Using PSP XI.
1. Adjust > Sharpen (IF necessary) for it makes the picture more clear.
2. Adjust > Brightness&Contrast > Clarify.There you can play around with the strength of the effect. For this certain picture I set the effect to 2.
3. Adjust > Digital Camera Noise Removal for it (in my opinion) makes the picture look better without the unnecessary noise added. Also here you can play around with the strength of the effect you're using. The settings I used : Noise correction 45; Correction blend 70; Sharpening 0.
´4. Adjust > Hue&Saturation > Hue/Saturation/Lightness. This makes the colors in the picture look either brighter or you can make them look less bright. This is also a place where you can play around with the settings. Actually you can always play around with the settings when you're making something. It's almost a must do. lol The settings I used:
Master - Hue -4; Saturation 11; Lightness 5
Reds - All 0
Yellows - Hue -9; Saturation -23; Lightness 0
Greens - Hue -2; Saturation 9; Lightness 0
Cyans,Blues, Magentas - All 0
5. Adjust > Brightness&Contrast > Curves. There you can also change the look of the colours in the picture. Also the contrast and so on. :) Settings I used -
Contrast - Channel RGB : First point 227>240; Second point 132>174; Third point 69>108; The fourth 41>49.
Don't worry if the picture might look a bit weird at the moment with the settings I used. It will get better during the process.
6. The last thing I do to finish up I resize the image to the size I think will suit for my graphic. This time I resized it to 300x399 pixels. A must if resizing a picture into a smaller one I to always sharpen it afterwards to make it clear again.
Step 1. Crop it down to 100x100 pixels since it's an icon we're making. TIP: It's all about the angles, the more interesting the better. Don't be afraid to experiment. I cropped the picture into this:
Step 2. Now if you notice Pete doesn't quite stand out in the picture. So to make him a bit more visible. Take the so called Freehand Selection Tool - Selection Type: Point To Point; Feather: 2; Anti Alias ticked. Select Pete with the lasso tool and then go to Layers palette and right click selecting Promote Selection To Layer. You will need that later.
Step 3. Duplicate the base layer 4 times. The first three set to Screen, and the fourth to Soft Light. By now you should have 6 layers shown in the layer palette.
Step 4. Create a new raster layer on top of all the layers and fill it with #0b0b4d. Then set to Exclusion. Yet again this is a place where you can experiment with the colour you want to use. I'd suggest using a shade of darker blue when you want to achieve a smiliar effect when a layer is set to Exclusion.
Step 5. Remember when you selected Pete with the lasso tool and promoted it to layer? Now drag the layer called Promoted Selection to the top. Now Pete is a bit more visible.
By now the picture should look something like this >
Step 6. Now come the finishing touches. You can add textures, gradients, patterns. For this particular icon I used this texture >
And set it to screen. (I'd credit if I'd remember where I got it from. So if anyone recognizes as theirs, please do let me know. :D ) And this >
For adding brushes I'd recommend creating a new layer. This way it's easier to move them around and delete them if necessary without losing your previous work done.
The finished icon:
Hope you found this helpful. Also if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. I'd be glad to help.