggable)

*My LJ is Hugs Central (mostly.)  Appropriate and consensual ones, of course. Safety and fun are at a premium here, so play nice with one another. Leave the weapons at the door, wipe your feet on the mat, and help yourself to some tea and homemade cookies.
by any other name 700square any other name. (June 2014)

* Buffy is my Big Damn Hero and my #1 HBIC - because she's flawed and human and real. Because she loves deeply; she falls down but still fights, she grieves and endures, again and again. Because she breaks the rules and finds another way; because of her intelligence, intuition and wit. Because in watching her I identify with my own issues and strengths, and have a renewed appreciation for my mom as well.

* Because in talking about her with other fans, in telling my story through her, in voicing my truth, I discover that I'm not alone in my challenges, faults, and grief; that I don't have to be imprisoned by secrets and shame; and in sharing this, I can bring comfort to others. And because at the end of the day, Buffy gives me hope; and sometimes that's enough to make getting out of bed in the morning worthwhile. And because she is just so freakin' adorable, y'all.



Keep Her Safe (alt 1) (March 2015)

* I love intelligent discussion of , and appreciation for , the ladies of the verse and their complex interrelationships  at the core of the 'verse: mothers, sisters, mentors, students, friends, lovers, enemies, allies. The Buffyverse without it's women would be a cold, barren place:  ("that bright optimism that becomes a great, raw wound-red in The Body" - [ profile] the_royal_anna ). They bear witness to one another, the hurt one another when they don't mean to, they love even when it's difficult and painful to do so.

* And yes, this also includes Kennedy. No vitriol. No joke.  (Tara would not approve of the hate. A lot of the complaints I've seen about her are suspicously close to those lobbed at Buffy, btw.) Entitled? Yes. Arrogant? Uh-huh - and also loyal, courageous, stubborn and gentle. She's a "queer woman of color..that is allowed to be the hero."

* The Buffy & Tara friendship/connection is one of the most underappreciated aspects of the 'verse IMO. This WILL be rectified. I don't ship Buffy/Tara, but if that's what it takes to get fandom talking about them? A fangirl's gotta do what a fangirl's gotta do. (ETA 2014: I have seen the light of the true religion: Buffy/Tara shipping. I ship those girls so freakin' hard. Now say amen, somebody.)


My OTF/P (August 2014)

*In fact, let's just say "No bashing female characters, period." There's plenty of other places to do that, if that's your thing. The show's failures in terms of the depictions of women, of female sexuality, the lack of mature female characters, the massive fail in terms of race and class? Always up for intelligent, civil discussion and examination.
* OTOH, I do reserve the right to bitch about call out their shit criticize objectively analyze and take issue with certain whiny, self-absorbed males on the series and their collective patronizing jackassery. Don't get me wrong, I can understand them, sympathize with them, and so forth. Xander trying to be a "better man" than his father? Even when he gets it wrong? I heartily approve. (I'll still call him out on his shit, though.) It's simple math: Grow up, get real or go home. Also I welcome any and every opportunity to make fun of Angel.  Particularly when penguins are involved.  As well they should be.


I Walk Alone, another beautiful gift from [ profile] comlodge based on her FFL picspam series for Round 18 of [ profile] seasonal_spuffy.

* I 'ship Buffy&Spike S7 . Love in action is the hardest, most painful and most worthwhile work we can ever do - and IMO it trumps "true love" romantic fantasies every time. (That said, I fully support the right to ship Buffy with anyone you damn well please.) But he is not my central focus here. Nor are any of the men of the 'verse, except in terms of how they serve Buffy's story.  It turns out the protagonist of the "Buffyverse" is some gal named Buffy.  Weird, huh?
red_satin_doll: (Summers Family Portrait S5 RSD)
This post will be updated frequently.  I'm including some examples when possible because a picture is worth a thousand words.

UPDATED 05 July 2016:

[ profile] colorfilter - Their big 40 pack of icon textures (download link at Facebook here) is still the one I use most often and I haven't begun to scratch the surface of the hundreds of textures within. Also check out the pack of larger 800x600 textures. You can also find the sets posted individually on their journal. I've posted a few more examples of my icons using these textures in the comment thread here.



[ profile] texturize - (Many thanks to[ profile] teragramm for rec'ing this community) One-stop shopping for anyone interested in creating and sharing textures. Be sure to read the comm's very informative "Bible" (guidelines) before posting or snagging. Most of the artists post links back to their graphics journals or to Deviant Art.

[ profile] lookslikerain at [ profile] soaked. I've used more of their textures than anyone's except [ profile] colorfilter's:

      icon for fanfic Ipseity by spuffy luvr 2015     15-20

[ profile] whitebamboo:


[ profile] jordannamorgan at [ profile] wolfbane_icons


[ profile] scoobyatemysnax at [ profile] burnedbreads - includes tutorials.  A tremendous variety of textures including soft glow, grunge, frames, abstract and geometric patterns in any one given set. I like their medium (300pixels) square textures for icons.

      25 - 30

 * [ profile] broken_places The graphics journal of [ profile] akilah92

* Evey-V at DeviantArt I like Ericka's soft, painterly, abstract textures, gradients, and text brushes:

consequences0128icon1.3e.png 31

 * [ profile] sweetiepebbles Gallery of icon textures and bases at DeviantArt
 * Yeonseb at DeviantArt Vast supply of textures and application resources
 * [ profile] spiritcoda - [ profile] creativehangout is their LJ graphics gallery, or check out their DA gallery; some exceptionally pretty textures

 * FRAMEs & BORDERs for use - Flickr image sharing group
 * Your Picture Frames - Most of the icon frames in my awards banners come from this site.
 * Victorian Frame Company - Mostly HQ photos of antique-style wood frames with carved detail, includes unusual shapes such as rounds, oblongs and hearts:

  32 - 33

SCREENCAPS for Buffyverse
[ profile] slayerstillness has a list of Screencap Resources for BtVS and AtS, including all the ones I use most frequently; if you know of
any not on the list, send the links to [ profile] starry_night. Some of my favorites from the list:

  * Pretty as a Picture complete screencaps for BtVS and AtS plus promo photos for Buf (ETA: 12/21/15 site currently defunct)

  * Bloodqueen has all seven seasons of BtVS complete, is one of my primary sources

  * Leave Me the White by [ profile] _jems_  Spuffy-centric so no S1 or S3 caps and the remaining seasons are incomplete; but some of the best quality
     caps of the series I've found. (S2 is the most complete with 14 episodes capped.) Includes Dailies for Smashed and Dead Things.
     S7 is spread out over three albums including two Miscellaneous albums.

 * Buffy in HD ON Facebook Fan analysis of the problems with Fox's recent "HD remaster", galleries of screencaps, edits, comparisons

 * Shadow of Reflection also has all seven seasons; quality if variable. The early seasons caps compare favorably with
     Bloodqueen's; the later seasons are strangely distorted.

 * WiP; S1-2 of BtVS are complete; plus one file of promo shots from S1 and the screencaps for Bargaining.
     Appears to be using a new cleaned-up source for it's caps (the so-called "high deflnition" version.) Has a lot of screenshots that
     may not exist elsewhere, but can appear slightly compressed or distorted.

  * The Chosen Two Gallery high-quality promotional and marketing images and magazine shoots of all the major and most of the
     minor characters/actors in BtVS, AtS and Firefly.

  * Kiss Them Goodbye Seasons 1 - 2 complete, partial season 3; also appears to be working off newer DVD's or Blu-ray sources but
      the images tend to be more pixilated than other sources.

  * promo-pictures on tumblr  

  * Buffy Universe and Angel DVD caps

Individual Cast Members Fansite Galleries:
   * Sarah Michelle Gellar France - What it says on the tin. One of my favorite fansite galleries for all things SMG and constantly
     updated. Photoshoot albums sometimes identify the magazine and the original photographer.
   * Glamorous SMG - online since 2003, another fairly comprehensive source.
   * Captivating SMG - relatively new (since 2013), it divides the Photoshoot section by years, which few sites do. Galleries for Sarah's other tv
     series still incomplete or empty as of this writing.

