Finally I've made my decision which icon to write a tutorial for ^__^
Hope this could be useful for you!
Here we go;
First we have to pick a picture; it shouldn't be very dark but not also very light.
I chose this one from my latest favorite TV show;
I usually play on the picture before cropping it.
For this picture, first I duplicated the base and set it to screen.
Then Layer >> Merge Visible.
Duplicate the base again and zoom in a bit, then select your Blur Tool.
Strength about 40.
Choose a soft round brush and blur the areas on her face you dislike.
But don't touch the eyes and lips!
Then select Burn Tool, choose midtones,
don't touch the exposure and burn the shadowed areas as you like.
Then select Dodge Tool, choose highlights,
don't touch the exposure and dodge the light shiny spots in her eyes.
You can use both a soft round or hard round brush,
keep it 3 or 5 px according to the spot size.
Then Layer >> Merge Visible.
Now we can crop it as we like.
Choose your crop tool, type 100 px to each box at left top.
Resouliton is 72 px/inch
After cropping the image,
add a new colorfill layer,
fill with #571F1F, set it to exclusion
Then right click and duplicate your base,
bring it to the top and set to soft light.
Now it's time to add some colors to the icon;
Layer >> New Adjustment Layer >> Selective Color (keep it normal)
Now I wanna increase the reds and magentas on her hair
and reduce the shininess on her face.
So here are my numbers;
(if you want your cyan-blue colors shine on the icon;
always try using selective coloring.
Hue/Saturation layers may pixelate your icon.)
(Increasing cyan and reducing magenta will brighten your cyanish-blueish colors.
If you want more blue, reduce the yellow as well.
If you want more greenish toning on your blues, increase the yellow.)
Alright, now we have this;
I'm still not satisfied with the reds and blues on the icon,
so I'm gonna add one more selective color;
Black: +23 (this will add a little contrast to your reds)
Now we have this;
More pretty ha?
Now I still want more contrast so I'm gonna add a Levels layer;
I don't know actually how to use Curves layers so I'm using Levels instead.
They're pretty much the same.
But sometimes you can achieve the result with 2 Levels layers
than you can easily do it with one Curves Layer. o_o
Layer >> New Adjustment Layer >> Levels
Play with the arrows till you're satisfied with the result.
Now you're pretty much done. You can add text or textures if you like.
(without exclusion layer)
Some icons done with similar technique;
(Only difference is, I increased the yellows on Cyans instead of reducing it)
Usual rules to follow;
+Comment if you like this tutorial, feedback is appreciated♥
+Don't hotlink to the icons on the tutorial if you snag them
+Let me know if you can't understand something
+Be nice, 'cause English is not my 1st language ;)
AFFILIATE? // JOIN?