Requested by cyanidebullets.
How to go from to with Photoshop. Selective Coloring can be skipped, so it should be translatable.
1. Prepare your base! It works best on a very light/white background, but it can be completely colored (see the example icons), too; then you'll probably have to tweak the settings a bit.
2. To make the image a tad lighter and to give it more contrast, make a Soft Light, 50% duplicate of your base first:
3. Next I wanted to bring out the reds of the blade and Blaire's hair more. Depending on your image, you might want to focus on different colors, but here let's go for the reds now. Open a Selective Color... adj. layer and put in these settings:
Reds: -80 50 20 0
Yellows: -60 -22 7 0
As I said, this layer only increases the red tones. If you want your image to look more blue, green or whatever, go into the respective color channel and play a bit with the bars.
You can also do this step with Color Balance or Hue/Saturation if you don't use Photoshop.
4. The boring white background is boring, so let's dig up an interesting texture to make it spiffier! :D I chose this one by bambinainnero and set it to Multiply, 100%.
5. It definitely looks better now, but the image still lacks color. I wanted to go into a pink direction and took this gradient on Overlay, 63%. Of course you can choose a different one that fits your image more.
6. To let the colors pop up even a bit more, create a Color Balance... adj. layer and put in these settings:
Midtones: -25 2 -18
Shadows: -3 4 -12
Highlights: 0 -8 0
7. That's it for the coloring, only some shinies and pretties are missing. <3
Take this light texture (by ?) and set it to Screen, 100%. Then duplicate that layer, move it around differently and change the opacity to 40%.
8. To make the left side of the icon look more interesting, take a swirlie texture of your choice and color it so that it fits your image. I explained how I do that in step 7 of this tutorial.
For my swirlie, I decided to just use the gradient from before (if you have a black swirlie on a white background, just paste the gradient over it as a new layer and change the blend mode to screen; then copy-merge and voilá, you have a colored swirlie) and ended up with this. Paste it on your icon, move it around to your liking and set it to Multiply, 100%.
9. To finish things up and give your icon the final kick, make a Brightness/Contrast... adj. layer with brightness -4 and contrast +10 as well as a Huse/Saturation... adj. layer with master saturation set to +9. That gives the icon more depth and contrast, which you could also achieve with another soft light duplicate of your base, but that would decrease the texture effects again.
That's it already!
Questions? Just ask! :D
Be creative and experiment however you want, and I'd love to see your results! I'm curious what you come up with. :D
Like what you see? Friend soleil_icons for future updates. This post is still open for tutorial requests.
More tutorials are here, and these will be coming next.