Buffy Casablanca Poster poppy wreath  RS

The Summers Home: Whedon Elite Challenge 117 Winners, My Entries and Banner

Congratulations to the winners of whedon_elite Challenge 117, sweet_lyri and starry_night; THANK YOU to setentpet for the Mod's Choice Award for my #4 entry and to everyone who participated in the voting. Banners by your's truly; click on the banner to see all the winning icons and banners.

      BannerWE117genericwelcome_rsd_may2015.png  

My entries:  1. 2. 3. 4.
Mods choice banner, alts and thinky-thoughts after the cut :
[COME INSIDE.....]


BannerWE117_modschoice_rsd_may2015.png  

For the banner I was inspired by design of tempertemper's gorgeous banners for slayerstillness Challenge 43 and her use of "radial blur" to try it for myself. The font isn't specifically "period" but it has a slightly vintage feel and reminds me of fonts I've seen on the covers of early 20th-century magazines. A photo or screencapture of the Summers' home exterior set provided the base image. I confess that I don't recall where exactly I found this photo; my apologies to whoever posted it originally. (Or for that matter, whoever shot/taped the original image.)



The icon setentpet chose is my favorite of my four entries for this round, and the only one I made multiple alts for. I kept fiddling with the color, sharpness, glow, added floral layers; tried to make it look more like a pencil drawing, etc. before finally deciding on one of the earliest versions. I'm not sure it's the very best alt I could have submitted, but I liked the softness and glow, and even that tiny touch of color reflected in Buffy's hair.

Alts:   5.  6. 7. 8. 9.

         10. 11. 12. 13.



1, 9 - 13) kikimay encouraged me to keep experimenting with floral textures after my fourth entry for Challenge 116 also won Mod's Choice.
With #1, I simply liked how the flowers echoed the pattern of the wallpaper, and the colors of Anya's hair, lipstick and clothes; so there was really no particular "meta" meaning there. (Although if you want to read meta meaning into it by all means do!)  With the Buffy/Joyce icons I think I was trying for a sense of the banality of domesticity, as well an echo of the flowers Joyce received from Brian that we've just seen, and a suggestion of funeral flowers. I don't think it worked and at any rate it distracted from the main image. Fun to experiment with, though.


2, 4) Yeah, it's the latest in my "Buffy and dead Joyce" series and I have to say, one of my favorite things about my most recent btvsats20in20 entries is that I made two - count 'em, two! - icons of Joyce, by herself and alive.  That said - I will always maintain that Joyce's death is the single most traumatic thing that happens to Buffy, aside perhaps from being resurrected. Even above killing Angel, although that's certainly in the mix.*

I've said it before - the men in Buffy's life are important to her but Joyce is at the core of her being, her constant.  Even if Joss never quite got that and Joyce was shunted to the sidelines. For someone who "gets it", check out velvetwhip's  WIP, Answering Prayers. If you feel about Joyce's neglect in canon the way I do, Answering Prayers makes everything better.**

3) If you didn't know what that image is, you probably wouldn't know what that is? I tried other images from Forever, an unjustly overlooked episode because it follows the Body.  If it were a masterpiece in and of itself it would still be overlooked and it isn't, but it deserves better than the neglect it tends to get. Several folks voted it best light use this round, and thank you to those who did. The caps in this last scene in Forever are terribly dark and difficult to work with.


* I started making a list of the traumatic things Buffy endures and gave up when it got really, really long. And then I started thinking about Dawn and the list got exponentially longer Instead of hating on them for what they don't get right, I'd rather hug them, congratulate them and marvel that neither one ends the series in a catatonic state for the remainder of their days, utterly ground down beneath Life's Heel. I don't think I could endure a fifth of what Buffy and Dawn do with any semblance of sanity.

** Who's with me on the Summers Women lovefest?
Thank you! The love you show to Answering Prayers makes my heart sing.

Also, your icons and banners this round are absolutely extraordinary!!!!