   *Marc Blucas Source
  * Michelle Trachenberg Web

For other fandoms:
  * All movie/tv caps on Leave Me The White. Extensive collection including Grease, Amelie, Dangerous Liasons, Terminator; Parks & Rec, Veronica Mars etc.
  * Genre Caps HQ screencaps for several fantasy series: Jessica Jones and other Marvel series, Doctor Who (New Who); OUAT, Outlander, etc

* The British Library offers over one million royalty-free digitized images from their vast archives going back to the 17th century.
* The Brooklyn Museum of Art happens to be one of the best art museums I've ever visited. If I had to choose between a visit here
   and the Met, go to Brooklyn. In the meantime, their online collection has a stunning array of images.
* The New York Public Library Digital Collections Thank you [ profile] petzipellepingo for the heads-up!
* The Graphics Fairy and the Background Fairy - the wonderful team at Graphics Fairy provide thousands of free large HQ images
   adapted from antique and vintage greeting cards, labels, valentines cards and assorted emphemera, DIY tutorials, craft projects,
 * morgueFile
 * StevenJamesMorris at DeviantArt

 * [ profile] good_tutorial What it says on the tin. The last post was 2013 but still plenty of useful information

red_satin_doll: (Willow Tough Love post-impressionist)
Thank you VERY MUCH to everyone who voted in [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 15!  I won Close Crop, Light Texture, and 3rd Place Category Set.  Congratulations to [ profile] crazycordy, [ profile] sweet_lyri, [ profile] midnightisclose!

Congratulations to the winners at [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 135 : [ profile] nadya149, [ profile] dixon, [ profile] harlequinss_s, [ profile] hermionesparkle, [ profile] heterodynes, [ profile] sweet_lyri; and for my Banner Maker's Choice Award, [ profile] teragramm.  Congratulations! The theme this round was "red heads", check out all the winning entries and banners HERE.

My entries for Challenge 135 after the cut. Fandoms: BtVS, Avengers (MCU). Many many many thanks, as always, to my beta-Muse [ profile] velvetwhip for her input:
willowTL380_icon1d4_rsd.png willowTough_Love_379icon1e_rsd.png willowtwothicon1a2b_we134_rsd.png blackwidownatashaicon2a1a_we134_rsd.png 1 - 4
Arranged roughly from most painterly/stylized to photographic/realistic.  I'm really pleased with how #1 and it's alts (below) turned out.  I layered several textures by [ profile] lookslikerain that give it the look of a post-impressionist oil pastel by Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas or Toulouse-Latrec.

Alts and extras:
blackwidowscarletwitchicon1a_we134_rsd.png oafaicon1_we1332016rsd.png blackwidownatashaicon1b_we134_rsd.png 5 - 10
I couldn't resist stealing [ profile] teragramm's idea to make the Buffyverse ladies redheads. (Teragramm's are much superior, of course.)
Jan.png     blackwidowscarletwitchicon1_we134_rsd.png    11 - 15
  willowTL380_icon1a_rsd.png       16 - 20

red_satin_doll: (Buffy Casablanca Poster v1 poppy wreath)
So, I'm stalled on Day 3....whilst the Snowflake Challenge is at Day 9. Pretend to be shocked by my sad inability to do a simple daily meme. And bless the mods for this: Remember that there is no official deadline, so feel free to join in at any time, or go back and do challenges you've missed.

But first things first: THANK YOU THANK YOU to the amazingly generous benefactor who responded to my Day 2 wish and extended both my paid account and my extra icon space! This time I do know who my patron is, and I am overwhelmed by their kindness. I honestly didn't expect anyone to respond to my request, never mind so soon!

Second things second: THANK YOU THANK YOU to whomever nominated my fiction posters for [ profile] herself_nyc's Closure is a Silly Word and [ profile] spuffy_luvr's Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are in Round 11 of the [ profile] rwsawards!  (I also know who nominated Closure and I can guess who nominated Come out Come Out, but I'm not certain.) There's plenty of spaces left on the nomination sheet, so make some deserving authors and artists happy!  The nomination period is open until February 3rd.

Speaking of the poster for "Closure", let's get back to the Snowflake Challenge whilst I pretend to play "catch up":

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

 2015 was the year I think I began to come into my own as an artist.  My technical skills have a ways to go but considering I'm still working in ipiccy and not Photoshop, overall I can say "not bad".

For this post I'm going to concentrate on my banners and posters and not on icons, which require their own post. I've got a few items to show off, I hope you don't mind? I tend to think in terms of groupings, projects and "genres" rather than individual pieces.  In no particular order:

1) Awards Banners for Round 6 of [ profile] btvsats20in20 (January 2015): my first major art project of the year proper. More posters than awards banners, these were far more technically complex than any I'd attempted previously as I pushed myself to learn new techiques. And I think they are more "artistic" than any I'd done previously, if in a somewhat self-conscious way.  I wanted to create awards banners that were works of art in their own right. I think this project helped determine the stylistic direction my artwork has taken this year. It also pushed me to depict characters and pairings I rarely do; in fact, the banner for [ profile] sweet_lyri may be the first time I'd created a romantic Bangel image.

Right click all images to view full-size.
All artwork by me unless otherwise noted. Icons on award banners property of their respective creators. Not snaggable.
FINAL_v1_AngelthemesbannerfortempertemperJan2015byredsatindoll_zps48a9ea45     banner made by me January 2015     Harmonybannerv3.1_starrynightthemesACwinners_byredsatindollJan2015    banner by me Feb 2015 version 3 FINAL   banner by me 2015 1 - 5

2) I'm very pleased with all the artwork I made this past year for [ profile] seasonal_spuffy Rounds 18 and 19. The Spuffy Hands Banner is one the my favorite artworks I've ever made, I think I actually exceeded my expectations with that one and made something truly artistic. My banner for Round 19 isn't quite as "artistic" and is probably a little more traditional but it gave me an opportunity to hone my skills in terms of layers, textures and creating a convincing manip. And then the fiction posters for Round 19: the aforementioned "Closure" and [ profile] shapinglight's "Casablanca" . "Closure" is one of the few fiction posters I've made that has no alternate version, I made it at the very last hour of Round 19, but I was able to produce so quickly because I started with a draft of one of the alternates for Casablanca. Being able to "reuse, renew, recycle" is one of the benefits of digital artwork.
Round 18 spring 2015 entry banner 3 lyrics by Bastille      unsigned final entry for round 19 banner comp seasonal spuffy autumn 2015n     closureposterforherselfnycround19seasonalspuffy1200x960_signedRSD.png   6 - 10

3) Fiction posters for [ profile] buffy_genfic: Each of these stories is very different to the others and I tried to capture what was special about each one, as well as convey what they all have in common - loving attention to the women of the Buffyverse, and each of these authors skillfully turns "heartwarming" into "heartbreaking" and back again. The also aforementioned poster for [ profile] spuffy_luvr's  "Come Out Come Out" , actually isn't my favorite; I can see a lot of things I would have done differently, although I'm still pleased that the print and texture on the scrunchy look convincing. I'm happier with my other efforts: posters and icon for "Who's That Girl" by [ profile] velvetwhip , "Show you the World" for [ profile] aliceinkinkland - my favorite detail is the fact that the jeep actually looks like it's on that road and not a separate image that was pasted on top; and another poster for [ profile] spuffy_luvr, "Choose 1 for Ready, 2 for Not Ready" :
buffyskateficposter1.2_byRSDforspuffyluvr900x720.png     whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.9a500sq_RSD2015.png   showyoutheworldposterforaliceinkinklandaugust2015_rsd_1.2_600x402.png   Alt 9 for spuffyluvr round 2 buffy genfic exchange sept 2015 11 - 14

4) Character Posters of Willow and Buffy for [ profile] spuffy_luvr's Ipseity I challenged myself to adhere to roughly the same size and compositional format for both. The poster of Buffy is a bit flashier and more dramatic, and the symbolism far more obvious (the fracturing of Buffy's image, the sense of entrapment), which is what I was going for, but personally I prefer the more subtle, melancholy one for Willow. I love how the textures in that one remind me of a vintage handkerchief or tablecloth and give the image a quiet "domesticity", while the sigils to the left add an exotic contrast and yet also balance the ghostly image of Buffy.

