Buffy/Tara Dead Things Solace RSD

She isn't that girl anymore: Art for "Who's That Girl" by Velvetwhip for Gen Mini-Fic Exchange

Poster for "Who's That Girl" by velvetwhip (2015). Gabrielle's splendid story is the first entry in Round One of buffy_genfic mini-fic exchange, hosted by kwritten. The story is based on a prompt from aliceinkinkland: Inanimate Object: leather jacket. Three elements you'd like included: season six setting, Tara & Buffy friendship, blood as a metaphor for both death and life.
And of course, there are icons to go with:

[Once upon a time there was a brave and bright eyed Slayer....]

whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_rsd2015_3.1.png whosethatgirliconforvelvetwhip_rsd2015_2.2.png whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_RSD2015_2.1.png   whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_RSD2015_6.1.png1 - 4

whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_rsd2015_4.2.png   whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_RSD2015_5.1.png whosthatgirliconforgabrielle_rsd2015_4.1.png   whosthatgirliocnRSD2015_1.1.png 5 - 9

The stitching overlay is from a photograph of black leather. I wanted an image of Buffy wearing Angel's jacket from S1, but I couldn't find a screencap that showed the jacket clearly or that conveyed the mood I wanted. Then I noticed that a shot in Teacher's Pet when she first receives it is echoed almost exactly in a shot in Wrecked. I was going to set them side by side on the poster but decided to layer the earlier screencaps atop the later one. The image of Buffy is now a bit more "illustrative" than photographic per se; she looks melancholy and elegant; I matched her features pretty well but there is still something slightly, almost imperceptively "off" that suits the story and Buffy's mindsetvery well. You'd have to really look to notice. It's Buffy but just slightly altered so that the image no longer belongs to any episode in particular.

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Click to enlarge. Teacher's Pet cap from Bloodqueen Gallery; Wrecked and Tabula Rasa (Tara) caps from Leave Me the White.
Tara was more difficult, simply because there are far fewer images of her. (Even searching for images from other movies and tv appearances turned up next to nada.) The red-pink around her throat and chest is from a light texture by lookslikerain; and I like it in part because it subtly evokes her fate at the end of the season. I let her face emerge from deep shadows mostly to cover up that awful, awful you-gotta-be-kidding-me "hairstyle" they gave her in Tabula Rasa.

Alternative versions of the poster, including the two earlier rejected versions (click images to enlarge to full-size).
Textures by lookslikerain and colorfilter.

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ETA: Everyone calls #10 "the gold one" (L) including me, so "the gold one" is shall remain.  (As opposed to the official "mood indigo" version at top which Gabrielle herself chose. I love them both. Can you see my dilemma?)

whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.8b500sq_RSD2015.png       whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.11a500sq_RSD2015.png 12 - 13

whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.12b500sq_RSD2015.png       whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.10c500sq_RSD2015.png 14 - 15

whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.10f500sq_RSD2015.png     whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.10ee500sq_RSD2015.png 16 - 17

whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.10a500sq_RSD2015.png     whosthathgirlposterforvelvetwhip_v3.8c500sq_RSD2015.png 18 - 19

This first two versions of the poster design, using a photo of black leather as both the background and the primary texture. In theory it's nifty, in execution, annoying. The cross in #21 is from a design by a company called Affliction on one of their leather jackets. This was my first go at layer two versions of Buffy's face, and it's even more like a drawing than the final version. I tried the same with Tara in #21, layering shot from OAFA and Tabula Rasa, but it didn't look as interesting. Something was missing. Switching out Tara's profile from TR so that she seems to be looking at Buffy makes the composition more dynamic and suits Gabrielle's story better. "Seeing" - not merely looking but truly seeing and paying attentioon - is a very important theme in the story.

version 1 rejected fanfic poster for Who's That Girl by Velvetwhip Affliction cross variant, light textures by lookslikerain Version 2 second draft for Velvetwhip Buffy and Tara ten fanfic Who's That Girl 21 - 22

The Usual:
~ Take what you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments are appreciated :)

I LOVE THIS ART!!!! You are beyond gifted at capturing the themes in my work. Have I told you how grateful I am? Well, I'm telling you again... and again... and again... and again...

You may tell me as many times as you wish, I never tire of hearing it!

I can't say enough how grateful I am that my work resonates with you, that it honors the story you told; or how grateful I am to be inspired by your work time and again!
That's a really gorgeous banner. I love the colours and that's a great font. The other versions are very interesting so it's fascinating to see how you arrived at the final one, which is the one that works best for me.
Thank you for the feedback!

