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Some recent entries for notshoppedicons:

These were all made previous to downloading GIMP. What bugs me especially is the lack of image quality. Is there a way to make things less grainy? And is there anything else I need to do to improve?

Conceptually, I love my Oma & Anubis icon. Don't mind me while I fiddle with it. La la la. *g*


Those look pretty good to me *g* Are you saving as .jpg? Because I find .png to be a much superior format for quality, although the image size is a lot larger. If you save as .png, you may find less fuzziness

(ps: when working on images, save them as .xcf, and only save to a normal format when you're totally happy - that way, all your layers and so on are preserved, and you don't lose any quality through repeated saves.)
Saving as gif works well too.

I find the Unsharp Mask really effective for sharpening images like this icon (which I also brightened with a transparent overlay duplicate layer). Play with the values. A radius of .5 and a threshold of 3 works well if you've already scaled to icon size.

Someone recently pointed me to some GIMP tutorials on LJ which you might find useful since they're for icons. :-)
I downloaded a Gimp user manual a few days ago, but ch1pper just told me it's online here.
So you didn't make them with GIMP?

I love GIMP. It's taken me a good six months to get where I really feel comfortable with it, but it is handy- I boost up the contrast, highlight just the subject/face and make it sharper, blur the background, and slap on a filter of some kind. I do most of my work before I shrink and crop them.

I like your icons- all I think is they're a little dark. But you have a nice sense of composition and text placement. ^^