Sometimes it’s hard to get motivated to actually sit at my desk and work! But then I think to myself, I get to draw and paint as a job?! That’s pretty awesome and I have nothing to complain about. Anyways, today I buckled down, had Nico’s These Days playing and got down to business.

I’m working on designing some icons for a client. I know icons should be simple, but I like to go a little crazy. I like making hand painted icons that are┬ámini pieces of art. First I set up some Photoshop files. I had a scanned image of some watercolor textures. So I took these textures, cropped circles out of them and used the recoloring brush to make sure each circle fit the color scheme of the client’s. The recoloring brush in Photoshop is the bees’ knees.

Next, I got a pencil and a scrap piece of watercolor paper and started sketching quickly.


After making my sketches, I got my watercolor paper out, my trusty old brush and ink and painted all the icons. As you can see I had some problems getting straight lines! Oh boy it’s been a while. I was a maniac with the brush and filled the whole page. Next, I marked which icons were acceptable. Then I scanned the bad boy, and hopped onto Photoshop.

On Photoshop, I copied and pasted the scanned image onto the circles I had made before. One trick I like to use to get rid of the background and just keep the black ink lines is to use Select->Color Range. This tool is pretty neat. When you see the pop-up menu take the eyedropper and click on the darkest part of your drawing. It automatically selects all the black ink and then you can copy and paste that selection onto a new layer. After I got rid of the background, I used some adjustment layers and got myself some icons! Last thing I like to do is to compress all my images by using the “Save for Web” export option. There’s a “(Legacy)” note next to this option which disturbs me. I really hope Adobe doesn’t get rid of this function.