Avatar/LJ Icon Tutorial:
Written by Aly. Done in PS 7.0

LEVEL -  MEDIUM/MID-BEGINNER

How to turn this:

Into This:

1: Choose your picture and resize it to 80x80 (Or there approximately)
 

2: Sharpen your image once (Filter >> Sharped >> Sharpen)*
 

3: Duplicate your image and set it on top of itself, and set new layer to screen. Do this twice.
(This is now supposed to be very light)
 

4:  Floodfill your image, #0A011F and set to Exculsion 100%
 

5: Another floodfill, #E9E3C1 and set to Multiply 100%
 

6: Use this gradient, set to Burn 40% (Gradient is by myself)


 

7: Now open a blank white 100x100px canvas.
 

8: Set your 80x80 image on top of the white, centered in base image, and merge your layers (Layer >> Merge Layers. Or Ctrl +Shift+E)
 

9: Use this other gradient, place this on top of your icon and set to Screen 100%

 

10: Add some text, then you're done! I've used Palatino Linotype 6pt, all caps bold.
 


*Please remember that sharpening always depends upon the image you are using.