I don’t know about you, but I have a huge brush stash! So I’m always trying to think of ways to use them besides just stamping. Today I’m going to share with you a quick and easy way to use your favorite brushes to make photo masks. All screenshots were made with Photoshop Elements 10, but the directions would be the same for Photoshop, and if you have a different program you can probably follow along.
Step 1: Choose a background and photo. Drag the photo onto your background, and place it where you want it to appear.
Step 2: Load the brushes you want to use.
- Choose the Brush tool.
- In the Tool Options bar at the top, click on the down arrow to the right of the brush preview.
- In the Brush picker window, click on the right arrow at the top and choose Load Brushes from the fly-out menu.
- Navigate to where you keep your brushes and choose a set you like. I used a set of watercolor brushes I had in my stash. You can find good brushes by googling “Photoshop watercolor brushes.” Click Load to load the brush set.
Step 3: Create the mask layer.
- If your photo layer is not the active layer, click on the photo in the Layers panel to make it active.
- Hold down your Ctrl key then click on the New Layer icon in the Layers panel (it looks like a sticky note with the corner folded over!). A new blank layer will appear below the photo layer.
- Hold down your Alt key.
- Hover your cursor on the line between the photo layer and the new blank layer.
- Your cursor will change to a symbol like this:
- Click, and you’ll see your photo disappear! Don’t worry, we’ll bring it back. Notice that the thumbnail image for the photo moved to the right in the Layers panel. This tells you it is “clipped” to the layer below.
Step 5: Paint your mask.
- Change to the mask layer by clicking on it in the Layers panel.
- Click on your layout where your photo was, and you’ll see your photo appear where you clicked the brush!
- Keep clicking until you’ve revealed as much of the photo as you wish.
Repeat this process for any other photos you’d like to mask. You can see in this example that I used two photos and made a new mask layer for each of them:
Tips for Success
- If your brush has transparent areas where you don’t want them in your photo, use a soft round brush to fill in on the mask layer. Some brushes have a lot of holes in them that you don’t want in important areas of your photos.
- You may need to adjust your photo once you’ve made your mask. Click on the Photo layer to select it, then use your Move tool to resize or move around the photo.
- If you dislike your mask, you can either use the Eraser tool to erase sections you don’t like, or delete the layer and start again by making a new mask layer.
Don’t forget to post your layout in the Layout Gallery, and link us up in the comments so we can be amazed at your wonderfulness!
Credits: Kit is Live it Up by Studio Rosey Posey, I made the title from a paper in the kit with the Cooper Std font.