No matter which papers and elements you select, as you polish off your newest layout and sit back to admire its beauty, you may notice that one of the most important elements on your page is the shadowing. If you are new to digital scrapbooking you may just be starting learn about drop shadows.
Do you shadow all your elements the same way? Or do you specifically select a shadow effect based on the element or its layer? From basic to complex, there are some pretty fun things you can do! Today I’m providing a few tips that you can try in your layouts to find your personal preference.
- Play with the color of your shadows. Instead of the default black, opt for a grey or very dark brown.
- Play with blending modes. Options like linear burn or multiply can create a very different effect as they often pick up a bit of the color from the layer below the shadow.
- Play with the “light source” angles. Do you like the default of 120 degrees? How would 45 degrees look? Or -45 degrees? However, once you find your preference, keep it consistent within your layout.
- Play with the drop shadow settings. Adjusting your opacity, size, and spread can really make a difference. Do you like to keep the shadows neat and tidy next to your element? Or do you like to add some size and spread to create the appearance of additional space between elements?
- Try something other than the drop shadow setting, such as outer glow. This sometimes works well for objects that you want to look flatter on your layout, such as the first layer above your background paper.
How shadowing is used is a matter of great personal preference, but no matter what your preference is adding shadows to your layouts creates depth, interest, and makes them more realistic. Let’s take a look at a before and after:
While the before still looks great, the after certainly looks even better and more realistic. Here is a common shadow setting I like to use:
- Color: Very Dark Brown
- Blend Mode: Linear Burn
- Opacity: 65%
- Angle: 45 Degrees
- Distance: 10px
- Size: 20px
Give it a try and adjust it to your liking. One great thing about most software programs is that once you find the settings you like you can generally save them. In Photoshop and PSE you save them as layer styles.