Buffy Casablanca Poster poppy wreath  RS

My entries, alts and extras for btvs_hush Challenge 283

Thank you again, everyone, for voting my "Boho Gypsy-Chic" Buffy icon 1st place at btvs_hush Challenge 283! And thank you dragonydreams for all your hard work, your patience, the lovely prize banners, and for running such a splendid community. Three of my entries starting with the winner; the fourth, a blood-spattered stake, is after the cut:


Miss Boho Gypsy Chic (#1) wasn't my favorite of my entries; #2 was. (Except when #3 was.) But she was something very new for me; I learned a few tricks making this batch and I've become fonder of her since I made her. She's like the beadwork necklaces I used to make, intricate latticework and all I could see was the flaws and the knotted thread; until the day came when I stopped seeing the flaws because I couldn't remember where they were anymore. But none of these was my favorite of all the entries I made for this round. These pretty ladies were:


4 or 5 was meant to have been my fifth entry except I forgot to enter one of them. *headdesk* I probably would have gone with #4 as my last entry because it has some lovely light effects but is somewhat more more "realistic" than #5, which is more stylized and very much to my taste but perhaps no one else's? The photo collage effect is the same one I used in my Comics icon from Round 1 of btvsats20in20 (The Chain). It's very tricky and best used sparingly but when it works, it works. Either way, I was thrilled with how they came out.

I'll always wonder, would I have still won first place that round with one of those three, or not?

More icons and some banners after the cut, including my fourth entry in this round. Warnings For: Blood spatter imagery. Vague Disclaimers: All snaggable. Wanna play with any, add text, make the banners better? Just let me know, give me a look-see and proper credit. Outright plagarism and theft however are beneath you and rude besides, so don't do it.

[Now that that's out of the way - the art gallery is this way....]



If you're wondering what I was thinking with 3 and 10-11? I don't know you tell me Having just done some icons for slayerstillness Challenge 30 from this Greg Gorham photo I was trying to do something different with it from before. Ended up playing with a default light texture in ipiccy, a plume of light or smoke that somewhat resembled a wing when I canted it a certain way made Sarah resemble an angel in a Dutch or Flemish painting circa 1500 - 1700, Full disclosure: I respect the Italians but I've always personally preferred the Northern masters. I was delighted by the image of Buffy Angel of Death/Angel of Mercy/Angel of God, albeit a reluctant and singular one.

So ok, that icon is one of those "I'm the only one who's gonna get the joke but I amused myself at the time" type of things. Yes, I know Joss is an atheist. So am I as it happens. And....?

#12 was VERY nearly an entry, because I knew no one else would have entered anything like it, and I love architectural details, don't you?


My fourth entry (#13) with three variations; 13 is simply 15 flipped with added bloodsplash layer.These ended up resembling "comic book art" rather than photographs, so perhaps I was stil too unnerved to deal with it.  If I gave it two seconds thought, a blood drenched stake doesn't make a lick of sense in the 'verse, unless it's human blood we're talking about. (Allen Finch in Bad Girls, Buffy herself in FFL.)  pickamix was the partial and indirect inspiration for the use of blood spatters or "blood play" in this set and my foray into some darker imagery of late, which I have yet to share with anyone. Because the other inspiration was one of the first formative events of my life; cue the anxiety...but never mind that now.

Amazingly enough, it didn't occur to me until after dragonydreams had posted the entries that perhaps I shouldn't have used anything with blood spatters because it might be triggery for someone. I hope not but I apologize if it upset any one. I never would have guessed that you could google "blood spatter" and find all sorts of textures, some of which are pretty realistic-looking. Nor that I would have a folder of my favorite go-to blood spatter patterns. LIke this one:


When I'm splashing blood on an image at the last minute to cover flaws, it's time to back away from the computer.  This was mostly an exercise in trying to cut around an object (the stake) and apply it as a layer to mask the seam and my mistakes down the middle. Successful? Gosh no. (Really, SisterRed? A glowy stake - or is that a citronella candle?) But I kind of like it anyway. Sue me.



The "fresco series" I love the contrast of Sarah's "baby face" with the surface textures and colors. I was going for the effect of an ancient fresco l and I think I got what I wanted.  Her face was a delight to work with, contemporary and timeless. I came up with the crop for 22-23 after the challenge deadline about five minutes ago. I wish I'd thought of it sooner, I might have entered that instead of #2.



