Painter tips from Karen Sperling

200610bc_sperlingfiga Adding drop shadows in Corel Painter

By Karen Sperling

Painter has an automatic drop shadow tool like Photoshop, but I find a manual approach works better. Read on to see how to do it.

Caption: Photo ©2006 Mary Wynn Ball. Backdrop ©2006 Laurence Gartel.

1. In Painter, with a layer selected in the Layers palette, and the Layer Adjuster tool selected in the Toolbox, press option/alt and click and drag on the layer to make a copy.


2.    Click Preserve Transparency in the Layers palette if it isn’t already selected.

3.    Select black in the Colors palette and choose Effects: Fill. Click OK. The copy turns black.


4.    Click and drag on the layer copy in the Layers palette and move it below the original layer. This moves the new layer behind the original layer in the image.


5.    Lower the opacity in the Layers palette (the slider at the top of the palette).


6.    Resize the layer by choosing Effects > Orientation > Free Transform, clicking and dragging on the handles to resize, and then choosing Effects > Orientation > Commit Transform. I made the shadow layer larger than the original layer. Move the layer into place by clicking and dragging on it with the Layer Adjuster tool chosen in the Toolbox.

7.    In the Layers palette choose Soft Light.


The figure now has a drop shadow.

Photos ©2006 Mary Wynn Ball. Backdrop ©2006 Laurence Gartel.

Artist, author and photographer Karen Sperling is the original Painter expert. She wrote the manuals for the first several versions of Painter, authored several Painter books, has had many Painter tutorials published in magazines and has taught Painter to artists and photographers at movie companies, design firms, universities and at PPA affiliates and schools. This tutorial is included on the Artistry Backdrops for Photographs CDs along with many other instructions for combining figures with the supplied backdrops in either Photoshop or Painter. Learn Karen Sperling's Painter techniques in person in southern California at the Artistry Corel Painter Retreat January 29-31, 2007. Visit for details.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 1, 2006 2:28 AM.

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