grace ∞ the best damn woman that I ever seen (afastmachine) wrote in thewalkincliche,
grace ∞ the best damn woman that I ever seen

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64. an icon tutorial for dark_x_huntress

requested by dark_x_huntress

Disclaimer: I always work on a 500x500 canvas, but I've made them smaller them for the sake of this tutorial(you can click through to see the full-size image though). I also love pictures so this is VERY picture heavy(as in, pictures for every single step).

So, this icon is very straightforward. It basically just involves a lot of new layers with colors put on various blending modes. I was inspired by some of the amazing icons second_love makes. I own a graphics tablet, however I use it for mostly touch sensitive opacity; the same effects can be done with a mouse with the brush set to low opacity and just go over the spots to make them darker.

So we start with this gorgeous cap of Emma(HAIR POORN) talking to Henry. I always crop first before I work on any coloring, which I know is pretty different than a lot of others, but *shrugs* it works for me.

I knew I wanted to focus on coloring with this icon, so I didn't bother with trying to find a cool crop, I just stuck with something basic, the oh-so-iconic(lol) center crop. Next I did my first basic prep steps, which involves new curves layers and a vibrance, typically. For this, it was one curves layer set to screen, but I didn't think that gave me enough light so I added a point on the RGB slider to make it brighter(141x115). Another new curves layer, for this one I hit the auto button and set it to soft light. These steps usually give me some brightness/contrast to work with. I add or remove(or change the opacity) depending on the brightness/contrast of the original cap. This one was pretty clear and clean so I didn't need much for it. Last for prep is a vibrance layer with v+100 set to color.

From here I knew the primary colors were blue and yellow, which is convenient because they're already primary colors and go well together. So I wanted to only enhance that and make it better. I painted over the background with a color taken from it(the desk on Emma's right shoulder). First layer on color, second slightly more blurred layer on soft light. You can see what they looked like here:


Then I drew over her hair with a color taken from it and kind of just loosely went over her hair. Duplicated that layer, one to soft light and one to color. Neither were blurred because in this case I didn't want any of the background to turn yellow. I didn't quite like how her face looked and wanted to make it more neutral/skintone, so I painted very lightly over it with the same golden color.


All that gives me this!

You can see that basically set the ground for the rest of it; all that's left is just enhancing~ it. Which is definitely code for another vibrance layer! Again, v+100. I usually set all my vibrance layers to color, but for some reason I didn't do that with this one! So. Cool? I then realized that her face was a bit too reddish/orangey and I wanted to add some shadow/depth so I colored over her face with the same blue from before and set it to soft light at 46%.


I really wanted to get out some of that intensity in the red/yellows plus lighten it a bit, so I added a gradient map of that same blue → black set to screen with the fill lowered to 48%. And then because I'm me I slapped another v+100 vibrancy layer on it, this one set to color again.

Now for the glowy quality! My favorite thing ever! After, apparently, vibrance layers. Stamp a copy on a new layer and blur: since my canvas is so large I have to use a pretty high radius but if you were attempting it at a smaller size it would be lower. Set that layer on screen at 17%. Duplicate it and use the radial blur just enough to get it looking a bit longer, then mask off her face/hair(loosely, so we still get some light on her). Set the opacity for this layer(also at screen) at 36%.


At this point I'm trying to get the lighting how I want it, so I painted over the left-hand side with my blue color, and the right-hand side with a dark grey, set to screen at 100%. I want even. more. glowy. light. so I did some more painting with my yellow, blurred the upper left hand side, and added more on the bottom right. This one also went on screen, but only at 12%.


I bet you can guess what I did next: another vibrance layer! Seriously you guys my PSDs are absolutely FULL of vibrance layers. Again v+100 set to color, but I did mask away her face so it didn't get too weird looking. And then because I still wasn't satisfied with the ~~LIGHT~~ I added another layer of that same light yellow painted in various streaks around her. Set to screen at 56%.


Because that still wasn't enough light, I added a texture(by ??) set to screen. Thank god, I decided that was finally enough.

Now it looks suitably washed-out and ~light~, I decided to add a curves layer!
RGB: 112x136
G: 121x133
B: 132x134

Because I'm ???? crazy? Anyways. It added some depth to the shadows that I liked, but I was not digging the color changes, I added a hue/sat layer, h-6 on the master channel, with her face masked out. And because red is my mortal enemy and I wanted !!YELLOW!! hair, I added a selective color layer:

R: +53, 0, +59
Y: +7, -41, +55, -39

Aaaaand, that's better.

Remember how I said I was done with the lighting? I lied. Take that texture from before, duplicate it, and drag it on top of that last sc layer. Set it to screen at 38%. Add a new curves layer(RGB: 56x64) to darken it down a little bit. At this point I've decided I'm definitely not digging how blue the background is. Time for another hue/sat layer(seriously, these suckers are actually pretty awesome)!

Cyan: h-4, s+13, l-25

I wanted to make the brights a bit brighter so I added another curves layer: RGB: 96x94, 214x209. Now that I'm in the finishing steps, I'm trying to even out the shadows/light, and of course, a new blurred stamped layer on soft light is a great way to do that. This one was at 36%.

Last steps now! A new gradient map set to soft light at 26%, and a new curves layer because I just can't leave well enough alone.
RGB: 120x133, 222x222

After that, I sharpen it, usually with either smart sharpen or paint daubs, and resize to 100x100!

If you have any question you can ask them below, and/or check out my thread!

Next I'll be doing:

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Tags: .tutorial
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