Buffy Casablanca Poster poppy wreath  RS

My Entries for Round 5 of btvsats20in20: A Muted Rainbow of Buffyverse Women starring Buffy Summers

The only theme for Round 5 of btvsats20in20 is "Rainbow" and we were given a lot of latitude in terms of how were were allowed to interpret it.  As much as I love rich jewel-toned colors I went rather muted with these (in contrast to my Round 4 entries.) There was no real organizing principle beyond that.  I enjoyed working in a wide range of styles and trying my hand at new techniques, from simple crops to complicated blends.

1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20


As I am running behind with this post (apologies to starry_night and the other artists who got their work in on time), alts and extras will be posted separately. (And I have many, trust.)

(FYI: The two Willow icons are my favorites of the Willow/Vamp Willow icons I made. I should have made these all Buffy for continuity but I loved #1 & 4 just too damn much not to include them here. I wish I had really planned this better from the get-go and included more Buffyverse women.)
Thank you! Your choices are particularly nifty because they occupy the exact opposite ends of the naturalistic-to-stylized aesthetic spectrum from one another.
Oh my GAWD! These are wonderful! And you are so right to include #1 and #4 because they are outstanding. I especially adore the colouring in #1. Wow! I also really love #6 and #10. I find them incredibly affecting, and the effects in #8 and #18 impress me as well!



Edited at 2014-11-12 07:09 am (UTC)
THANK YOU sweetheart! My first reply got swallowed by Lj btw - but you've named some of my favorites here, no surprise. I knew you'd appreciate the vintage postcard/old movie coloring of #1. :D

The Willow icons are my gift to you and my friends in Willow fandom (is there a shorter phrase for that? "My Willow Posse"? *lol*) but they wouldn't be here if I were second-rate; #1 & 4 made me happy just to look at them so that decided the issue.

The same is true of #6 & 10 - I almost didn't enter them because I worried they were too simple, just cropping and adjustments but as with the Willow images I liked them far too much to leave out. It's all about the faces for me. This was my first time working with a lot of early seasons Willow and Buffy images and I definitely want to do more!

Thank you for singling out #8 and 18; I'm not as sure of 8 as an entry (too much repeat of 6 and I wasn't aware of that when it was midnight and I was bleary-eyed); I did a lot of work this round experienting with blending and layers - but it shows up especially in the larger poster art I did concurrently with these. (Wait until you see the poster versions of #18. *wicked chuckle*)
Lovely work! I'm so impressed by your iconning skills!

2, 3, 6, and 17 just astound me. Where is the cap in #3 from? I can't seem to even place the season, though I guess from the hair it's S1? #6 looks like it's from Prophecy Girl, in Buffy's scene with Xander. I love the complexity in her facial expression and the icon does great justice to it.

#17 -- I've wondered at times why I don't see more work done with that moment. Her face is so raw, the moment is so intense and gritty. I love the gray background you added there, and how you cropped the image.
Thank you so much for the kind words! (And how are you doing btw?)

Where is the cap in #3 from?

Once More With Feeling

my original "plan" was to do a rainbow set just from OMWF because there is so much wonderful color in that ep - and because BUFFY HAIRPORN FTW. I was also inspired by the lyrics of the Melissa Etheridge song from 1992 "Dance without Sleeping" when I made these.

I love the complexity in her facial expression and the icon does great justice to it.

This comment makes me all kinds of happy! that was a shot I had forgotten existed until I was working on this set. I wasn't going to include that icon because I thought it might be "too simple", too plain but I love her face so in that image (and it's an amazingly good quality image for an earlly seasons cap). I'm very glad you think I did it justice! The original is a surprisingly high quality image for an early seasons screencap btw.

I've wondered at times why I don't see more work done with that moment

Indeed! Many times my favorite icons by other people are ones that have me saying that exact thing, so I try for that in my own icons.

