Cyan (cool_spectrum) wrote,

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Icon Tutorial 16

Cleaning out the leftovers from 2013 still, so here are some overdue tutorials!

Requested by adrastea.


Before we begin, this icon is contains a lot of recoloring which I won't be talking about much because I still am not confident in my skill level in that department. I'd suggest reading manga coloring tutorials and getting plenty of practice if you want to get into recoloring screencaps yourself~

01: I cropped the original image, and then did a few basic color adjustments on several layers and some hue-saturation tweaks.

02: To help guide the focus onto the gem, I added two textures, this one by defaultsettings, which I resized larger, and rotated, and this one (maker unknown), which I recolored. Both are on an overlay layer.

Here's a great place to mention that all color adjustments I make to textures are done while the texture is already in overlay mode. That way I can see how the adjustments chance the mood and lighting of the icon.

03: After that I did a few color adjustments, and then painted over some minor portions of the image with a brush. I started with the gem, because that was what I wanted to be the focus of the icon. Here's a progression shot...

04: Now for some definition around the face. At first I didn't know I was going to be doing this, but since the original image has very thin lines, the facial portion especially doesn't come off heavy enough to keep the icon balanced.

I started with simply defining the areas that would have the most shadow, trying to keep in mind the light source (which is sometimes hard when there's glowing stuff), and also the angle of the shot, because the angle of the “camera” changes the anatomy. This was done on a multiply layer.

05: Now, to help add depth, I use a softer brush with a different, slightly lighter color. I often will use the smudge tool on these layers as well just to blend things in (I can't help myself).

The reason you use a different color is because if I used the same dark reddish color the skintone would start to look unnatural. I've often had to use the hue-saturation tool to change the original color I used after adding a shading layer to help keep the tones in the right range.

06: Okay, now we have shadow, but it's getting too dark. I used a yellowish color on Overlay, and go around to add some light back into the icon. Remember, you still need to work with your light source, so don't add light to the wrong side of the face, nose, arm, etc. when you're working with the lighter colors.

07: This shading is starting to get a little too heavy for what I want. I go back and copy one of the previous layers from around step 04. I put this layer above everything I've done from this point on, and lower the opacity until I'm pleased with the balance. I often do this if the textures or shading get too intense for my tastes.

08: And now some more color adjustments! I played with the curves tool to help bring out the shading, and the coloration. I most likely went back to my favorite tool (hue-saturation) too XD

09: I want to bring the focus back toward the center of the icon again, so I use a brush to bring in some of the rich, cranberry color. There are a few different layers for getting the right coloration. Also note that I added some of this color to the hair in addition to the bottom and background.

Carrying the color like this helps there to be a cohesiveness to the icon as a whole, I've heard that in art, if you have a color at the top of your piece, you also need to have that color somewhere at the bottom to maintain balance of color. I try to remember that rule in icon making as well!

10: The final step is just a few minor tweaks to the coloring, and intensity of the shading.

This icon took me a REALLY long time to make. This type of recoloring takes time and patience, and it usually helps to know what you want it to look like when you're done. Visualizing before you get started can really save time, especially when it comes to the light source and anatomy... but you'll still want to get comfy XD
Tags: !tutorials
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