Clipping Masks

Blog, Tutorials

So I recently got a graphic tablet and have been working on creating some art with it. I created a few…..

ballerinaimpscar redofinalcropped

For coloring in all these drawings the most useful step I found was using clipping masks. It is a very simple step but it helps so much in coloring in the pieces.

Here’s how to do it –

Step 1: Finish your line work.

jean greypart 2

Step 2: Create a new layer below your linework.

clipping masks 1

Step 3: Select the linework layer and using the “magic wand” tool select the area for a single color.

clipping masks 2

Step 4: Select the new layer you have created, in this case “blue” and then using the “paint bucket” tool fill in the desired base color in the selected area.

Step 4.1: Sometimes when you select an area and then fill it using the paint bucket tool you get a little white edge between your linework and the color. To avoid this, after you are done selecting an area, click on SELECT in the tool bar and then MODIFY. Here click on EXPAND and then expand by about 2 pixels. This will eliminate the white edges.

clipping masks 3

Step 5: Once you are done filling in color in the desired areas, you need to create a new layer above the first layer you created, in this case I will be creating a new layer above the layer labelled “blue”. I’ll label this new layer “blue clip”.

clipping masks 4

Step 6: Now finally to create a mask, hold the ALT key and click between the two layers, “blue” and “blue clip”.

   clipping masks 5 clipping masks 6

You are done! Repeat this process creating new layers for every color.

Now why did you go through the trouble of following all the above steps? Clipping masks allow us to paint without having to worry about going over the line. You simply have to color in the second layer, i.e., “blue clip”. Clipping masks won’t let you go over the line and hence avoid the hassle of mixing two colors accidentally if you need to use a big brush to color in any area which allows for less control. You can add multiple layers to a single mask and that allows you to lay down color and blend it in different layers.

jean grey

Here is the time lapse of me coloring in Jean Grey.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s