But the images from this particular scene even in the best caps (see link above) are tricky because she's in motion nearly the entire time, hence the graininess of #3 & 17, so I can see why people don't icon it more. But THAT FACE, OMG - I could have done a set just of her in that single scene. Her face in #17 is similar to the expression in the BoTN image I recently did poster art for, btw, I don't know if you saw that but what Sarah can do with her eyes amazes me. (And then she played Buffybot with that blank-eyed stare and how is that even possible?)

BTW- I rec'd your Buffyverse vids to elisi yesterday so your "ears" must be burning - or you notification system is actually working *lol*
- (Anonymous)
Wow thank you! 1 & 2 are among of my favorites, but I wasn't sure about 15. I've made another version of that without the second layer (the edge of the morgue table) but I still prefer this one for whatever reason. I really experimented a lot with layers this round. I'm so glad this works for you sweetheart! This is the alt version with and without text:

Maybe this should have been my entry instead but that's what happens when you work to the last - I didn't have time to think about these. But I'm not as interested in this one either - I like the mystery of the layered version.

It's possible I'll be disqualified this round btw because I finished and hit the "post" button at 12:14am, and the deadline was midnight. And if that's the case I'm ok with that, I had fun and learned a lot. Good luck to you on your entries btw! I'm enjoying everyone else's work anew.

Edited at 2014-11-12 05:32 pm (UTC)
My favorites are 1, 2, 4, 10, 13 and 14. I have to hurry and I can't comment more appropriately, but good job!
Thank you very much Kiki! 1,2, 4 & 10 seem to be audience favorites - and among my own too, early season Sarah and Aly's faces were SO WONDERFUL to work with! It made me want to do more because they made my heart all melty - my girls!

but I'm glad you like 13 and 14 too - 13 I was happy with the crop and clarity, unusual for me in an image that isn't a close up, but I just liked it. (And I needed a green entry - green is so hard to work with!) Season 5 is filled with great images of ALL the female characters and some of my favorite moments in the series why don't I icon that season more often?

And I posted an alt version of the Body icon upthread to pickamix with explanation, I liked the version I submitted better for the mystery of it but now I'm not so sure. I like that I kept Dawn's ring in the crop, that detail makes the hand her's:
These look so pretty!

My favorites are 4, 10, 17, 18, 20!
Thank you sweetheart! The Willow icons are among my favorite too so I had to include them - as well as a gift for my friends in Willow fandom. The early seasons images of Willow and Buffy are marvelous when you get a cap with the right amount of light, etc.

17 was one of the first ones i made along with 3 - my original plan was actually to do all an OMWF rainbow, the way teragramm did Becoming pt1&2 for hers - but I can never stick to a plan *lol* Good thing, I got distracted by images from other eps like Nightmares (18 & 20)
As ever, and as I expected, great work.

It was hard picking my favourites, but narrowed it down to - 1, 4, 14, 16, 18, 20

Well done - I especially like the inspiration of 7 & 20 ... it's hard to work a new image, isn't it?
Thank you for the compliments Deb! The fact that you had trouble narrowing down favorites is a huge compliment - and the reason it took me so long to post these!

You noticed #16! *does happy dance* All your choices all solid ones, dear (I would say that wouldn't I? I like all my babies) but 16 was one of the earliest ones I made, along with the OMWF icon #3 - I listening to Melissa Etheridge's song from 1992 "Dance without Sleeping" when I made those, and throughout the process of making these - it's perfect for Buffy.

7 (and #2) came from the same image - I made a banner that blended the image in nightmares (used in 18 and 20) with the image from Chosen, then cropped and downsized; probably the only way I could have gotten those effects. I go back and forth a lot now between starting pieces out as icons and making banners first that I crop or alter.

20 was me trying to use a Buffy initial I found online but not knowing how to eliminate the edges of that layer without carefully cropping the letter which is such a bother - so I just left the edges and called them a design component. *lol* I actually think it works.

it's hard to work a new image, isn't it?

