Another tuts tonight (I'm on a roll!) with huge images, I'm sorry, but it's easily explained: it's better to do the painty-thingy on a bigger canvas. SO, a 500*wide for us to work with, prepare your base the way you normally do, it won't really upsed our work later with the brush.
First real step is to use the surface blur tool, it helps with the brushstrokes later, my numbers are:
Radius - 5
Threshold 11, but you can move those around the way you like, I appreciate having a bit of texure still visible of my original base, but it's up to you.
Now, let me say that this is kind of coplicated, because I can describe the passages, but it will still be a bit of a messy piece. Anyway, I created a new layer and picked the lighter brown from my background (it was like in a tiny spot on the left, and using the hard round brush -a default one-) I painted over the left side of my icon, as you may notice, the pen pressure was active that's why you can se different hues and deepness of the strokes.
An admission: this icon was going in a totally different direction before being painted over, so here's a bit of the original colouring (not really needed but still nice)
A gradient map with these colours: 590a2d and 79af7b on softlight to give some vintagey-feelings to my cap (I LOVE THIS CAP SO MUCH)
Then I added a bit of vibrancy just because (totally not needed, if you've a very vibrant coloured cap). Once I've done that, the real paintish work started, with the hard round brush, I started using the brush clicking alt to pick colours from my original base. I don't really know how to show this to be honest, so GIF
As you can see, using the alt (which is the fast colour picker) helps blending colours, I also moved a bit of shadows here and there because I wasn't really trying to get a realistic-paint-style (does that even make sense?); I wanted a very vibrant very dreamy icon.
Anyway, once that was done, on a new layer I painted some eyeshadow and blush on the cap. Nothing fancy really, but I needed to do this to make it POP after.
Some other bits of colouring: #f7e1c9 on multiply to dense up my base colours
I then pumped up the lights of the base with a brightness/contrast layer (pump up both, the lights and the contrast) and then, as magic, use a black layer con COLOR to turn it to black and white.
Finally to the fun part!
To paint over this icon I've use this brush here that has a nice texture inside and gives some fancy strokes. Now, I do have a graphic tabled, if you don't, you can set, in the BRUSH menù -> Transfer -> Opacity Jitter -> Control -> Fade with a minimum at least over 40%, this will help you built a very light stroke over the image. I wouldn't touch neither dual brush nor shape dynamics. Anyway, since this is the fun part, you pick your own colours and stroke around a bit. I start stroking on normal, but then I try some blending mode, this time I went straight to multiply to build up some colors, but, seriously, play around with your blending mode until you get something you like. As for the colours: GO CRAZY. Okay? Good.
Also, a trick I've learned, use as many layers as you need. Don't be afraid (unless you're working on a very big canvas over the 5000px, then don't use more than a few layers and merge down if you don't want your computer to crash on you). This are a couple stamp of my TWO layers on multiply, as you can see I used a variety of colours on them.
Remember that I used multiply but you HAVE to play around! (overlay is pretty good, and so is hard light).
Once I layed out my colours I make them pop with a Vibrance layer, now, this is up to you and how much colours you've used, what blending mode and all that jazz. Just, make them pop! If you need, you can also help yourself with a brightness/contrast layer to lighten them up (as I did here)
At this point (I have no idea why, I admit it) I've added a gradient map: 816b55 and e1dae6 on softlight, probably to tame down the yellow a bit? Maybe
Then, with the same brush we used earlier I created a sort of "border" around my (dear dear) Sylvia. This time though, my brush was on "COLOUR DODGE" and not on normal. You can try setting the layer on Colour dodge, though I don't know if the resoult will be similar. Anyway, just try it out, also, pick colours from your icon, not from the swatches!
RESIZING TIME! Big secret sharing now: I work on the original cap size, and resize down the canvas, not the image itself, before doing so, I copy all the layers (ctrl+shift+alt+c), and once I've resized the canvas I just paste the layer and resize it. I know it's a bit confusing, I'm sorry, but it's really good to have your original base and all the process right below the "ICON". Anyway, once everything is in a nice 100*100 canvas, I duplicated the layer (ctrl+j if you love shortcuts) and used the smart sharpen filter to sharpen the image.
My setting are ALWAYS the same, though I lower the opacity of the contrast layer as I see fit.
BASIC - Amount 300% - Radius 0,3 - Remove: gaussian blur - More Accurate.
Done that, I used the colour balance to make the icon a bit more red/warm oriented, playing with the
midtones:12 +48 -18
shadows: 25 -17 -4
OKay this is useless so no caps for that, Since the left part was a bit too dark, with the brush liked up there, I stroked around a bit and left the layer there (to rot!), then, just to finish this painting-thingy I picked this texture I edited
(original is the second one in this set) and set it on screen at a low opacity (34%) and that's that.
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