Create Illustrations using Layer Masks in Adobe Fresco | Heidi Cogdill | Skillshare

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Create Illustrations using Layer Masks in Adobe Fresco

teacher avatar Heidi Cogdill, Writer and Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Lesson 1 - Line art with layer mask


    • 3.

      Lesson 2 - Selection tool with layer mask


    • 4.

      Lesson 3 - Brush tool with layer mask


    • 5.

      Lesson 4 - Watercolor brushes with layer mask


    • 6.

      Your Project


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About This Class

Learn to use layer masks to create illustrations in Adobe’s new drawing app Fresco. 

You'll be using the live oil brushes and layer masks to create 4 different illustrations. 

In lesson 1 you'll create a background and then add a line art illustration on top. Then you'll use layer masks to block out a portion of the background.

Lesson 2 will show you how to use the selection tool with layer mask to create a floral illustration.

Lesson 3 you'll use the brush tool and layer mask to draw our illustration into the background.

Finally, in Lesson 4 - you'll use the live watercolor brushes that come with the Fresco app to create a tree illustration.

By the end of this class, you'll be comfortable using layer masks when creating your illustrations.

So grab your iPad and let's get started!

Meet Your Teacher

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Heidi Cogdill

Writer and Artist


Hello! I'm Heidi Cogdill, a Writer, Artist and Teacher. 

I live on the beautiful Oregon Coast. I spend my days drinking too much tea and hiding the chocolate…from myself.

I can't wait to share all the fun projects and techniques I've created over the years. 

You can always visit me at my website, Heidi Cogdill

Also, come meet me over on Instagram, where I share all the latest updates.


