How to Design a Cool Water Droplet Flyer

There are many types of effects that you can add to your flyer advertisement. One of the “cooler” and fresher ways is to add some nice water droplet effects in the design. While you can of course easily “cut and paste” water droplet images into flyers, in many cases, it may not be enough. In this tutorial, we will teach you how you can create your own custom-made droplet effects for a nice and cool original flyer advertisement. We will be using Adobe Photoshop here to get the effect that we need.


The first step in creating a cool style flyer advertisement is of course to setup the flyer document. Of course, you are actually free to setup any sized flyer you like. However, if you do plan on using a basic home/office printer or even a commercial printer, you will want to use some standard dimensions to easily facilitate printing. Below are the standard values that you can start with to setup a nice flyer for Photoshop.

a. Width: 8.5
b. Height 5.5
c. Resolution: 300ppi
d. Color Mode: CMYK


Once the document is now open, we will add some color to our plain white background. We will use the “Gradient Color Tool” to do this. Just click on the tool in the tools panel (it is with the paint bucket tool). Select the colors of the gradient using the gradient color box above in the options bar and then set the gradient style to “Reflected Gradient”. Once set inscribe the gradient unto the background. Have the lighter color at the middle, shifting to the darker colors towards the top and bottom.


Create a new layer for our first droplet. You can quickly do this by pressing the shortcut keys CTRL+SHIFT+N. Name the new layer “Water Droplet”. For our first droplet, we are going to creating something fairly big so that it can serve as a primary template. We should then easily able to scale down and shape the droplet once done. So, using the elliptical marquee tool we inscribe a fairly large ellipse at the center of our new layer. We fill this with a very light blue using the paint bucket tool.


Now, to make it look like a water droplet, we will add some extra styles. First, double click on our water droplet layer to access its layer style. Click on the “drop shadow” option. Set the following values for this effect:

a. Opacity: 65%
b. Angle: 90 degrees (deselect use global light)
c. Distance 20px
d. Spread: 0
e. Size: 8px


Next, click on the “Inner Shadow” style. Change the following settings for this style:

a. Blend Mode: Normal
b. Opacity: 25%
c. Color: Black (THIS IS IMPORTANT. Click on the color box and change the)
d. Size: 15px
e. Leave the rest as default.


Click on the option “Gradient Overlay”. Follow the settings below.

a. Opacity: 60%
b. Gradient: Black – Transparent (set this by clicking on the gradient box and choosing the color to transparent option. Just change the left side color to black.
c. Style: Linear
d. Angle: 90 Degrees


As a final touch, click on the “blending options” item at the top of the layer styles. Then, in the advanced blending section, reduce the fill opacity of our layer to 80%. This makes the fill area slightly transparent just like a water drop should be. Press OK once you are all done with the layer styles to apply all the effects you just did.


That should finish the layer style effects. Your droplet should look like this now:


Our next step is to add a light sheen or reflection into the droplet. To do this set your foreground color to white (press D and X). Create a new layer and name it highlight. Then, use the brush tool to paint a small soft spot at the top left of our droplet. You will want to adjust the hardness value to 0% to achieve this effect. Just right click on the canvass with the brush activated to achieve this.


Press CTRL+T while you still have the highlight layer selected. Then, click and drag the transformation anchor points to rotate and warp the white spot into a more elliptical shape. Rotate the ellipse at an angle so that the highlight area looks more realistic in terms of the shine/reflections in water droplets.


Now, select both the droplet layer and the highlight layer by holding down the CTRL key and clicking on both of them. Then, right click on the layers to bring up the context menu. Select the option “duplicate layers”.


Once the duplicates appear, select both of them just like how you selected the earlier two layers. Press CTRL+E to merge them into one layer. Once merged, we rename the layer as Droplet reflection. Then, reduce their fill value to 40%.


Click and drag this reflection layer below the original water droplet layer. Then, use the move tool (Shortcut V) to move the layer downwards to add the reflection effect.


This finishes the main water droplet template. To make them easy to move, we will merge the reflection, highlight and main water droplet layers into one. Just like with the duplicates, we just select them all and press CTRL+E to initiate the merge. Alternatively, you can right click on them and select the option “merge layers”.


