View Full Version : How do you use shadows?

12-14-2013, 10:17 AM
Lately I've been playing around with what to shadow and which direction to shadow. I've been told not to shadow paint, splatters, etc. but what else are the "no no's"? Do you shadow everything in the same direction? I'm trying to grow as a scrapper and would love to hear some advice!

12-14-2013, 11:46 AM
I start off with the shadows going in the same direction, then step back and take another look. Depending on the page, I might adjust a few pieces for a different direction. Sometimes I will create the shadow on its own layer. Then move it or warp it, depending on the effect wanted.

As for other items not to shadow, I'd add text to that list.
Just my opinion.

12-14-2013, 02:24 PM
I don't know if there is an exact NO SHADOW list. It really depends on what looks good to your eye and your scrapping style. I am sure there are some pieces that I shadow that others wouldn't. But, I am okay with that because essentially it is going into my scrapbook. I'm not trying to win any awards or anything, it is just me preserving my memories. I shadow all the same direction probably because I don't know how to do it differently. Although, I am sure it is something really easy to do. If you want to shadow splatters, I say go for it...sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't. Whatever you decide to shadow, I am sure it will be AWESOME! I am with Michi, though, I have yet to make shadowed text look good no matter what I do. I think it is very cool that you are reaching out stretch your skills, though. I should take your example! :)

12-14-2013, 03:02 PM
Yes it all depends, I go through streaks about how I do things. Most often my shadows all go the same direction, but sometimes strings, etc that "stick up more" are different.

12-16-2013, 10:21 AM
I follow the same routine pretty much all the time. My "no shadow" list is the same as yours and includes text also.

I shadow everything in one direction because if it were a paper layout the shadows would all be going in the same direction and that direction just depends on where the light source is coming from. I usually shadow at either -20 or 45 degrees. I vary the opacity of my shadows depending on what the element is; for example, tape would get a very light opacity with a very light shadow. I generally shadow most of my regular elements and papers at 60. I also change the colors of my shadows to match the element instead of using black for everything.

As for how "deep" to make my shadows or how "big" I always think of my layout as a paper layout (because I paper scrapped for years). When looking at a paper layout the paper don't have a deep shadow because they are thin layers. I don't want my papers "floating up" on a page because that isn't realistic to me. Same with elements - the "thicker" the element the deeper the shadow but I don't want everything to "float." That's just my opinion though ;)

12-16-2013, 11:42 PM
I usually keep all my shadows going the same direction. My rule for shadows are this: if I were paper scrapping this page, which things would I use "pop dots" and want to stand out? Any layered paper is shadowed because it stands up off the base paper. My shadows are usually 13 for the size, 7 for the distance and then I lower the opacity to about 55-60 ish. These are all adjustable based on the elements I use but it's my starting point. For little elements I lower all those numbers even more. I never shadow things that would be "printed" onto the paper like my paint splatters below. I usually like to shadow word art but that depends on the look I am going for...once again, if I were to make it "pop up" off a paper page, then I will shadow it. As far as text goes, every now and again I lightly shadow my text to make it look "bolder" as my page below shows. By light, I mean size 1 and distance 1 or 0. It really just depends on my paper and if I feel my text is getting lost in the background. A 1 pt. shadow sometimes just makes it look very bolded. As far as angle, I always shadow the same direction...ALWAYS. Simply because the sun's angle makes all shadows go in the same direction. And it's easier to never mess with that setting. I've been doing this for 9+ years and this has all really been my "go-to" all these years. I know a lot of people do a lot of different things but this works for me and I'm usually happy with my pages. Whenever I teach classes, I always take my printed books and without fail, people try and feel my pages because they are sure they must be paper scrapped because they look so real. That's a great compliment in my opinion.

Good luck and ask questions! These ladies are awesome here!


12-21-2013, 07:36 PM
I also use the warp tool but in addition I use the smudge tool quite a bit. You can easily change with that. I use the smudge tool to quickly the amount of shadow or distance. I use it mostly for flowers and bulky things but it comes in handy quite a bit. It is best with irregular shadows.