Buffy Casablanca Poster poppy wreath  RS

Not-daily 20in20update: Tiebreaker voting and Round 2 themes up! But first, a word from the editor

Last night my sweetie and I went to our favorite local spot for craft beers on draft (she had two beers, I had 2oz of one) with hot baked asagio pretzel, had dinner at a Thai restaurant, and cuddle on the sofa of a coffeehouse/winebar/music venue to enjoy some downtime and life local musicians. And I managed not to think or at least FEEL my woes very much, the $10-15 dollars I shouldn't have spent be damned. And even not feel pissed off. Now that the beer and music have worn off and I'm back to feeling the fear, rage, betrayal, etc of The Big Sucky Lemon (TM) - I'm also back to distracting myself online with fandom pretties:

*** Cast your votes here and now (or as soon as you can, pretty please) for three tiebreakers in Round 1 of btvsats20in20: 2 Cat icon placements, and one AC set placement. None of them are mine, so no worries about rulebreakin'. As of this moment (1:20pm est) the AC tiebreaker vote is locked in a three-way tie. Funny. But understandable, they're all so damn good. There's no sense of "this one is better than that, so I'm locked in the hopeless task of chosing the theoretical best among equals."

***bangel_4e posted the Round 2 themes, which means we (read: me) can all get an early start. If you haven't thrown your hat in the ring yet, there's still time - as with round 1, "sign ups will stay open during the whole round". Nifty.  (Also, check out bangel_4e's gorgeous Round 2 banner. Serious lust issues, I am having.)

The one time I'm in an icontest with hair porn as a theme and I'm NOT doing Buffy? Oh of course, ha. I chose Vamp Willow for my claim before the themes were announced - all that black leather and blood and pancake makeup, lipstick and sex and swings any which way oh so bad goodness......oh, wait, I know the perfect screencap. *wicked cackle*
It's ironic that my Lesbian Vampire Seal of Approval icon was one of my first, if not very first, icon I made in this fandom, and the one that I would never switch, replace or "improve", even though I could do a much better version now. She's mine, folks - although I'm more than willing to share.
Last round I admit was intimidated by: icon tables (which I still don't like very much, html is sort of overwhelming still for me), and blending. Had not a clue how to do it, so I cheated with a collage, not a true "blend."  But I think I'm starting to catch on - maybe?

Ok, not great, but it's the first time I've ever done this so points to me. It gets me one step closer to doing things I want to do, like fic banners. If there are any good tutorials on YouTube for ipiccy I haven't found them and their own site has a decided lack of, so it's me trying to figure things out and walk through the back door. The whole "layers" thing really weirds me out - "vector mask", what is this a chemistry test? A maneuver used by the Prussian army in the 19the century? I made a shot of The First from Sleeper into an icon and used it as a texture behind the TYG icon and - tah-dah! I got the job done.

This round, instead of blend, it's layers, which essentially is a collage. And I squee'd because "I know how to do that! I can do that!" Which is fun - my Willow-side coming out. I just wanna learn how to build my own serial killer stuff! And the more I learn, the more I want to learn; the more I can do, the more I want to be able to do.

I am the official Overexcited Child Who is Patiently Indulged by the Adults (read: everyone else) of Buffyverse Fandom. At your service. 
I really like the blended Buffy icon. It's maybe one of your bests! Really pretty, brava!

(I really think you should download GIMP. It's full of options and stuff and I think you could manage to do amazing icons with it)

I probably will download Gimp very soon, I can tell I'm already frustrated with ipiccy - or at least by the lack of tutorials, etc on it.

My sweetie meanwhile bought Apeture from Apple and is VERY frustrated because she misses her PS. I never learned PS so I don't have to "unlearn" it, which is probably a good thing.
I can't wait to see your Willow icons! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE! Also, I voted.

*many hugs... for reasons*


Edited at 2014-06-16 08:00 pm (UTC)
So nice to hear that you had such a nice evening with your sweetie. It sounds so lovely.

Layers was a pretty confusing concept for me when I first started. In Photoshop, there are also layers just to change colors or make other adjustments. I sometimes have over 100 layers in a pic.

Okay, going to vote now!
yuh huh.

