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: (Buffy Destructive  rocket launcher Innoc)

So when I was perusing the list of nominees for Round 13 of [ profile] wicked_awards the other day I completely forgot that my Mr Gordo icon for  [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 147 was also nominated in the Best Icon category.  And boy do I feel embarrassed because anyone who knows me knows I love me some Mr Gordo. Thank you [ profile] freecat15 for noticing my oversight and THANK YOU again to whomever nominated it!
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Destructive  rocket launcher Innoc)
With a great many apologies for extreme tardiness (and being totally MIA): THANK YOU to whomever nominated my artwork for Round 13 of the [ profile] wicked_awards. I have no idea who did but it's extremely gratifying. And I am THRILLED that one of the nominated works is the poster for [ profile] herself_nyc's "Closure (is a silly word)", for Round 19[ profile] seasonal_spuffy.  That poster is the one thing I made the last year that I would have chosen, if I had decided to self-nominate. I'm really happy with how it turned out and honored that someone liked it enough to nominate.

Thank you also to whomever nominated my Category 2 Buffy icon for Round 17 of [ profile] btvsats20in20 . That took me by surprise as well and I am very grateful.

ETA: Also nominated was my Mr Gordo icon for [ profile] whedon_elite. Thank you [ profile] freecat15 for pointing out my oversight!  *pets Mr Gordo*

                                                                                                                                 Click thumbnail for full-size image
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Happy Band Candy TGRM)
Anyone who knows [ profile] teragramm knows what a wonderful, talented artist and supportive, all around nice person she is, and so the news that she's been named the new mod at [ profile] whedon_elite is very happy news because I can't think of anyone better!  Let's join [ profile] setentpet in giving [ profile] teragramm our best wishes!

red_satin_doll: (Buffy Casablanca Poster v1 poppy wreath)
1) For [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 60 vote for your favorite icon for the third place position.

BTW, did you vote at [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 15 yet?  Good.  Now have you signed up for Round 16 yet?

2) And by the by, did you know that [ profile] dragonyphoenix posted the artwork she commissioned from me for her excellent Anya/Snap crossover fic, The Letters (84 Charing Cross Road)?  (TTH post here.) But you will have to read the story to find it because  it's intergrated into the text. And FYI, the actual text of the artworks is entirely her concept. I just followed marching orders.

At AO3 she also included a marvelous story banner by Restfield aka [ profile] rbfvid.

3) My friend [ profile] kerkevik_2014 has been writing up a storm - a very quiet storm that snuck up on me and took me entirely by surprise.  His latest is a Buffy/Faith fic, "Casablanca" (not to be confused with [ profile] shapinglight's fic) that is poignant and mournful and like all of his work is a prose-poem unlike anyone else's.

Last year I sort of asked him to write Buffy more often (actually I may have whined about it a little, but never mind that.)  He's come through while remaining true to himself in his own beautiful way.  This story is actually part of the birthday gift for [ profile] elisi, the 22'verse that includes stories of Spike and Illyri, Riley Finn, Xander and Buffy, etc. Also worth a look - a charming, gentle Tara, Dawn fic (post The-Gift): Like Seeing Your Very Own Self Looking Back at You.

See, not every post I put up is longer than the Constitution. Some are only as long as the Gettysburg Address. "Short and sweet" is a relative thing.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Casablanca Poster v1 poppy wreath)
A collection of "random" pieces I have loved this year - click images or go to original links to view full size:
(ETA: This was a post that was meant to go on the [ profile] buffyversetop5 and I hit the send button a couple of minutes too late. *Note to self: learn time management techniques!*)

Gift to me by the amazing spikesredqueen February 2015
1) Birthday Banner for me by [ profile] spikesredqueen (February)
SRQ knows my love of the Buffyverse ladies. This pairs beautifully with [ profile] teragramm's WInged Buffy banner, no? And well-done manips never fail to impress me (because I've seen far too many bad ones).

MORE after the cut:

2) I Walk Alone art picspam set and banners by [ profile] comlodge for [ profile] seasonal_spuffy Round 18 (May)
[ profile] comlodge took the "simple" flipbook concept and turned into something incredibly sophisticated;  then she converted merged the images at my request into a single banner for my LJ. I know of few artists (if any?) who can combine luminousity and grunge effects in a single image.