The way I arrived at the final version? The Cliff notes version is: I show my initial designs (with alts) to velvetwhip, she offers helpful feedback and either picks out a version, or I go back to the drawing board as I did here. I throw the new versions at her with all alts, she chooses.
So beautiful! Where did you get Buffy's image? I don't remember it (And yes, I kinda know almost every frame at this point. Kiki = nerd loser XD)

I do love the variants with cold colors. So amazing. I generally prefer warm ones, but the first variant and icon number 1 are just perfection. That shade of blue is lovely. Oh, and the gold one! <3
Oh gosh thank you so so much sweetheart!

I don't remember it

That's because it doesn't exist in exactly that form. It's two screencaps layered together. The fact that you, an expert on all things Buffy Summers, couldn't tell it was a new image is a HUGE compliment, Kiki!

Look again at the post - I added thumbnails of the two screencaps I layered to create Buffy's image, they're from Teacher's Pet and Wrecked.

nerd loser XD)

That better be tongue in cheek, missy otherwise I call bullshit on that. ;) Nerds are IN, baby. Nerds RULE.

the first variant and icon number 1 are just perfection

THANK YOU velvetwhip selected that poster variant as her favorite for the story. I tossed all of these plus a few more at her and let her decide. Her taste and eye are superb.

Then she also picked icon #2 - so cool banner, warm icon, all bases covered!

I love both the deep blue and the gold one (10) too.

That's because it doesn't exist in exactly that form. It's two screencaps layered together. The fact that you, an expert on all things Buffy Summers, couldn't tell it was a new image is a HUGE compliment, Kiki!

Look again at the post - I added thumbnails of the two screencaps I layered to create Buffy's image, they're from Teacher's Pet and Wrecked.

Wow! That some sort of manip I think, right? Amazing!

The gold variant is just love. More Buffy + gold, honestly. She inspires that sort of fierce royalty IMO. But I do love when you mix blue and red/pink. *points at icon*

That some sort of manip I think, right?

You know, I think you may be right....cool. (I don't think the distinction between what is and isn't a manip isn't as clear cut as it seems. )
Oooh, so pretty. And it does fit the story, so well.

I thought the blue one was perfect, but then I saw the others, and now I can't decide which one is my favorite. I think the blue-tinged one probably matches the mood of the story best, but the others, especially the gold one (the second) are all gorgeous in different ways.
Thank you sweetie! (And hey there you, Ms EF Author of the Month! *lol*)

I couldn't decide either, which is why I threw them all in Gabrielle's lap and let her choose. I love them all for different reasons (and these are not all the alts of that poster btw, so Gabrielle had others to try to pick from.)

I think mood wise she went with the right choice. the gold one (every one calls it "the gold one" and I know what they mean. Cute) gets mentioned a lot and it's one of my favorites too. I have a tendency to add lots of textures and go crazy because I can and it's fun, then pull back afterwards.
Gorgeous! I agree with the choice of Number One, but "the gold one" is a close second. The stitching is a great detail! And I love how extra shiny you made Buffy's hair look with the blend. Finally, Tara just looks so beautiful and noble, she really "makes" the picture. (And you did a good job at hiding her awful hairdo!)
The stitching is a great detail!

Thank you! I tried adding it to the "gold one" - it looks great in the icon but not the poster, because of the elegant cursive font, it's too much detail.

It's funny how I love to play with effects and go "too far" when making a poster, but then I usually need to pull myself back a bit and ending preferring something simpler.

I guess I'm not unlike the guys in college when I went who loved to play with the effects on the new video editing suite - sometimes (often) to the detriment of story they were making. Shiny new toy! And I'm still very much learning what I can do in ipiccy. So making mistakes and going overboard sometimes is part of that.

I love how extra shiny you made Buffy's hair look with the blend.

I'm super-pleased how that came out! I had to remake the image so the earlier version is the practice shot and I couldn't reproduce that exactly but this is better. I know I had the top image (teacher's pet) set on Lighten and played with the opacity, I may have set the wrecked image on lighten or screen as well but I'm not sure.

And yes, Tara is the lynchpin here, it's her looking that pulls the picture - and the story - together and rouses Buffy for just a moment from her pity-party. (Not to be hard on Buffy, because I love her loads and loads. But I live with depression, have for years, and I know that road. It's so easy to go down. Then again I was never resurrected either, so it's not as if she isn't entitled to her feelings.)

Thank you sweetie; I do too. (Hope I manage to cope, that is. *blinks* Ok I did not mean for that to rhyme but - gotta be a song lyric in there somewhere, maybe? A bumper sticker?)
Beautiful work! And I love seeing all your versions and how you arrrived at the final version.
Thank you kindly ma'am!

I originally wrote a longer version of this (that disappeared before I could post, probably of the good. The images tell far more than I can explain about the process. Worth a thousand words and all that jazz.)