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Enhance your photos with water droplets using layer styles

Added on Friday 23rd of April 2010 05:45 am EST


Adobe Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3/CS4

Operating Systems:

Macintosh, Microsoft Windows


My client wants an image of a flower with raindrops on it—so I tried spraying it with water and then photographing it. Unfortunately, this didn’t work out too well because it made the whole plant wet. Can you explain how to make just a few water droplets in Photoshop?

Ah yes, getting nature to cooperate with you when you need a specific photo is sometimes challenging. Thank goodness for Photoshop! We’ll show you an easy way to add raindrops to a photo. First, let’s look at an image with a few drops on it, like the one shown in Figure A. If you study the drops, you’ll notice that they are little more than beveled ovals with a slight shadow and highlight. To generate this look, we’ll use layer styles.


To follow along with our example, download the file from the URL given at the beginning of this article, and extract the file raindrops.psd. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images modified for educational purposes.) Then, launch Photoshop and open the file.

Create the raindrop shape

First, you’ll create a raindrop shape using the Elliptical Marquee tool. Then you can rotate it to achieve the right angle if necessary.

To create the raindrop shape:

1. Choose the Elliptical Marquee tool from the Tools panel.

2. Click and drag an oval shape on a petal, as shown in Figure B.

3. If you need to rotate your oval slightly, choose Select > Transform Selection to activate the Free Transform tool. Then, rotate the selection or even scale and move it until you’re satisfied with the position. Press [enter] to commit the transformation. You can see our results in Figure C.