Spuffy Hands Listening to Fear RSD

So close you can feel it: Awards banners and icons for Whedon Elite "Close Crop"

Congratulations to the winners of whedon_elite Challenge 127 "Close Crop" marishna, everythingshiny, sweet_lyri and sandy_s!  WE has gone from strength to strength in terms of themes and this was no exception; artists responded to the challenge with a remarkable batch of entries.  I love close-cropped icons so this was a little bit of heaven getting to work with them for the banners. Many thanks to my remarkable Muse-Goddess velvetwhip for her feedback:

Banners by yours truly, icons by their respective creators, 2015.  See the winners here and all the entries here.
More banners and my icons after the cut:

we127_1stplacebanner_marishna2.png we127_2ndplacebanner_everythingshiny2.png we127_bestcolorbanner_everythingshiny2.png we127_modschoicebanner_crazycordy.png qwe127_BMCbanner_sandy_s.png
Click on the images above to see the banner full-size.

I awarded Banner Maker's Choice to sandy_s. I had a really tough time choosing among the entries for BMC but went with the FFL icon because of it's emotional intensity and focus, and the physicality of Buffy's tear and her skin.

For this banner I went back to the original photo of my landlord's yellow rose, cropped and altered it in ipiccy; added a reproduction antique wallpaper in the background because I liked the contrast between the genuine rose and the ones in the background (although even the real one looks astonishingly fake thanks to the softening and sepia filters.) I chose the color scheme in part because I thought it would compliment but not compete with the skin tones in the icons.

My entries - all icons snaggable, please credit:

Whedon Elite 127 Sept 2015 entry1 Whedon elite 127 sept 2015 entry2 whedon elite 127 sept 2015 entry3 1 - 3


parkerbuffyharshlightofdayiconrsd2015_1.1a.png parkerbuffyharshlightofdayiconrsd2015_1.7.png parkerbuffyharshlightofdayiconrsd2015_1.3.png parkerbuffyharshlightofdayiconrsd2015_1.4.png theyokofactortarashandicon3.2_RSD.png tarahandicon1.2.png 4 - 9

Because everyone else focused on faces I decided to close-crop hands instead. Hand symbolism in the Buffyverse is one of my favorite subjects, but instead of the handfastings in Hush and Chosen I chose less famous or at least less frequently iconned images: Buffy and Parker in Harsh Light of Day, Willow and Tara's Grave in Help and Tara/Willow in The Yoko Factor.

Of alts my favorite is #9 and I wanted to use that one but decided it wasn't a close enough crop. It's a great, understated moment, aside from the creepily voyeuristic "Spike's POV when he realizes the girls are lovers and figures out a way to get under their skin and upset them to help Adam" of it. Or maybe that's part of the point, because it parallels a similar moment in This Year's Girl where Faith watches Buffy play with Riley's hands and comes to a similar conclusion. Those two moments also make the arguement that W/T is every bit as "legitimate" a relationship as B/R. (Which was important to establish in the hetereosexual landscape of American television at the time.)

#9 is my favorite alt but I decided it wasn't a close enough crop for the theme. I like the contrast between Tara's strong looking hand and delicate embroidery on her blouse, and the softness of Willow's hair and sweater.  I also think that of the Buffy/Parker icons I might prefer alt #4 to my first entry, but hindsight is 20/20 and all that jazz.

A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ Take what  icons you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)
~ All artwork by yours truly except where otherwise indicated.
Visual art is something I watch and wonder at because it's so out of my wheelhouse.

They are all beautiful in their different ways - so much nuance in their different ways behind each crop, so huge kudos to all of them.
I feel exactly the same way about (good) fiction, actually. And thank you so much!

BTW, 1 - 2 years ago I was the one staring at artwork and commissioning work from other people (especially banners) because I had no idea what textures, layers or blends were never mind how to manipulate them. I've been lucky to meet some great artists in this fandom who have been mentors and teachers.
Awww, I actually really liked your very original idea to use body details (hands, tbs) for the close crops, although in the end I picked the faces because CLOSE CROP + FACES = KIKI'S SWEETEST DOWNFALL. So sorry! >O<

I really like the simple variants 4 and 8. Your banners are lovely.
although in the end I picked the faces because CLOSE CROP + FACES = KIKI'S SWEETEST DOWNFALL. So sorry!

Don't be! I expect folks on my f'list to vote for what they like best, not vote for me "just because." And I love knowing the reasoning why people vote the way they do. Me, i adore close crops of faces gosh knows - it was a hard decision not to submit icons of faces this time.

Your banners are lovely.

Thank you so much!
I love two....it's my fave...because it's such a poignant moment. And I also really like the clarity of 4 and 9. You're right...there is a delicate balance in the image of 9 between hard and soft that's just lovely.

And awww...you're so sweet! I'm so excited that you picked my icon! *HUGS* And the banner is gorgeous! (I'm new to this banner thing...what do you do with them? Forgive my ignorance...I will, of course, be saving it forever on my computer at home!)


Edited at 2015-10-08 08:25 pm (UTC)
Oh thank you Sandy!

I knew I wanted one of your icons as my BMC but the question was which one? Such a tough decision, I really mulled over that one for a long time.

what do you do with them?

Oh well I post mine to my profile page (which is in need of updating) and keep them in an album in my scrapbook
http://red-satin-doll.livejournal.com/photo/album/2672?page=1 as well as post about them here and store on my computer.
I have a feeling putting them on my profile page isn't the most practical thing in the world - its gonna get too long but I love showing off, what can i say?

Other folks like tempertemper and sweet_lyri have a post on their LJ just for banners (especially if they have a journal dedicated just for artwork)

And there used to be someone in this fandom (no longer active) who created a "poster" with miniature versions of all her awards that she could constantly add to it and had that on her profile page.

Or you can do none of the above. Most people don't make a fuss about their awards but I LOVE giving and receiving them!
Beautiful work on the banners and the icons.
I love how you chose the hands as your subject matter.
thank you so much sweetie!

I almost did icons of faces but I didn't think I could outdo what was already entered and wanted to try something different.