Once done, create a duplicate of the merged layer. Use the original as our backup and template of course. For now, make it invisible by clicking on the visibility icon corresponding to it in the layers panel. Then press CTRL+T and resize the DUPLICATE, changing it into a smaller droplet.


Great! Now all you have to do is to duplicate this droplet several times and then resize it for variation. You can use the CTRL+J hotkey to create duplicates, OR you can hold down the ALT key whilst the droplet layer is selected then drag-copy the droplet quickly from the original. For our example, we scatter several water droplets across the “floor” of our flyer design.


Now, we will add some water splatters on the wall. First we download this nice image from a very generous person (exksunderscore) in flickr. We copy and paste it into the design, and paste in on the upper part to act as the wall.


Next, desaturate the image by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+U. Then, change its blend mode to overlay and reduce its opacity to 50%.


Then, using a large and soft eraser brush, we erase the bottom part of the wall layer for a smoother transition.


Next, duplicate this wall layer by pressing CTRL+J. Afterwards, press CTRL+T to transform it. Right click on the layer and select “flip vertical”. Move it to the bottom part of our design. Right click on it again and select “perspective”. Then click and drag the bottom right anchor of the transformation box to expand the bottom part in perspective. This gives us an extra illusion of a floor.


Now it is time to insert our product image into our flyer design. First though, we remove the product image from its background. We used a nice image from flickr here and then removed its background using a combination of the magic wand tool and the magnetic lasso tool.


Then, of course, we copy paste this into our flyer design. Press CTRL+T to transform and scale our product image to size. Make sure you hold the SHIFT key as you do this to keep our image in proportion.


Now, we will add a shadow of the product. To do this, first press CTRL+J with the product layer selected to duplicate it. Then, press CTRL+T to transform it. Right click on the duplicate layer and then select the option “flip vertical”.


Now, drag the product copy layer behind the main product layer. Then, we just use the same procedure as with the wall reflection earlier. We transform the product reflection using the perspective mode of the transformation box like the image below shows. Take note that you can access this mode by right clicking on the transformation box and then selecting “perspective”.


Next, we change the blend mode of this reflection to “Overlay”. Also reduce its opacity to 30%.


Now, the reflection looks a bit too sharp of course. So we go to Filter -> Blur –> Gaussian Blur. Then we use a 3 pixel value for this blur and press OK.


Then, with a large and soft eraser brush, we erase part of the bottom of the reflection for a better effect.


We are still lacking some natural shadows beneath the product. To add this, we first hold the CTRL key and then click on the layer thumbnail of our main product. We then create a new layer by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+N. This layer must be placed behind the product layer. With this new layer active, but the area of the product selected, we fill the selected area with a black color using the paint bucket tool. We have removed the visibility of the product layer for now so that you can see what happened.


Then, we erase the top part of the black shape, leaving only the bottom area for our shadow.


Then, we go to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur. We add a 10 pixel value to the blur to get a nice darker shadow.


Once we turn the visibility of the product image back up, we then see our shadow effects adds a little bit more subtle realism to the design.


Then, we type in our text using the text tool. It is best to use a white color for the text here to keep things nice and simple. Also it is best to use sans serif type fonts. Vary the size of the text when applicable.


Now, just like with the water droplets, we duplicate the text layers in one go by selecting them all and right clicking on them to choose the “duplicate layer” option in the context menu. Then we merge them again as one. We flip them vertically and then position them as the text element’s reflection.


Finally, we use the same process with the product image. We transform the merged text image so that it looks like a reflection. We change its blend mode to overlay and reduce the opacity to 15%. We then use a large and soft eraser brush to add some fuzziness around the reflected text layer.


Great! That should finish up the flyer design with a nice and cool water droplet effect. This is the main sample of the design style seen below. Congratulations!

About the Author

Irene Thompson is a professional writer and a graphic designer. She’s addicted to Photoshop for a long time and been focusing in the area of print designs. She works at, a trusted online printing company that offers high quality flyers, catalogs, and other powerful printed marketing materials. You can get in touch with her through facebook.

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Only comments in English will be approved!


  1. Olivier

    This is really great Denis! Nice image with depth.

    p.s I learn so much from your tuts!

  2. Josh

    Very nice tutorial. now it is kinda easy to make water droplet in ps