1. Start with a base of 100x100 and color your background with this light blue:
2. Create a new channel mixer layer (layer > new adjustment layer > channel mixer) with these properties.
RED: +100, +8, -2
GREEN: 0, +100, 0
BLUE: 0, 0, +100
This layer should go above the blue base and will now look like this:
3. Pick a base image. Crop and resize your base to 100x100. I liked the vertical nature of my base.
Place you base above the channel mixer layer in whatever position you would like. For this icon I wanted a strong anomaly balance. Cut around your base using the polygonal lasso tool or an eraser, whichever you prefer. Once your base's background has been eliminated, you should have a blue background.
4. Create a new selective color layer (layer > new adjustment layer > selective color) with these properties:
RED: -100, 0, -1, 0
YELLOW: -100, 0, 100, 0
NEUTRAL: +55, 0, -20, 0
Your icon should look like this:
5. Create a new layer and fill with this dark blue:
Set this layer to Exclusion 100%
6. Create a new layer and fill with this bright blue:
Set this layer to Exclusion 40%
7. Copy your base image (make sure it has no background) and desaturate it (Apple + U / Ctrl + U). Set that layer to soft light 100%
8. Create a new layer and fill with this dull pink:
Set this layer to Overlay 100%
9. The background color is a really ugly yellow by this point, and we want the pretty blue to show through. On your base image, select the negative space (area around the figure). Click back on the selective color layer and each color fill layer and delete the area around the figure. You should have the blue coming through:
10. Now it's time to add in the textures. Paste in this grunge texture
by shoqolad and set to Multiply 35%
11. Paste in this light texture
by eveningwalk and scale, rotate, etc to fit where you want it. Set this layer to screen 48% (you may adjust the opacity depending on how bright you want the halo to be)
12. Paste in this notebook texture
(seeking the maker's name) and set to Multiply 100%. Using a broad, fuzzy eraser, erase the lines that go across the figure. You don't want it to look harsh and like the lines were erased, but more subtle.
13. For the text, I used SchoolHouse Cursive, size 12, black color set to Multiply 41%
14. If you think your image is too light, you can go back in to the base image layer and use the burn tool to darken some areas. It is best to darken white areas or areas of shadow and not the whole image. Skin tones and yellow will darken magenta, white and gray will darken to cyans.
Other icons made with this tutorial:
Play around with it and I would love to see some results!