Gabrielle

Edited at 2015-05-22 07:14 pm (UTC)
The love you show to Answering Prayers makes my heart sing.

It's an extraordinary story and more than deserves all the praise I can give it - better yet, it deserves to be read by more people.

And your support for me and my art is beyond extraordinary and means so much to me.
Number 9 is very beautiful and I love the coloring, but I agree that the flowers don't seem appropriate to that image (although the flowers funeral seems such a poetic idea). I really love how you balanced the black and white part and the colored one in 4, it's a really beautiful icon, very harmonic. But tbh I'm glad that the dead Joyce icons are over because they are too traumatic and my poor heart can't handle it.

My favorite icon - and I believe it's also one of your very best - is number 3. The light is soft, warm but somehow blurry. It really feels like home.
Absolutely agree about the flower icons - and 9 is probably one of my favorites of the alts for the colors and glow. I ended up going back to 4 and realizing it was the best of all worlds.

I think the Anya icon is cute as a button but I wish I could achieve better clarity like spikesredqueen, tempertemper or starry_night do in theirs.

But tbh I'm glad that the dead Joyce icons are over because they are too traumatic and my poor heart can't handle it.

I probably shouldn't promise "over" but I think I've taken the theme as far as I can. See also my "Shocking" theme icon at btvsats20in20. After the winners for those are announced I should do a round up post of my dead Joyce icons since slayerstillness last November and then I can call the theme "done" and move on.

Does it make me an awful person to admit I made those icons because I wanted them to be upsetting to people, I wanted an emotional response? But I don't want your heart to hurt dear so I promise, focus on lots of Summers women hugs in future.

number 3. The light is soft, warm but somehow blurry. It really feels like home.

Thank you! I like the glow and the saturation of that one. The colors of the texture on the sides are from fiddling with it a bit. As always, I wish I knew how to get better clarity in ipiccy, but I think I have to graduate to photoshop elements.

Edited at 2015-05-22 08:06 pm (UTC)
I'm currently writing a story about a psycho traumatized vampire killer so you shouldn't ask that to me XD

I think there's a great cathartic component in making art and so it makes sense to make art out of something that's scary like that. It's just that personally I'm such a mama girl.
I'm currently writing a story about a psycho traumatized vampire killer so you shouldn't ask that to me XD

*LMAO*

It's just that personally I'm such a mama girl.

TELL ME ABOUT IT. My sweetie is only three years younger than my mom. Same astrological sign (their birthdays are within the same week.) Outwardly they are completely different in personality, style, etc until you look deeper. So essentially? I married my mother. Can't get any more mama's girl than that (unless I'd never moved away from my mom's house.)
Thank you so much sweetheart!

I'm feeling sick as a dog right now (except that's an insult to dogs, hah) and I don't know if I have the energy to make a birthday present this weekend for you, but happy birthday early! I'd love to make you a fic banner or icon if you want one. Hopefully in a day or two I'll feel better - I think I've got what Judy's had the last week and I might call out sick tomorrow.
It's simply amazing!!! what you do! Totally agree with Mod's Choice! It took me a while to recognize the image, because you've taken a very emotionally-charged image from a very chilling, cold episode and turned it into this dreamy, surreal image I want to look at again and again. That's not easy! ;)

(Also, clearly, I need to follow whedon_elite.)

Of the alternatives, my favorites--which admittedly are more about my personal preferences than anything else--are:

7. 10. and 13.

I love the contrast in your use of color there, and especially in your very clever use of warm tones for a dead body, and cool tones for Buffy, who's the agent of the action captured here. I think that's why they are so dreamy for me. It's like they represent Buffy's wish that her mother were still alive (thus the use of soft focus, and warm palette on Joyce), and Buffy awash in a cool tone makes the scene solemn and chilling (even though in reality she was in shock and soon to be in a panic--emotions we tend to associate with red and related colors).