How the heck did a Hindu temple and a winged demi-god(dess) get into this image? Buffy is the guardian warrior priestess of a pagan cult? Who knew?

And finally - the big honkin' failure. I did some interesting (to me) stuff on this and learned a lot but what WAS I thinking when I turned Sarah into a Barbie doll? When I did the Tara set for round 3 I did a bunch that similarly oversmoothed her face until she looked like a Disney princess. Wisely I deleted all of them. Think I would've learned from that? Apparently not.


Profit from the errors of my ways, Gentle Friends!

Oh my stars! Just stunningly gorgeous! Your work gets better and better and better. Pardon me, I'm just going to hang around and stare for awhile.


ETA: I am deliberately ignoring the self-deprecation here because it hurts to think about you putting your work down.

Edited at 2014-09-25 06:12 am (UTC)
I was self-deprecating? Where...Oh. I was. But not as badly as in my first drafts of this post. Baby steps?

(says the gal who agrees with Lily Tomlin that the widespread pattern of self-depricating humor among women is a feminist issue.)

Yes, please ignore the self-deprication and focus on the artwork and the bits where I strut my stuff with pride. :)

THIS will make you smile: The other day I worked up the courage/nerve to show my artwork portfolio here to a neighbor of mine - The posters for Soft and Pink, Prodigal Daughter and A Rose by Any other Name, the Vamp Willow winning entries and the banners I made for that round of 20in20 etc. she loved my work - and it turns out she was a Buffy fan since back in the day! She thinks Sarah is "so pretty" and loves what I did with her. (She also loved "the one who played buffy's friend whose on a tv show now." *lol*)

then she said, "You could maybe make a banner for my website?"

"Yes I could."

Then an hour later my sweetie was bemoaning the fact that she wanted to put her signature digitally on photos of her paintings for mugs, etc "in a layer".

"I can do that."

Then she keeps going about not being able to and her coworker friend was supposed to help, blah blah...I'm not sure she heard me.

"Really, I can do that. Not in PS yet, but right now in ipiccy, and I'm starting to learn PS."

ETA: AND my first batch of apple butter in years is coming along VERY nicely on the stove, thick and a lovely rich shade of brown, almost ready to put up. SisterRed is getting her groove back :)

Edited at 2014-09-25 03:18 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, I looove 04-05-06 and the photo collage effect is amazing!
I looove 04-05-06 and the photo collage effect is amazing!

Thank you! Those are def my faves of this bunch, and I didn't plan or expect them. (Which is always more fun that way.)

And the collage effect is fantastic when it works. (I'm surprised I don't see more people use it, but maybe it was a thing 10 years ago and is passé now?)The image that's under it has to be just "unrealistic" enough to make the entire thing work; otherwise it's too jarring a difference.
I really like the stakes series (From 13 to 16) And then 4, 6 and 9 because I like Sarah face + pretty colors. Oh and number 3! I love promo photos from S5, Sarah looks gorgeous in them.
I really like the stakes series (From 13 to 16)

Forgive me for not replying, dear! Thank you very much for the feedback. You know I had you in mind, as always - "Is there something pretty here that Kikimay would like?" is always on my project criteria list. :)

You like #9? Really? I had even more abstract versions of that but figured they'd be too weird, but I like it too. (The turquoise blue is the same homemade yogurt jar texture as in the winning icon. I'm getting a lot of mileage out of that one.)

Oh and number 3! I love promo photos from S5, Sarah looks gorgeous in them.

I could play with that photo set forever and not get bored.
These are fantastic!!
Congrats on your win.

P.S. Totally digging the blood splatter.
P.P.S. *hugs and love*
Thank you sweetie!

Totally digging the blood splatter.

Strangely, I am not surprised *lol* I knew you'd appreciate it, sweetie. (Wait until you see what else I've been doing with it.)
Never? (I beat you to the punch on that one? Oh, please forgive the gloat-y, sweetheart.) That's really kind of astonishing but it is cool, isn't it?

Thanks sweetie! Abd congrats on YOUR double win at Otherworldlyrics! speaking of which:

Totally digging the blood splatter.

Having now seen your winning entries, I am officially not surprised. :)
I like the skin tone in those very much as well. The only reason I didn't consider 6 as an entry was that I had fancier ones to show off, but I think 6 is a good example of keeping it simple.

The texture on her hair in the corner of 6 is me sharpening just that area and making the rest very soft. I only just learned how to do that selectively in ipiccy. I'm assuming I'll be able to do that in PSE?