Saturday, 28 January 2012

Colour Challenge Week 5 - Patina

This confused me for a moment, as I have never heard patina used as an adjective; but wiktionary says "Of a green colour, tinted with grey, like that of bronze patina." Well, fair enough then - can't say I'm not learning new things with this challenge! :D In the UK though, we'd be more likely to call this colour 'verdigris'.

One of the biggest and most famous patinaed bronze statues is, of course, the Statue of Liberty; and Rudh helpfully reminded me that I had exactly such an outfit in my server-eclipsing inventory - she knows better than me what's in my own hoard! I don't like to just wing these challenges on the back of someone else's creativity though, so I devised an alien statue, a reflection of Lady Liberty in another time and space, and the perfect environment in which to display her. I also re-tinted the outfit, which wasn't the exact shade required but was mod (yay!) and re-tinted the particle torch flames to match. There is a little story to go with this avatar, in the style of early 20th century SFF/horror writer H.P. Lovecraft and in honour of the photographic location, which apart from the fabulous builds (all by the designer, Tekelili Tantalus) has the most gorgeous windlight setting - I just could not stop taking pictures and it was hard to choose those which best told the story rather than simply showing off! All of the pictures are untouched, imported 'as is' from SL camera upload. I highly recommend you go to see this location in-world, and browse his store.


Exerpt from the diary of Nathalie Ingoldstadt, astral adventurer.
"... Dawn broke over the horizon in waves of rose and verdigris like the Aurora Borealis as I flew across the sea, travelling as an arrow of thought towards a strange island. Even from afar, the haunting, alien beauty of the architecture impressed itself upon my mind, an impression which was to grow stronger and more disturbing as I approached, even as I appreciated the delicacy and skill of construction.

As the sun rose into the sky, illuminating the scene before me, I could pick out the individual buildings along the shore-front, gleaming each with differently coloured light in their irregular windows. My mind took in fleeting, fantastical impressions: gargantuan statues intermingled with the architecture as though an army of behemoths from the ocean depths had arisen to take over the island, but were turned by some defensive sorcery to stone, invasion transformed in an instant to dream-like adornment. A great tower thrust up at the edge of the settlement, its lineaments of strange, non-Euclidean proportions which teased at my perception. Behind all loomed a monstrous mountain carved into the likeness of an alien, brooding face, full of malignant calm like the spirit of a slumbering volcano given anthropomorphic expression. The colours over everything were strange, discernible to my eye and yet of no shade or hue I had ever before perceived in nature; fey, discordant and unnameable, as though the whole spectrum of visible light had been shifted into a new rainbow of eldritch tones.

As I arrowed ever closer on wings of thought, it seemed as though my path converged upon a building at the forefront of the alien town, as it were an observatory or temple, perched upon a small promontory of rock in the mouth of the harbour. The building seemed rougher and less ornate than those on the island main, altogether simpler in design. That, together with the aged patina of the workmanship, suggested that it was much, much older than the buildings behind. Altogether, without any particular evidence to support the theory, it gave me the singular and unshakeable impression that it was guarding the island; squatting in the harbour like some armoured beast, patient, watchful and enduring since time immemorial.

I drew closer, intrigued and yet a little fearful, and perceived a statue atop the structure, facing out to sea and almost directly along the line of my approach. The greyish green of corroded bronze, it blended seamlessly with the ancient roof dome before which it stood. The figure was startling in its familiarity, for unlike the louring creatures of the island statuary, this ancient sentinel was cast in the likeness of a human woman. She wore a seven-pointed crown and flowing robes which caught the light and shimmered like seawater, and held aloft a square tablet or book of some kind, and a torch whose flames burned with a sickly, greenish hue. As I approached, some symbols decorating the skirt of her robes seemed to writhe and reassemble in my sight, transforming from some alien alphabet to my own familiar tongue, and I saw that the inscription read 'LIBERTY'. I was amazed, and filled with speculation, for an itch of memory which had been tickling the back of my mind now surfaced in triumphant awe, and I recognised the statue in this land so far from my world and time; different from, yet so strikingly similar to that it could not be mere coincidence, that famous statue of the modern world, the noble Lady Liberty of New York.