3) Look Both Ways by [ profile] boiiko - the rightful winner of the [ profile] seasonal_spuffy Round 18 Banner Poll, and the only banner for the SS banner poll I've seen done in a hand-painted style. (It was actually done on computer, but it sure fooled me.) Almost elegantlly spare, the composition is deceptively "simple" and packed with layers of complicated emotions. More, please.

4) Out of My MInd from the btvs episode poster series by no-literally on tumblr. This is an ongoing project and every one of the posters is a masterpiece of graphic design; but I chose this one to display because of the incredibly clean, simple graphic that, like the other images on this list, is deceptively complex. Look close at the text and you'll see Spike's dream of kissing Buffy, floating above Spike's head - the dream and the dreamer visualized.

5) Wrecked from the btvs episode poster series by maradyeries on tumblr. , Haunting, jaw-droppingly gorgeous work in the style of "modern-day aesthetic" gifspams popular on tumblr right now.

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 Katniss gift from Fassy)
To celebrate her 10th anniversary as an icon artist, [ profile] fassy offered to make icons for a certain number of folks, and I was lucky enough to be the last person to make the deadline for requests.  I asked for Buffy and/or Katniss (two of my favorite fictional ladies).  I loved Catching Fire (the movie) and felt that Katniss was Buffy's spiritual heir.*

All icons below by [ profile] fassy / [ profile] destruction_box ;  #1 - 4 not snaggable.
    1 - 4
All the icons have now been posted at her graphics comm [ profile] destruction_box. Check out all 156 gems. Icons # 1- 4 are the ones she made especially for me and I LOVE them.  I wasn't very specific about what I wanted; apparently I mentioned a maternal vibe (see the "spiritual heir" comment above)? She went with that, but in such a way that 1 & 2 are very open to interpretation. The vibe I get could be read as parallels, as mirrors; as sisters, even in a romantic sense, if one wanted to.  I love the light, the glow and the softness of all 4 of these.  The way Fassy balances softness with sharpness to avoid a hard, aritificial, hyperrrealistic quality is stunning. I love the warm/cool color balance in #2. And with 3 & 4, I'm an absolute sucker for work that can make monochrome palettes glow. And you know my love of sepia tones and effects.

#1 - 4 are not snaggable; but 5 - 7 are; I couldn't resist snagging these alts as well:

  5 - 7

* Close, loving and fiercely loyal relationship with a younger sister who is really smart and cool in her own right? Check. Willing to die for said sister? Check. Skilled fighter? Check? Emotionally traumatized reluctant warrior who "soldiers on" regardless because she is needed? Check. Frequent thoughts of running away from her duty? Check. Uncomfortable relationship with a "sister warrior" who is far more comfortable with her own sexuality, the dark to the protagonist's light? Check. In the middle of a romantic triangle/quadrangle? Check. Turning against the patriarchial institution that tries to control her? Check. Am I forgetting anything?

P.S.: I haven't read the books, but I'm not bothered by spoilers.

P.S.S: For the record I'm actually a Katniss/Finnick shipper. I mean, their tension was off the charts in Catching Fire (the movie) and reminded me of a certain Slayer her bleached blond vampire lover.  Ok, I know Finnick marries Annie - but there's still something of Spike in his devotion to the women in his life, particularly his "mother/mentor", as well as his bad boy persona that's just a cover for a heart of gold.

Whereas Peeta is kind of Riley - the decent guy who is the "college" romance, as opposed to the childhood sweetheart (Angel/Gale.) Ok, it's not perfect match but close enough. It's inspiration, not a carbon copy.
red_satin_doll: (Joyce/Angel btvs  Fairy Tales RSD)
But first things first: congratulations to [ profile] boiiko for winning the banner competition for Round 19 of [ profile] seasonal_spuffy - and deservedly so!  Her design is absolutely unique and although there were many lovely banners that round, this one deserved to be the winner. Very different to any previous winners and the perfect fit for the 10th anniversary round. Since I love it when artists talk about their process, I have to recommend her "making of" post.

