This is so magical, Vizen. The atmosphere and color palette imbue the scene with so much privacy and intimacy, the kind of deep, silent chill of woods locked in ice. It's penitential and rather lonely and beautiful. The exquisite tint of light only heightens the sense of cold. Whether or not it happened by accident, the doe is exactly right -- she should be an idea of a doe, an embodiment of painful, hoarded happiness, insubstantial, more abstract than real. I love how affectionate she looks, nuzzling Snape's face, and how parts of her blend into the snow. Also, the outlines of gnarled trees in the background suggest a frozen surface laced with cracks, very delicate and brittle, like thin ice. The icy underwater shimmer of darkness haloes them with peaceful solitude, and yet there's something heartbreaking about it.
Of course I love that you put Snape on his knees. It adds to the sense that a blessing is being bestowed, and Snape on his knees always resonates with complex emotion. The stylized pattern of his robes and the way his hair falls around him like a monk's hood is striking. His robes flow with light, yet you've managed to capture the intensity of blackness. It's hard to stop staring at them. He stands out so clearly from the background and yet also seems to belong there, in the dark and the winter. And you caught the curve of his body, the bowing-forward of a supplicant, which is so poignant and hopeful and so alone. I love how his face is the same color as the snow under him, and his raised hand is almost skeletal and not quite daring to touch, and how the tail end of his robe seems to be melting the snowy ground while he kneels with his back to the deep cracks behind him.
I don't often re-read my own fics, so the excerpt makes me squirm a little, partly because I'm always seized with the mad urge to revise and partly because your painting captures the stillness, the breathholding quality of Snape's submission so beautifully, whereas it feels like I'm always adding new words or changing old words or repeating myself in an attempt to pin down something that inevitably escapes. (Witness this comment.) But I suppose visual artists feel this way, too, the frustration of adding layers in search of something elusive, until the layers end up burying the very thing you're struggling to convey.
Thank you so much for this, Vizen. It's amazing to have an artist pay tribute, and this is such a gorgeous work. I'm sorry it's taken me so many days to respond -- my job utterly exhausts me right now, but I've looked at this several times a day since you posted it. The mood of the painting is -- well, I hope it's not ridiculous to say it's got a spiritual quality, a life of its own entirely separate from the fic.
Also, in case you weren't aware of it, the inspiration and food for thought go both ways.
I adore your Snape, how true you are to his character, how you can show him at his worst, sneering and sly and almost malevolent, and yet he's still mesmerizing. And sometimes, as here in this painting, even beautiful.