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1. Intro: Hello. I'm Heidi Cogdill, and I'm an artist and a writer living on the Oregon coast. In this class, I'll be teaching you how to use layer masks in adobe fresco to create illustrations in less , and one will create a background using adobes life oil brushes. Then we'll create a Leinart illustration on top, and then I'll show you how to use layer mask to block out the background. And Lesson two will be creating an illustration by using the A selection tool with the layer masks and finally in less and three will be using layer masks to draw an illustration directly into our background. By the end of the class, you'll be comfortable using layer masks in adobe fresco to create illustrations, so grab your iPad and let's get started. 2. Lesson 1 - Line art with layer mask: in this lesson will be creating a background. Then we're going to add a black Leinart illustration over top of it, and then we'll be applying a layer mask to black out part of the actual background. So the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna select my oil brushes. I'm gonna be working with the oil, the live brushes that come with adobe fresco. You can use whatever brushes that you like. I'm just really in love with ease oil brushes. So I particularly like the oil paint short. And the reason is because it's so, um lush and it creates Let's get a different color here. And if you look at the way that the brushstrokes are especially if I zoom in here, the harder you push. I mean, they're just so textured and so creamy, and it creates such a beautiful background. Isn't it wonderful? Okay, so I'm going to be using that brush, and what I like to actually do is here under the paint mix, depending on where you have the slighter is how much your pain will mix. If you've got it really up high and you get another color in here, you're gonna get a lot of mixture. See how these pink and this yellow really start to mix. Whereas if you lower your paint mix, they don't mix as well. See how the yellow is maintaining its composure in itself, and it's only dragging the pink into it a little bit, but it's not mixing very much. So in the first part of this background, what I like to do is when I first put the color down I like to keep I like to get my color makes it of fairly low number, actually, like about 18 or so and then I like a large brush and I keep my flow fairly high because I want the pigment to be really, really rich and really dark. So from here, what I like to do first is I have picked a color palette that I'm gonna use for this background. So I'm going to come up here to the camera roll, and I'm going to look for my color palettes and I. I like to create color palettes, and I actually create them with a transparent background so that when I dumped them in to be used, um, they don't get in the way I'm gonna go with this. And so now it's currently, once it drops the image in their it, it leaves it in that kind of a transform mode. So I like to swivel us around, shrink it way down and then kind of tuck it up into the corner, and then you can hit done, and it will sit on its own layer there. And then underneath that, I'll be working on my background with my oil brush. The other thing that you can do besides leaving your color palette up there is open up your color wheel, hold your finger over the color that you want, and it will create a color picker so it's gonna grab that purple, but it hasn't done anything with it yet. It's sitting there on the left hand side, waiting to be used and so in your color will down at the very bottom under recent. If you hit the plus sign, it will add that color. So then I just go through and I select with by holding and then hit the plus sign, and it won't add it so that I automatically have a, um, selection of all of the colors that I want to use. That way, I have two ways of selecting my colors. It'll be in my color wheel under Theresa, and it will also be up here on my my palate layer. Okay, so when I first do is with my oil brush ready and all set up and the color mix down low, I start to create the background that I want. Now I know I'm going to be inserting a sketch on top of this and then I'll be applying Leinart so actually tracing it with my pen later on. And so I know that I'm gonna have a lot of florals near the top and greens near the bottom . But I like to create the color that really starts to kind of, like flow into each other. And so the way that I do this is kind of just messy, and I like to just kind of put color down, and I picked my brush up and I move it around, and if I run into, it'll makes a little bit. But right now I'm just trying to kind of put color down, and I put it all around the page even though I know that my sketch is going to take up the entire page, I do it because I like to create a solid background, one that's all working together. And so I just keep putting different brush strokes down, and I don't do a whole lot of mixing with each other quite yet. I just kind of get the color in the basic areas that I think I'm gonna want it, and this is just the first layer. I do a lot of mixing and adding as I go, once I get kind of the basic colors in place. And then I start to look for kind of a balance in the way that the colors mix and match together. And now, as I'm kind of closing in the gaps and overlapping where color is already, you'll start to see some of the color start to mix. But if I zoom in to see how that texture really holds its own, the nice thing about fresco is that you can use your color or your apple pencil with it. But if you want, you can also get in there with your finger. So this is me using my finger right now and you can also just tap and it gives you the press texture which can be really fun to dio. Well, you have your color and you want to kind of add it into a certain area. You'd be surprised how that texture really kind of comes through later on when we add that layer mask so you can do with your finger or with your apple pencil, and it's kind of fun to build to get in there with your finger here. I'm just kind of adding color and smudging around just kind of using my finger. The thing about using your finger is it is definitely a more pronounced breastroke. Um, versus your apple pencil is it could be a little bit lighter and, um, not quite as strong or full, even whereas with your finger, it's definitely like a solid. So I'm coming in and I'm closing in gaps and I'm mixing and I'm gentle with my pressure on my pen. I'm not putting a lot of pressure on there. I like to keep that kind of breast stroke look and a lot of texture. If you actually press really hard with your see how impressing really hard. And you get all this really lush, kind of creamy texture, which could be really pretty, too, if that's what you're looking for. I'm just kind of dancing around Lee my page here and adding color and mixing in and getting the feel of the background kind of the way that I want. It's kind of a very it's kind of a very intuitive way of doing this. You're kind of just going based off the feeling kind of how you feel about it, the way that it's mixing together. There's no riel rhyme or reason toe what I'm doing or why I'm doing it. It's kind of just a feel that you kind of get so just play with that. You want to play with your textures and see how your brushes work and get in there. The's life brushes air really amazing for that because there's just so much character to them in the way that they blend into each other, especially those water colors. You know, they just really, really blend on. These oils mix and match and I can also, you know, mix increased my paint mix and then