Poster 2 for Ipseity by Spuffy Luvr Willow variant   Poster made for Buffy chapters of Spuffy gen fic Ipseity by Spuffy luvr 2015 15 - 16

5) Other awards banners: This past year I've made banners for [ profile] btvsats20in20, [ profile] slayerstillness, [ profile] whedon_elite and [ profile] character20n20; as well as unofficial "commissioned" nomination banners for [ profile] wicked_awards. And I discovered this year that as much as I enjoy making icons, I love making posters and banners. The larger space gives me more scope to play.  (The fact that I've had to start wearing bifocals for the first time this past year undoubtedly has something to do with it. Larger image = easier to see.) And whereas an icon is like a haiku, where every single word must be absolutely perfect, larger images allow for more "mistakes" (that in the end may not be mistakes at all.) Making banners on a regular basis has been a fabulous way to practice, practice, practice, and someone ends up with a lovely image to show off on their own journals.
17 - 23
FINAL2_kwrittenbannermostcreativebyredsatindoll_SS39 3rdplacetierua1412banner533x338_byrsd_WErd113_final.png we116secondplacebannerstarrynight_byrsd2015final.png ss42_secondplacebyrsdapril2015_375sqFINAL.png we120_bestcropbannerwithicon1.2FINAL.png we123_bestcropbanner_doubledutchess400x300_1.4.png trumpetflowerbanner350x272modschoiceteragramm1.4.png

24 - 30
FinalBMCv2_gabby227.png qwe127_BMCbanner_sandy_s.png we130_3rdplacebanner_everythingshiny_2015rsd.png nomineebuttonbuffywickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.1final.png therelishcollectionbannerforkerkevik2014_style2.1_byRSD2015_550x268.png acsetbanner2a500x292RSD.png we133_BMCbanner_xclaire_delunex.png

6) Last but most certainly not least: [ profile] velvetwhip's Answering Prayers was one of the projects that defined the year in fandom for me. The poster itself earned Runner Up in the [ profile] wicked_awards; I'm grateful for that and at the same time I'm still very dissatisfied with how the image turned out.  It was definitely a learning experience (and it led to a commission for aadler's "All Ye Who Enter".)
answeringprayersbannerbyrsd2015_flamesversion1.4signed_zpsdt5fm2g4.PNG 31      

version 2 as requested by the author August 2015 ETA: Poster for [ profile] aadler's "All Ye Who Enter".
Of greater importance was the process of being a guest pencil (beta) for the story, the journey that Gabrielle took me on with Joyce, and the journey Gabrielle and I took together is something I'll be forever grateful for. And the story fills a real need: fanfiction that examines Joyce Summers and allows her center stage, that makes up for the way she was shortchanged in canon, is something that I've hungered for ever since I watched the series and it's all too rare, too difficult to find. Which seems odd given the number of mothers and/or maturing women in this fandom. And as usual with Gabrielle's work, I love that the story twists and deconstructs romance novel tropes and kept me guessing every step of the way. I'm incredibly proud to have had even a tiny part in bringing this story to fruition.

Reading Gabrielle's response to the Day 9 challenge: I fully intend to write another Joyce-centric story made my day.  Possibly my year. That's how much I want her to write more Joyce-fic.

Day 04

In your own space, create a fanwork. Make a drabble, a ficlet, a podfic, or an icon, art or meta or a rec list. Arts and crafts. Draft a critical essay about a particular media. Put together a picspam or a fanmix. Write a review of a Broadway show, a movie, a concert, a poetry reading, a museum trip, a you-should-be-listening-to-this-band essay. Compose some limericks, haikus, free-form poetry, 5-word stories. Document a particular bit of real person canon. Take some pictures. Draw a stick-figure comic. Create something. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I tried to fill [ profile] kikimay day 2 request for some amusing Buffybot banners. And what I came up with sucked rotten goose eggs, IMO. But Kiki would like to see them anyway and she has a habit of seeing the worth in icons I've rejected. However I also came up with some Michelle Trachenberg icons that I think are pretty snazzy and Kiki has spoken admiringly of MT's beauty so I hope she likes some of these:

Buffybot_Intervention_096_icon1h.png Buffybot_Intervention_096_icon1g.png   buffybotsmileicon1g_jan2016.png 32 - 34

8dawn104_icon1a.png 8dawn170_icon1a.png 8dawn092_icon1f_rsd.png 8dawn092_icon1_rsd.png    8dawn088_icon1c.png 35 - 39
8dawn086_icon2e.png   8dawn086_icon2.png 8dawn080_icon1.png 8dawn086_icon1c.png 8dawn086_icon1.png 40 - 44

See? The MT ones are much, much better than the Buffybot ones. You were well and truly warned.

Day 05

Leave feedback for a fanwork. Or multiple fanworks. It can be as simple as I liked this to a detailed list of all the things you loved about the fanwork. The key is to leave some sort of feedback. If you've already left feedback in the course of a previous challenge, it totally counts. But you're free to leave more feedback.

Some works I've left feedback for in the past few days include Displacement and The Starfish by [ profile] spuffy_luvr on Elysian Fields, Chapter 17 of Dreams and Mirrors by [ profile] kikimay, feet been draggin' cross the ground by Celaenos, Go to Sleep by [ profile] evil_little_dog, Empty Hearts and Heavy Hands by Dactylgirl on EF; and in the art department I've left feedback for [ profile] comlodge's absolutely stunning self-portraits and [ profile] crazycordy's The Zeppo icon set for [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 15. (And as it happens [ profile] crazycordy's birthday is today, so Happy Birthday and many more to come!)

And that's more than enough for one post, I should think.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Casablanca Poster v1 poppy wreath)
I am participating in the Snowflake Challenge (on Dreamwidth) for the very first time - or trying to at any rate. I've never been much good at these "Post something every day" challenges, so let's see how this goes! The image below is a "static" image btw, not a link to the site because I can't get the link-y version to work, so clicking it will get you nowhere fast.  *le sigh*

Day 01

In your own space, talk about why you are doing the Fandom Snowflake Challenge? What drew you to it as a participant? What do you hope to accomplish by doing these challenges? Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Ok this one is easy: I'm participating because it looked like fun last year, and because [ profile] velvetwhip encouraged me to do so this year. I don't think I mean to "accomplish" anything in particular except to see how many of these days I can actually cover. I usually avoid memes and daily posting types of things.

Day 2

In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your wish-list if you feel comfortable doing so. Maybe someone will grant a wish. Check out other people's posts. Maybe you will grant a wish. If any wishes are granted, we'd love it if you link them to this post.

This is gonna get slightly "political" so bear with me. My favorite part of this post is [ profile] akamine_chan's extremely astute observation: Asking for things is hard. We're socialized to not ask for things, and in a lot of ways I think that's not necessarily a good thing. We feel guilt and shame when we ask, and that makes us less likely to ask for help, for care and consideration and kindness, for respect, when we all deserve those things.I think this is spot-on.

I tend to think of this as an American tendency but perhaps it's a "modern" tendency - pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Be entirely self-sufficient. Don't admit to weakness. It's American "rugged individualism" writ large, but it's also useful to super-capitalism: instead of people living together in extended families we've been conditioned to believe that everyone living in their own "nuclear family" is the one right and true way to live. Everybody in their own home with their own tv, their own radio, their own computer and their own washing machine, etc means more stuff to sell, sell sell and keep the almightly GDP going.  And even if you are receiving help or aid of some sort, we're conditioned to be ashamed of it, ashamed of ourselves as "failures".

ETA: A very very kind benefactor came through and granted my wish already with an extension of my paid account through 2018 AND even more icon space through the next year! I am just stunned and speechless beyond anything except to say THANK YOU to them. THANK YOU.

