So I’m starting off with this image to create this final avatar:
Note!! If I don’t mention anything about the layer setting, assume it’s always Normal, 100%. ^^
First of all, choose your image. I started with the image that I linked above, and feel free to adjust the steps as you see fit, since it may not work well with all images.
Crop your image to your liking, I chose 100x100px because it’s the standard size for an avatar. I gave it an uneven angle because depending on the image, I like the space at the top, and it gives her expression more shine.
Next, I used Sharpen (Filters -> Enhance -> Sharpen) to make the image more focused and less blurry. I set mine to 30.
Add a fill layer (Edit -> Fill with FG Color), I set my fill to #000724 and set it to Screen, 40%.
I selected #2B0B59 as my foreground and #FE7B01 as my background colors using the dropper tool. Then I went to the Gradient Tool and selected “FG to BG”.
I duplicated the layer with our image and dragged it to the top. Then I used Gradient Map (Colors -> Map -> Gradient Map) and set the layer to Lighten Only, 100%.
Flatten the image: Image -> Flatten Image.
Go to your levels screen (Colors -> Levels). The input levels are:
40 | 0.80 | 240
And the output levels are:
20 | 255
Add a fill layer (Edit -> Fill with FG Color), I filled it with #131E4E and set it to Addition, 40%.
I used this — You can’t see it because it’s a white brush, but if you save it and open it up in Gimp, it should be transparent… (And it’s also pasted below). And I pasted it on top of the avatar. Then I moved it to the top.
And we are done, ladies and gentlemen!