photoshop creative

Photoshop Tutorial: Understand layer masks part 2

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
October 4, 2013

We continue our tutorial on how to use layer masks, the Brush tool, clipping masks for a painting in progress effect

Download all you need for this tutorial here

Part 1 of this tutorial


Where colour meets black and white, use the Brush tool in a vertical movement to accentuate the edges of the brush tip. Remember to resize the brush back to the size of the actual brush pictured when doing this.


Alt-click on the layer mask’s thumbnail to show which areas have been masked and which areas are visible. Use the Brush tool set to black to paint over any white spots in the bottom half. Alt-click on the mask’s thumbnail to revert back to normal mode.


When you’re finished painting, double-click on the hand layer to open the Layer Style menu. Click on Drop Shadow, and select OpaciTy 60%, Distance 70px, Spread 15%, Size 40px and Angle to 110. Hit OK to apply the shadow.


The Drop Shadow doesn’t sit quite right under the brush tip. Ctrl/right-click on the Drop Shadow’s layer and select Create Layer from the list. Use Edit>Free Transform to rotate the shadow so it’s sitting directly under the brush’s bristles.


Add a blank layer in the Layers palette, which should be directly above the hand layer. Ctrl/right-click on the new layer and select Create Clipping Mask. Anything added will only affect the hand on the layer below.

STEP 16  

Using the Eyedropper tool (I), pick a dark purple colour from the flowers. Use the Brush tool with a Hard Round tip and paint the colour onto the bristles. Do the same for a dark green from the stems and a blue from the sky, each adding them to the bristles.


Select the Smudge tool and in the Options bar, choose the 19px Hard Round tip. Set the Strength to 50% and make sure the Finger Painting option is turned off. Zoom in 100% to the bristles with the paint.


Use the Smudge tool to blend and blur the purple, green and blue paint together on the bristles. Smudge up and down the bristles to bring through their direction, and work the paint around to look like real paint on a brush.

 STEP 19

Use the Clone Stamp tool, set to 50% Opacity with a size of 40px and Alt-click on the smudged paint on the bristles. Clone to the metal parts of the paintbrush and the fingers of the hand.


The hand layer is quite dark, so add a Levels adjustment layer and Ctrl/right-click to give it a clipping mask. Brighten the highlights by pulling in the far right marker on the Levels histogram.