Eagerly I approached yet nearer, desiring to inspect fully this strange convergence of alien and human workmanship and ideas. All was the same corroded green of ancient bronze, even the hair which by some trick of the light or amazing skill of the sculptor seemed to stir in the light sea breeze. Only her skin was not the same metallic patina as the rest, but dark, almost like raw cast iron. The book in outstretched hand was not (as would have been, not merely incongruous but absurd) the American Declaration of Independence, but some esoteric tome whose sole and puzzling ornament, repeated over the lintel of the doorway beneath her feet, was a rather rough-drawn pentagram; an oddly proportioned star of five points within a circle, containing some kind of stylised, flaming pillar or eye. [see below] And as I soared up to the statue, hovering right before her as a sea bird on the dawn wind, I was filled with horror and amazement as those impressions which had hitherto only teased at the edges of my consciousness burst upon my senses with unavoidable significance. 

The faint susurration of the sea-green robes, as fluid as silk; the wind in the soft, light hair; the faint rise and fall of the iron-dark bosom in its cupped abalone halter; the moist freshness of the rose-soft lips; and, above all, the liquid light and stark awareness in the depths of the un-pupilled, alien green eyes that stared with tragic, noble sufferance out across the endless waves. The statue, though undoubtedly fixed and motionless, was yet living flesh and blood, as animal and animate as its now horrified observer. For how many eons had this poor sentinel stood, wrapped in preserving sorcery, guarding the island from unfathomable horrors? Awake, aware, and hideously, eternally alone; my imagination rebelled at contemplating the madness which would come to normal mortals under such conditions. And then, as I gazed with dreadful sympathy into those limpid orbs, the statue did move, but a fraction; the eyes slid across that impassive face and looked directly back at me; and the awful, noble suffering which was reflected in that remote and enduring gaze broke upon my composure in a crushing weight of horror and despair, so that my grasp upon the astral plane was shaken and disrupted, and I fled the scene, spinning in a maelstrom of alien light and colour back to waking consciousness, and the world of my home."

The Elder Sign, a protective symbol of Lovecraftian Mythos

The Mountain at Dawn
I knew that I wanted to take this photoshoot at Tekeli-li's sim as I have always loved his builds; I hadn't yet explored his latest location though and didn't realise that the colours of the waterfall and sky were so perfect for this challenge! As you can probably tell, both Tekeli-li and myself are ardent Lovecraft fans.

LOCATION Tekeli-li! dark artistry - mainstore and sim
DRESS Lemania Indigo [LI] - "Liberty" - Peace on Earth hunt gift
GLOVES Fuschia's Frocks - tintable satin jaquard
HAIR <DK> "Effie" - Seafoam
SKIN ^Re.Birth^ "Demons:Mara" - Fairy Sneeze makeup (freebie)
EYES *SFS* "Starfuker ~ teal" from *SFS* Reptilian Skins (a subline of {Rue} afaik)
TORCH library freebie, modified
CROWN another library freebie (it's amazing what you can find in there!)
BOOK Book of Nature by masterstrik2 Zephyr
POSE "liberty" freebie animation
TEMPLE my own build - I tried to match it to the environs but could not reproduce anything like the incredible artistry of Tekeli-li, hence my reference in the story to it being an older, simpler design.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Colour Challenge Week 4 - Iron

IRON: a pale grey. The first idea that came to me was one of my many Undead avatars, because they are a specialty of mine and several have grey skin or clothing. In fact I ended up making a whole new avatar and the scenery to pose her against, and am very happy with the terrorific results >:D My grey is actually a good match but since it's a shot of a ghoul in a graveyard, it had to be taken at night, which slews the shade a little even in bright moonlight. I took a daylight shot just to prove it, but the only ghoul you're ever likely to see in daylight is a dead one. (Or should that be 'deader'?) 

Photo series: Walking through a SL graveyard at night. DO NOT DO THIS.

Are we being watched..?
Is that a statue up there..?
Oh nooooooo...! HELP!
OMnomnomnom :9
I am sorry but I couldn't resist this last shot. I'm being a ghoul, after all. 


Windlight: Bryn Oh's Annas Many Murders, post contrast +35, local lighting from moonbeams
Location setup: Ruins, dragon statues, graves & scary tree by Angelic Designs
Moonbeams by < stuff > (lighting added by me)
Dead grass by Snowbound
Crypt by me, with pentacle detail by Dragon Magick Wares
Pose "rooftop crouch" standard free animation

Outfit: Skin ~ Gala - Halloween - Zombie (now at Curio if still sold)
Hair ~ *miasnow* WILD WOMAN
Eyes ~ {Frick} Vengeance 2
Teeth ~ SSUS "ARGH!" Scary Teeth (& HUD emote)
Claws ~ [ni.ju] tintable claws
Clawed feet ~ SLink "Exotix" Jolie Pied (flat)
Ragged cape & skirt modded from Grendel's Children "Bonemancer" avatar
Bastchild & Lapointe "Lotus Flower" grey silk shirt
Pixeldolls "Belle" waist cincher in dove
Unique Needs Bone Belt from 2009 Twisted hunt
Kitchen knife spine 'wings' by Riven Neurocam
Spider Productions skull webbed necklace
::69:: Gold Skull Bangles
Leg by Nomasha Syaka (who incidentally also made the sculptie horse LL put in your library).

