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01 July 2014 @ 04:25 pm
Tutorial: Come Along, Pond  
jsfunction asked for a tutorial for this icon! Warning: It is very long and image-heavy, so I've subdivided it into two parts under the cut :) I'd say the level is probably Medium-Advanced; I don't go into a ton of detail regarding Photoshop basics, but I'm very willing to answer any questions or clarify anything that's unclear! :)

[Part 1: Getting the Painted Hair]Normally I work at 200x200 then resize at the end, but in this case I wanted to keep things bigger so I could get the detail. I ended up keeping the cap at full size while I did the hair. I've cropped it down smaller and with a focus on her hair/face just for the sake of the tutorial :)

Sometimes my icons come together as happy accidents, but this one I went in with a clear plan. I knew I wanted to make Amy's hair like rainbow paint streaks, so I started by erasing the original hair from Amy's head. I used a mask to do it, and I also duplicated the original layer and hid it, because I thought I would probably need it later.

I wanted to replace the hair with paint, so I downloaded a bunch of brushes that look like streaky paint. And then basically stamped them around behind her head. (Amy's head was the top layer, and the brushes were all underneath. I kept hiding and then showing the layer with Amy as I did it, to make sure it looked "natural"). I tried to angle the brushes so they were mostly flowing in the direction of her hair, and used various colours (I believe a lot of the colours were inspired by from this icon by prettybutt which was part of the inspiration post). I also wanted to concentrate the colours near her hair, where her hair would be thicker. This was just kind of a trial and error kind of thing.

All the brushes are just set to Normal. I started with larger brushes to fill up the background, and then moved to smaller and more detailed ones to add interest and detail. Here are images of all of the brushes I used individually, if you're interested. I can't remember who made every single brush I used, but I know I mostly used some by env1ro. Just search deviantart photoshop brushes for "paint", "smears", "watercolor", etc, and you'll find a bunch that would work!

And here it is with Amy on top.

Obviously it looks kinda crappy right now, I didn't do the best job cutting out her hair, there are some weird dark shadows, etc. So instead I set Amy to Screen.

So, basically, I want Amy's face to be visible, but to still look natural and blended with the hair. Basically, I took my original cap of Amy and moved it to the top layer, set to Normal. Then I erased the bulk of the hair area with a soft brush, and a bit of the edge of the face too. I kept the tips of her hair as well to try to keep some of the original shape of her hair; the paint itself is a little too pointy and unrealistic otherwise.

And here it is on top of what I already had.

I also wanted to add more hair-like texture to the painty parts, so I'm going to set a cutout of her hair to Screen on top. But I always wanted it to have some variation and darker/colourful parts to it, so painted over it with red set to Multiply in kind of an uneven way.

Then I set that layer to Screen on top of what I already had.

It's a subtle difference, but the paint has more shading in the direction of her hair.

I thought her skin was too bright compared to the vivid colours of hair, so I used #ffdfba (a light yellow) painted over her skin, set to Multiply. I also painted over her skin with #d8866d (a brown orange) set to Soft Light, 20% Opacity.

I wanted more blue in the cap so I added another painty blob (set to Normal) on top of her face and hair. I wanted to add paint over her face to help integrate Amy with the painted background and make it all look united.

I added a Vibrance +100 layer set to Color 70%. I erased it from her face because right now I just want her hair and clothes to be brighter.

I added Curves to make it lighter...

And then more Curves to add a lot of contrast.

I also painted over her eye with a bright blue (#11f0f3) set to Soft Light 60%, because it's ended up sort of dull and brown from my other layers.

Final steps before cropping. Copy-Merge onto a new layer (Ctrl-Shift-Alt-E) and Gaussian Blur. I'm going to set it to Soft Light, and that will make things much brighter, more brighter than I want, so to compensate...

I added #7680cf (a medium indigo colour) set to Multiply and merged that with my blurred layer.

Then I set my blurry layer to Soft Light 60% on top of what I already had. This also helps make things look more blue, as her skin was pretty yellow before this.