And thank you to everyone who I know would have done if you had the resources. I'm just overwhelmed by the love and support I've received here.  And people wonder why I hang out in fandom.

And in keeping with the theme of being ashamed to ask for stuff, I do actually have one wish and this really makes me cringe to ask. The paid LJ membership that someone gifted me with a year ago expires on Jan 12; and I'm pretty sure that the extra icon space that someone else gifted me with will disappear on that date and I'll be back down to 6 icon spaces. I had assumed by this point in time that I would be working again and would be able to renew it on my own, but I simply can't justify even that small outlay when there are things like rent and groceries to cover. The only part of the paid membership I really do take advantage of is the extra icon gallery space. I feel really weird about asking if anyone would consider gifting me with another year's paid membership, but I that's exactly what I'm asking for. *gulp* I would be most grateful. (And please not at the expense of your own food, rent, etc.)

Barring that, some help in selecting and paring down my icons would be most appreciated. But I'll probably do a separate post on that as I haven't had time to think about what ones I would keep.

Beyond that, I always want more kindness and understanding towards Buffy Summers, and fics that don't portray her as simply the accessory for a supporting male character, or a stone cold bitch who exists only to be punished. I'm always on the look-out for more Buffy and Dawn fics that is about the sisters and again, not about a man in the center, and in fact 2015 saw some really wonderful Summers Sisters fic; so I'm hopeful that there's more of an appreciation of their relationship. I'm also hopeful that more folks are inspired by [ profile] velvetwhip's Answering Prayers and explore the character of Joyce Summers in ways that canon didn't bother to, and her relationship to her daughter. Spuffy fics that don't bash Willow or Drusilla? Yes please. Buffy and Tara friendship fics? Bring it on. Basically, anything that gives more face-time to the interrelationships of the women of the Buffyverse, not just for slashy porn and not to justify how "good" a male character is.

And I always wish for the various fandom factions and shipper factions to lay down arms, stop attacking each other, and see just how much we all have in common. We all want the same damn things for our beloved babies. We're all hurting over the things we were denied. Rather than attack each other, let's look for common ground - and attack TPTB who look down on fans with smug satisfaction and superiority whilst depending on us for their livelihood.  'kay?

red_satin_doll: (Buffy Casablanca Poster v1 poppy wreath)
So, I'm not feeling "Christmassy" this year, at all. But I do wish everyone a peaceful day and a peaceful season. Whatever you celebrate. (I was raised Catholic, I've been pagan, now I'm atheist, and I have friends all across the spectrum.)

[ profile] dragonyphoenix asked me a while back to do some graphics for part 3 of her buffyverse/potterverse crossover fic "The Letters" (Severus Snape/Anya, Cordelia). It was the first time I've been commissioned to make fanart without having read the story first.  Dragony told me exactly what text she wanted to see on the graphics, including the brilliantly funny RSVP from Cordy.

[ profile] sparrow2000 posted an amazing end-of-the-year fic rec list; some I've enjoyed, a good many others I've missed and must make amends for that. Because all the stories sound wonderful (and she hasn't steered me wrong yet.) She was also kind enough to name-check me and my artwork on the list! Thank you very much, I'm honored!

I will end up doing a recap of the year here in fandom in the near future but I want to say "THANK YOU" to the folks who have been so incredibly supportive of me in my growth and struggles this year. Special thanks and love to [ profile] velvetwhip for her guidance, friendship and for being in my corner.

I have to admit I'm glad 2015 is almost over.

And finally - I've read issue 22 of the season 10 comics and I have one thing to say, one really essential thing that NO ONE is talking about - WILLOW DOES NOT HAVE BLUE EYES, PEOPLE!

*Actually, Buffy's eyes also look suspiciously sort-kinda blue on page 23, which is weird because they were green in the rest of the story. But the color is just muddy enough that I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. But Willow's eyes are absolutely blue - clear, beautiful, unmistakeable blue. The first issue that actually features Willow in any significant way this season and they can't get that one basic thing right. *le sigh*

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 022-005_crop1.png
red_satin_doll: (Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD)
My artwork for [ profile] velvetwhip's Answering Prayers led to a request by [ profile] aadler for a poster for his story All Ye Who Enter.
version 2 as requested by the author August 2015

All Ye Who Enter (2015)  Click poster for full-size image, then to go here to [ profile] aadler's story. Read the story. I can wait.
Commentary below the cut -
*Mild Spoilers below - did you read the fic first?*
Unlike the poster for AP, this one came out very different to my original concepts - and probably for the better. I wanted an image of Dru less obviously her, more mysterious, but the S32 promo images are excellent quality and absolutely swoon-worthy. I layered one of my photographs from a bonfire the summer over her twice as the background.

The screencaps were of far lesser quality and merging images of very different quality together into a cohesive whole was the biggest challenge.

ETA: I thought about redoing this poster to deepen the shadows, as in the earlier drafts of this image.  But that would make it look more like the AP poster and I wanted to differentiate them. The lighter contrast of this image helps to mask the differences in image quality especially re: the cap of Joyce; at least that was my conscious motivation. It wasn't until after I finished it and sent it to aadler, then saw it on his journal, that I realized that the relative lightness or haziness of the image reminded me of the apartment fire my sweetie and I had in 2013, and how my vision slowly filled with smoke until it became difficult to see.

The image of Angelus I think is from Passion - or Phases - it really doesn't matter.  I didn't want to use a well-known shot of him from a particular moment in the series and this fit the bill.  The burning wood in the lower left corner is from another of my bonfire photos that I used as a foreground texture to mask the edges between the figures, and it happened to fall over Angelus' coat in a really interesting way.

The photo of Joyce is from Gingerbread near the end of the episode - ironically, the scene where Buffy and Willow are nearly burnt to death at the stake. I assumed the image is not well-known but her expression of shock and horror was perfect for my needs. I wanted very much to emphasize the horror of the situation without turning Joyce into a quivering damsel, to suggest some of the strength and dignity and determination that carriers her through the story. A tall order for just one little image. I erased out the MOO badge on her blouse, which I changed to a lavender color from the original earth-tones.

The image of Buffy is from Ted, when she's sitting on her front steps thinking she's killed Ted; the stairs inside the house are just visible behind her.  It doesn't represent a moment in the actual story. Drusilla imagines Buffy as a hardened warrior and I was going to use a image from The Wish but Wishverse!Buffy looks rather silly in that thick black eyemake-up so I tried to evoke a moment that isn't in the story but what I imagined in-between the spaces. I cut the image around her roughly, dropped it in and it fell into place perfectly.

I originally wasn't going to put Buffy in the poster; unlike Answering Prayers, she's not actually a character in the story but as with AP she's a presence despite - or because of? - her absence, the Buffy-shaped-hole that everything else revolves around. Which makes sense to my mind - this is the Buffyverse after all, and even if she's not the protagonist of the story, she is the Buffy-shaped-force that everyone else revolves around, the reason why everyone in the story does what they do.

And the women are the most important thing in All Ye, as in BtVS; Angelus is just a puppet on their stage even if imagines himself the puppet-master.

Speaking of the women of the Buffyverse, congratulations to the winners of [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 50 "Willow": [ profile] sweet_lyri, [ profile] tempertemper, and [ profile] debris4spike!  And as banner maker my BMC this round went to [ profile] teragramm for her iconic (and adorable) icon of WIllow from the Body. Check out all my banners here.

Many and I do mean MANY thanks to [ profile] velvetwhip for her feedback on these banners.

All artwork here by me, 2015, except for [ profile] teragramm's icon. Do not snag, steal, alter, hotlink or post to another website, archive or journal without my express prior permission. In other words, look but don't touch.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD)
Voting posts are now up for Round 11 at [ profile] btvsats20in20; deadline to vote is August 22nd:


You know what to do, Sweet Baby Jane. There are only four artists to choose from this round. Should make things easier, no? No. No, it does not.

