It is a very basic tutorial and it is meant for everyone of course, but especially for the starting icon makers out there. You'd be surprised how long it can take before you find anything simple on selective colouring when you first start out making icons.
Anyway, I hope you'll find it useful.
So, we'll be going from to in 4 easy steps, using selective colouring in Photoshop CS2.
Of course, everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, and so some(/many) icons makers won't like the colouring in this icon (too bright). However, I like it and hope it gives someone a little help with (basic) colouring in icons.
The original picture was taken by Elendili. I cropped it and lightened it a little until I had my base:
Step 1 - The picture is a little dark and 'lifeless'. We' re going to change that. Copy your base and set it to screen. My opacity is at 73%.
Step 2 - Copy you base again and place it on top of the previous copy. Set it to soft light. It gives the image a little more contrast and you can easily manage it by using the Opacity button. My opacity is at 85%.
Step 3 -
Step 3 -Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer and create a new Selective Colour Layer with the following settings:
Cyan -84 (decreasing the cyan component basically means adding more red/magenta)
Step 4 -
Step 4 -There's certainly more vibrancy in this picture now, but I like to take it further to see if it brings more life to the icon. If it's over the top, we can always reverse it. Go to Layer > New Adjusment Layer and create a new Selective Colour layer with the following settings:
Now the red is vibrant enough for my taste. So that's it, we're done. Expand from here, if you want to, using more selective colouring or by adding text and/or brushes. I added ‘brave new world’ in Problem Secretary Normal at
I hope you found it useful. Results may vary of course, depending on the picture you choose, but I would love to see what you come up with. Please comment. :)