It can be - a lot of these are new for me - and I don't necessarily know why. The Tara one was harder than I expected. I've done her before and she has a lovely face but not necessarily an easy one to icon. Kristine Sutherland reminds me a little bit of Susan Sarandon but prettier and she's got some interesting features; I thought she'd be easier to do but I keep having problems getting her right. The same with Dawn and I really wanted to do more Dawn icons. But I also have the same problem with Spike and Angel;

used to think it was an aversion to male faces but now I think I just do better with some faces than others? Because I tried to do icons of all of those characters. I seem to do best with Aly and Sarah, there must be something about their features I gravitate toward - particularities of their eyes, noses and mouths (the things I gravitated toward when I watched the series, actually.)
Thank you so much! I love both of those but I'm really happy with how most of these turned out. I haven't worked with so many images of Buffy in the early seasons as I did here, and it was really poignant for me, being reminded of the journey she takes and the fresh hells she endures.

Early seasons caps are either a joy to work with, or hopelessly muddy. Not a lot of middle ground.

And a very happy birthday to you! I've been trying for days to get this finished so tardiness in the wishes. I haven't a card or pretty specifically for you, so I'd like to make an offer for your birthday of a fic poster for one of your buffyverse posters if you like.
The skin tones on these are lovely and skin tones are very hard. I especially like #1, 9, 10 and14
Thank you very much! Your favorites are some of mine too, but I'm pretty happy with these.

skin tones are very hard

Maybe that explains why so many of my icons end up in various shades of sepia! *lol* even in this challenge when I had the chance to go riot with color if I wished. What tends to be hardest for me in that regard is correcting areas of shine on faces (the ambrotype filter in ipiccy is great for letting me see where there are "hot spots" when I'm working with light skin tones.)

The skin tones that were hardest for me this round were the icons for The Body - trying to get a sense of "dead flesh" to Joyce while keeping Dawn's hand warm and pink but not too much so.

I've only attempted "non-white" skin tones a few times, on Olivia from btvs and the way they shot and lit her was absolutely awful in the caps. I want to do some icons of Viola Davis from How to Get Away with Murder and I'm nervous about getting her skin right.

LOVING the muted take - what an original idea. Now to try and choose favourites!

Love the clarity and crop of #1 - and the strength of her expression. A story going on there. 5 is gorgeous for it's warmth of colour and clarity - love the light washing in from the right too. The 'crispness' of that one is really accomplished, sweetie! 6 is gorgeous - lovely washed out colour but everything is well defined and nothing lost to the brightness of the icon. I find that really difficult to achieve sometimes and you've really nailed it there. I love the colour in 9 and the softness contrasted to the definition on her features etc. Beautiful work.10 is just an utterly gorgeous crop and I adore the clarity again - your skills are showing! Love the turn of her head in 11 - great cap choice. 13 is lovely and bright and clear. I also love 16, with the coloured grainy background and the contrast with the B&W foreground.

Great set, sweetie!
Detailed feedback! Thank you so much *SQUEES*

I have to give credit for the idea of a "muted" rainbow to the superb entries oviedo for 20inspirations: http://ailesfragiles.livejournal.com/19757.html

Hers is far superior of course; but her set did inspire me to think outside the box in terms of saturation for this set. (of course "desaturated" seems to be my default mode anyway most of the time.)

You picked up a lot of my favorites here - I'm surprised by how well some of the most "naturalistic" ones came out. Thank you again for the detailed comments - I love knowing not just what people like but why, whenever possible.

Love the turn of her head in 11 - great cap choice.

Thank you! I almost entered a CU version of that, cropping just the hair and face in the frame but I liked the classical "painterly" quality of the one I entered. 6 of one, half dozen of the other.
Thank you so much! 2 and 16 are two of my very favorite entries.

Were you not able to get your entries in for this round, or have you gotten an extension? I was looking forward to seeing what you came up with.
These are great! And I love the muted colours - when people hear rainbow most of the time their ideas go to the brighter, vibrant shades but the colours in this one are beautifully done and I think they work really well with the images you've used. I also really love your cropping in all of these. Your close crops, in particular, are terrific and capture the emotion really well.

