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102 comments


  • liz

    you’re my hero. hands down the best tutorial ever. I love the mindblowing warnings too. :)

    March 12, 2010
  • Tali

    You are the coolest. I read and followed along even though my piddly PSE doesn’t allow for this kind of mind-blowing shadowing. These look amazing!

    March 12, 2010
  • This is super fantastic wonderful! Thanks for sharing your secrets. :-)

    March 12, 2010
  • OMG! My heart is pounding I’m so excited by this tutorial. I want to go home and scrap RIGHT NOW!

    March 12, 2010
  • Jude

    Thanks! I’ve been suffering from warp envy for ages and have cobbled together ways of fiddling with shadows in gimp – will definitely give the smudge tool a try :)

    March 12, 2010
  • This is hands-down “THE BEST” article I have ever read on shadows. Off to play :)

    Thanks a bunch!

    March 12, 2010
  • you totally rock with this tutorial!!! thank you!

    March 12, 2010
  • Amazing article,thank you so much :)

    March 12, 2010
  • Carolee

    Very cool tutorial. Loved the details on the secondary shadows.

    March 12, 2010
  • that was fantastic, thank you!

    March 12, 2010
  • Sarah

    I just was shadowing ribbon and couldn’t for the life of me get it to look right, I think the smudge tool is going to be a new best friend.

    March 12, 2010
  • Amazing!!! I use PSP, so I know things will be different, but I think you gave me some tools I can work with! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    March 12, 2010
  • wow!! thank you SO much for sharing this! really awesome tutorial!

    March 12, 2010
  • blurooferika

    Thanks for taking the time to put this all down in a thorough, easy-to-follow manner, Peppermint. Your fan club—and the many interested beginners who happen upon your blog—greatly appreciate it. Have a great weekend!

    March 12, 2010
  • Tiki

    Thanks for the tut! Watch the gallery for my mind numbing shadows in the future ;)

    March 12, 2010
  • Lynnette

    Best.shadow.tutorial.ever. And seriously beyond hilarious as well, haha. Thank you so much for sharing your tricks!

    March 12, 2010
  • I just found your blog through the Paisley Press blog and I’m so glad I did. You are hilarious! LOL! This tutorial is AMAZING. THANK YOU!

    March 12, 2010
  • thanks for the amazing tutorial!! I’m going to try and be this cool with all my shadows

    March 12, 2010
  • dana

    peppermint -you rock my socks! thanks so much for the fab tutorial :) cannot wait to try :)

    March 12, 2010
  • bookmarking this! thanks!

    March 12, 2010
  • sue.falstaff

    Amazing … thank you!!!

    March 13, 2010
  • Dagmar

    NOW I get it!!!
    You are awesome, Peppermint!!

    March 13, 2010
  • Kelly

    This is awesome Peppermint! Thanks so much…I can’t wait to try it out!!

    March 13, 2010
  • What an awesome tut Peppermint!!! A long over due congrats on your truly amazing designs xo

    March 13, 2010
  • Thank you very much !!!
    Fantastic tutorial !!!

    March 13, 2010
  • Amanda

    AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing this. I can’t wait to try it out.

    March 13, 2010
  • Shadowing Yoda, you are! This is just brilliant! I totally can’t wait to have my shadows own Prius-es and make their own granola bars!

    March 13, 2010
  • OMG!!! you’re too funny :) … THANK you for this … gonna go rock some linear burn shadows now ;)

    March 14, 2010
  • Raji Sriram

    Thank you so much!!

    March 14, 2010
  • Thank you so much for this tutorial. You ROCK Peppermint! You are so awesome for taking the TIME to document this process for those of us who didn’t KNOW. I myself am much more enlightened for this tutorial, thank you!

    March 14, 2010
  • Thank you for sharing this wonderful tutorial with us!

    March 14, 2010
  • ViVre

    I thank you 1000 times!
    It always seemed a secret only know by a happy few. And you SHARED it!!!
    Be sure I gonna use it!

    March 14, 2010
  • Awesome tutorial! I can’t wait to try it out. This is my goal for the year to start paying attention to my shadows and spend more time making them look nice.

    March 15, 2010
  • Susan

    Fabulous tutorial! I have done some of the steps before but never all of them and not as consistently as I should. I never thought of a secondary shadow. Thanks so much!

    March 15, 2010
  • LaRissa

    This is AWESOME, P!! Thanks so much!

