Leaf Shadow Effect





In this tutorial I will show you a quick way to add shadows casted by leaves to your illustrations. Let's go.

Open up the image you want to add the shadows to in Clip Studio Paint. In the Layer palette, add a new layer by clicking the New Raster Layer icon. Select a color for the shadow. It can be blue, purple, grey, any color you want your shadow to be. Then, use the Lasso Tool to select the whole canvas and press the Fill Tool icon below the selection to quickly fill the layer. Now select the Deselect icon below the selection. Then, set the layer blending mode to Overlay. You can go back and change the color or adjust the layer opacity if you want.

Add a Folder layer above this layer by clicking the New Layer Folder icon in the Layer Palette. Click on the folder, then add two layers to it by clicking on the New Raster Layer icon two times.


Click on the bottom layer in the folder, select the color black and fill the layer with it like we previously did using the Lasso tool.


Click on the top layer in the Folder, then go to the Layer menu --> Correction Layer--> Gradient Map.


Add colors to the Gradient bar so that the brightest color is a light yellow, the darkest color is black and a mid color is an orange color that’s not to bright/ saturated. The orange should be closer to the black on the gradient bar. Their position / spacing matters.


Set the blending mode of the Folder Layer to Glow Dodge. In the Folder Layer, paint on any layer thats between the layer filled with black and the Gradient Map correction layer. You can add as many layers between them to as you like, Like a sanwhich. But depending on how close your color is to white or black or it’s opacity, only the colors on the Gradient Map will be seen on these layers.


I had my Gradient saved so I just needed to double click on it to ad it.

You can test out your gradient map buy using the air brush with various opacities on the middle layer. To make edits to the gradient map, just double click on it in the layer palette.


Luckily, if you have Gold or Clippy, you can simply purchase these brushes below and add the light that seeps through the leaves onto your illustration. Remember to paint on the layer between the black filled layer and the Gradient map layer. I suggest using the brushes with a little opacity shaved off. Also apply them using a variety of sizes and opacities.

Just apply the brushes on the middle layer and apply some motion blur. You can see how I do this later on below.


For those of you who don't have Gold or Clippy, I will proceed using a free brush that anyone can download.


This brush below, please download it to continue with the tutorial.

Since we already have our shadow on our illustration already, now we just need to add the light casted down from the leaves above.


There are some things we need to sort out for our brush first. Select the wrench icon at the bottom of the Sub tool palette. Ensure Sprating Effect is selected. You might also want to increase the Spray deviation a bit. Save.


In the Sub Tool Property palette, click the last/ blurriest Anti Aliasing option. We will stillness need to blur it out more later on though.

The Particle size, Opacity, Particle density and Gap will be adjusted as we paint.

Fill middle layer with light grey. This is the over all sunlight. To only get the sunlight passing through the leaves, we now need to eat away the excess sunlight using the same brush we downloaded but with in Eraser mode. To get it in Eraser mode, just click the transparent color box at the bottom of the Tool Palette to the side.



Set the opacity of the brush to medium and adjust the brush size to big.

Go over it multiple times, eating away at the light each time.

Make brush a bit smaller and repeat process. Can use varying brush sizes and opacities each time. You don't want to leave too much light as we will be duplicating this layer a few times later on.


Now, duplicate this layer 4 times.

For the two at the top, apply Motion Blur to each but in the opposite directions. To apply motion blur, go to the the Filter menu --> Blur --> Motion Blur.


For the third layer from the top, apply Motion Blur in a different direction than the other two so that the shapes are more spread out and not too linear.


For the final duplicate (actually the original), apply a Gaussian blur, that is very weak.


Merge all four layers together by going to the Layer menu --> Merge with layer below untill they are all merged into a single layer.


If it is too bright after merging, you can reduce the layer opacity or select the transparent color again and eat away some more of the light.

Using the same brush, unselect the transparent color and select a light grey with brush opacity set to low. Make the brush size small and go over it again but adding light this time instead. Try to focus on areas that are exposed to sunlight, like the top of object since light coming from above.


When done, you can repeat the previous blurring steps. The Motion and Gaussian Blur. You can add and erase light untill you are happy with the results.


You can further edit your illustration by having sets of lights. Those for nearer object that are clearer and brighter/ crispier. And those for objects that are further away that would be duller and more blurred out. You can make use of layer masks for this or just the eraser. I used another brush for the lights in the background. The link to download it is below.


She also looks like she is underwater. I guess this tutorial can also be used to achieve that underwater effect. That's all guy, hope you found this helpful. Bye.



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