Illustrator drop shadow

by Design Workshop Sydney

Adding a drop shadow in Adobe Illustrator is a very simple process and can add dynamism to your artwork. We show you how in our Illustrator coursesillustrator-drop-shadow
This image, for instance, was collaged first of all in Photoshop, and imported into Illustrator. The Image Trace function was then applied which redefines the bitmap information as vector artwork. See our blog post on this topic. After the image has been expanded it’s possible to select the background with the Direct Selection tool and delete those vector shapes.
A plain linear gradient blend of blue and white was then added to a Rectangle and placed behind the artwork. And three simple buttons were created with the Ellipse tool – each was given a small white stroke.
Creating the drop shadows for the image is then a simple matter, and has the effect of popping the artwork out of the page. Simply select the shapes and go to the Effect drop down menu at the top of the Illustrator interface. Select the Stylize group and click on Drop Shadow. A dialog box appears – make sure you tick Preview at this point in order to see the effect as you create it. The default shadow colour is black, but you can change this by clicking on the colour box to open up the Colour Picker. Also experiment with the Offset values – this is the distance from the object that the shadow will project. For a more subtle effect reduce the Opacity value. When you are happy with the result click OK.
If, at a later stage, you need to adjust the shadow settings open the Appearance panel – note that Drop Shadow is listed here when you select the object. Double-click here to reopen the Drop Shadow dialog box. If you are printing this image, it’s always best to print a proof since any transparency items can look slightly different on screen compared to on paper.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or self-taught, our courses will help you gain self-confidence in your Illustrator workflow, as well as adding to your professional skill-set. See many examples of our Illustrator clients’ work on our Facebook page.
Other related Illustrator Blog Posts:
Illustrator workspace
Illustrator basics
Illustrator clipping masks
Illustrator live trace
Illustrator brushes