    March 15, 2010
  • I tried your tut today, thanks to a recommendation to check out your post on our forums. You can see my before and after here: http://www.thedigichick.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29570

    I’m shocked and in love with all these tips. This is hands down the best shadow tut I’ve read to date and I’ve checked out a ton of them. Thank you so much!

    March 17, 2010
  • Wow, what a wayyyyyyyyy cool tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

    March 17, 2010
  • Unica

    holy crap! I never thought I’d find a tut for shadow that seemed to make sense to me. But hold and behold here it is! Thank you soooo much!

    March 18, 2010
  • Deb

    I love learning though laughter, thanks!

    March 18, 2010
  • oh you should win an award for this brilliance! Thank you!

    March 18, 2010
  • Davita

    Thank you for the best and most brilliantly written shadow tut ever.

    March 20, 2010
  • Patty

    This is an *awesome* tutorial…thank you for taking the time to share your secrets with the rest of us…I’ve officially converted from the warp tool to the smudge tool. :)

    March 26, 2010
  • Brennie

    Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together. Brilliant explanation of every step, best tutorial I’ve seen. Off to get some practice

    April 04, 2010
  • GlitterQueen

    Awesomely instructive and funny tutorial! Can’t wait to try these tips.

    April 13, 2010
  • renne

    this is absolutely the BEST tutorial ever! Thank you!!

    June 02, 2010
  • Paula Francovig

    Woww, this tuto is really fantastic!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

    June 03, 2010
  • kris

    This is very informative! Never thought to use linear burn. Thanks for sharing! Since you’ve asked, do you have any tips for shadowing fabric? This seems to be the killer element for me. Thanks in advance! :)

    June 03, 2010
  • Wow Peppermint, this is AWESOME! Thanks for the tips! By the way… you should be a writer ;)

    July 09, 2010
  • Thank you for the great tutorial! Never thought about smudging the shadow layer..will have to try!!

    July 28, 2010
  • [...] Drop Shadow Tutorial from Peppermint Granberg [...]

    August 04, 2010
  • Dawn

    Excellent tut! I don’t know what I enjoyed better your writing style or learning about drop shadows :). I’m going to link this up on my blog, hope that’s cool with you!

    August 13, 2010
  • lynne

    This is such an awesome and well-explained tutorial! thank you so much for taking the time to do this. Definite “head explosion” material!!

    August 17, 2010
  • Ron

    Thank you for this amazing tutorial! Shadows can be challenging, but you’ve presented this info clearly and understandably, with a bit of humor, too! My own digi-shadows will improve thanks to your gracious sharing!!

    August 20, 2010
  • Chickie

    After enjoying your scatter tute, I had to venture on over to your drop shadow version of CSI for scrappers.. (that stands for Complete Shadow Information). This is totally shadowrific. I have a request for your fantastic tutortials… a pdf version for downloading! I love to print good tute’s and keep them in a notebook for future reference, and yours would be a very welcome addition to my collection. Thanks for the great info!

    August 20, 2010
  • This is a fantastic tutorial and I have proof! I followed the steps and adjusted the settings where necessary with a little red flower on a tan background. I then used two other shadows actions that I have been using for ages. I placed all three flowers together and had my husband give his opinion. Now, he knows nothing about Photoshop, blend modes, and smudge tools. I just asked him to tell me which one he thought looked the most realistic. You got it! He said the flower with the shadow I created from your tutorial. That’s proof enough for me. Thanks so much for sharing this great tutorial. And your explanations really made sense.

    August 24, 2010
  • [...] gave me a link to THE best tutorial on shadowing. It's by One Little Bird. Shadow Files: The Basics I can't cluster to save my life…but, I'd start by lifting people I love. That's the only thing I [...]

    September 03, 2010
  • JetjeZ

    OMG, that is one awesome tutorial. Thank you so much!

    September 28, 2010
  • Diane Morris

    Thank you so much for freely sharing!!! This tutorial is great….well explained, easy to follow…..and your shadows are AWESOME!!!

    September 29, 2010
  • [...] One Little Bird – shadow basics (great tips for shadowing different [...]

    October 05, 2010
  • [...] I did here HELP!!! it might help a little! here are another one for you (not by me lol!)… Shadow Files: The Basics hope they help! __________________ creating for Randi Oh Designs * Pixel Queens * [...]

    October 22, 2010
  • beckie

    thank you for this awesome tut!! i love it!!

    November 04, 2010
  • [...] experiment with what photoshop can do. And if you need something else to play with, check out this tutorial by Peppermint Granberg (aka One Little Bird) on mind blowing shadows. You may have heard about it a [...]

    November 18, 2010
  • thanks for this one sweetie. i had to put it in my christmas countdown for today. a splendid gift to share – this link with your tutorial!
    hugs, terese

    December 05, 2010
  • patriciae

    What a fantastic tutorial of drop shadows! This is the best info I’ve read on it. Thank you!!!!!!! Your flower looks beautiful and very realistic.

    January 13, 2011
  • Jo

    Very clearly explained, thanks!

    January 24, 2011
  • [...] det upp en meny där du kan välja drop shadows. (I alla fall i CS3 som jag använder) Läs sedan den här fantastiska guiden om vilka inställningar som blir bra. Där får man veta allt man behöver, och [...]

    March 07, 2011
  • [...] at a few tutorials.  My personal favorite tutorial is Peppermint Granberg’s which is on her blog.  Good shadows can tip you over the [...]

    April 05, 2011
  • Jen

    Holy s**t. I have been a web designer for years and years and have just started in digital design…this is the best tutorial I have ever read. Thank you!

    April 16, 2011
  • AKrubygal

    what a fabulous tutorial — thank you!

    April 20, 2011
  • i loved this tutorial!! i posted a link on my blog to share with others. you may have vastly improved my quality of life. :)

    May 02, 2011
  • amyjo

    You are a FANTASTIC tutorial writer – I’m not good at explaining things to other people, so when I find things like this, I totally share them with the people who get frustrated with me for being unable to explain clearly to them what I’m talking about :D

    Totally sharing this with my sisters :D

    May 12, 2011
  • Brenda

    I was just about to sign up for your tutorial on BPS — then noticed it was only for the full photoshop version. Could you design one for us PSE users? Thanks.

    June 18, 2011
    • This is a request I’ve gotten a few times, Brenda, but unfortunately I’ve never used Photoshop Elements – so I wouldn’t have any idea on how to teach these techniques in PSE. Also a few of the tools/functions aren’t available in PSE, so that ties my hands a bit.

      I know there are workarounds that other PSE users have discovered that give them a little more flexibility, but PSE is a totally different animal for me.

      June 18, 2011
  • Kristi

    I just bought your “Me and my Shadow” class at Big Picture, thinking that since the blog tutorial had covered the linear burn tip and hex color thingie, what else could there possibly be to drop shadowing? WOW–a lot more it turns out–so much so that I’ve just started and already my pages look 100% better. Such great info, and taught at a level everyone can understand! Best $10 I ever spent!

    June 22, 2011
  • grambie

    This is my first time visiting as a newsletter recipient and having a hilarious time. I just tried your tutorial in PSE, It Works! The only difference, which is minor, is that I had to manually do the blend mode change after creating the first shadow.

    I am a member of digital scrapping, and I have your kit of the month. That is what led me to your blog. Love it!

    July 10, 2011
  • [...] Granberg's is AWESOME!!! Shadow Files: The Basics | One Little Bird Designs | Blog __________________ My Store at Plain Digital [...]

    July 18, 2011
  • Christine

    I thought I was doing okay till I read this!! It is fantastic. You are wonderful for sharing and I thank you so much. This has already changed the way I shadow as I love the smudge tool.

    September 08, 2011
  • [...] Then hop over to her blog and learn how to do it! Share this: Posted in Online Finds « BOB Layouts….September [...]

    September 23, 2011
  • frani_54

    Awesome shadow tutorial, thanks for sharing! Love the humor and the end tip about linking the layers right away….

    October 12, 2011
  • Patricia

    Fabulous tutorial! Your shadowing style is gorgeous and so realistic. I already bought your style set (which rocks!) and I am planning to take your mini class since you obviously know a ton about this and I don’t, ha ha.

    :) Thank you * Thank you * Thank you!!!!!!!

    November 17, 2011
  • After I cleaned off the brain matter from my laptop, I got busy trying your tutorial in PSP. It. is. AWESOME.

    For those curious, linear burn is equivalent to multiply in PSP.

    I was afraid of the smudge brush (smear in PSP) before I tired this. Now I’m afraid I’ll be smudging everything in my sight. (sorry kids) I hate the warp tool, too, so I am thankful for this clever alternative.

    Thanks so much!

    January 09, 2012
  • Bonnie

    You opened my mind to different shadow options. I’m using PSE and translating these should similar–not difficult. I especially liked the Smudge Tool and Gaussian Blur. Thanks so much!!!

    January 23, 2012
  • [...] digital scrappers choose one of two blend modes: multiply or linear burn. Peppermint Granberg of One Little Bird Designs gives a great description of the differences between the two [...]