Not that I mean to influence the vote because that would be wrong but - how on earth is the Inside theme a three-way tie? How is [ profile] emmatheslayer's [ profile] killing_kurare's*  brilliant interpretation of the theme not leading the pack?

Just sayin'.

*And this is what I get for posting at 4:30 something in the morning -  thank you [ profile] emmatheslayer for pointing out my futz-up!
red_satin_doll: (Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD)
My set for Round 11 of [ profile] btvsats20in20:

As always, kudos and praise for my fabulous beta-Muse [ profile] velvetwhip, for her ceaseless and generous encouragement, support and inspiration. And big THANK YOU to [ profile] starry_night for once again extending the deadline.


10 Themes
Vulnerable Battle Pink + White Dress Up Scenery
Obscured Pattern Strong Vampire Inside
Cat 1 Cat 2 Cat 3 Cat 4 Cat 5
5 Artist's Choice
AC 1 AC 2 AC 3 AC 4 AC 5

Some alts and extras:

           1 - 6

          7 - 12

          13 - 17

      18 - 22

       23 - 27

        28 - 32

      33 - 36

A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :) Do not take banner #1 for personal use without asking myself or spuffy_luvr.
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)

red_satin_doll: (Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD)
Poster for [ profile] aliceinkinkland's "Show You the World" for [ profile] buffy_genfic Round One "Buffy's Stuff  (2015), inspired by [ profile] spuffy_luvr's prompt: Joyce’s Jeep, a road trip, car trouble, and muggle hitchhikers, and didn’t want vamp!Buffy or angst without some measure of hope.

Unlike [ profile] velvetwhip and [ profile] spuffy_luvr's stories this round, I didn't read Alice's story until yesterday when she posted it to the comm but I knew as soon as I read it that I'd want to make artwork for it. Summers sister bonding is my jam. Call it corny and nonsensical but I loved it when Buffy and Dawn fought side by side in Grave; when S7 began I was looking forward to more Summers Sister screentime and the season started promisingly enough in Lessons but Dawn was soon shunted off to the side. Alas.
For once there are no alt versions (fancy that) because the final product turned out pretty much the way I envisioned it. I knew I wanted an open road in the daytime, with "Joyce's jeep" seen in the distance, lines from a map fading as they melted into the sky, and the "ghost images" of Buffy and Dawn above. I wanted this to be different to my two previous posters, for "Who's That Girl" and "Come Out Come Out"; something light, fun, reminiscent of a movie poster.

For once I used a stock image for the road instead of one of my own photos; but I did photograph a close-up of a map I have at home and expanded it over the base image. I couldn't find a map of the west coast in my house so I pulled out one of...South Carolina. I gave it a warm, golden tonality to try to evoke the look of the open road to Sunnydale in Becoming and Chosen. There are no images of Joyce's jeep at a distance on a desert road or highway; the jeep here is one I digitally masked from a separate stock photograph and layered here. I made sure to feather the edges of the mask so that there would be some shadows from the jeep on the road itself; I think it looks fairly convincing.. Warm-tone filters give the entire poster a sunny but also slightly faded look.

The image of Dawn in Help is from Leave Me the White; the cap of Buffy in Him is from the sadly-defunct Broken Screencaps. Finding images of the girls that conveyed the right tone, especially Dawn, was the hardest part of the projects. The story takes place during the summer between S6 - 7, and possesses a lovely sense of humor and whimsy interlaced with heartbreakingly rendered observations about the trauma Buffy and Dawn are trying to push through and get over with the help of no one but themselves and each other to rely on.
The image of Dawn isn't perfect perhaps but it had the advantage of not being a well-known image (Help is an underrated episode IMO but then the entire first half of S7 is highly underrated) and I prefer to work with lesser-known caps when I can. Plus she's smiling, god love her and you can actually tell that yes, her eyes are blue. The image of Buffy from Him is probably better known simply by virtue of the sunglasses she wears. But I simply liked that image of her and I loved the breezy California-girl sophistication.

Thank you [ profile] kwritten for hosting this commuity dedicated to gen fics for us to enjoy! Check out the masterlist of fics for this round here.  Sign ups for Round Two for Willow Rosenberg will begin August 15th, until then, the next four days are a "free for all" period for more fics and artwork dedicated to the Round One theme. Also check out Kelsey's opinion poll.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD)
My second contribution to Round One, "Buffy's Stuff" of [ profile] buffy_genfic is artwork for [ profile] spuffy_luvr's story "Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are" (gen, Buffy; S6 post-Gone).

Many thanks to [ profile] velvetwhip for her superb feedback on these:
Click banners #1 -7 below for full-size images:
1) buffyskateficposter1.2_byRSDforspuffyluvr900x720.png
"Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are" version 1  (2015)
Are there variant versions? Is the Pope Italian Polish German male? Of course there are variants:  (not including the ones I absolutely refuse to post. Your eyeballs will thank me later.)

Teasers:   buffyskateficposter5.cemetaryblend_byRSDforspuffyluvr_800x640signed.png SLskatericonRSDAug2015_1.2.png

The story is a response to [ profile] kwritten's prompt: Inanimate object: Scrunchie/hair tie...S6 short hair era, flickering streetlights, long walks. In "Come Out...." , Buffy tries to connect again to her past, to the girl she once was, the little girl who dreamed of being a figure skater before cheerleading and boys and then slaying took over her life, via a most unlikely object: a "scrunchie" that Joyce made eons ago to go with one of her skating costumes. At the same time she's trying to convince herself that she's not the same girl, that she's moving forward and making a "fresh start" ("Daisy-fresh Buffy....fresh from the grave.")
I wanted to incorporate an image of Buffy circa Gone or DMP in the banner but couldn't make one quite work right. The silhouette from What's My Line pulls double-duty: it evokes the younger Buffy but is also meant to echo a moment in the story where Buffy reaches for the hair ornament after it falls from her pocket.

     2) buffyfskateficposter4.1_byRSDfor spuffyluvr_8550x608.png           3) buffyskateficposter5.cemetaryblend_byRSDforspuffyluvr_800x640signed.png

#2 is actually the first version of the banner I made. Since it's the central object in the story I figured out that I wanted to use it to "frame" an image of Buffy skating and found one that had a large enough center space. In the story the scrunchie is made of hot pink fabric printed with bears "cavorting across" it. The scrunchie, the bears "printed" on it, and the bears in the background are three separate layers. I changed the orientation of the fabric when I added it to the background so it wouldn't look like I'd plunked it down once over the entire banner and called it a day. I wanted the "print" to look authentic. I also added a tight canvas weave texture from ipiccy to make it look even more like a real fabric. Poster #1 has an additional plush pile fabric texture added for the soft grey lines and to help blur the background pattern a little.

I could have stopped there but I felt it needed something more. #2 is a cute image but it isn't evocative of anything; it has layers in the literal sense of the image but no emotional layers, no complexity. Most of the story takes place in a cemetary while Buffy is on routine patrol and is reflective of Buffy's mindset at that moment.  So I went back to a wider version, added the large image of Buffy from What's My Line, and layered a shot from CWDP's cemetary to fill in the Buffy-shaped silhouette and create a sense of atmosphere and emotion. Then I cut around the large obelisk headstone from the same shot and added that to the right side, to balance the poster visually.

The images of a cemetary in #1 and the posters below is from Conversations with Dead People. For #3 I layered and blended cemetary shots from CWPD with an image from Forever (right side of the poster).I'm pleased with how seamlessly the two blended together but of course I'm using the image of Buffy and of the scrunchie to mask any "joins". I like the softness and deep blue tones of #3 quite a bit but it feels as though something is missing that would pull it all together.

The loopy font in 1 - 3 was meant to look like cursive Buffy might have written, something somewhat feminine. I switched fonts to something slightly more elegant for the variant below:

If you click  4 - 7 to see them full-size (they're rather large) - did you spot where I added my "signature stamp"?
4) buffyskateficposter6.7_byRSDforspuffyluvr_958squaresigned.png   5) buffyskateficposter6.10_byRSDforspuffyluvr_958squaresigned.png

Confession: I love this version and all most of it's variants, I truly do. Same image of Buffy skating and the scunchy but without the cemetary shots replacing the bears in the background; the large image of Buffy is from Doublemeat Palace and the way her face fit into the contours of the fabric band was pure serendipity. (And yes my ongoing love affair with Sarah's face continues unabated. [ profile] kikimay will understand.)