Banner by Angelus2hot Nov 1 2015   Banner by Angelus2hot Nov 1 2015

Awards banners by [ profile] angelus2hot

THANK YOU to the judges of the [ profile] wicked_awards, [ profile] spankedbyspike and [ profile] angelus2hot; winning a Wicked Award was something I wished for but didn't really expect to ever actually happen, so it was a total surprise when I got the news! Thank you for the beautiful awards banners and THANK YOU to the folks who nominated my icons, banners and wallpaper. I honestly do not know who nominated my work in three catagories and wish I could thank them properly. (Please feel free to out yourself/selves!)

Speaking of little birds, [ profile] velvetwhip (Gabrielle)'s Answering Prayers won Best Series (as well it should) and I could not be more pleased! (Her fic Easy also won Best Dark.)That my poster for it earned Runner-up Honors is just the icing on the cake, and is as much her award as mine, IMO, because her story was the inspiration. (That my poster earned Runner Up, and my icon first place, when I consider the competition, is truly special and extraordinary.)

I'm really tickled about that icon; I made it for [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 47, "IWRY" a challenge I very nearly didn't enter because I'm not much of a Bangel shipper (or Angel fan), didn't submit my set until literally the last minute; but it's proved to be one of my winningest artworks. The Little Icon That Could.  :D

Congratulations to all the winners but most especially my friends (in the art categories): [ profile] comlodge, [ profile] chasingdemons, [ profile] katekat1010 (her Giles banner is simply superb); [ profile] snowpuppies; [ profile] spikesredqueen; [ profile] halliwell; [ profile] debris4spike; [ profile] sweet_lyri; [ profile] sueworld2003; (in the video categories) [ profile] double_dutchess; [ profile] thedothatgirl; (in the fiction categories): [ profile] punch_kicker15, s[[ profile] the_moonmoth, [ profile] spuffy_luvr, [ profile] hello_spikey, [ profile] aadler, [ profile] beer_good_foamy, lion-hearted girl, [ profile] snogged, [ profile] shapinglight, [ profile] dragonydreams,

Check out the entire winners' list here.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Happy Band Candy TGRM)
Entries for [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 127 "Close Crop" due Sunday October 4th 3pm EST.  There are 25 gorgeous entries so far, but more are always welcome. And in case you're wondering, the icons do not have to be close-ups of faces, although the examples and most of the entries are; they can be close-ups of anything.

Entries for [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 54 "Roy G Biv" due Friday Oct 9th midnight at your respective timezones. According to [ profile] starry_night there are 21 entries so far but again, the more the merrier!

Entries for [ profile] seasonal_spuffy Round 19 Banner competition due Sunday Oct 11 midnight PST. The theme this 10th anniversary round is "Look Both Ways".

Entries for [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 13 due Monday Oct 19 midnight at your time zone. Sign ups are open until then; themes posted here.

And finally - the brilliant beyond belief* [ profile] clockwork_hart1 created a "multi-fandom" Gods and Monsters ficathon and I'm calling it ongoing because there are tons of great prompts and new ones being added constantly; so fill a prompt with a fic or artwork, and check out the works of art on the masterlist.

Gods & Monsters ficathon
[click on the picture]

If you don't believe my "brilliant beyond belief" description then please read her Buffyverse/Doctor Who crossover fic (death) for my birthday. Dawn is the Tardis. Dawn slides under and then there are hands on her chest and water spilling up her throat and for a moment Dawn is as big as the room and spreading further outward, as far as she can reach. (I fear Lucy might think I haven't read it because I didn't comment but oh goodness, I have. Or rather I didn't read it, I made it part of my life because her prose slides under my skin as easily as Dawn submerges herself beneath the water.)  If "I'm not familiar with fandom X" is worrying to you, don't let it put you off; I haven't seen any of the new Who series myself although I'm vaguely aware of the players. (Seven and Ace were my Doctor and companion, when I was in college and introduced to the series.)
red_satin_doll: (Tara Purple Sensual Witch OOMM RSD)
My poster for The Relish Collection Series (aka "the Femalehusbandverse") (2015) especially "The Female Husband" made for [ profile] kerkevik_2014. This poster is an adaption of one I originally made for Ray as an unofficial banner (#8) for the [ profile] wicked_awards at his request. He asked me to make some banners for his own nominated stories and wished for something female-centric rather than the male-centric official nominee buttons. I'd been meaning to make a fic poster for that series for some time and Ray's "commission" gave me an excuse:

