Buffy Casablanca Poster poppy wreath  RS

Round 4 of btvsats20in20: Normal Again - Buffy Summers (with a little help from her friends)

My entries for Round 4 of btvsats20in20 continue the theme of the latest entries from starry_night and midnightisclose: Buffy, Buffy and more Buffy. As kikimay once noted, "Buffy contains multitudes." Starry and Midnight's sets are very different in styles to each other, both wonderful. Check them out here and here.

ETA 11/25/2014: I accidentally broke all my links to these icons the other day so there are only a handful of extras; the actual entries have been restored.

[Gallery ahead]
VERY IMAGE HEAVY ICON GALLERY AHEAD. My entries plus a treasure-trove of alts and extras. If I didn't made you smile or break your heart, I did something wrong. You tell me. Constructive criticism and feedback are of the good. As always, all snaggable, let me know, don't steal, hotlink, plagerize, do stupid stuff that would break my heart etc and so forth.

10 Themes
Dramatic Light Friendship Eyes Bite Motion
Weapon Lyrics Death Promo Picture Textured Background
5 Category |SHAPES
Cat 1 Cat 2 Cat 3 Cat 4 Cat 5
5 Artist's Choice
AC 1 AC 2 AC 3 AC 4 AC 5

Screencaps sourced from Pretty as a Picture, Buffyworld, and the sadly-defunct Screencap Paradise. Image of vintage bottle in Cat 2 courtesy of The Cuckoo Farm. Credit to bangel_4e and pickamix for the inspiration on the Weapon icon; many thank you's to both of them and to spikesredqueen for their advice and feedback; also to bangel_4e for once again graciously extending the deadline twice.

ETA: Credit to sweetiepebbles for the text brushes in the Bite and AC4 icons.


Do I have alts and extras?  Is the Pope Italian? Polish? Infaliable? A closet case? Never mind. Last round I decided not to post my alts and extras "until after the voting was over"; I still have yet to do so and it didn't help or hurt my cause in any case.velvetwhip, snogged, spikesredqueen, teragramm and chasingdemons have all advised me to not be so anxious about competition and show off the pretties. So this time here's a full gallery exhibition, not including some miscellaneous banners and posters for a later date. Enjoy an amuse-bouche:





I had so much fun with the Buffy & Xander icons, you have no idea. (I used a photo of my stainless steel frypan because I couldn't find a cap that showed Buffy hitting him with the skillet.) "He had it coming, he had it coming / He only had himself to blame...."  (If you're about to say that so and so male character is soo much superior to Xander, however, I'm going to respectfully disagree with you. ALL the guys on the show do some stupid stuff. Yes, ALL.)


Warning: "mature" language


If Fritz Lang had directed BtVS - the poster art:






55-60 The "Skillet Moon" series.






Warning: possibly upsetting imagery below (88-90) or maybe it's just my overactive imagination on my personal Tilt o'Whirl o' Trauma (Pat.Pend.)


88-90 was going to be my "bite" entry  - can you see what I had in mind with these? It seemed like a really nifty concept- until it RL and suchforth made it a bit too upsetting even for me. I suspect someone else is going to love these, however.


I made a blood spattered version of 94, which just pushes past the PG rule of the comm. (So vague suggestive imagery in 88-90 drives me to upset but blood spatters are no prob? Explain me to me, please.) If you're interested in seeing those, let me know and I'll slip them to you under the table.

Wow, you keep getting better and better!!
The lights, blending and texture work in these are great!

Just..I can't see ac 2..it says image removed? :(
Thank you hon, it's such a compliment to know I'm improving.

The lights, blending and texture work in these are great!

My day has been made! *hugs* I really worked on light quality a lot because it's something I admire in the work of other folks - and do you remember when I entered round 1 I had no idea how to do a blend (or what a blend even was?)

And I just fixed AC2 thank you for the heads up! It looked fine when I hit post - I think sometimes PB is really finicky. It's been giving me all sorts of trouble lately.

I'm really glad you approve, I'm always nervous until I get the mod's blessing. :)

ETA to fix formatting. I would like to know why LJ is now only showing my default icon even when I chose another but oh well.

Edited at 2014-10-01 07:37 pm (UTC)
Your work is jaw-droppingly excellent! Bravissima! May I take some of these for later use? Wow!

You certainly may, my dear! Have all you like, art is for sharing!

Can you see why I was wanting to show them off?

And also, why I'm thinking of stepping back from 20in20 for at least a round or two (famous last words) - I have a huge backlog of posters and banners to show off too. And, take time to start learning Photoshop Elements. :)
Wow, you're technical skills are improving tremendously (and in what seems like a really short time), I'm impressed! *_*
Thank you! I hope to improve further - I was waiting until after this round so I can dive into Photoshop Elements 12 (my sweetie bought it, hurrah!)

and in what seems like a really short time

I made Moulin Rouge icons years ago as you know but then I stagnated because my tools remained the same, so I never advanced my craft. Having a better program that allows me to grow has made all the difference in the world in less than a year. My sweetie just got Photoshop Elements 12 (finally!) so I'm looking forward to diving into that.
Wow, these entries are so intense. It doesn't even is all about beauty (Even though there are some pretty icons) but such intensity and, I think, lot of empathy and emotion about the episode and for Buffy's mental state.

I especially like the 1 to 5 and 6 to 9 icons, because they are simpler and they focus on Buffy's face. I especially like number 4 because the light is warmer, although I think that number 5 has the same cold lighting of the episode. (I like dramatic light in the series you're presenting)

Then 12 - 13 - 14. These are the painful ones. I love them but they are so intense and ... really painful, You managed to give us a glimpse of an obsessed mind with the text that covers everything and repeats the same line. It's the endless obsessive thinking, the unhealthy fixation. You know that I tend to use my icons as avatars. Well, I hope I'll never use this icon of yours for that. :)

Other favorite is 38, which is, I think, the prettiest of the variants because I love the shade of blue you used in it and the crop.

