The Clipping mask is one of those tools you need to know as a digital artist because it allows for powerful and non-destructive alternation of your art. In this article, we will go over the Clipping mask and how to use it.
What is the Clipping mask
Clipping mask works very similarly to an Alpha Lock. However, it is not attached to a single specific layer. Instead, Clipping mask acts as a separate layer that you can link to any other layer.
So, by adding a Clipping mask, we add a layer on top of our existing layer, the one you want to edit. But what is best about Clipping mask is that you don’t actually change your original layer, you are just putting a mask on top of it.
Clipping Masks are a great way to edit your artwork in a non-destructive manner. And it allows you to experiment with your drawing without worrying about a change being permanent.
How to use Clipping mask
To start using Clipping mask, open the Layer panel and create a new layer directly on top of the layer you want to edit.
Tap on a new layer (the one you just created) and click on Clipping Mask. You will immediately notice that the new layer now has a little arrow pointed at the layer underneath. And that is all you are ready to draw. The contents of the Clipping Mask layer will only be visible in areas where it aligns with an object on the original layer.
In my example, the pink only shows up in the horse layer.
Clipping mask is one of my favorite tools in Procreate. I prefer Clipping masks to Alpha Lock because it is a non-destructive way of altering your artwork and it provides more control because all details are on a separate layer.
You can always turn the Clipping mask off and go back to the original artwork. The clipping mask also allows you to use the Transform tool and move around and scale the contents of the Clipping mask.
The only downfall of a Clipping mask I could think of is the fact that it adds an extra layer. And if you are working with a limited amount of layers, it could be a problem.