Teasers: therelishcollectionbannerforkerkevik2014_style2.4warm_byRSD2015_750x365.png custom made nominee button at the request of ray jerk 2015 nomineebuttonbuffywickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.1final.png

therelishcollectionbannerforkerkevik2014_style2.4warm_byRSD2015_750x365.png 1

therelishcollectionbannerforkerkevik2014_style2.1_byRSD2015_550x268.png 1-A

Nominee button custom made for Ray Kerk for Wicked Awards 2015 2
For his nomination, he used #3 at his journal. It's not in the style of the official buttons but I liked the way it came out. I then made myself a Fuffy-themed banner that I really like but again - not in the style of the official buttons so I've decided against using it. (The beautiful textures in both courtesy of [ profile] sweet_lyri.)

custom made nominee button at the request of ray jerk 2015   buffyfaiththechosentwo_crop3.4_goldengatebridge_600x450signed.png 3 - 4

nomineebuttonfaithwickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.2final.png nomineebuttonfaithwickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.3final.png   nomineebuttonfaithwickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.1final.png 5 - 7
nomineebuttonbuffywickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.2final.png nomineebuttonbuffywickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.3final.png nomineebuttonbuffywickedawards275x128_rsd2015_1.1final.png 8 - 10

[ profile] angelus2hot gave me permission to make these but asked asked me to match the style and size of the official Angel and Lindsey ones made by [ profile] angelstoy. (I also had in mind the style and coloring of the SPN and X-Files buttons.) She gave me permission to use these buttons - and I'm happy to share but please remember these are not official site buttons.
Images of Eliza, Amber and Sarah from The Chosen Two Gallery.

A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ Want? Take, have for personal use but please credit if used.
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)

Deadline for nominations for the 12th Round of the [ profile] wicked_awards is August 31st - check out the list of fiction/art nominees and music video nominees.
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: (Summers Family Portrait S5 RSD)
When the incredibly talented and generous [ profile] comlodge put out an open offer to personalize the FFL picspam banner set she made for Round 18 of [ profile] seasonal_spuffy, I asked if she could put the top two close up images of James' and Sarah's faces into one banner, perhaps with a ghost image of the two of them on the back porch step in the center? And could she please keep that pretty watercolor blue at the top, and that nifty framing device?  She could, she did, and did she ever. Behold the glory:
I Walk Alone variation by the Goddess [ profile] comlodge (2015), personalized for me.  Click to view full-size and appreciate the fine details; it really needs to be seen full-size.

You can see all of the banners and icons she made me below the cut, here in my scrapbook album - or better yet, check out the originals at [ profile] comlodge's journal here and here, leave her feedback about beautiful they are, request your own personalized version if you like, and tell her that I sent you.

This is my favorite version of the several alts she made for me and I've added this below the cut on my Welcome Post, where the Winged Buffy she made me exactly two years ago also holds pride of place. (Has it been two years, already? Surely not.) But I certainly might switch it out with any of the other, equally beautiful alts. Each one has slight differences to the other and I love all of them.

Thank goodness she came out to play for this round of [ profile] seasonal_spuffy, which would have been poorer without her contributions. She captured so much of what I love about these two characters, as indvidiuals and together.

1 - 4 banners, click to see full-size
  562991_original.jpg   562782_original.jpg   562662_original.jpg     555162_original.jpg

5 - 9 icons
  554611_original.jpg   554411_original.jpg   icon by comlodge for me June 2015     552277_original.jpg   551960_original.jpg

All artwork in this post courtesy of [ profile] comlodge, 2015; do not steal, deface, claim as your own, hotlink, or archive to other websites (Fanpop, etc) without the artist's express consent.
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Helpless Hairporn RSD)

Finally it's here (after two extensions graciously granted by [ profile] starry_night)!  My Season 5 (BtVS) set for [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 9.

10 Themes
Half and Half Rotate 90 Frame Lemon & Lime Shocking
Blood Close Crop + Two Love Lips Group
5 Category |HUSH
Cat 1 Cat 2 Cat 3 Cat 4 Cat 5
5 Artist's Choice
AC 1 AC 2 AC 3 AC 4 AC 5

Screencap Sources: Bloodqueen, Pretty as a Picture , Leave Me the White, SMG France. Wooden frame in Frame icon from Your Picture Frames. Texture in Cat 2 snagged from [ profile] teragramm.