6) buffyskateficposter6.9_byRSDforspuffyluvr_958squaresigned    7) buffyskateficposter6.6_byRSDforspuffyluvr_958squaresigned.png

So what's the problem? They're not right for [ profile] spuffy_luvr's story. They don't imply the moments of lightness, humor  and strange whimsy in "Come Out Come Out...." They're more of piece with the poster I did for [ profile] velvetwhip's offering . Possibly a Bergman film - but not this story. And I highly doubt that anyone is going to remix "Come Out..." or that there will ever again be a need for a poster that includes Buffy, ice skating, a cemetary, and a bear-print scrunchie. Though I've been proven wrong before.

I still love this one, though. And it's simple enough that I was able to get a icons out of it; posters 1-3 are  to complicated image-wise to make good icons without being entirely reworked.

8) SLskatericonRSDAug2015_1.2.png9)   SLskatericonRSDAug2015_1.1a.png

A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :) Do not take banner #1 for personal use without asking myself or [ profile] spuffy_luvr.
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)

Nominee "Still Pretty" (Best Worksafe Artwork) [ profile] rwsawards Round 11.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy/Tara Dead Things Solace RSD)
Poster for "Who's That Girl" by [ profile] velvetwhip (2015). Gabrielle's splendid story is the first entry in Round One of [ profile] buffy_genfic mini-fic exchange, hosted by [ profile] kwritten. The story is based on a prompt from [ profile] aliceinkinkland: Inanimate Object: leather jacket. Three elements you'd like included: season six setting, Tara & Buffy friendship, blood as a metaphor for both death and life.
And of course, there are icons to go with:

whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_rsd2015_3.1.png whosethatgirliconforvelvetwhip_rsd2015_2.2.png whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_RSD2015_2.1.png   whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_RSD2015_6.1.png1 - 4

whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_rsd2015_4.2.png   whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_RSD2015_5.1.png whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_rsd2015_4.1.png   whosthatgirliocnRSD2015_1.1.png 5 - 9

The stitching overlay is from a photograph of black leather. I wanted an image of Buffy wearing Angel's jacket from S1, but I couldn't find a screencap that showed the jacket clearly or that conveyed the mood I wanted. Then I noticed that a shot in Teacher's Pet when she first receives it is echoed almost exactly in a shot in Wrecked. I was going to set them side by side on the poster but decided to layer the earlier screencaps atop the later one. The image of Buffy is now a bit more "illustrative" than photographic per se; she looks melancholy and elegant; I matched her features pretty well but there is still something slightly, almost imperceptively "off" that suits the story and Buffy's mindsetvery well. You'd have to really look to notice. It's Buffy but just slightly altered so that the image no longer belongs to any episode in particular.

teacherspet0185.jpg 6X10WREC2290.JPG
Click to enlarge. Teacher's Pet cap from Bloodqueen Gallery; Wrecked and Tabula Rasa (Tara) caps from Leave Me the White.
Tara was more difficult, simply because there are far fewer images of her. (Even searching for images from other movies and tv appearances turned up next to nada.) The red-pink around her throat and chest is from a light texture by [ profile] lookslikerain; and I like it in part because it subtly evokes her fate at the end of the season. I let her face emerge from deep shadows mostly to cover up that awful, awful you-gotta-be-kidding-me "hairstyle" they gave her in Tabula Rasa.

Alternative versions of the poster, including the two earlier rejected versions (click images to enlarge to full-size).
Textures by [ profile] lookslikerain and [ profile] colorfilter.

whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.13500sq_RSD2015.png       whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.8a500sq_RSD2015.png 10 - 11
ETA: Everyone calls #10 "the gold one" (L) including me, so "the gold one" is shall remain.  (As opposed to the official "mood indigo" version at top which Gabrielle herself chose. I love them both. Can you see my dilemma?)

whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.8b500sq_RSD2015.png       whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.11a500sq_RSD2015.png 12 - 13

whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.12b500sq_RSD2015.png       whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.10c500sq_RSD2015.png 14 - 15

whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.10f500sq_RSD2015.png     whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.10ee500sq_RSD2015.png 16 - 17

whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.10a500sq_RSD2015.png     whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.8c500sq_RSD2015.png 18 - 19

This first two versions of the poster design, using a photo of black leather as both the background and the primary texture. In theory it's nifty, in execution, annoying. The cross in #21 is from a design by a company called Affliction on one of their leather jackets. This was my first go at layer two versions of Buffy's face, and it's even more like a drawing than the final version. I tried the same with Tara in #21, layering shot from OAFA and Tabula Rasa, but it didn't look as interesting. Something was missing. Switching out Tara's profile from TR so that she seems to be looking at Buffy makes the composition more dynamic and suits Gabrielle's story better. "Seeing" - not merely looking but truly seeing and paying attentioon - is a very important theme in the story.

version 1 rejected fanfic poster for Who's That Girl by Velvetwhip Affliction cross variant, light textures by lookslikerain Version 2 second draft for Velvetwhip Buffy and Tara ten fanfic Who's That Girl 21 - 22

The Usual:
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments are appreciated :)

red_satin_doll: (Joyce/Angel btvs  Fairy Tales RSD)

Final poster art for Answering Prayers by [ profile] velvetwhip
Teasers for more artwork after the cut:  

I've praised this author's work and this particular story before, but I won't pass up another opportunity. Ever since I entered Buffyverse fandom I've wondered at the absolute dearth of Joyce-fic out there. A huge number of fans - and authors - are women of a certain age and mothers, after all. And fanfiction is designed to explore what goes ignored, overlooked or forgotten in canon. This story fills a huge need and I hope will inspire other writers.

The project sat on the back burner a bit longer than I'd intended. I've had the basic composition in my head for months; making sketches in my notebook, however crude, really does help me remember my intentions. This is pretty close to what I first imagined; the biggest difference from sketch to poster is that I wanted a shadowy "ghost image" of Buffy walking away from home in Becoming, or sitting on her bed in the dingy apartment in Anne. But neither image worked quite the way I'd intended.

Technically this was my third go at the poster for this story. " Version 2"  (b & c below) was a lot more complicated, busy, bright and overstuffed with details (layers! layers! layers!). [ profile] velvetwhip preferred the more subdued version, and her feedback inspired me go back and try to pare back down to the basics. I realized I'd gotten enamoured of playing with the images and effects and had forgotten the story itself. In theory every detail in V.2 has a meta point but it's all too much.

I also realized I needed something closer to a square-ish shape to fit Gabrielle's journal format. Version 2a-b below features a "flame" texture I got from [ profile] sweet_lyri and she is not to blamed for the fact that I went overboard.

The thing about poster art for me is that, I want the recipient to love it; I want them to feel that it's an absolute perfect fit for their work because the point of me making a poster is to honor their prose and encourage people to want to read it. And yes, I absolutely realize that's kind of selfish and egotistical on my part, but I like to think of it as a "win-win" situation all 'round.

Which is to say, if I ever make an artwork for you, Gentle Author, and you don't love it with your heart and soul, be honest and tell me and if I can't rework it, I'll let you know.
2a)   2b)
For the final version (#1 above), I removed the texture, cropped it differently, and used a different texture altogether - a photograph of a bonfire in our front yard I'd snapped the night. I expanded it on low opacity in Layers mode, stretching and moving it about. Somehow a curve of flame fitted against Joyce's cheekbone so I left it there; then I added a second layer of the same photo but smaller, to fill the space in the lower left around Joyce's chin and conceal the edges around Angel's hand.

Half the task of making banners is covering up the joins, I swear.

