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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!