Create Eye-Catching Water Drops

It’s easy—and a whole lot of fun—to create natural looking water drops in Pixelmator. Including them in your composition can be a very neat effect that can dramatically change how your entire composition looks.

Layers, the selection tools, the Bump effect, the Gradient Tool and the Eraser Tool are used in this tutorial.

Step 1

Open an image to use as a background. You can use any image, but to get results similar to those in this tutorial, use an image with a leaf texture.

Step 2

Create a water drop shape. The Elliptical Marquee Tool makes it simple to create this kind of shape, but you can use any of the selection tools to create an irregularly shaped water drop. Pick a selection tool in the Tools palette and click and drag on the canvas to define the water drop’s shape. Once a selection is made, choose Edit > Duplicate.

Step 3

Start off by creating a shadow for the water drop. Duplicate the layer named “Base Layer” by choosing Edit > Duplicate. Then, fill it with black. Choose Edit > Fill, pick the black color and select the Preserve Transparency checkbox to fill only the colored area.

To soften the edges of the water drop, first, deselect it (Edit > Deselect All) and then apply the Gaussian effect. To do that, double-click the Gaussian thumbnail in the Effects Browser.

Step 4

Select and duplicate the layer named “Base Layer” again. Drag the layer you’ve just duplicated and place it above the others.

Step 5

Make the water drop pop. Duplicate the layer named “Base Layer” again. Then, drag it to the top and rename it to “Bump Filter.”

Step 6

Give the water drop some depth by adding shadows. Create a new layer by clicking the Add button (+) in the Layers palette and name it “Inner Shadow.” Next, select the “Bump Filter” layer and load the selection by choosing Edit > Load Selection. Then, select the “Inner Shadow” layer again.

Step 7

Now, add a bright light shadow at the bottom of the water drop. Duplicate the “Bump Filter” layer, name it “White Inner Shadow” and drag it above the other layers. Select the “Bump Filter” layer and load the selection (Edit > Load Selection).

Step 8

To make the light source even more distinct, add a darker shadow at the top of the water drop. Duplicate the “Bump Filter” layer, name it “Intense Green” and drag it above the other layers. Change the Blending mode to Multiply to deepen the green color.

Next, use the Eraser Tool with a mid-sized soft brush to delete portions of the green so the water drop doesn’t look flat. Use the image below as a reference.

And that’s how, with just a little effort, you can create realistic water drops using Pixelmator!


Tutorial Comments

  1. Me

    Who wrote this crap!? Have you ACTUALLY re-read what you wrote and followed your own instruction!? It’s confusing as hell. If you follow your instructions step-by-step, right after the 3rd step you already not getting the expected results you describe. JESUS! Go back to school before you attempt to write anything meaningful, for crying out loud!!!

  2. Jiminy39

    Incomplete directions, a lot of steps missing.

  3. Phil James

    Agree with ALL other comments. Terribly worded/formulated instructions. ”Go back to copy named base layer”… THERE ISN’T A COPY CALLED BASE LAYER!! Very confusing

  4. Paul Schultz

    This is not a tutorial. It’s just crap!

  5. oskar

    have to agree with the commenters above. this is not at all clear. there is a disconnect between the text and the screen shots.

  6. Paul Carey

    The text is inconsistent with both the screenshots and results.

    For example, Steps 2, 3 and 4 all call for a layer to be duplicated, but the screenshot for Step 4 shows only 2 layers. Furthermore, Step 4 states “duplicate the layer named “Base Layer” again” but the screenshot shows no layer named “Base Layer”.

    I have happily followed other Pixelmator tutorials in the past, but was unable to follow this one.

  7. Sebastian Arroyo Parro

    muchas gracias me gustaria agun tutorial de extracion de cabello un poquito complicado.Saludos

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