Learn to Apply Texture in Procreate Using Clipping Masks

design team - doriana procreate Nov 17, 2021
clipping masks in procreate

Have you ever wondered how some illustrations look so full of texture and dimension? In this tutorial, I will show you how to achieve this look in Procreate by using the Clipping Mask tool. This will be a 2-part tutorial, to learn how to make your illustrations come to life with textures.

Hello everyone! I'm Doriana, architect and illustrator, and part of TPL Design Team 2021-22. I love all things colorful and I think this is a going to be a perfect tutorial to learn new tricks within Procreate, and have fun with colors.


If you'd prefer to watch the video tutorial, have at it!






 These are some suggested, as I'll be using them:


Part 1: How to Use Clipping Masks

You can follow along with Procreate built-in brushes or brushes you like, also feel free to use the app you prefer.


Before Getting Started: What is Clipping Mask?

According to Procreate: it clips your active layer to the layer underneath it. The visibility of the clipped layer controls the contents and transparency of the parent layer below.



Clipping mask are layers that are added to the top of your art, so you can keep adding details to it without ruining the base layer.

How does a clipping mask work?

When you add a new layer, and select the Clipping Mask option, everything you do will be clipped to the layer immediately beneath it.

But how can we use it to add texture, you say? I'll explain in these simple steps while drawing a cute orange.


Step 1: Draw your Basic Shapes


First grab an orange color from your color wheel, and select the TPL Ink Scratch brush (from TPL Ink Pack brush set) to create a circle. Tap and hold when finishing the stroke to create a perfect circle.



Create a new layer for your stem and another one for the leaves. Remember, this are just basic shapes, let's keep it cool, ok? By now you should have 3 layers with separate drawings.


Step 2: Create your Clipping Mask Layers


This step is fairly easy. Above the circle layer, create a new one. Tap once to reveal the layer options, and tap on Clipping Mask. You should notice that the layer now has an arrow mark on its left side, meaning the Clipping Mask has been applied. Create one for each base layer we have.


Step 3: Add Global Texture


With the Clipping Mask layer active, we are going to select a textured brush. I'll be using TPL Static (from the TPL Grit Pack brush set). Set your brush size to 50%, and with a color slightly darker, and more saturated than our orange color, I'll be applying a global texture to the entire orange.

For the leaves, we are going to create a new layer on top of it and apply Clipping Mask. After that, we are going to use a darker shade of our green, reduce our brush size to about 35% and apply the same global texture.

With these layers, you can use Blend Modes, and play with many settings like Multiply or Overlay.


Step 4: Add Lights and Shadows


Define your light source first, so you know where your shadows will be cast.

Create a new layer on top of our global layer texture. Once again, tap the layer and select Clipping Mask. This layer will affect our basic shape layer (the circle), because we are placing it on top of a Clipping Mask layer already.

Select TPL Spray Noise brush from the same Grit brush set, and an even darker shade of orange from the color wheel, and start shading the opposite side from where your "light source" is coming. Press lightly and go around the border. Again, go to your color wheel, and try to go darker and more saturated, and shade again, but this time near the edges.



Now, repeat this same steps using lighter shade of the base orange, on the side that is receiving direct light. And go slightly lighter for those shiny spots oranges have.

Remember, you’ll be doing the same thing on our stem, for the leaves you can add extra details like the midrib and veins.



And you're done!



Easy peasy, orange squeezy! You have just made an easy textured illustration using Clipping Mask. Best of all?  Your layers remain completely editable after you finish, so you can redraw parts of it without disturbing the other things.

Remember to share on your social media and tag both @thepigeonletters and myself @bydoriana.studio to see what you created. You can find more from me at bydoriana.studio


Stick around for Part 2 SOON, where I'll explain how to make the most out of Alpha Lock. This part is more for the adventurers and wild digital artist, are you in?


Doriana is inspired by Caribbean architecture and enjoys using gouache and watercolor, as well as her iPad to create vibrant and bold illustrations. She also loves using her bullet journal to stay organized! Check out more of Doriana's tutorials over here.


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