Draw a set of icons in Photoshop

what happens in the end

In this tutorial, we will create a set of icons in Photoshop. The icon set should have the same background and one theme. For training, we will create icons with the sun, snowflake and RSS icon. Let’s start.

1. Preparing the workspace

Step 1

Let’s start by creating a new document with a size of 350 px and 350 px. Click in the white box next to the setting. Background content (Background Contents) to select a new background color for the workspace.

Step 2

In the dialog box Color palette (Color Picker) select the gray background color of the workspace (# e0e0e2).

Step 3

It is always good when the work is structured from the very beginning. Create a layer group and name it. “The sun” (Sun). There will be placed all the layers related to creating an icon with the sun.

2. Create the base

Step 1

Using tool “Rectangle with rounded corners” (Rounded Rectangle Tool) draw a rectangle with dimensions of 83 px? 64 px and set the radius to 8 px. For a more accurate result, use the panel. Properties (Properties). Here you can simply enter the exact dimensions.

Step 2

Hold down Shift and then draw another rectangle with rounded corners. This new shape will be added to the previous one. Set its size to 36 px? 36 px with a radius of 3 px.

Step 3

Press ctrl + T to transform the shape, and then click and drag outside the bounding box to rotate it 45 °.

Step 4

Make sure the shape is in the center of the previous rectangle. In CC 2014, you can check the position of the shape by dragging it and attaching it to the guide in the center of the previous shape.

Step 5

Press Enter to save the result. You may find that in the confirmation dialog box you are informed that the shape will turn into a regular outline. This means that you can no longer edit it using the Properties panel. Just click “Yes” (Yes).

Step 6

Position the shape as shown in the image below.

Here is the result on a scale of 100%.

Step 7

Draw a similar shape on top of the previous one, which is 1 px less. You can do this by duplicating the shape and then changing its points or simply creating a new shape.

Step 8

Set the color to # 57adf8.

Step 9

Double-click the shape, and then apply Stroke (Stroke) and Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay) using the following settings.

For gradient, use the following color arrangement. To open the gradient editor and change the gradient settings, click the gradient preview window.

Step 10

Reduce the level fillings (Fill) up to 11%. The contents of the layer will be transparent and remain unchanged.

Here is the result.

3. Shadow

Step 1

Create a new layer under the base. Activate the tool “Brush” (Brush Tool) (B) and then draw a shadow under the icon.

Step 2

Still using the tool “Brush” (Brush Tool) (B), add a stronger shadow right below the tip of the icon.

Step 3

Holding CTRL, click the smaller icon to select a smaller figure. Create a new layer and use white over the selected area. Make sure you use a soft brush. Rigidity (Hardness) -0%.

Step 4

When done, deselect (Ctrl + D) and reduce opacity (Opacity) layer.

Step 5

Create a new layer and select the smaller base of the icon again. Fill the selection with a white to black gradient. Change blending mode (Blend Mode) layer on Overlap (Overlay) and then reduce it opacity (Opacity).

Step 6

Add another layer. Create a large elliptical selection at the bottom of the icon, and then press Ctrl on the base layer to cross it. Fill the selection with a white to black gradient. Change blending mode (Blend Mode) layer on “Screen” Screen and reduce it opacity (Opacity).

This is the result on a scale of 100%.

Step 7

Holding Ctrl, click on the thumbnail of the base layer. Create a new layer on top, then select Editing> Stroke (Edit> Stroke). Set a light blue color and width (Width) 1 px.

Below you can see the difference before and after adding a stroke inside the icon.

Step 8

Add a mask to the stroke layer. Fill it with black to hide all the outlines. Draw white lines over some sections to show them. Thus, now we have highlighted the edge of the icon.

In the image below, you can examine the edge selection in detail.

Step 9

Add adjustment layer Color balance (Color Balance) above icons. We use it to change the background color.

To simplify layer management, let’s change the layer name to Color change (color changer).

Step 10

Fill the adjustment mask with black. Select the base of the icon, and then fill it with white. Thus, the adjustment layer only affects the icon. Drag the sliders to change color.

Step 11

Duplicate all layers of the icon base and change the parameters in the adjustment layer. Color balance (Color Balance) separately.

4. Add icons to icons.

Step 1

For our first icon, we will add a sun icon. Start by drawing a yellow circle.

Step 2

Apply layer styles Inner shadow (Inner Shadow) and Internal glow (Inner Glow) using the following settings. Use color # 7b6708 and set both blending modes Multiplication (Multiply).

Step 3

Use a lighter yellow color in the center of the sun.

Step 4

Add a brighter yellow ellipse to the top of the sun.

Step 5

Draw a thin, bright figure on the upper right side of the sun to highlight it. Remove excess with a soft eraser to give a natural touch.

Step 6

Next you need to add shine to the sun. Start by drawing two yellow triangles as shown below. Place them behind the sun.

Step 7

Select both vector shapes and then duplicate them: Ctrl + C, and then Ctrl + V. Rotate the new pieces by 45 °.

Step 8

Continue to duplicate and rotate the shapes until we have enough rays.

Step 9

Apply Inner shadow (Inner Shadow) with color # b48f0b and External glow (Outer Glow) with color # f9dc7e.

Step 10

Hide the sun by clicking the eye icon near the layer. Draw more yellow triangles as shown below.

Add a circular shape to the center of the triangles and set the path mode Subtract front figure (Subtract).

We are done, so let’s bring back the flash and the shape of the sun.

Step 12

To get a realistic sun, we need to draw a blurred yellow round shape behind the sun. You can do it manually using a soft brush, or draw a circle first and then soften it using a filter. Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur).

Step 13

Double-click the icon group layer to add a layer style. Add a Internal glow (Inner Glow) with black color and set the blending mode – Multiplication (Multiply).

So we added a dark silhouette to the icon.

Step 14

Next we will create the RSS symbol in the icon. Start by drawing a round shape over the base.

Step 15

Duplicate and paste the contour (Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V). Press Ctrl + T and reduce the shape. Set in contour operations Subtract front figure (Subtract Front Shape).

Step 16

Duplicate the contour and reduce it. Set mode “Merge shapes” (Combine Shapes).

Step 17

Repeat the previous steps until you get the next shape.

Step 18

Add two rectangles and set their mode. “Subtract front figure” (Subtract Front Shape). To position them correctly, see the image below.

Step 19

Double click on the “Symbol RSS” layer and adjust Internal glow (Inner Glow), Gradient overlay (Gradient overlay), and Shadow (Drop Shadow).

Here is the result on a scale of 100%.

Step 20

Then we add the snowflake symbol to the third icon. Activate the tool “Freeform” (Custom Shape Tool) and download a set of vector shapes of nature from the options bar.

A dialog box appears with a warning about replacing or adding the theme “Nature” to already existing figures. You can click OK.

Step 21

Choose a shape snowflakes (Snowflake) in the dropdown list.

Step 22

Click and draw a snowflake shape on top of the icon.

This result is 100%.

Conclusion

As you can see from the lesson, there is nothing difficult in creating an icon set. Before you start drawing a symbol, you need to prepare a general theme. In this case, the icon is placed in a rounded rectangle and a triangle. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and learned something new.

Lesson author: Mohammad Jeprie

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