Absolute best, in the aesthetic and meta way is number AC1 and the variant number 68, because you mixed the text and the image in a way that seems that Buffy is just realizing how lonely and destructive she is.

No wonder you were latish with this ... amazing work ... wow, they are stunning. I love Dramatic Light and Texture ... you are great at focussing in faces ... so expressive with your work.

Great Cat set ... espec Cat 1 (again a lovely close-up). That is something I find hard to do, yet you show so much, so simply.

All of your work has so many layers and textures .... stunning concentration.

Well done.
No wonder you were latish with this ... amazing work ... wow, they are stunning. I love Dramatic Light and Texture ... you are great at focussing in faces ... so expressive with your work.

Oh my goodness Deb I'm VERY latish with a reply and I do apologize! I thought I'd already replied to this. But not much to say at this point on my end except I adore you of course and I always appreciate your detailed feedback.

Great Cat set ... espec Cat 1 (again a lovely close-up).

Oh thank you! I was really proud of my Cat icons and love the "Skillet Moon" series if for no other reason than I learned how to make a photo of my cast-iron fry pan as a layer that glowed with light. (Wish I remembered how I did it, alas.) And I do so love using closeups and Sarah offers so much in Normal Again.

Where I'm weak is full figures, pairings and groupings, and distant shots, things you're better at.

stunning concentration.

*blushes* Oh thank you dear! So much.

I already sent you a reply earlier to another post but I'm feeling very frustrated by this round. Just not feeling the same enthusiasm - I think the lack of a boundary, of having to make a specific claim, is making it harder for me. I can do a rainbow of anything and that means no boundaries. Not good for Little Miss ADD.

Also? Everything I make turns out sepia and/or blue. Sometimes violet. But rainbow? Not so much. And everything is an entirely different style to each other, another downfall when it comes to these things: lack of cohesiveness.
I knew it!
I knew you could do this!!

You had absolutely no reason to be anxious about your work. You clearly demonstrate that you have the skills and abilities to shine. I am so impressed and so proud to see this set.

I wish you luck in the 20in20. :)
Oh sweetheart! - and now I really am teary-eyed. not just because I'm tired - and relieved. Your faith in me means so much.

Confession: once I started seeing other entries come in my anxiety started to fade away and I knew I could do it too. (Then I worried about getting them done on time!) I have so much more confidence in my abilities than I did just in Round 1 and it's not false modesty. But goodness having good tools, mentors, and a personal cheering section are so, so important. Without that - without you - I'd be nothing (to paraphrase Ms Bernhardt).

I wish you luck in the 20in20. :)

Thank you! *in tee-tiny stage whisper* I really want to win at least one award this round - not because of a miscount.*shifty eyes* I also have my sights set on winning at slayerstillness 1st second or 3rd place - it's the comm I've received the most awards for but never one of those three. *more shifty eyes, whistles innocently* Is that silly of me?

Oh, I finally got my hands on some tapes by Jewel a neighbor left behind so I thought of you when I was listening to Hands. I can image Tara listening to her back in the day.
- (Anonymous)
Thank you for the feedback! I just love the way the color came out, how rich it looks. (I'll pretend I remember how the heck I got them that way *lol*)

I went back and forth on submitting that one or #48 (blue background) but I thought the blue competed with Buffy for attention moreso than the other.

Now that I've finished this I hopefully have time to check out your doings. You've posted more fics?
Magic? Hard work? A better program? The advice and support of good friends with lots of examples to follow?

I'm so glad you saw these hon, thank you! I'm really pleased with how these came out and so happy you approve. I have been working on a lot of banners and projects I haven't shown off yet which is where I've been getting a lot of practice in. I LOVE working larger, especially since I started wearing bifocals a couple of months ago.
Wow! You've got a LOT of alts - it really shows how much care and precision you put into each icon. :)

Overall, I like your coloring muchly esp on Cat 1, Cat 4 and AC 1.

As for the Alts, I really like 53, and 78, 79, 80...oh and 67 - nice coloring and texture and well I'm just a big fan of textless, in case you haven't noticed.
it really shows how much care and precision you put into each icon. :)

it's amazing what you can do with a combination of unemployment and fanatical obsessiveness I mean, hard work and dedication *ahem*

Thank you for the feedback!

I like your coloring muchly esp on Cat 1, Cat 4 and AC 1.

Those are some of my favorites. I worked very consciously to push myself with color and light this round, so I'm pleased it worked for you.

I really like 53

53 or 54 was going to be my textured background icon, and they're still among my favorites. But as you can see I love that particular shot of Sarah. If it hadn't been pushing the rules I would have used it a lot more. *lol*

Wow! These are terrific! I agree with what others have said - your work keeps getting better and better. You've always had a great eye for cropping, and your colouring and lighting is great!

And that is definitely a lot of alts, lol. But I love seeing the different variations. And I have to say 78-82 are amazing! I love the blending of the images and the different colourings.
Oh thank you very very muchly! You're one of the artists I want to be when (if) I grow up, you know. :D

And your feedback is well nigh appreciated because I worked very very consciously on color and light effects this round and trying to improve clarity and "translucency" which I admire so much in other people's work.

I have to say 78-82 are amazing!

Thanks! You're at least the second person to single those out., they're not my favorites but they were fun to work on - they were cropped from a banner I made first and then downsized, etc. I was indulging myself with those. I do love color variations but you already know that.