The flames have a meta purpose in the image though; Angel has just returned froma literal Hell (this story takes place the summer between S2 and S3); but Joyce is in an emotional Hell which she knows is partly of her own making; in discovering Angel at the mansion she takes a headlong dive into her daughter's world in astonishing ways.

Below is what I call "Version 1". This was the image I turned into an icon for Gabrielle a few months back, because she'd asked for one for Christmas; and which I've reworked slightly to make into a poster for her story "We Tell Each Other Fairy Tales". The problem is that I don't think it really fit that story, which is mournful, angsty and angry. It's Jangel but it's not "shippy" in a traditional way, and this poster uses the fantasy image of Joyce that Xander had in his head from Restless.

So there's a mismatch here between an image that caters to romantic tropes and the prose which is anything but a traditional romance. [ profile] velvetwhip twists, deconstructs, slyly exposes and gleefully smashes all manner or romance tropes in her work. And she does it with incredible elegance and perceptiveness.
That image of Joyce from Restless was a bitch to work with btw, as are most caps of Joyce from the series, poorly-lit and unfocused. So not my best work but a good exercise. I actually think this one looks better in the icon version I made for Gabrielle. Speaking of:

    4 - 7

And again I am borrowing [ profile] starry_night's succinct rules regarding my own arwork:
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments are appreciated :)

ETA: Nominated for Best Banner, [ profile] wicked_awards 2015 - THANK YOU for the nomination!

nomineebuttonbuffywickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.1final.png    Banner by Angelus2hot Oct 2015

Runner-Up, Under Your Spell (Best Banner), [ profile] wicked_awards Round 12,  2015
red_satin_doll: (Buffy IWRY golden glow RSD)
Poster and icon to go with.
Click poster for direct link to[ profile] spuffy_luvr's fic Ipseity on EF, or here for the story on A03.  She was kind enough to thank me on her own journal (dig the cool new layout). Also check out the other banner for the story made by [ profile] pfeifferpack, which is a gorgeous, gorgeous thing.

More icons and thinky-thoughts after the cut:

I made the icon first by downsizing the image of Buffy that I'd cropped, ligntened, etc and layered two icon-sized textures by [ profile] lookslikerain from their aptly named "When the Wheels Fall Off" icon texture set over it.

    1 - 3

Then I went back to the 310sq crop of the screencap image in Layer Mode and expanded or "upsized" just the second "ladder" filter to fit over it.  You almost always want to go the opposite direction in sizing, but it worked here with some sharpening and bloom/softening filters to balance the other out. I think in Photoshop you'd use a single "unsharp" mask to achieve the same effect?

More alts of the icon:
      4 - 6

It would be easy to overstuff the image and I originally wanted to add the images of other characters on the right hand side, a la one of Jo Chen's wonderful cover illustrations for the S8 comics. But I don't have the skill (or the patience, frankly) to made the faces of other characters work at the size I needed.  So I subsituted the text, which is the central mystery of the story to most of the other characters around Buffy; and also is a nod to S4's "Who Are You" which, like Ipseity, deals with questions of identity and how the people around Buffy Summers shape their identities in response to her; and how they perceive her according to their needs and in response to the masks she wears.

Sometimes I want a banner to tell a story but with this poster I wanted to imply or impart a flavor of the author's story without giving away the goods. Frankly the story is so complex and twisty I don't think I really could give away anything. Her story has me wondering at every turn what's going to happen next (and so far? I haven't been able to predict a thing.) She twists, deconstructs, and/or slyly smashes any number of tropes which are not exclusive to Spuffy fic; but if you're looking for the same-old, same-old Spuffy schmoop/porn/fluff, don't go here. If you're looking for an actual story, by all means hop on over immediately.

I'm borrowing [ profile] starry_night's succinct rules regarding my own arwork:
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments are appreciated :)

red_satin_doll: (Wiffy-Pop Popcorn RSD)
[ profile] buffy_genfic ROUND 1 is up and running thanks to the marvelous [ profile] kwritten for creating space for gen Buffyverse fanfiction to thrive. Click on the Round 1 Poll to select which of four characters will be the central focus this round: Buffy, Willow, Xander of Giles.*

Click image to go directly to [ profile] buffy_genfic
Vote now if you want to make a selection because  the sign-up sheet will be posted on Friday the 17th - along with information for an art option (!!)  this round. (Sign ups will then close and assignments mailed out on the 20th.) So even if you don't plan on writing - even if you only plan on reading  - participation is of the good. We decide what we want to see and read.

For anyone new to the term, what IS gen-fic? Simply put, fic that doesn't have shipping (sex/romance) as it's focus. This comm is dedicated to all the "other" relationships in the Buffyverse (and the wider Whdeonverse) that are central to the 'verse.

* Given that the 10th annual [ profile] summer_of_giles Festival is happening right now as well, I'd assume all the Gilesian energy is headed in that direction at the moment. As should you, once you've voted in the gen-fic poll - AND cast your vote for the FINAL [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 10 tiebreaker.
red_satin_doll: (Sarah Michelle Gellar retro bright)
 Voting up NOW for two icontests that usually announce winners fairly quickly so head on over without delay:

1) [ profile] otherworldlyric Challenge 204.  Nine terrific entries using the Spice Girls' song "Wannabe". Not that you'd know that from the elegance of the entries.

Entries for Challenge 205, Cher's "Believe" due July 3, midnight.  (Remember Kathy in "Living Conditions"? Yep, it's that song. And hey, I know everyone made fun of Kathy's love for that song but - I liked it, ok?  And I still like it. Yeah I said it.  But, I digress...)

2) [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 120. Votes to be counted later today or tormorrow 'cause [ profile] fassy does not waste time, y'all. I might have mentioned this one previously; it was an amazingly fun challenge to particiapte in. 40 entries to choose from, which is the most outside of a 20in20 I've had to vote for at one time, and believe me I could cast that ballot five times and come up with completely different choices each time.

Challenge 121's guidelines are up now, and it's back to the normal type of challenge; deadline is July 12 at 3pm EST.

And now that you've voted, here's some treats for playing along, but first an apology: I am sorely belated in congratulating [ profile] fassy and [ profile] sweet_lyri for their truly gorgeous winning entries in round 119! Check out the winners and award banners here, and the full slate of entries here. Because of the small number of entries there is only 1st, 2nd and 3rd plus Mod's Choice.


The background image for these banners is a photo I took last year of a bare tree branch in a local cove; I layered the image over itself to multiply the brances and fill the space. If you look at the full-size versions you can just see the cricket on the right side of the image. That cricket probably made the photograph for me.

I only entered one icon for this round: "Buffy Blue" (#1) - but of course I have alts. You know me, right?  And yes, I'm still playing with the fabulous images of SMG from Greg Gorman's S5 promo shoot, with no apologies.

    1 - 5

6 -9

The challenge was "Color Coded" - match the first letter in a character's name with the first letter of a color. So it could have been simple, as here, "Buffy Blue", or I could have gone more complicated, ie "Buffy / Boston University Red" (yes, that is actually a color. I looked on Wiki. There are tons of colors listed there and people get paid just to name these things? I want in on that gig.)

I went with 1 because it has one dominant color, easy-peasy; but I also love the "ghostly" quality of #2-3. Very meta in terms of the end of the end of S5 - beginning S6. These remind me of an antique etching or pen and ink drawing, and in fact the color of #5 was directly inspired by the color of walnut ink.  I hope [ profile] kikimay will approve of the warm-tone variations.

As often as always, my fondest appreciation to [ profile] velvetwhip, the bestest Muse a girl could ask for.

red_satin_doll: (Sarah Michelle Gellar retro bright)
* [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 45, "Potentials" (focusing on the Potential Slayers), entry deadline has been EXTENDED 24 hours to May 30th Midnight at your time zone. (or basically, through today, Saturday).

