St. Patricks Day is right around the corner!  In 2011 I visited Ireland and fell in love – with the people, with the beautiful country, and with Irish Lace. Last week I released some Irish Lace products, and I have received multiple emails this week asking me the best way to shadow the lace.  Today I would like to share with you how I do it.

We all know there are multiple ways to accomplish the same results in Photoshop.  If you have a favorite way of shadowing difficult pieces like lace, please share with us in the Comments area. We love hearing from you and learning from each other.

For today’s tutorial, I am using Photoshop CS6, and the element I will be working with is pictured below.  This beautiful flower was created by Jill (Jilbert’s Bits of Bytes), using her Paper Flower Action – PSCS version and a paper from her Papers-Watercolor Sea 1 (and I recolored it for the purposes of this tutorial). She used one of my new (just released today!) Irish Lace Overlays, Set3 for the lace flower overlay. The button is Jill’s creation also. (Soon to be released with a new button set.)


Without a shadow, this lace gets lost and looks pretty drab. So let’s perk it up a bit.


I double clicked on the layer of the lace flower to open the Layer Styles Panel.  I then applied a shadow to the lace with the following Structure:

Angle 120
Distance 19
Spread 0
Size 38

There is nothing magic about this structure. It’s just what I liked for this particular size and shape element.


Next I clicked on the color box to the right of the Blend Mode to active the color picker.


Using the eye dropper tool, I clicked on a dark part of the green flower to select that color, then clicked OK to close the Color Picker Box.  You will see the color that I have chosen reflected in the color box to the right of the Blend Mode in the Layer Style Panel.  I changed the Blend Mode to Linear Burn and to 49% Opacity.


Here’s the Before and After:


Here is the flower with the default Photoshop Shadow style applied. (Color Black; Blend Mode Multiply; Opacity 75%;  Angle 120; Distance 5; Spread 0; Size 5). The black color of the shadow is visible through the sheer parts of the lace, and creates a very harsh… and just-not-attractive look.


One of the keys to creating realistic shadows is in choosing the right color shadow and in using a Linear Burn blend mode.  Experiment, and see how you like this method!

If you would like to get your St. Patricks layouts off to a great start… or any layout, really… click on the image below to download this lovely lace flower!


Important Note:  While Jill’s action does work on PNG images, it is not marketed or advertised to do so. A lot of manual tweaking must be done in order to make the lace look perfect, and it is a difficult process. Jill generously worked on this lace flower today so we could offer it to you as a gift.  However, don’t be disheartened if you were looking forward to some lace flowers.   Jill is working hard at creating some for us all!   Keep on the lookout to see those in our stores soon!  Pick up Jill’s action now and start creating all of the flowers you would like to have, so when the lace flowers are available, if you would like to layer them, you’ll be ready to go!  While you’re at it, check out my Irish Lace product line.  What could be better than having perfectly matching lace overlays and flowers?

Credits and Good News!  You will find theStudio’s PU and CU shops on sale for 30% off through March 17th!  That  includes all of my Irish Lace products, including the brand NEW Irish Lace Overlays, provided in PNG format, and just released today!  It also include’s Jill’s Paper Flower Action, provided in both PSCS and PSE versions.   Links to specific products are provided below.

From SnickerdoodleDesigns: Irish Lace Styles; Irish Lace Corners; Irish Lace Borders Set 1; Irish Lace Borders Set 2; Irish Lace Overlays Set 1; and BRAND NEW:  Irish Lace Overlays Set 2; Irish Lace Overlays Set 3; Irish Lace Overlays Set 4; Irish Lace Frames.

From Jilbert’s Bits of Bytes: Paper Flower Action – PSE Version; Paper Flower Action PSCS version