This is a somewhat basic tutorial on how I achieve a pastel bright effect in my icons.This technique looks good with shows like 'The Untamed' that has a lot of blues and other pastels. The two main things I use are 'saturation' and 'luminosity' on layers.
After cropping prep the icon by brightening & sharpening it.
I usually duplicate the layer and set it on screen.
For this icon I duplicated twice. I also erased some parts that were too bright.
On a new layer, use any colour. Set it on ‘Luminosity’. Lower the opacity & fill to 50-60%. See what works with your image.
Now on a new layer ‘apply image’ to get a very muted image.
Set this layer on ‘Soft light’. Lower the opacity & fill.
Now on a new layer use a bright colour. Set this on ‘Saturation’. Erase the skin to make them less pink/red.
You can change the brightness/contrast to suit your taste.
Another icon using the same method:
Crop. Duplicate the layer. Set it on 'Screen' & 'sharpen'. Erase the parts that are too bright if you like.
For this icon I also darkened the sleeve/robe.
Used this texture of mine to fill the empty space & coloured it blue.
On a layer above the texture I created a new layer & filled it with blue. Set it on 'color'.
Use a bright colour on a new layer & set it on 'Luminous'. Reduce the opacity & fill.
On a new layer 'apply image' and set this to 'Soft light'. Reduce fill & opacity.
On a new layer add a bright colour. Set it on 'Saturation'.
Optional: On a new layer 'apply image'. Set this on multiply and reduce the fill & opacity. Also erase parts that are too dark.
You are actually done but I wanted to add some light spots.
I added random white strokes on a layer and set it on 'hard light'.
For the final image I subtly changed the brightness /contrast and sharpened the final layer.Then erased the parts that were too sharp.