* [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 118, "Age of Ultron", is a "provided caps" challenge. Check out [ profile] sweet_lyri's, [ profile] fassy's and [ profile] naive_astronaut's wonderful entries here here, and here; leave feedback, and/or add your own entry icons. Deadline Sunday May 31st 3pm EST.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Happy Band Candy TGRM)
But first, I want to take a moment to wish HAPPY BIRTHMONTH to m'lady [ profile] snogged: funny, kind-hearted, generous with her time and support and oh-so-talented. I was stumped as to what to do for a birthday present this year but [ profile] velvetwhip gifted her with a fantastic Riley, Willow S4 drabble "Not So NIce Guy" that really packs a wallop (or at least a very strong "ouch") in just a few short lines. Check it out. (And yes, I happen to ship Riley/Willow. Didn't everyone when they first watched S4?)

Now, onto today's feature: THANK YOU again to everyone who voted in [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 44, and most especially to everyone who honored my icons with 2nd Place, Best Crop and - drumroll, please - my very first Best Color honor! Congratulations again to the other winners [ profile] tempertemper, first-time entrant [ profile] muirthemne, [ profile] sweet_lyri, and my Banner Maker's Choice [ profile] teragramm. See all the winning icons and banners here.

Full disclosure: I was rooting for TT's Drusilla icon in the tiebreaker voting. More Dru icons are a needful thing and I love the meta-ness of the starlight texture - with Dru it's not just a pretty background - as well as the softness and coloring. But there were so many great icons that choosing was once again incredibly difficult. As happens so often, I noticed a consistency to the entries across the board, regardless of who made them. This time it was in terms of color choices, with cream/ecru, orange, green, and faded blue-grey predominating with touches of deep pink. So for the banner, I adapted a photograph I snapped in my front yard a couple of days ago to coordinate. Original photo behind cut, along with banners, entries and alt icons from rounds 42 and 44.

Teasers: ss44bestcolorbanner_rsd_sharpenedv2.png   ss44secondplacebanner_rsd_sharpenedv2.png    

ss44secondplacebanner_rsd_sharpenedv2.png       ss44bestcropbanner_rsd.png
Banners and icons by your's truly; Art Nouveau Caps font from; art nouveau frame from a design by riccus on
My entries for Round 44:
1. 2. 3. 4.  5.
If 2 and 5 look familiar, they should. I couldn't resist returning to that photo to play with it again. I still don't know who the original photographer was, alas; if anyone has the inside scoop on that, please let me know. Let's pretend that I did not look at #5 when I finished it and think to myself, If I can't win Best Color with that, then I never will. Nope, such impure thoughts never entered my mind. And by the way, that bridge in Brooklyn can be yours with a low down payment and 0% financing.....

My entries for Round 42, which I forgot to post previously, including Mod's Choice Winner #6:
6.  7. 8.
9. 10.  11.   12. 13.

   14. 15. 16. 17. 18.
18.  19.  20. 21. 22.
I don't personalize my own icons very often so I wanted to give it a try. The "Shanghai" font in #16 is from ipiccy; Art Nouveau Caps in 18 - 22 is from

There were alt versions of #4, involving the First Slayer seeming to creep up on Willow...and I deleted those. There is no way to use an image as problematic and unintentionally racist as the First Slayer (aka "The Magical Negro") and not be part of the very problem I decry unless I use the image specifically to highlight how troublesome it is. And my icons weren't doing that; they just had a mildly creepy-erotic vibe so I chucked them. Not that focusing on the mighty-white Buffyverse and making caps of white folks and focusing on their beauty to the exclusion of the majority of the world's population isn't a whole heapin' helping of problematic in and of itself. But I digress.

The geek-y, tech-y portion of the program: I took some snaps of the azaleas in my front yard the other day with my Nikon Coolpix 300 on the "Food" setting. I added glow, brightness and ambrotype filters and yadda yadda (I don't write this stuff down, are you kidding?) as well as several textures including a bokeh-look effect from Graphic Stock and the photo on the right. I pointed my camera at the trees outside my bedroom door and shook it while I snapped the picture. Does double-duty as a blur and/or brushstroke texture! You're welcome.

Photographs by your's truly, 2015 - and did you know that work can be copyrighted pseudonymously? Nifty, huh?

These banners presented a couple of very challenging problems for me: adapting the frame image to get the colors and transparency I wanted; and adding a font from a source outside of ipiccy. One if ipiccy's biggest drawbacks for me is the severely limited range of font options. I typed the text I wanted in a Pages doc using the one art nouveau style font I had on my Mac hardrrive; the font color was an educated guess on my part while I literally eyeballed the banner image. I converted the Pages doc to a pdf, which in turn had to be converted to a PNG file so I could work with it as a layers in ipiccy. Then I cropped every individual line or text element of the PNG, including the "RSD" stamp, to create several separate PNG's that I could manipulate freely in Layer Mode. For instance, the last line "Challenge 44" and the date, is actually two separate layers. The "multiply" filter to darkened the font slightly, with further small adjustments to saturation, brightness etc.

Every time I needed to add a new word of text that I'd forgotten the first time, I had to go back to the Pages file, save the changes, then override both the pdf and the PNG files.
This was after I gave up trying to add the text directly using PS Elements 12. (For the record, I did try. Someday I'll know what I'm doing.) If I hadn't been at home sick from work for a few days I would have gone the path of least resistance and made do with a preset ipiccy font. Yay for downtime.
Many many thanks of gratitude and praise to my lovely Muse, [ profile] velvetwhip, for whom no query is to tedious ( "Is the text legible? Is the design cluttered? Is this any good, even?" ) or beneath her consideration. She's been utterly invaluable to me as a working partner and as a friend  - feedback, conversation, inspiration - even if and when I don't show her what I'm working on.  As it happens, we've recently had conversations about our shared taste for late 19th - early 20th century graphic arts and design (arts and crafts, art nouveau, art deco), as well as silent and early Hollywood cinema; I'm sure those conversations were indirect inspirations for the design of both the banner and the Best Color icon.

And now a final word from our sponsors: Deadline to enter Challenge 45 "Potentials" is Friday May 29th at your timezone. And today is your last day to cast tiebreaker votes for five categories at [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 9.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Dejected - Ted RSD)
Deadline is Sunday May 3rd, 3pm EST for "The Summers' Home" challenge. Only two folks have entered thus far so more icons would be welcome. It would be a shame if the challenge were scotched due to lack of participation because....*ponders*....

.....because I've started on the banners and they're going to be awesome and it would be a horrible shame if all that effort went to waste, that's why. You wouldn't want that to happen do you? No, of course not. I didn't think so. And one of those banners just might end up being yours' and who doesn't like pretty banners?

FYI: I am not a "banner whore". I am a "banner hussy". Whores do it for money; hussies do it for free.
red_satin_doll: (Wiffy Hug - Primeval)
[ profile] kwritten has started a  multi-fandom Gen Mini-Ficathon exchange to create safe space to emphasize friendships rather than romance in fanfiction. Contribute a banner or nominate five fandoms for round 1 you'd like to contribute fic for here; and be sure to check out the rules.
banner by your's truly, 2015
[ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 41 "Motion" needs your help to break two tiebreakers . Including - dig this - a five-way.  (There's a salacious double entendre in there somewhere and if I weren't so muzzy-headed I'd be typing it right now.) Voting until Wednesday evening or until the ties are well and truly broken.  I love how the overall entry field has a very unified and of a piece feel to it, especially in the muted coloring and the lovely rose-apricot shades.

[ profile] btvsats20in20 voting is open for two more days on Round 8; be sure to vote for Themes, Category and Artist's Choice sets. If you see a lot of missing icons and blank spaces when you go to vote please refresh your browser; apparently Livejournal is being more than a bit wonky right now. And finally...

[ profile] seasonal_spuffy Go VOTE for your favorite banner for Round 18; then check out the schedule for this round. All days have been claimed but free for all days are just that if you didn't have a chance to sign up.  Many thanks to the mods [ profile] rebcake and [ profile] gillo for putting this round together.
NOT QUITE FULL DISCLOSURE: I may *ahem* have submitted a thing or two for consideration. I still can't believe I actually submitted something to [ profile] seasonal_spuffy. No one is more shocked than I am, trust.

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