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In this Photoshop tutorial, we will see how to create realistic water drops. You can use this method to create water drops for leaves, metals, glass and other surfaces. The technique is simple and easy, all you have to do is to create a shape and change the blending options. Let’s see step by step on how to make it.

Tutorial details and resources

Difficulty: Beginner
Apps Used: Adobe Photoshop
Estimated Completion Time: 5-20′ Minutes

Step 1 > Open the Image

Open the image you want to add water drops. For this tutorial, i used a green leaf but you can use metals, glass, and other similar surfaces.

create water drops step 1

Step 2 > Create the Shape

First, create a new layer by going to Layer > New > Layer (Shift Ctrl + N) and name it “Water Drops”. Pick the Ellipse Tool (U) and fill it with black to white gradient and -70 Angle. Finally, change the blending mode to Overlay.

Create realistic water drops step 2

Step 2 > Blending Options

Right click on the water drops layer and press “Blending Options” in the new tab add the following values:

Drop Shadow: blending mode = linear burn, opacity = 32, angle = 90, distance = 8, spread = 0, size = 6.

Create water drops step 2a


Inner Glow: blending mode = linear burn, opacity = 33, noise = 0, choke = 0, size = 2.

Create water drops photoshop tutorial 3b


Inner Shadow: blending mode = linear burn, opacity = 16, angle = -53, distance = 3, size = 3 and press OK.

create water drops step 3c

Step 3 > Add Highlight

Ctrl + click on Water Drop layer to select it and create a new layer with the name “Highlight 1”. Pick a small soft white brush with size 33px and draw on top of selection. Change the blending mode to Overlay.

create water drops in photoshop 4a

Step 4 > Add Another Highlight

With the water drop selection still active create another layer and name it “Highlight 2” With smaller brush add another white dot with size 22px and 0 hardness. Press (Ctrl + D) to deselect. Your water drop is almost ready.

Create water drop in photoshop

Step 5 > Group Layers

Press (Shift) and select Water Drop, Highlight 1 and Highlight 2 layers. Press (Ctrl + G) to group them. Rename the Group 1 to Water Drop 1.

water drop photoshop tutorial group layers

Step 6 > Add More Drops

Duplicate the “Water Drop 1” group and transform it by pressing (Ctrl + T). Move the new group and repeat the same process to create the water drops.

create water drops in photoshop step 7


Create more water drops in different shapes and sizes to make the image more realistic. Add more highlights and follow the direction of light.