Ack, daylight!
Windlight settings: default midday - just to show the colour properly.

A bit of colour geekery for those who are interested: Couldn't find iron in either the wiki colour list or the Crayola colour list but I did find a handy little app by Chirag Mehta which lets you put in the CSS hex number to find the closest named colour match, and he agrees with Luna, apparently based on the guide by Resene Paints in NZ. (Luna, where are you getting these colours..? ;) Although this app by Daniel Flueck calls that colour [#D4D7D9] "zumthor" ............ which cracks me up, and gives #CACCCE as the code for iron ............ (which is a smidge darker than Luna's swatch, though you can't tell until you lay one over the other). Which just goes to show that there is no absolute standard for these hues, and personal interpretation is just fine :) Besides which, judging by the posts, we all (even Luna!) match the colours by eye, not by RGB values. I really have no intention of being a geek while answering this challenge, it just interests me how the colour names come up. There are some hilarious names in those lists, and a friend linked me to a colour survey on the xkcd comic which is a very fun read. One of the purples was named 'velociraptor cloaca' by one of the survey takers; it was close to, but not quite so bright as, electric indigo, though if I'd known beforehand, my post last week would have been a little different... *eg*

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Colour Challenge Week 3 - Electric Indigo

Well to start with, I have never heard of electric indigo, but wikipedia gave an approximate guide so I believe Luna ;) Purple is a nice colour group but not at all 'me' so I didn't have much chance of finding anything suitable in my wardrobe. However, one thing I do have in abundance is avatars - animals, dragons, monsters, plants, even weirder stuff than that! So since Avatars-R-Us in my inventory, time to bring one out to answer the colour challenge! 

I immediately thought of dragons (because I am one) and then Grendel's, because they make the best dragons and I have an insane number of their avies. As it was to be my first avatar post, I wanted it to be pretty, and luckily I have the full set of Fae dragons, one of which is already violet in colour. I re-tinted it to be a better match, and added glow on the wings and antennae to give that electric brightness, but that isn't really a lot of work so my creativity in this post is with the photography. This is the first time I played with windlight settings to try to achieve a harmonious background, which I felt would best display the gorgeous colour and glow of the dragon. I hope you like the results =)

N.B. All photographs taken in Firestorm 3.2.2 and uploaded to

Butterfly Moon

Avatar: Avarian Fae Dragon - Saffron (re-tinted) by Grendel's Children

Windlight settings: default midnight
Position: In flight, seen from beneath

Into the Blue

Windlight settings: [TOR] SUNRISE - Wonderzan

Into the Sun
Windlight settings: [TOR] SUNSET - Camp champ

Butterfly Moon - Peinture
Windlight settings: [TOR] SCIFI - Sparz puft
Post-photography touch-up: Macromedia Fireworks

This last picture doesn't show the colour so well but I wanted to do something artistic, and I have developed my own process which renders a photograph into something like an oil painting. I think if I import this into SL and give it partial transparency it will make a beautiful stained glass window :)

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Colour Challenge Week 2 - Coral

Hello again! Well obviously the first thing to occur to me with 'coral' was 'mermaids!' because I have several mer avatars although they are not usually this colour. Rudh wanted to be a mermaid too and thought she shouldn't, if we would compete, but I said why not do a collaborative post and show us as matching sisters :D I already knew where to get hold of a lovely mer-avie which I had passed over some weeks earlier (pink is NOT one of my favourite colours, in any shade) so I went back to get it - I think Rudh found the same thing on the marketplace - now, I realise that this is more coral-pink than the standard coral of Luna's swatch, but hey, 1) it's still coral! and 2) I'm sorry but that swatch just reminds me of sushi and I do not want to dress in raw fish even if I AM part fish ;) I really like how my new coral mermaid turned out, I spent ages fixing the hair, which is fully customisable but with chat driven menu commands for EVERYTHING - nearly drove me nuts - and I was quite amused that for once we seem to have switched roles, and it was Rudh showing her dark side with tentacle hair and nomming on a mermaid *omglol*. See, she pretends to be all sweet and innocent but she has inherited something of mummy's Unseelie streak after all ^.~

Rudh (L) and Fledge (R) - Blood is thicker even than saltwater

Coral Location: Kami-Hitoe merstore and undersea playground in Sporminore

I really wanted to take 'on location' pictures for all my challenges, finding beautiful places someone else has created is one of my favourite things about SL, and then matching them to my chosen theme... sadly the poses were a little too far apart to show us both together in full justice, and you might want to visit Rudh's post to get a better look at the mer-sisters. However I took some lovely shots of us singly in close-up.

