How to Use a Clipping Mask in Photoshop

So what is a Clipping Mask?  A Clipping Mask is basically a way to “clip” a photo to make it fit into a particular shape.  It actually does not even need to be a photo or image, it could also be brushes, fonts, or any layer you want to fit into a particular space.

First, we started with a window image with a transparent background and put it on top of a white background.

Then, we made a rectangle the same shape as the opening of the window behind the doors and put the layer under the window layer.

We took a picture of lightning and put it in a layer above the rectangle layer, but below the window layer.

Right-click on the lightning layer to bring up the layer menu.  Click “Create a Clipping Mask”.  This will then clip the lightning to fit into the rectangle layer.

That’s it!  It’s that easy!

Installing and Using Brushes in Photoshop

Here is a simple tutorial to show you how to install and use brushes in Photoshop.  There are so many great free brushes that you can download to amplify your designs!

I found some great cloud brushes from QBrushes, so I will use those in this Tutorial.

First thing you want to do is download the brushes from the website:

Make sure to click the “Open” option, so that you can see the contents of the folder you are downloading. Then click “Ok”.

The folder will open and you will be able to click on the item(s) and right click to copy.

Once you have the brushes copied, go to your “Start” button and right click to find “Explore”.  Scroll down and click on “Program Files” then click “Adobe”.  Find the Photoshop folder of the version you are currently using (i.e Adobe Photoshop CS5) and open it.  Click “Presets” then “Brushes” and paste the cloud brushes you copied earlier into that folder.

To use your Photoshop brushes: Open Photoshop, click the brush icon in your Tools bar on the left side of your screen.  At the top of your Photoshop screen, you will see a drop down menu.  Click the drop down menu, and in the drop down box, click the right arrow (on the top right side of the box) to see the full list of brushes.  Click on the name of the brushes you downloaded, and they are ready to use!

Here are the Photoshop brushes in action!

Congrats!  You now know how to install and use Photoshop brushes!