My favourites are:
#1 - Great crop and clarity, and I love the subtle pops of colour.
#4 - Love the blend of the two Willows and how the images you chose highlight the difference between the two - the wide eyed innocence of Willow and the more seductive Vamp Willow.
#5 - Love the warm colours and the contrast and clarity of the image is beautiful.
#10 - Just gorgeous - the crop and the colouring, it's truly gorgeous!
#11 - Love the simplicity of this one. The centre crop works really well with this image.
#14 - Great crop, and I love the colours and the splash of light to the side.
#16 - Excellent use of a B&W/Colour mix. The image contrasts well with the background (also, great image choice).
#17 - Fabulous crop. It shows the raw emotion Buffy was feeling and the colours work really well.
#19 - It's just so pretty.
Detailed feedback is my crack cocaine, baby! *squees*

Thank you for the lovely comments, sweetie, they're a pleasure to read. And it's such a compliment that not only is your favorites list long but that you can say exactly why you like each one.

1 & 4 are definitely two of my favorites! I spent too much time worrying that the set wasn't "consistent" enough if i put them in (because it's mostly about Buffy here) but they made me happy. and - BONUS! - it gave me an excuse to include the Tara icon #19. Which yes, pretty is exactly what I was going for there. And that one was one of the hardest images to icon, believe it or not. Something about the image quality I think.

Speaking of, #12 is your "fault" thank you! I got it from the smg-france site you recommended and found screen captures from an outtake from Dead Things I've never seen anywhere else. i found a lot of great images on that site, thank you for the recommendation!

5, 10, 16 and 17 are among my favorites so I'm pleased you noticed them. Not many people have singled out 16 but I adore that image, it's so strong IMO - definitely very raw emotions there.

The motion and light and color in 11 is just stunning. A+++ work omg yesssss
Oh gosh thank you! This is just - thank you hon!

(You are talking about the Ted icon, right? I love the painterly quality I got in that one - it reminds me of flemish or mid-victorian genre paintings. )
Okay, I scrolled past the 20in20 posting and you know what? The preview images, in the order they were displayed, were ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. I don't know what you did, but you rocked round 5.

I'm using the season 5 icon you made because you can see how much you've improved by comparison - that was made a while ago, and it is extremely pretty, but round 5 shows how much you've improved in technique and tricks you use. I'd love to comment on all of them individually, but I really need to get some online applications done - I have four due December 1. The good news is USC extended their date to December 1, the bad news is it already was a very busy day.

(Oh, and my whole LJ break thing? I think I lasted maybe two days? Never believe me when I say something like that).

(Oh, and my whole LJ break thing? I think I lasted maybe two days? Never believe me when I say something like that).

What? And I wasted a very noble and unselfish speech! :P Yeah, I kind of knew it. Not that I mind, sweetie. You actually sounded like me when I make my periodic "I'm swearing off Spuffy/shipping/fanfiction" pronouncements. Except you have better reasons.

I don't know what you did, but you rocked round 5.

THANK YOU! I was kind of anxious what you'd think. And I have to be fair and give you credit because your beta comments about round 4 were in my head when I was making these. I didn't and don't agree with everything and sometimes I'd be arguing with you in my head but I was aware of what you said even when I wasn't conscious of it: trying to be more subtle and controlled with colors, textures, layers. All I needed was a WWLT? bracelet.

And I think your comments helped make this set better, I honestly do. And that's what a beta is supposed to do so - THANK YOU. (Now I'm wondering why I haven't done better this round but I just got some bad RL news yesterday so I'm not ready for beta comments - and you've got to get school shit done. And I did all but forget to include the color green, which is probably a mark against me.)

BTW - did you vote yet? *hint hint* AND where are you with the application process? I'll let you off the hook for voting if it means you get your apps done on time. THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT.