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Shadows

The strong shadow cast by a tree in front of the shop adds the drama that made the painting for me. Creating that shadow was a breeze. Photoshop has a brush tip that was perfect for this effect—Scattered Maple Leaves (Figure 4.23). If I may take a moment to brag, this is one of the brush tips that I created for the release of Photoshop version 7, the version where the Brushes engine was introduced.

Figure 4.23

Figure 4.23 The Scattered Maple Leaves brush in the Brushes panel.

In a layer, I stroked the brush using black for the Foreground color, filling the layer with leaves (Figure 4.24). The layer was blurred with the Gaussian Blur filter (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur), as shown in Figure 4.25. The mode for the layer containing the shadow was set to Multiply and the Opacity was lowered (Figure 4.26). This allowed the colors of the layers beneath to be affected, as would the colors in the real scene.

Figure 4.24

Figure 4.24 The scattered maple leaves fill a layer.

Figure 4.25

Figure 4.25 The layer with the scattered maple leaves was blurred.

Figure 4.26

Figure 4.26 The mode for the scattered maple leaves layer was changed to Multiply, and Opacity was lowered.

In some cases, the shadows needed to be distorted as they traveled along angular surfaces, as shown on the sides of the letters in Figure 4.27. To get this effect, I distorted them using the Distort feature (Edit > Transform > Distort). I also applied the Motion Blur filter (Filter > Blur > Motion Blur) to stretch the shadow, as would be the case in a real-life situation.

Figure 4.27

Figure 4.27 The layer with the shadow was distorted to travel along the sides of the letters.

Inside the orange, plastic letterforms, the shadow was created using a brown color (Figure 4.28).

Figure 4.28

Figure 4.28 The Scattered Maple Leaves brush was applied using a brown color to cover the orange plastic of the letters.

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