I also like the application of the floral pattern, swooping up Joyce's body and rendering it almost like Buffy's thought bubble, doubling the dreamy effect.

OK, I think I'll end up typing an essay here if I don't stop myself. :) In short, the artworks are simply superb!
Detailed and specific feedback, YAY! It's so lovely when a writer applies their craft to mine. :D (I actually was a writer before I did fanart, so I've been on "both sides".) Thank you for taking the time to look at these and for your thoughtful comments, they make my day.

you've taken a very emotionally-charged image from a very chilling, cold episode

Do you know I have to keep reminding myself over and over that the image is actually from I Was Made to Love You and not The Body?

turned it into this dreamy, surreal image I want to look at again and again.

I'm honestly blushing right now, truly.

are more about my personal preferences than anything else

Here's the big fat secret: It's ALWAYS about personal preference. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. I

'm surprised by how many people feel shy about voting in the art contests because they've been convinced they are not "educated"about art; whereas it's assumed that everyone is "educated" enough to vote in fiction contents because we all read.

Well, the truth is that nearly all of us are incredibly sophisticated about art because we're surrounded by visuals constantly.

7 and 13 are two of my favorite alts (also 6, which I almost entered). I think I would have liked 13 better if I left off the garland.

and especially in your very clever use of warm tones for a dead body, and cool tones for Buffy, who's the agent of the action captured here.

*squees* YESYESYES! You get exactly what I was going for with these. (I'm also challenging myself lately to work with cooler color palettes.) And I love your phrasing 'the agent of action". YES.

even though in reality she was in shock and soon to be in a panic--emotions we tend to associate with red and related colors

The color of her blouse in the episode is an obvious choice and yet it works beautifully, doesn't it? the_royal_anna said in response to one of my posts a while back, how the "bright optimism" embodied by that blouse turns into "a raw wound" in The Body.

I tried to make an alt of that image where I kept the red of the blouse and the gold of Buffy's hair, and it just didn't work for me so I discarded it. I think you've summed up why it didn't work.

swooping up Joyce's body and rendering it almost like Buffy's thought bubble, doubling the dreamy effect.

ooh, that's an interpretation I hadn't even thought of! :D

Whilst I have you hear, felicia, may I shamelessly seduce you into voting at slayerstillness and btvsats20in20? The necessary links are all here at my latest post: http://red-satin-doll.livejournal.com/80248.html

Please feel free to stop by and comment any ol' time.
Glad to have made your day! It's your artworks that are amazing; I'm only narrating their beauty. :)

I have some training as a photographer, so things like framing and colors are very much of interest to me. I think the same design principles apply to most 2D art forms.

I did my duty in btvsats20in20. :) That was incredibly difficult. All very talented people!
I'm a big fan of your The Body icon, and in general I'm all in favour of the floral patterns, but I do agree this particular icon is better without it.
Yup . But, have to experiment, right? 6 or 7 was actually my favorite for the longest time, I liked having more color in the icon (and I make so many warm toned-icons that cool ones are actually a stretch for me.

Thank you so much for the compliment! I keep calling it The Body icon but I think the shot is actually from I Was Made to Love You - another metaphor-heavy episode that isn't briliant but does a lot of heavy lifting.
I do like the extra colour, but my favourite of those alts is #8. I think Joyce looks a bit too "floaty" in the other ones, if you get what I mean.
a bit too "floaty"

*LMAO* I do actually, although I still like the pencil-sketch quality of 6. I think I'd like 13's coloring a lot better without the flower garland.
Thanks muchly hon for inspiration and compliment!

I'd say we've got something of a true art community going on here. :D
I like the mod's choice icon, I like how Buffy is the focus and you blurred Joyce...very nice.

Congrats!

On #9-13 is that a texture or a brush? It's very nice, I have a brush that looks a bit like it and I love it.

These are some lovely icons, I love the soft glow each of them have. Congrats!

Whoa, how did I manage to overlook this comment for almost a month? I apologize for the delay. thank you for compliment hon!