MANY thanks to the wonderful [ profile] starry_night for extending the deadline (twice); and I cannot heap enough praise on my beta-Muse [ profile] velvetwhip for once again whipping me and this set into shape - her screenname is very apt because the "whipping" was a most gentle one but she provides what I need time and again. I nearly gave up on this round and three or four days ago I was ready to. That I didn't is due largely to her generous assistance, guidance, ideas, meta analysis, and encouragement to motivate me.

Alts & Extras:

1 - 7

8 -14


15 - 21

15 -21) Image from Buffy vs Dracula, this set is, appropriately, very German Expressionist cinema (Nosferatu, Pola Negri, etc.) Also, [ profile] kikimay asked me to post more close crops of Sarah's face so here you go.

The only guideline or focus I had going in to this was my usual: "Women of the Buffyverse".  I consciously focused on the ladies and very much wanted to make some decent icons of Joyce and Dawn, who have been difficult for me to icon for some reason. I also tried to use images from the show I haven't seen capped often or at all.  So for example, "Group" is the Maclays because I've seen a lot of icons of the opposite image, the Scoobies protecting Tara, from that episode. I've seen tons of Spike in FFL icons but precious few if any focused on Drusilla herself. And et cetera.

The relative absence of Willow here (in relation to her importance that season) isn't planned or meant as a snub of the character; I think because I've done a lot of Willow icons I ended up "giving her a break". I meant to make an icon of Glory, and also of Joyce and Dawn together but didn't get to those. I have meta thoughts about quite a few of these - the Drusilla one deserves it's own post  - but for now I'll let you folks and the images do the talking.

I am "borrowing" [ profile] starry_night's rules for my own artwork
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments are appreciated :)
red_satin_doll: (Buffy Helpless Hairporn RSD)
But first a word from our sponsors: [ profile] starry_night has kindly extended the deadline for [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 9 to Friday the 15 - and as usual, I'm the only person who hasn't submitted her stuff. *le sigh* (It's my job and the barometric pressure that gave me a massive headache and I can't find things because I had to move all my images...Excuses, I has 'em.)

But in the meantime do check out the wonderful entries from [ profile] sweet_lyri (The Prom), [ profile] halliwell (Spike), and [ profile] dark_x_huntress (Faith). Yes, this is a smallish grouping this time. Or, since the sign-ups truly are open the ENTIRE round, you could be all show-offy and smart-alecky and show up with a set of 20 you did literally overnight. I know there's someone out there who can pull that off.

"Helpless" banner (Giles, Buffy) by yours truly; click to view full-size.

I promised [ profile] kikimay I'd post all my entries from the last rounds of [ profile] slayerstillness and [ profile] whedon_elite in one place so here they be:

My entries for [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 43, "Helpless": Thank you again to everyone who participated either as artist or voter!

          1 - 5

Awards Banners for me from [ profile] tempertemper: I know I posted these before but they're too magnificent not to show off again (click for full-size):

ss43banner1stplacebytempertempermay2015_siggieaddedbyrsd.png ss433rdplacebannerbytempertempermay2015.png   ss43mostcreativebannerbytempertempermay2015.png Icons are snaggable; banners are not - obviously.

My entries for [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 116 "Springtime" :
  helpless0155icon1.1.png   entry springtime whedon elite challenge 116 for whedon elite challenge 116 springtime 6 - 9

1) This icon's title could be "Feel the Fear but do it anyway" . One of my personal favorites of this set. The texture looks like some sort of writing (but isn't) so there's a mystery to it, and I think the focus on her expression as it emerges from the shadows is really strong. I originally added text to it (#14) but my wise Muse thought it stronger without and she was right. #26 is the "base" image without the last texture layer.

2)  I didn't notice until after I made it that there's a slick of red blood on the underside of her hand. It's very un-showy and subtle compared to #1.  Buffy has been through a horrific experience and she's trying to tamp down her emotions when by rights I wouldn't blame her if she burned the joint down and walked away. She endures an awful lot of trauma and keeps marching, keeps forgiving and keeps fighting. Her expression is so poignant and all praise to Sarah for her marvelous performance.

