Would you like to learn how to easily add shadows to images in Canva?

The good news is that creating shadows in Canva isn’t rocket science anymore. No more complex workarounds like importing “ready-made” shadows or 10-step processes with blurring black rectangles behind images. All that is in the past.

Canva has made adding a shadow effect MUCH easier. And the new feature is available to all users, by the way. Woohoo!

I personally have been waiting for this feature for a long time. You see, I design and sell templates (have you checked my Etsy shop yet?) made with Canva.

In case you aren’t familiar with my creative process, here is a short summary. I ditched Adobe’s InDesign long ago because I realized that the designs I create with Canva are basically just as good as the ones I made with InDesign, while using Canva felt a lot easier and more intuitive for a beginner like me. Since then I’ve been a big Canva Pro fan. Canva is just waaaaay easier to use, it’s much cheaper and the free”access to millions of templates, graphics, photos and videos you get with a Canva Pro subscription is just priceless. With all the new stuff that’s constantly being added to Canva, I can’t imagine changing for any other design tool any time soon 😁 I really don’t hate Adobe’s products – they are really good if you have the time to study them – but I just cannot see a reason for, say, small business owners to learn Adobe’s products when there is something as great as Canva on the market.

How To Add Shadows To Images (Step-By-Step Canva Tutorial)

It used to be quite a pain to create product mock-ups for my Etsy shop as I had to use “imported” shadows when using Canva. It did the job, but it definitely took more time to design with those shadows as they worked with only particular shapes and sizes of images. The lack of a simple way of adding shadows to my mock-ups was basically almost the only reason why I kept paying for InDesign for as long as I did.

The addition of the new shadow feature has been an incredible game-changer. Now you can easily add a shadow effect to any image. This is excellent for images without a background. Now, if I have a nice picture of myself I can just use Canva’s background remover tool and then use the shadow effect on the image. This way I can put this image with a shadow in front of a wall or another plain background, making the picture of me really stand out. This is amazing for creating Youtube video thumbnails or social media posts. The best thing is that it’s as easy as pie.

I will now show you how to add shadows around images in Canva.

Time needed: 1 minute

How To Easily Create Shadows In Canva

  1. Select the image

    First, select the image to which you want to add the shadow.

  2. Open the image editing menu

    Then, go to “Effects” and scroll down until you find the “Shadows” app. Click on it.

  3. Activate the “Shadow” app

    After that, click on the “Connect” button in the “Shadows” app. Tadam! Now you can add shadows to any image you want.

  4. Customise the look of the shadow

    Once you have selected the shadow effect you want to use, you can customize its appearance. You do this by clicking on the white toggle icon that appears when you choose the shadow type. 

  5. Click “Apply” button

    Click on the “Apply” button to save the changes.

Types of Shadows In Canva

Would you like to be able to create polished and professional-looking designs in Canva that look just like magazine ads or product images in renowned e-commerce shops?

Well, you are in luck because now you can do it in a blink of an eye.

Using a shadow is the simplest way to add a 3D effect to a static image. It’s great for creating template mock-ups (hello fellow template creators!), stationary or brand identity mockups, product ads and shop images, creative social media posts and Youtube thumbnails, etc. The opportunities are endless, really.

Right now there are 6 types of shadows in Canva:

  1. Glow
  2. Drop shadow
  3. Angle
  4. Curved
  5. Page lift
  6. Backdrop
Types of Shadows in Canva
6 types of shadows available in Canva

How To Customize Shadows In Canva

Once you have selected the shadow effect you want to use, you can customize its appearance. You do this by clicking on this toggle icon. 

You can customize:

  • shadow position & offset (for drop shadows only)
  • angle
  • transparency
  • blur
  • shadow color
How To Customize Shadows In Canva
Click on the white toggle icon to customize shadow appearance in Canva
  • Shadow position: this is the only setting available for drop shadows only. You can choose where your shadow effect will be: top-right, right, bottom-right, bottom or bottom left.
  • Shadow offset is the distance of the shadow from the image.
  • Shadow angle reflects the position of the light source, whether the light comes from higher or lower point.
  • Shadow transparency helps you control the intensity (opacity) of the shadow.
  • Shadow blur helps you soften the shadow to make it look more realistic.
  • Shadow color: Change the color of the shadow. Typically, a shadow is obviously black, but changing the color of the shadow can actually be used for some really cool effects – especially if you add multiple shadows on top of one another.

IMPORTANT Once you clicked “Apply” or clicked away from the shadow menu, the effect gets applied and you cannot customise it anymore. 

Do not click on the “Apply” button before you are totally satisfied with the look of your shadow. Why? Because when you click the “Apply” button, the shadow gets locked in place and cannot be edited anymore. If you try to edit it, you will add another shadow layer on top of the previous shadow which is usually not what you want. However, this feature can be used for adding several layers of shadow for cool effect purposes.

I hope this article was helpful for you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section below 🙂

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Last Update: January 18, 2024