Seduction in Coral


What she is wearing: 
Mertail & pasties: Taliesins Tails Chakra Lotus sp.ed. freebie (still available! It also has a beautiful rainbow chakra tattoo on the back)
Skin: {Frick} Noveria - Blush - Clvg (creator's rez-day gift, not sure if it's in-store)
This is a lovely skin but normally I wouldn't wear this colour scheme - it complements the mer-tail beautifully so I'm glad to get a chance to use it after all. That's what I'm hoping for in this challenge, to air out some of the things in my inventory!
Eyes: Insufferable Dastard Xmas Eyes - Candycane
Ears: Schadenfreude Mer-Elf
Hair: Tekeli-li! Nixie (Fantasy Fair freebie 2011)
Jewellery: Tekeli-li! Nereid

I did have a little matching koi fish (another Tekeli-li! freebie) who swam around me, you'll see him in Rudh's post, but he got in the way too much with all the animated poses on my shoot. I do like to make things difficult for myself...

Store shoutout - Both hair and jewellery are fully customisable-scripted besides being mod/copy, you should really check out Tekeli-li's store because he does fabulous fantasy things - avatars, hair, jewellery, furniture. Generally Lovecraftian or deep sea themed. They can be a bit complicated with so much to change - the hair alone had different menus for hair texture, colour and each different part of decoration e.g. shells, starfish etc. - but the results are well worth it. Incidentally it takes me enough time putting these posts together without linking to stores (especially since I'm raiding my inventory for stuff going back 5 years and don't have current lms for a lot of it) so if you're really interested and can't find a store inworld, don't hesitate to ask me! Just drop a comment in here or send me a notecard.

Some more pretty :3

Dawn - the Mermaid Awakens

The Pearl in the Oyster

Rudh, a Venus in Tentacles (sunset)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Luna's Colour Challenge 2012 - Champagne!

Champagne - Autumn Faun
Location: Forest Floor Gardens & Dreamscapes (you can buy the trees in the shop, they are very low (2-3) prim sculpts)

Well, I might be slightly insane for taking this on, but my sister Rudh had so much fun with this challenge last year, I wanted to join in. So I have taken up the second year of Luna's SL colour challenge - hurrah!

First colour, to celebrate the new year: Champagne. Now I've been wearing this faun avatar all winter and the fur is already a great match, so I just needed to find a dress, and being as I have a LOT of different shades of gold in there (surprise, surprise), my hoard provided :) Then I had to find a pose which would show off the legs as well as the dress, and find a position which would show the treetops... tricky, I ended up having to fly because that arch is a sculpt and I couldn't sit on it for real.

I love how this colour works for me in so many ways: the foamy lace of my dress against pale fur; the mellow gold of the birch leaves, conjuring the sense of autumn air as cool, crisp and dry as wine. Birch is my favourite tree, gold is not my top favourite colour but it is my colour (as I'm a gold dragon) and so a golden faun among birch woods in autumn is very much 'me'. (To explain that apparent contradiction, I'm actually half Fae, and a shapeshifter - Rudh and I are half sisters, my father having been a dragon, hers human. Our Pookah mother was racially very broad... minded ;)

I took a lot of photos for this one, because I have recently taken the plunge into the Firestorm v3 client, and I love the effects of sunlight and shadows among the trees, and the greater quality of graphics. So apologies for the rather long post, but here's to everyone, may you have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012! And I'll let you into a little secret... I don't actually like champagne, to drink - it's too dry! I toasted my new year with some Glayva liqueur whiskey :9


What she is wearing: 
Dress: Chic Boutique - Golden Goddess
Avatar: Titania's Court - Faun Autumn Yellow (legs, ears, tail)
Hair: Liberty - ashblonde
Antlers: {Rue} Horn'd/Banneret - Hobgoblin: gold
Eyes: MaXeyes Creations - Dragon
Skin: {Frick} Confetti - sugar (New Year group gift)
Jewellery: Eolande Petite Snowflake Dangle necklace & earrings
Lassitude & Ennui lunar & solar arm rings (doubt if they still have them, these are one of my oldest and most treasured possessions, I wear them practically always)

Some more pretty :3

Sunlit Dreaming
Quiet Reflection

Horned Shadow