3) I actually freaked myself out with this one and it's companions 20 - 22. BtVS' template was partly rooted in horror movies and Helpless is one of the most overtly horrifying episodes of the series, hence my borrowing of the phrase from the episode Hush. This icon highlights that but also the ways that the series fails in it's "feminism". Again, see [ profile] velvetwhip's fic Answering Prayers (aka "the best fic you're not reading right now but should.") Technically, I like the smoothness of this icon and the look of a handtinted photograph but I suspect it works better without the text (alt 22).

4) Winner, 3rd Place and Most Creative: Buffy's profile in the abandoned hotel as she looks around at the walls covered with polaroid images of Joyce was the single image I spent the most time with, alone and in combinations with other characters, the emphasize their interconnectedness: the top banner, entry 4, alts 10 - 13, & 16 - 21. (I have a thing for Sarah's oddly timeless profile.) I intended to enter 11 or 12 and changed my mind at the last minute. I'm pleased with the clarity of the smaller image of Buffy, which is hard for me to achieve, and I really like how the library books and the polaroids echo each other. I think that unifying element of pattern-making helped put this icon over the edge for me over the other variants.

5) Winner, First Place: My first first-place win at [ profile] slayerstillness and I hope I'm not sounding arrogant in repeating that but it makes me all kinds of happy, and thank you to everyone who voted for it!  I also mentioned in my prior post that the inspiration for this icon was entirely [ profile] clockwork_hart1's recent Buffy icons that combined soft color and light effects with shots of Buffy in motion.  This icon isn't as blurred as her's; I ended up sharpening the features of her face a bit to contrast with the whirl of hair. #23 is the more "naturalistic" version without the colored light leak effect; usually I go for subdued colors but Lucy's example inspired me to push the color. I'm surprised how well the icon turned out, given the darkness of the cap. There's the irony of the prettiness of it, of the "hairporn" and the direness of the situation, of Buffy's fear and desperation in that moment.

6) My personal favorite of my WE set; I wanted a Wiffy Helpless cap but couldn't get it to my satisfaction, see #32 below. I like the chalky flatness of 32 but I the clarity and sharpness aren't the best so I went with the closer crop.  As the theme of the round was springtime and I already had the flowers in #10  - 12 it seemed appropriate to hv

8) I finally made a Cordy icon!  See also 34 below. Not a lot to say about it, except that I was inspired by [ profile] kwritten's beautiful work especially her recent The Freshman Category set when I made this one and # 9. I'm not Cordy's nor Charisma Carpenter's biggest fan by any means; but that moment is one of Cordy's finest in BtVS; when a distraught Buffy asks for a ride home and her reply is "Sure". No questions asked. (Has anyone ever written fanfiction about that car ride home?  Has anyone ever speculated on what might have been said - or not?)

9) Winner, Mod's Choice. I wanted to play with this image because of the unusual cropping (that's the way Sarah's face is cropped in the screencap, as Buffy talks to Angel); I really didn't expect this to be the favorite of voters among my WE entries but thank you for the votes and feedback!  I worried that it would come off as "she slapped on a texture and called it a day" so I'm glad it doesn't come across like that.

Alts and extras:

10 -15

I call # 13 "The Needle and the Cross". I don't any of these need further explanation. I like the snarkiness of #15 but also the way the text actually looks as if it's part of Giles' sleeve.  If this is "a father's love" then somebody call Social Services. No wonder the poor girl has relationship issues.

  16 - 19

          20 - 26

27 - 31

My alts for [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 116:

helpless0129wiffyicon1.1.png     32 - 36

red_satin_doll: (Buffy Helpless Hairporn RSD)

...for her time, feedback, ideas, generosity, patience, gentle wit, marvelous penetrating insights and for her keen Eye (intangible, unexplanable, indispensible) and above all, for helping guide me to my very first 1st place award (!!) as well as 3rd place and Most Creative honors at [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 43; as well as a Mod's Choice's Award at [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 116.

That particular beta-Muse would be named [ profile] velvetwhip, of course; and I dare say she will deny her fabulousness; don't believe her for a second if she does. I've been beta for my friends who are writers for years, but this time I've gotten to be on the other side of the give-and-take and it's a rich and and fulfilling working relationship.

ss43banner1stplacebytempertempermay2015.png       ss43mostcreativebannerbytempertempermay2015.png       WE116modschoicefinalbannerbyRSDmay2015_v2.png Teasers for awards banners inside.

