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How to Create a Van Icon in Photoshop

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This is another icon I have created with Negreu Andreas. We wanted to create an icon that can be used for a game maybe or a Mac app of some sort. Before we started we searched the web for photography with similar vans, then made some ideas, and a quick sketch. After that we started working. Let's review the process!

Final Image Preview

Take a look at the image we'll be creating. You can view the final image preview below or view a larger version here.

Step 1

First of all you need to make a quick sketch of the icon you have in mind. It doesn't need to be very artistic (I know ours is not) but it must illustrate a simple idea of what you will create.

Step 2

Create a new layer, then use the Pen Tool (P) to trace the rough sketch and create a final shape of the car.

Step 3

It is time to add some color to the car. Use this code #ff6d00, then into a new layer start painting the color. Place the layer below the sketch you made in Step 2.

Step 4

Now you need to erase the excess color using the Pen Tool (P). After you made the path around the car, simply press Command + Enter and transform the path into a selection, then in the end press delete.

Step 5

Create a new layer and in this layer you will have to select the windows, tires and a lower bar of the car. Now fill them with black.

Step 6

Next create a peaceful hippie logo. Use the Ellipse Tool and the Rectangle Tool (U). First, create the circle then extract part of the circle with the same tool. Next use the Rectangle Tool and create the three lines.

Step 7

After you finish creating the logo, merge those three layers. Now double-click on the layers thumbnail to enter the Blending Options. THen apply some Bevel and Emboss and a Gradient Overlay.

Step 8

Let's create the spotlights. Using the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M), first create a new layer then Right-click, select stroke, and use 3px for the stroke. The color used for this stroke is #7a7a7a.

After you have achieved the shape you need, double-click the layer to enter the Blending Options and add a Bevel and Emboss with the settings shown below. Repeat the step for the other spotlight.

Step 9

Now it is time to start adding some gloss on the spotlights. Create a new layer then make a selection inside one of the spotlights. Use the Radial Gradient Tool set to White and Grey as shown below.

Step 10

Create a new layer and make a new circle using the Elliptical Marquee Tool. Use a white to transparent Linear Gradient and apply some gloss, like in the image below. In the end, repeat these two steps for the other spotlight. Also, decrease the Opacity of this layer to 80%.

Step 11

In this step we'll create the bumper. First, create a new layer and name it "bumper." Now use the Pen Tool (P) to make a path and transform the path into a selection. Next, fill the layer with the same orange and desaturate the layer.

Using the Burn Tool (O), brush over the lower side of the bumper. Also, if you want to, you can add some soft noise to make it look more real.

Step 12

Now we'll add some simple lines that will define the car's shape better. Using the Pen Tool, draw two paths like below. Set the brush to 1px and black. Next duplicate each line two times, press Command + I to inverse the color and make them white. In the end, place them beside the black strokes. You can also use the Eraser Tool (E) with a soft brush and erase the line heads.

Step 13

Repeat Step 12, but this time you need to create these lines in a different area of the van. After you create the black stroke, duplicate it and move it above it. Also, transform it into white by inverting the colors. Use the Eraser Tool and softly erase parts of the line.

You also have to create another similar line like the white one, but this time leave it black and move it below the first one. Also, you should add a soft shadow using the Burn Tool on the orange layer.

Step 14

Next you need to change the color of the hood. Create a new layer and name it "Hood." Now make a selection as shown below and fill it with #006c00.

Step 15

Let's add more gloss on the hood. Make a selection like in the image below. Next, use the Radial Gradient Tool set to White and Transparent to create a new layer. In this layer drag from left to right to obtain something similar to the image below, then duplicate the layer and move it to the other side.

Step 16

Add another gloss on the bumper by creating a new layer, then make a selection like in the image below, and fill the selection with white. Now set the layer Opacity to 60%. Next, duplicate the layer and move it to the other side.

Step 17

Add a gray light on the bumper using the same techniques we've covered. Then duplicate the layer and move it to the other side.

Step 18

It is time to work on the tires. Create a new layer, and use the Lasso Tool make a selection like in the image below. Fill the layer with #424242. Then using a soft black brush, draw over the edges of the layer.

Step 19

Continue creating the break-apart for all the elements. Look at the image below for reference. Also, use the splatter brush for greater effect.

Step 20

In this step, we'll add some more gloss to the hood. Make a selection as shown, and then use a white to transparent Radial Gradient to create the gloss. Use the Eraser Tool and remove the excess gloss. Also, set the layer to 90% Opacity.

Step 21

Create a new layer and make a selection using the Pen Tool. Fill the selection with white, then set the Opacity of the layer to 70%.

Step 22

Create a new layer again. In this layer, use a black brush to add a soft shadow.

Step 23

Using the Pen Tool stroke a 1px black line as shown.

Step 24

Create two more glossy layers on top of the van.

Step 25

Now we need to create the smaller spotlights. First of all, we'll create a red circle with a black stroke and a white inner glow of 1px for both. Rasterize the layer then apply another white stroke. Then using a white soft brush, add the glossy effect.

Step 26

It's time to work on the windshields and make them transparent. Use the same techniques as before: create new layers, make selections, fill selections with white, and then erase or decrease opacity.

Step 27

Now we'll add some more reflections to the glass. These lights are supposed to be the reflection of neon.

Step 28

Repeat Step 27, but this time make the reflection on the side windows.

Step 29

In this step, you'll create the mirrors. Create a new group and a new layer and name it "mirror." Fill the layer with the color, then start adding new layers for each reflection, light and shadow applied.

Step 30

Add the shadows below the car using the Brush Tool and Eraser Tool.

Step 31

In the last step, we'll create the windscreen wipers.

Step 32

Using Icon Composer and Candy Bar add the icon to your favorite application.

Conclusion

Hope you learned some new techniques and had fun while doing so. You can view the final image below or view a larger version here.

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