So before beginning you mush choose your picture wisely. I'd suggest a picture with a lot of colours that blend well together, or look nice. You can also change the colours at the end ( I'll explain that near the end of the tutorial ). The picture I will be using is this one of Panic at the Disco!
You may fix your picture to your likings.
Once done with editing your photo duplicate your base. Leave it for now, we'll come back to it later. Go to Layer >> New Adjustment Layer >> Hue / Saturation
Set the saturation to about 40
Now you may think your picture's colour bleeds alot or looks wonky, but that's normal. This will brighten up the colour's of your picture so they are more noticeable in the next step.
Onto the next step. Return to your duplicated base. Go to Filter >> Blur >> Gaussian Blur.
Make the radius to about 40.2 , more or less is fine.
Now merge your Hue/Saturation layer with this layer.
Now this is optional if you have a big picture, if your picture is already icon-sized then feel free to skip this step. Simply crop and re-size your image. This is now how my picture looks like:
For the next step make sure your forground colour is white, and your background colour is black. Go to Filter >> Render >> Clouds. You should now have a black background with grey clouds. This is my result, feel free to use it on your own icon.
Put this layer on soft light and change the opacity to about 42%.
Duplicate your clouds layer again and set it to screen at 29%
Click on your brush and search for a brush that looks like this:
If you don't have that brush simply looks for a brush that is spaced out and scattered.
Here's the brush if you need it:
Take this brush and just simply click on it and go to the bursh preferences.
Here's an example of how it should look like:
Take the brush (make sure you foreground colour is white) and gently spread it across your icon on a new layer of course. Set that layer to Soft Light at 20% opacity.
Now time for a texture! Take this texture made by me and put it on overlay at 59%.
This will add a nice contrast, and make the picture seem less blurry. It'll also add a nice uneven colour-tone in your picture.
Your picture should now look something like this:
NOW IT'S TEXTURE TIME:
Take this texture by loriwatanabe and set it on screen.
Now take this texture, by yunhe. Set it on colour dodge at 51%
You're almost done, just one last step! Take your base and duplicate. Bring it to the top and set it on screen. To whatever opacity suits you. I did mine at 82%.
THIS IS MY RESULT:
AND YOU ARE DONE!
Now to change colours is simple. It requires some knowledge of selective colour, and colour balance. Well I would suggest making a new selective colour layer. Look at the colour you have most (in my case red) now go to the red section and mess with it to get the colour of your choice. (in my case, i'm going to increase the cyans and reduce the magenta's ). Head on over to the neutrals and increase the cyans.
Make a new colour balance layer. In the midtones and shadow's I increased the cyan and the green and a bit of the blues. For the highlights I increased the yellows, the red's and the blues.
Remember to take the colour that most show's and decrease that colour on the selective colour as much as you can, and focus on increasing the other colours.
This is my result from messing with the colours:
Here are some examples of textures:
Now some people might be wondering what would one do with this type of texture? Well here are some examples of how an icon would look like with different settings. I'm using the texture I recently created in this tutorial.
Here's the original:
ON COLOUR BURN:
ON SOFT LIGHT:
These are just some examples, of course you can experiment with many different settings.
I'D PREFER ALL COMMENTS HERE, PSD IS LOCATED HERE TOO
I'D LOVE TO SEE YOUR RESULTS BTW