    January 23, 2012
  • [...] PS/PSE by Peppermint (scroll way down to get to this part or read the whole tutorial, it’s good!0 [...]

    February 28, 2012
  • [...] set my drop shadows to this blend mode. Peppermint, owner of One Little Bird Designs, offers a mind-blowing Shadowing Tutorial on the importance of this blend. Be sure and check that [...]

    March 05, 2012
  • Hi Peppermint!

    I just did your class “Me and my Shadow” and I loved it! I´m a hybrid scrapper, but I also do some pure digi pages and I love designing products. I´ve just finished a page with loads of layers, and if it was a paper page it would have been very dimentional. I created it using the size and distance technique you used in the class, but it leaves me with a question.

    I´ve got 10 chunky layers between my background paper and my top layer. (Collagd papers and tags) Even though the top layer is “far” away from the background, it is not far away from layer 9. It is however overlapping both background and layer 9. Would I have to manually change each shadow to accomodate both the distance to the background and to the other layers it touches or is there an easier way to achieve a realistic shadow on LOs like this?

    Thansk for the great class!

    Siri

    June 03, 2012
  • [...] Scrap girls pour créer des ombres réalistes (PSE) ou encore celui de Peppermint (que j’aime beaucoup car bien souvent, elle me fait [...]

    July 22, 2012
  • [...] we digi-gals should NOT ignore it. And even though I know how to shadow as well as Peppermint or Krista I still rely heavily on a toolbox of digital shadowing styles. Here are a list of my top [...]

    August 10, 2012
  • [...] preferred blend mode setting is “Linear Burn.” You can read her explanation of why, HERE. Her explanation is much clearer than any I’ve heard, and rather than try and put it in my [...]

    August 16, 2012
  • [...] then you should check out her products.  She is known for her work with shadows…and has a class where you can learn how she does it…or you could do what I did & buy her layer styles for [...]

    August 31, 2012
  • [...] This month our Digital Scrapper Premier kit is Big Ideas, by One Little Bird. On her blog, “One Little Bird,” Peppermint Granberg has shared her secrets for creating stunning custom shadows. So before you start making your layouts this month, you might want to pop over there and check out Shadow Files: The Basics. [...]

    September 03, 2012
  • Thank you for this awesome tutorial! And thank you for letting us post about it it on the Digital Scrapper blog!

    September 03, 2012
  • [...] Frames: Paisless Press Pictures & Words Vol. 3, borders added by me, cropped somewhat, shadows by Peppermint  [...]

    September 06, 2012
  • [...] like they are no longer available for purchase. Sad. She does have a fantastic drop shadow tutorial here on her blog, and a self-paced class at Big Picture Classes called Me and My Shadow that takes her [...]

    October 03, 2012
  • Lea

    WOW! I have tried the tutorial at the same time as reading and what a change it makes in my page!! This tutorial is amazing and I want to thank you for finally making my ribbons look real and not just floating around on the page. I feel like I’ve reached a milestone!

    October 13, 2012
  • [...] this I’m checking that the angles are all working and are consistent. I also check that the blend mode used is [...]

    October 31, 2012
  • [...] like they are no longer available for purchase. Sad. She does have a fantastic drop shadow tutorial here on her blog, and a self-paced class at Big Picture Classes called Me and My Shadow that takes her [...]

    November 07, 2012
  • [...] you’ll also want to learn a bit about drop shadowing. Peppermint of One Litte Bird has a mind-blowing shadowing tutorial that I cannot recommend highly enough. I learned almost everything I know about drop shadowing [...]

    November 19, 2012
  • [...] flat, but you also don’t want your shadows to look overly deep. Check out Peppermint’s mind-blowing shadow tutorial for some basic tips on shadowing. At this point, I also deleted the included shadow style from the [...]

    November 26, 2012
  • I bought your self-paced class at BPC last year when you first offered it, but just finally got time to do it today (I’m a bit of a class junkie). Oh my goodness! I love it. I can’t believe I didn’t do it before today. I’m killing myself going back through my digi layouts to fix the shadows. They look so much more amazing. Thank you thank you thank you!!

    December 28, 2012
  • [...] some great tips on shadowing acrylics on her blog. And Peppermint has some general shadow tips on her blog, as well as fabulous shadow layer styles in the store, including one for [...]

    May 22, 2013
  • […] good place to start is with Peppermint’s shadow tutorial. When shadowing, I try to keep in mind a few things. Papers are flat unless something is underneath […]

    January 15, 2014

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