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Tutorial 01: Rosemary

Okay, here's my first tutorial (and probably my last):

How can you transform a simple base to a refined, textless icon:


I used PSPIX, but I'm pretty sure it can be translated easily.

Edit: This tutorial may be going down soon...

I'm sorry if I can't do this right, because I'm new at this, so...please don't shoot me if I can't explain things right. I'll try my best.

01.) First, find an image with a white background...no other images will work with this tutorial.
Crop and rotate it to your liking...I used a base cropped for a challenge at clamp_visual:

02.) Now, here comes one of the most frustrating parts of the tutorial! What's that, you say, so early in? Why, it's finding the right texture for your icon-in-the-making! Be careful when choosing, because this will be the partner to the image you just cropped through the whole tutorial

It took me a long time, but I found this one by tre-xture:

I chose this one because many of the same colour elements were the same as the Rosemary base. But, each image is different, so scout out for the right texture for your base!

03.) Rotate your texture to your liking, then paste it onto your base and set the mode to multiply.
Use a layer mask or erase (whichever you prefer) over Rosemary so that she's not covered by the base.


04.) Now that you have your combined base, merge your layers together. Duplicate your background. Go to the hue/saturation/light toolbar (for PSP: go to adjust, then hue/saturation, then click on hue/saturation/lightness), and, leaving hue/lightness at 0, bring down the saturation to -25:

05.) Rosemary looks a little dull now, doesn't she? We'll fix that.

Merge all your layers again, then duplicate the background, this time setting it to soft light.

You'll get something a bit brighter, like this:

But wait! We're not done yet!

Go back to your hue/saturation/lightness bar, and bring the saturation up to 25. Now, play with the hue levels until you're satisfied...I think I settled on hue 140, but each image is different:
  Now she's a real 'Rosemary'! XD lol...I thought it was funny.

06.) Alright, once you're satisfied with the colours of your icon, you're going to mess with them a bit more:

Create a new raster layer on top of your layers. Use the filler tool to with a dark aquamarine colour (005b75) and fill the layer. Set it to exclusion:

07.) Duplicate the exclusion layer. Set the mode to soft light:
Rosemary: help me! Too much exclusion!

08.) Now, stamp the top layer. For those that don't know how to do this, right click your icon, copy merged, then right click again and paste as a new layer. Set it to overlay:

09.) Now, since all these layers are overwhelming, I reduced the original exclusion layer to 25% opacity, the copied soft light layer to 10% opacity, and the stamped layer to 75%. This does differ from icon to icon, so please find what works for you.
  There! Much better, I think.

10.) Create a new raster layer on top of all the layers, and fill it with a hot pink (I chose ec008c) and set the mode to exclusion:

11.) You may be saying 'Oh my heavens! How atrocious it looks!' Don't worry about it.

Now we're going to stamp a new layer just like before. Set this layer to soft light.
Can it get any uglier than this?

12.) Once again, we're going to clean this up. Remember that hot pink layer that we set on exclusion? Delete it, leaving your stamped layer you just made on top. You should get something along the lines of this:

Doesn't that look better? I think so!

13.) Now, you can do what you like to the rest of the icon, since it's basically complete.

I found the white spots on this icon disturbing: the white cut on top and the blank spaces to the right and slight left of Rosemary, so I filled them in with other parts of the icon.

I also thought a border would work (it doesn't in every case), so I used these two brushes (in order):

plain white: ffffff

light gray: c4c4c2

14.) ...and voila! You're done with a beautiful, textless icon!

My result?

Please do not fully copy this tutorial...otherwise, your results may turn out icky...and you'll be much happier by playing around with modes! Remember, the modes, and textures used may not be perfect for your icon, so just fiddle around until you're satisfied.

I'm sorry if I didn't explain it right. For now, until I'm sure I'm ok with this tutorial, it's going to stay right here. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them.

Oh, by the way. See that Rosemary icon that I just made and is my default!icon? STEAL IT AND DIE! XD

Enjoy, and I'd love to see your results!


Beautiful. I love it. :)
Thanks for looking at it! *bows*
Nifty :3

You should post this to icon_tutorial or that other place that specializes in cartoon tutorials (the name escapes me right now..)
I might.

Do you think it's good enough?
*squeeeeeeees* Awesome tut !! I wonder if stamping works on PSE, I'll have to see. XD
Awww, thanks, my love!

I heard that it does work. Yay!
Yeppie, it does !! *bounces*
I love you. XD;;

Mem+ XD
I'd love to see what you do with it!

Thank you!
YAY!!! ♥!

Damn RL; I didn't get to see this to now~ I love the way you used the exclusion layer and the stamp tool :3

Heh...I'd love to see what you do with it some day.
These icons were inspired by your tut, I loved what you did with the exclusion layer ♥!

Yea, it's basically just the same icon but I'm lame like that 8D
I'm honoured that my tutorial could make such beauties! It doesn't look like you used the exact colours that I did, which I love!

Thank you so much for showing me your results! You're amazing!
Wow... you remember what you did even though you deleted layers. I'm impressed! I can never remember anything I do. T_T

^_^ Anyhow, I really like how exclusion is used here. I usually use gradient maps for approximately the same effect, but I should consider using exclusion [or probably difference in my case] as well. Very helpful tut.


Wow, you liked this tutorial? I'm sorry I bothered you about it...^_^;;

Anyways, I think that exclusion is one of those modes that people find one comfort in (there are so many tutorials for dark blue...fie for shame) and don't dare to experiment. PSP doesn't have gradient maps (to my knowledge), so this is what I use...and experimenting is key...hence using a hot pink exclusion layer (craftily). So try it...I know you're fond of bright colours, so I would love to see any results you make.

Oh, doesn't PS have exclusion and difference? And, if so, what is exactly the difference? Thanks for giving this tutorial a look...I really do appreciate it.
Whoops, that was me. I'm sorry.
That is...one of my favourite icons. With a really good tutorial 8D

I added it to my animanga/vg icon tutorial master list 8D
Um...*blush* You've succeeded in flattering me. No one has ever said something so nice of my icons, and I'm shocked to see it on your list of icon tutorials.

All I can say is...thank you...


It's ok. Not half as gorgeous your icon, though ^^

July 2007

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