Inner Shadows and Inner Glows can add to the sense of realism in an object, taking it from a flat-looking piece to one with dimension.


It’s easy to create this effect.  Here’s how:

Today I am working in Photoshop CC2015 and using a template from Vero – the French Touch (Vero CU Volume 243). Vero has added some beautiful lighting to her pumpkin template; but for the sake this tutorial, I have filled each template layer with a solid orange, so it will be easier to see the shadowing we will be doing today.


1. Let’s start with the center layer. Click on Layer 1 to make it active.

2. Double-click on the Layer 1 to bring up the Layer Style Panel.

3. Tick the box in front of “Inner Shadow” on the left side of the Layer Style Panel.

4. Click on the “Inner Shadow” Label to bring up the Inner Shadow Structure options, which will show on the right of the Layer Style Panel.


5. In the Structure options, click on the Color Picker box to the right of “Blend Mode” to bring up the Color Picker. Select the color you would like for your Inner Shadow.  (Tip: Click on the solid color of the pumpkin.  With the Luminosity Button ticked in the Color Picker, drag the triangles on the Color Slider down just a bit, to select a slightly darker orange color.) Click OK.


6. Set the Blend Mode to Color Burn.

7. Adjust the Distance, Choke, and Size sliders until you get the effect you like.  In this example, I have set the Distance to 0 px, because I want the Inner Shadow to be exactly the same on all sides.  I set the Choke to 49 px and the Size to 95 px.  These sizes will vary based upon the size element you are working with and your personal taste.


8. Let’s add a little Inner Glow to add to the realism.  With the Layer Style Panel still open, tick the box in front of “Inner Glow,” then click on the “Inner Glow” label to bring up the Inner Glow Structure options.  The Screen Color default is white, with a Screen Blend Mode. Leave that as-is.


9. The default Source is “Edge.” Tick the Center button; we want our glow to be in the center of the pumpkin slice. Adjust the Choke and Size sliders to your liking. For this piece, I selected a Choke of 30 px and a Size of 250 px. click OK.

10. To give a little more depth to the Pumpkin Slice, while still in the Layer Style Panel, I also added a slight Drop Shadow. (Color the same as the Inner Shadow; Opacity 35%; Distance 3 px; Spread 0; Size 21 px).


11. Now that you have the basic shadowing complete, feel free to personalize your pumpkin template as you like! I added a little texture (a mixture of my Distressed Transparencies, and one of Vero’s bows from Vero CU Vol 135).


I love Vero’s new Halloween Layered Templates).   I couldn’t resist playing with the cute ghost included in that pack. I used the same Inner Shadow and Inner Glow techniques demonstrated in this tutorial to create the ghost on the right. In addition, I used Puppet Warp to warp the star just a bit (Do you use Puppet Warp  and Puppet Warp, Part 2) . I duplicated the star, clipped a paper to each one (Clipping Masks in Photoshop), and added a button and string. I used an acrylic style to create the gloss on the eyes, and I added some star stitching around the bottom of the ghost.


If you have avoided using templates in the past, now is a good time to give them a try. Enjoy 40% off both our Personal Use and Commercial Use templates during our Template Sale. 

We have various types of templates available for your use!  Here is just a sampling!  Layouts, Paper, Elements, Journal Cards, Pocket Templates, Tags, Doodles, Badges, Banners, Flowers, Frames, Blendables, Page Protector, Borders, Quick Pages, and Stacked Pages!


If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here: How to Use Inner Shadow and Inner Glow in Photoshop.

I hope you have found this tutorial helpful!