Buffy Casablanca Poster poppy wreath  RS

Happy Birthday DEBRIS4SPIKE!

I wanted to do something special for debris4spike's birthday and knew I wanted it to be Spike and/or Spuffy-centric. I confessed to her one day that it's very dificult for me to work with images of men in my icons and artwork. I have beloved brothers, uncles, cousins, male friends and coworkers; I enjoy a variety of male actors and characters in tv and movies. But actually working with images of men is another matter altogether. So I pushed myself with this. I was going to do a collage with Spuffy hand imagery, or various scenes throughout the seasons but when I looked at the screencaps for The Gift and nearly started crying, I knew where to focus. There is such a purity about this moment. And it's all in the eyes, in their faces:
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Is it bad form for an artist to say they're happy with their own work? Well, rubbish to that - I was so happy with how this came out, and so suprised by it. I didn't plan the way the curves of the borders echo the necklines of their shirts, didn't realize at first that Buffy and Spike look to be at eye level with each other as opposed to the screencaps; and wasn't aware at first how lighting their faces so and eliminating a lot of the details and shadows captured the feeling of - or my feelings about - the moment better, I think, than the screencaps themselves do. In the caps they both look very tense and somewhat guarded; here, he looks friendly and open, she looks  sad and a bit exhausted, morally and physically. I was so happy with this I went overboard and made color variations, as one does:

Teaser icons - there's more to come...
[Well one does - doesn't one?]

Click all images below to view in full size:

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These were made almost entirely in ipiccy. I made a collage and - did other stuff. I would tell you if I could remember! There were light effects, that I do recall. #3 was the original version I brought over to Photobucket; then I sharpened it quite and added the text.

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And then I remembered that Deborah is color-blind, and I worried she might not be able to see this very well. Looking at her icons I'm not aware of this except as she's mentioned it, so it's easy to forget. She's James Marsters fan, a Spike and Spuffy fan who also celebrates the great, interesting ladies in her icons: Buffy Summers, of course; her award-winning Willow icon for btvs_hush Challenge 272 is one of my favorite icons of the year so far; as well as the women of Star Trek Voyager (esp Captain Kathryn Janeaway) and Blakes 7. See the Servalan icon I snagged for further confirmation. Check out the delicate colors of her Willow "Becoming" icon for Challenge 273, or her Broken and AC4 Blakes 7 icons for season20in20 with their marvelously controlled and assured composition and color effects.

She may see "differently" but what an eye! And what a heart and soul to go with it.

So I made a  mono+purple version just in case she couldn't see the images above properly; thankfully she assured me she can, and has given me permission to post all of these. She particularly liked the text effect in #8; that's Pacifico font from ipiccy, made using the "invert" effect in the pull down menu of the text adjustment box. Then the light leak effects layered over that give the grey lettering an unintentional (but nifty) ombre effect.
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I couldn't resist trotting out my landlord's rose as a texture again for the fun of it. A bit more lushly romantic than I usually allow myself to indulge in:
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Deborah asked me to pick one of the pieces above and make an icon of it for her, but I've not been able to do so successfully, 1-7 are just too busy as images to work successfully or maybe I just lack the skill and know-how. I tried using 8-10 but Buffy and Spike both end up looking so stern and Sarah's cheek pixilates something awful. I did better - marginally - going back to the original caps or using another image altogether.



I do like the way #19 looks like a mid 20th-century advert illustration.  But by this point I hit the wall of my ability to stare at a man's face for hours on end, even a handsome one. I can't explain it. And 20-22 below are strange even by my standards. IF ANYONE OUT THERE CAN MAKE AN ICON OF ONE OF THE LARGER WORKS OR CAN TEACH ME HOW TO DO IT IN iPICCY, PLEASE PM ME.

Want? DO NOT take or have without checking with the artist (moi) and nicely asking debris4spike first. Do not alter, claim as your own, hotlink or any of that nonsense that sensible, ethical people would never think to indulge in. 'kay?

You made her an incredibly gorgeous cornucopia of fabulous art! She's sure to be THRILLED!

