mylengrave asked me for a tutorial for this icon and some tips on how to get smoothness on faces.
First I created new 200x200 canvas and filled it with pink color (cc7d8e). After that I cut out Clara from the screencap using Pen tool, placed it on my canvas and resized it the way I like. Then I used Auto Contrast. Next layers I applied directly to the subject, not touching background for now.
I created new Curves layer to make her brighter (Output:178 Input:153 ;Output:93 Input:82). To add more warm pink tones to to her face and hair I created Selective Color Layer with next settings:
Reds: Cyan -5, Magenta +17, Yellow +5, Black 0;
Yellows: Cyan 0, Magenta +11, Yellow +14, Black 0;
Cyans: Cyan +100, Magenta +100, Yellow 0, Black 0;
Blues: Cyan -100, Magenta +100, Yellow +100, Black 0;
Magentas: Cyan +27, Magenta +26, Yellow -82, Black 0.
To add even more pink to the hair I panted background color over Clara’s hair on the new layer and set it to Multiply (50% opacity)
Her skin tone still has a blue undertone. So I created new layer, set it to Multiply (46% opacity) and painted her skin with (e4c9b4). Then I duplicated this layer and set it to Soft Light (100% opacity). To add more contrast I created new Exposure layer with next settings:
Gamma Correction: 0.91.
Then I added some painted hair. I already had colored Doctor part of the icon so blue color was picked from Doctor’s part. To blend Clara a bit more into background I created new layer (applied to the whole icon) and with a soft brush with a small opacity I painted over Clara’s hair and face using background color.
Then I added the Doctor part of the icon (unfortunately I don’t have a psd for the Doctor) resized it and placed the way I like. Then I added it one more time and placed it behind the Clara. To created this kind of gradient glowy effect I created new layer and set it to Hard Light (80% opacity) and with soft brush I painted the top part of the icon with light pink and the bottom part with dark pink. Then I used Layer Mask to erase the color from the blue circle behind Clara. To make blue color more saturated I used Hue/Saturation layer with next settings:
Cyans: Hue: +5, Saturation: +11, Lightness:0;
Blues: Hue: -15, Saturation: +32, Lightness:0.
Then I merged all the layers together, blurred it using Gaussian Blur and set to the Soft Light (30% opacity). Then I added new layer to Hard Light (35% opacity) and painted with very light pink to tone down the red which was a bit too vibrant for the whole icon look. Then to make gradient more visible I added new layer set to Soft Light (40% opacity) and with soft brush painted the top part of icon with white color.
To make icon brighter and add a bit more contrast I added new Brightness/Contrast layer (Brightness: +10, Contrast: +11). This icon was made for color palette challenge so to fit it more to the color I created new Vibrance layer (Vibrance: -1, Saturation: -7). Then I added text, resized it to 100x100px, added sharpness using High Pass and that’s it!
Also here is a .psd for this icon.
I don’t think I have any specific tips to make face look smooth. I always try to use as HQ caps as possible, because sometimes you have to add a lot of layers to the icon to make icon look the way you want. Using Gaussian Blur is really helping in creating smooth looking skin. Sometimes when I sharpen the icon I erase sharpen layer from the skin area. And if none of these steps really works for me I try to use a little bit of Topaz filter erasing it from all the areas of the icon except skin. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. And I think that’s all I do to make skin looks smooth.