And it's an entirely mutual one; I've been "special pencil" for her marvelous Joyce-centric fic Answering Prayers, set in the summer between S2 & 3, and our many discussions on Buffy, Joyce and Giles during that period no doubt provided additional inspiratiion for my Helpless artwork. I love the cross-currents between us as two artists in different but complimentary media.

Congratulations to [ profile] sweet_lyri[ profile] tempertemper , and [ profile] starry_night  - three of my favorite fan artists and wonderful people, they are all well-represented in my userpic gallery - for their wins at [ profile] slayerstillness and [ profile] whedon_elite. And may we have a big round of applause for [ profile] tempertemper's phenomenal banners?  I just about died of happiness when I saw these:

ss43banner1stplacebytempertempermay2015.png     ss433rdplacebannerbytempertempermay2015.png

Two of my goals for the year: Win first place at [ profile] slayerstillness - check. (Best Color, I've got my sights on you.) Earn more awards banners made by other artists by which i mostly mean [ profile] tempertemper - double check. And these are simply beyond perfect aren't they? Artwork like this makes me wonder why there aren't awards categories for "Best Awards Banner" because these truly are works of art.

The direct inspiration for my first place winner was [ profile] clockwork_hart1's gorgeous Buffy S4 icons (#11-12) and her experimentation with light, blurs and motion. For the other icon I started with Buffy's profile in the hotel room where Kralik has taped multiple polaroids of Joyce, then did multiple versions layering her with Giles, Joyce and Kralik, inside her silhouette but ended up chosing this one. I really like how the patterns of the library books and the polaroids echo one another, sublty hinting at and reinforcing the connection between the two.


Banners by [ profile] tempertemper. (Now if only I can get her and other banner makers to remember to sign their work...)

I stayed with Helpless for my [ profile] whedon_elite entries when I finished the SS set and realized there were other images I still wanted to play with.  Thank you [ profile] fassy for the Mod's Choice honor! The specific inspiration for this icon and my Cordy one were [ profile] kwritten's Artist Choice set for Round 7 of [ profile] btvsats20in20, "The Freshman (Buffy)" although I've admired her way with delicate layers and textures for three years. Once again [ profile] velvetwhip deserves a thunderous round of applause for her beta-Muse-ings:


Banner by yours truly; check out the banners for [ profile] starry_night and [ profile] sweet_lyri here.  The base image is a photo I took a couple of afternoons ago of daffodils in my yard because they especially suited the "Springtime" theme of the challenge.

red_satin_doll: (Effie Trinket Eyelash Close up Catching)
Recently [ profile] tempertemper said she was taking a page from my book and promoted icontest voting specifically [ profile] otherworldlyric and [ profile] slayerstillness. I have to admit I had already stolen that book from [ profile] velvetwhip, who tirelessly promotes fandom activity of all sorts; but I'm very glad to be part of the chain. Shall we call it a library book and simply pass it around?

[ profile] tempertemper also made a wonderful point about supporting icon/art communities that I think can't be said often enough. There are so many people in this fandom and so few voting at art competitions. As a visual artist I of course vote at fiction contests but I think writers oftentimes feel shy or uncertain about voting in art contests. Maybe a grade school teacher made a cruel remark about one's abilities. Maybe one has heard one too many "experts" insist that you have to have a particular sort of education in order to be able to "understand" art. This really shouldn't be so - art belongs to everyone and we all live, breathe, take in visual images every day. We are all incredibly sophisticated and well-educated simply by dint of exposure.

So in that spirit, here are some worthy art challenges in need of your vote:

Banner by moi for [ profile] character20n20

**   [ profile] slayerstillness Challenge 43 "Helpless" Wonderful work and one of my favorite buffyverse episodes - how do the entries end up so often looking go great and of a piece with one another as a group? I'm side-eyeing at least one or two in a "I don't know who made this but back off because I WANT this one" kind of way. *lol*

** [ profile] otherworldlyric Challenge 200  "Working for the Weekend" I really have to thank [ profile] tempertemper for bringing this one back to my attention. Some of my first awards were in this comm but I have not participated in a while, and have been very remiss in terms of voting and promoting it.  This comm is also one of the most overlooked in terms of participation overall, which is a shame.