Thanks sweetie! I was really happy with how they turned out. I showed them to her privately and she gave them her seal of approval.
You have got to be one of the most caring, thoughtful people I know!
I've been reading your icon posts and haven't commented, but I had to delurk and say that this is gorgeous. What a lovely gift!

As a former icon maker myself I can see the problem with making an icon of the larger image. It's impact is in it's size and a lot of the effect will be lost at smaller size. You could try cropping a section with their faces and then reducing that but I'm not sure how well it would come out.

Great work :)
*nods* I did that with #11 and then just Spike's face in 20-22. Those are my best efforts which are still not great.

And thank you so much for delurking although lurkers are also loved in my house. Have some more cake!

BTW - a happy birthday/birthmonth to you as well, I think you had yours recently?
Lovely color variations! This looks wonderful! I especially love the peachy happy birthday one.
Oh my goodness THANK YOU!

I especially love the peachy happy birthday one.

I'm really fond of that one too - I was torn between making that and the cooler lavender one the larger image, I'm fond of both of them.

BTW - can you tell me how I can set an image in my post from Photobucket so that folks can click and enlarge it? All the smaller ones (not icons) are the same size at the first image. I'd wanted them to be "enlargeable" but don't know how. Do I have to post images directly from my computer rather than PB?
Beautiful artworks! I especially love the mono-purple version and I really like the moment you chose, it's touching (And yes, Buffy seems exhausted and it's understandable) I love how Spike follows her and the look on his face is amazing. Phraise JM for making this character so emotionally compelling.

(Btw, the rose version is perfection because Spike, in that scene, is very chivalrous and Buffy is "the lady". It could be an ancient French love poem, really)
Phraise JM for making this character so emotionally compelling.

Praise them BOTH for knocking it out of the park over and over again.

Thank you for the compliments to my artwork Kiki!

It could be an ancient French love poem, really

You mean the Romance of the Rose (Le Roman de la Rose)?
We can view the original manuscript digially thanks to the University of Chicago, isn't that something?

It's interesting that the original concept of "romantic love" (chivalry) was less about being with a person in the modern sense and more about being worthy of the other person.
I am crying as I read this - I find it amazing what you have written, and what you have done for me.

I love these images ... as you say their faces say so much. Their story is so beautifully tragic at this point ... and they both know it. You have captured that moment of time ... that moment where time stopped for them, and have said so much.

Truly extraordinary work.

I love the one you finally settled on, and I think my favourite colour combination is the one you used in #6.

The mono-purple one really highlights the strain they were both going through at that point. I also do like those final 3 of Spike (maybe I'm a bit prejudiced there!!!) The bubbling picks up his cheek bones!

Thank you so much - this has meant more than you can possibly know.

*hugs* you tight
*hugs you back*

Oh goodness Deborah I'm so glad you like them - if they're any good it's because I had an excellent inspiration. A very happy birthmonth to you!

You still have the link to the album I created, right? All the full size images are there. Did I send you a link to the icon album?

Their story is so beautifully tragic at this point ... and they both know it. You have captured that moment of time ... that moment where time stopped for them, and have said so much.

I'm so glad you think I captured it, that's such a compliment you have no idea. ( I so rarely do shippy artwork.) I don't think I could write fanfic about it, I don't have the talent for it. I'd lose the immediacy.

I hadn't planned for his face to be lighter than her's in the image but I like it that way. It makes sense in light of what's to come.

I love the one you finally settled on, and I think my favourite colour combination is the one you used in #6.

I love 1, 2 and 6 all very much. (I've added sharper versions of 1 & 2 to the album.)

#6 is basically #1 with the "aqua" effect from Photobucket over it (like an old polaroid photo); then the white torn edge frame and the black one over the white so the white still shows at the edges. Nifty.

BTW - I'm curious now that I've done a wee bit of reading, what type of colorblindness do you have? What colors can you see best? I was looking at some websites and realized it's a lot more complicated than I'd imagined.

Aww, this is beautiful! I really like the colours, and the captures you chose are simply perfect ♥

This moment is one of those important turning points of their relationship...
Thank you for commenting - and I'm so glad you like! I really wanted to make a special gift for a friend, and I think I succeeded.

This moment is one of those important turning points of their relationship...