First of all, if I am putting together "pieces" it takes many more layers than if I was taking a screen cap or a single picture and using that. Say I was putting Spike into a picture. I would probably have a separate layer for his hair, face, neck, eyes, possibly lips or teeth, shirt, jacket, jeans, shoes, hands. That's so I could easily color and highlight each of those components separately. Then if I am using Spike's head on someone else's body, I need a lot more layers to get his face and the body the same shade. Then if I've got another character in the picture, it's the same thing. Then I've got background, and other objects. Then I have a lot of layers that color the entire picture or give it texture. Quite often, I'll have layers that are just adjustments to little tiny parts of the picture like maybe a tiny shadow or highlight. This is why I can't post very often!

On that picture I did for you of the Buffyverse girls? I should show you what it looked like when I first started it and you would have an appreciation of all of the fiddling it took to get the skin tones to coordinate. Plus I had to go out and look for outfits for each of them! Selena Gomez was very helpful with this endeavor. :)

My brain went immediately to that prezzie you made me because if that's what you have to do for just one character...I can't even imagine what you had to do for the one you made me. How many hours of work was that? (Are you using PS or Gimp btw?)

I'd be VERY interested to see a "making of" - I've always liked that sort of thing, what's behind the curtain at the puppet show or inside the watch case? I find comlodge's tutorials interesting even though I don't have PS. I'm always curious as to how people make fanart, and it's rarely talked about. The final products are posted but not many people talk about the process. I can understand my sweetie's frustration in art school a little better - she'd study artists in the past and find very little about actual working techniques (or marketing techniques aka how they got in to galleries.)

Shoot! I thought I kept the draft version, but I guess not. It would have been interesting. I use PS by the way. It's hard to learn sometimes. I read tutorials, and try to pick up a little tip here and there. And experiment a lot! I look at other peoples work and try to figure out how they've done it.
maybe next time? I really would be interested in seeing a little of the process.

My sweetie does have PS elements on the new Mac, but she lost the full professional (and very expensive) version when we lost the other PC in the fire. She's been like you - she took a class or two but mostly she watches a lot of online tutorials. She finds them easier than a class.

I still pick up tips reading comlodge's tutorials or asking other folks questions, even if I'm not using PS; it may be mostly greek to me but there might be that one thing I understand or can translate.

And looking at other people's work (and trying not to get depressed, trying to turn off the "why am I even doing this?" voice in my head. Knowwhatimean? *lol*)

I also look at other people's work and think I suck. like sueworld and uglybusiness. But it also makes me try harder.

Next time I am working on a piece that would be good to show in stages, I will create a step by step for you. :)
The other day I was looking at some gorgeous wallpapers on deviantart, not to mention some of teragramm's work, and wanted to throw in the towel. And that's such an easy thing for me to do - "oh I'll never be that good why try?" and this time I really don't want to succumb to that tendency. But already I'm looking at my own icons that I made and loved a few months ago and suddenly all I can see is the flaws.

I need to practice loving each of my babies for what they represent - where I was at a particular place in time. (easier said than done, right?)

Next time I am working on a piece that would be good to show in stages, I will create a step by step for you. :)

If it's not too much trouble I would love that, thank you!
But already I'm looking at my own icons that I made and loved a few months ago and suddenly all I can see is the flaws.

This means you're really growing! Just remember how much heart has gone into your work, and yes love these precious babies. Then keep pushing yourself.

I'm disappointed in at least half of what I post. And some pieces go to the manip graveyard without even being posted. But when I go back and look at my stuff on the whole, I can see that I've done some respectable work. As a portfolio, it makes me smile. :)
This means you're really growing! Just remember how much heart has gone into your work, and yes love these precious babies. Then keep pushing yourself.

Wonderful, wonderful advice - something I need to take to my heart. (Possibly post on my computer to remind myself!)

As a portfolio, it makes me smile.

And if it makes you smile, it's made other people smile, too, and isn't that what it's all about?

I have hundreds of icons I've never trotted out. Maybe now I will just for the fun of seeing where I've been and where I'm going.

I really am proud of this last set for the 20in20; I didn't "win" anything but I pushed my abilities as an artist, learned a lot, and made new friends in the process.

I voted in the tiebreakers. Thanks for the gentle nudge in that direction.

I'm also super excited to see your Vamp Willow icons for the next round! Love you!