** [ profile] whedon_elite Challenge 116 "Spring Time" My love of the sepias and desaturated tones is well-known but it's nice to try something different and really welcome springtime in bright, light tones;  the really interesting challenge is to come up with something "pretty and light" that also carries emotional weight. It's been a long, hard winter this year, hasn't it?

Finally, speaking of springtime, congratulations to all the winners of  Round 68 of [ profile] character20n20. [ profile] setentpet asked meto make banners for those who had requested it: [ profile] roseemrys, [ profile] punk4life1315 and [ profile] spikesredqueen, and the gorgeous clear, springtime colors and the change of season inspired the colors and design of my banners. I indulged myself in a tie for Banner Maker's Choice: [ profile] spikesredqueen and [ profile] x_lostinthesun. Check them out here.  I used a photograph I took in 2013 of roses in my landlord's yard as the base.

punk4life3rdplacecatsetbanner_byRSD_2015.png     BMCtie_x_lostinthesun_byRSD2015.png     BMC1of2_SRQbanner350x319byRSD2015.png

red_satin_doll: (Wiffy Hug - Primeval)
What it says on the tin - but the tin doesn't say it all. Several folks I am tremendously proud to call friends are amoung this years winners: Gabrielle ([ profile] velvetwhip), [ profile] snogged, [ profile] spikesredqueen, [ profile] rua1412, [ profile] dragonyphoenix, [ profile] snickfic, [ profile] snowpuppies, [ profile] brutti_ma_buoni, [ profile] punch_kicker15. I am so proud and pleased to not only call these folks my friends, but to know that good work is being recognized and honored. It gives one hope. Congratulations to all the winners and a big round of applause to [ profile] dragonydreams for running the awards year-in, year-out.

Any of of the stories on the winners and nominee list by the abovenamed authors would be well worth your time. Yes, yes I am biased: [ profile] velvetwhip's "Civilian" and "In The Shadow of the Dead", [ profile] snowpuppies "Memory" and "Try", [ profile] punch_kicker15's "Truly Missed the Boat" , [ profile] brutti_ma_buoni's "A Half-Formed Thing", [ profile] snogged's "Passion (Rules Us All)", and...well I'll leave you to discover your own personal favorites. Don't forget to check out the nominees list as well!

Most of these categories were difficult to vote in (I had a few favorites, of course) but few more so than the art category ("Best Photo Manipulation or Layout".)  How in the WORLD to choose between [ profile] spikesredqueen's heartbreaking WIld at Heart - Animal Way and [ profile] rua1412's lush, wildly sensual Willow/Angel banner? I came very close to asking [ profile] dragonydreams "Do you allow tie votes, pretty please? Can't I chose both?"
red_satin_doll: (Lovers Walk Buffy and Willow Pink)
Whilst real life keeps me suitably occupied for all but the quickest posts:

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of [ profile] btvsats20in20 Round 7! I love the spread of names this time especially in Themes winners, there's no one dominating. I like that - a lot. And why not? There were so many beautiful icons and so many things that still had to be bypassed. Special congrats to [ profile] halliwell on her first win in this comm!

(If I were going to be banner maker this round and had banner makers choices amoung things that didn't win awards - which I must regretfully decline *sniffle* - [ profile] killing_kurare's Cold as Ice icon, [ profile] spikesredqueen's Buffy/Willow icon *points to userpic* and [ profile] kwritten's masterful entire AC would receive mentions.)

[ profile] kwritten has a new Bara fic "no lies, no apologies" (with her own artwork) inspired by our recent conversations re: tropes in Buffy/Tara shipping and it's become something else entirely - an examination of the price of being a "good girl", of the ugly truths behind that mask, how "selflessness" becomes a sort of badge of pride, about girls from abusive, broken families not making one another whole, not magicially healing one another but reaching towards moments of solace.

Kelsey has been writing Bara fic since her blurring the lines series but I honestly think - if she'll forgive me for saying - she is now hitting her stride in her depictions of Tara as a complete and full-blooded, satisfyingly complex character. I claim this fic as a birthday present - because I said so, that's why - but I really hope everyone reads it, and I cannot wait to see what she does next.

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