Step-Up Your Shadows in Photoshop

by Erin Weed

One of the best ways to determine how your shadows should look is to flip through the pages of Creating Keepsakes magazine and try to replicate what you see. Find an accent on a traditional layout that looks similar to the one you're trying to shadow, and then look carefully at how dark the shadow is, and also how big the shadow is.


This layout by Wendy Sue Anderson is a great model for shadowing a twine bow.

Buddy, Our Pet for a Day by Wendy Sue Anderson, from the March/April 2011 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine.

Shown below is a shadow on a bow created with the default settings in Photoshop. Compared to the bow on the photographed layout, the digital bow's shadow is much too dark and hard.

By making a few adjustments to the settings, a much more realistic shadow can be created.

Settings: Blend Mode: Linear Burn, Color: Dark Brown, Distance: 5px, Spread: 0%, Size: 21px.


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