[Part 2: Turning it into an icon]
Once you're happy with how the hair looks, crop to 200x200

Next I added some curves onto her face to lower the contrast (masked so it's just on her face)

I thought her hair could use more colour and detail so I added a few more streaky brushes. I think they're mostly by alicefaux.

I also wanted some more purple so I painted some blobs (shown here on a black background, just so you can see), and set them to Hard Light, 30%.

I wanted her hair even brighter, so I selected it, and added a Vibrance +100 layer (set to Color) in the masked area.

I also wanted more blue in the tips of her hair, so I selected them and filled it with a Color Balance layer (Midtones: -44, 0, +100)

Next I Copy-Merged again onto a new layer, and Gaussian Blurred it a lot. I erased it from her face with a soft brush...

...and set it to Screen. This helps to add more cohesion to the variety of colours in her hair.

I added a layer of #620c49 (a medium vibrant purple) set to Screen to add more purple tones to the icon. I erased it a bit around her face.

I then wanted more shadows and depth around her face, so on a new layer I painted a black blob in the area shown, and set it to Soft Light.

I painted some more blobs on a new layer, with white where I wanted it brighter, and black where I wanted it darker. I've shown the placement of the blobs on a blue background, just so you can see. I set this layer to Soft Light as well.

I added a little more colour with another purple layer (#7c0245) set to Screen, 20%. I also added a Vibrance +100 layer.

I wanted a bit more contrast, so I added a black and white Gradient Map, set to Soft Light, 40%.

Finally, I added the text. I wanted the letters in "POND" to look like they were floating along with her hair, so I did each letter on a separate layer. The font is Cash Currency. "Come along" is written in the font Xtreem Fat Demo with the Kerning at +50 to space the letters out a bit.

Resize to 100x100 and you're done! Whew! That was a long one!

Want to request a tutorial? I'm doing Ask the Maker! :)
Samantha | Slowest angel in the garrison.absolutelybatty on July 2nd, 2014 02:31 am (UTC)
BECAUSE THAT IS TOTALLY WHAT I NEEDED...MORE BRUSHES TO DOWNLOAD. But, really, thank you for those links because apparently I can never get enough paint brushes in my collection!!

And also thank you for this tutorial. It was fun and informative! You put so much work into her hair. It is incredible!!
Daynadaynawashere on July 3rd, 2014 02:30 am (UTC)
Hahaha, my brush obsession has also gotten OUT OF CONTROL. I really only started using brushes regularly...rather recently? I went on a downloading spree, and now I have way too many and I can never find what I need! xD

And you're very welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D
a random javascript function: juliet bordersjsfunction on July 2nd, 2014 06:39 am (UTC)
wow, thanks so much for writing this, this tutorial is brilliant and i love how carefully you did everything, especially the hair, and all the little steps that gradually improved the contrast and brightness and lighting. And the brush work itself is immaculate. What a fantastic tutorial, thanks again!! :)
Daynadaynawashere on July 3rd, 2014 02:32 am (UTC)
You're very welcome! I hope you got something out of it! I realized as I was posting it that it's maybe not a very useful tutorial - like, when are all these steps going to be applicable to most people?? But I'm glad you liked it! :D
oh captain, my captain.: tv / fringe / looking from a window abovhopeitallaway on July 2nd, 2014 04:21 pm (UTC)
wow, this looks so cool. i have to try it out, once i get my photoshop back installed. :D thanks for sharing it, you are a gem. ♥
Daynadaynawashere on July 3rd, 2014 02:33 am (UTC)
Thanks!! Glad you liked it! Yeah, I definitely recommend playing with painty brushes and hair, you can get some cool effects! Let me know if you try it out, I'd love to see your results if they turn out! :D
oh captain, my captain.: tv / charmed / yeah we're familyhopeitallaway on July 4th, 2014 07:02 pm (UTC)
you are right, i love painty brushes. will show you what i came up with. :D