that's what the's colors, air really gonna like, flow and blend into each other. But you got to remember that as the paintbrushes moving across the page, it's picking up color and it's traveling with it just like a riel oil brush or any riel paintbrush, would it? It acquires the color as it passes over and in doing that, then changes its actual color of the brush. Now, one of the other things that you can dio when you're in the oil brushes is you can turn on or off this reload button down here and when you reload color. What that saying is, Do you have that chart? Every time you pick up your brush, come up here is gonna have this this green. And if I come over here and I start to mix it See, I start to get this kind of muddy sort of color over here and then if I come over here and I click again now, I've got this fresh green again. So what happens if you have the reload button turned off? As as it mixes over here and you get this muddy or color when I keep going over here? I've picked up that money color with me. I'm not. I don't get a fresh green. It's literally picking up the color. And that's the color I'm getting. I'm not going to get a fresh green. So if you want to be able to have the fresh color every time you pick up your brush, you'll want to make sure that you have the reload color box checked. And each time you create a new background, even if you use the exact same colors and the exact same brushes, your backgrounds are always gonna look different as you start to put them down and see how the textures move into each other and colors mix and spread across the page. You're going to get a different background each time. Okay, so I think my background is kind of where I want it now. So I'm gonna turn off my palate lier. I'm not gonna need that anymore. That's just clean up that little spot that was hiding behind that power. Okay, now that my background is done, what I need to do is I need to get my sketch layer so I do that becoming appeared at the camera roll again and now again once were. Once we load the actual image into our document, if we're done, we can just hit done. If you need to do any adjusting, you can rotate flipped horizontally or vertically here. But since my images where I want it, I'm going to do and they hit, done. And then because the image had a white background cause it was a J peg image, I actually gonna won't here to my layers properties. And I'm gonna change my blend mode to multiply. And that's gonna allow me to see right through that image so I can see my background from the same layers properties. I'm also gonna lower the opacity of this sketch. I want to see it cause I'm gonna trace over it with my Leinart Inc. But I don't want to get in the way. And it's a little dark now coming over to the right hand side. I'm gonna add a layer by hitting the plus sign, and they come up to my pixel brush is now, and we've got a ton of brushes as you can see all the ones that come native with fresco up on top. And then all of the ones own here of the library brushes that I've added, which are the Kyle T. Webster brushes that I've gotten from Adobe and installed here and a few of all my selected of my favorites for this particular project. I'm going to use Kyle's dry media sketch pencil rough. I really love the rough edges that it has. I'm going to get my color picker and change it down to black. 55 might be little big from the lower the size of my brush. Maybe down the lake 35. Let's start with them and then zooming in. I'm gonna start tracing my sketch layer that I had inserted here. Okay, so I'm gonna work my way around my sketch and just trace over everything, so I'll speed up the video and we can move on to the next step. You don't need to watch me draw all this in Lifetime, so I will speed it up and be back in a few minutes. Okay? Now that I'm done with Tracy, my Leinart and adding in all of my additional lines that kind of added depth and and make it look a little bit more textured and you'll see as I traced over my drawing that for some areas, I you know, I was pretty on, but others it was okay if I missed the line a little bit, I they prefer to have a more authentic stroke than tohave. Something that I'm like tracing really, really stiffly. It makes the lion seem a little bit stiff and, um, not so authentic. And I like it to be a little bit rougher. Okay, so now we can turn off, um, our sketch layer since we've got our Leinart all finished and this line where we don't actually need and only did was I pressed and held onto this thumbnail. And then you can drag it up or down into a position that you want and these you can actually stack on top of each other and make into a group by just pressing and holding onto the thumbnail and stacking it on top of each other. And then they'll be their own group. Okay, So now, in order to create our layer mask, you need to be on top of the background and you can do it in a couple of ways. You can click on the actual some nail and create empty mask. Or you can click over here on the three DOS, which is, um, on your far right tool panel, and you can also create empty mask that way as well. Now, when you're layer mask is in effect, it's surrounded around the blue line. But you don't That black dog sitting on the left side of the your thumbnail. And if you swipe to the right, the black dot moves to the right, and now it exposes your background in the layer Mass is currently off. And then now, by swiping left again, you can turn your layer mask back on, and with your toolbar down at the bottom, you can hide or reveal the background. And the nice thing is, now you can select the brush that you want. And by doing that, you can then have whatever texture the brushes brushes, and that's the way that the mask is going to react. So for this one, I'm actually going to use a really smooth brush. So I'm gonna select the hard round and fairly small in the beginning, and I'm actually going to go and I'm gonna add a layer mask, so I'm gonna block out the background. I'm gonna do that for all of the flowers. So just working my way around the center of the flower, I'm gonna work on highlighting and removing all of the background by using my brush. There's a couple ways to do this, and the other lessons will show you how to use layer masks. But this is one way by actually being able to brush in the strokes that you want. Okay, so all speed of the video and make this process go a little bit faster seeing a little bit . Okay, So I was actually purposely messy in a few spots because I wanted to show you that if you mess up, well, you have to do is switch your, um, reveal hide button down below and then just come back over and clean up your spots because with a layer mask, the nice thing is that it actually hasn't deleted any of the background. It's just hidden it behind the mask. So this is a really wonderful way of working non destructively because the background actually didn't disappear. And I don't have to go back in and do any fixes of that. It's just revealing or hiding more or less of it so anywhere that you've made a little mistake and gone over. We're here to see how I have missed this spot. I would just put back over to hide and then and able to remove it. So just anywhere I need to touch up. This is what I'm gonna do him to come back and just zoom in, move around my drawing and see if there's anywhere that I need to make a fix. Okay, It's not a layer mask is finished. We've got a beautiful background. We've done our Leinart over it, and now we've masked out part of the background so that the, um flowers show through really beautifully. Now, one of the really neat things that you can do is that when you whatever background color or the color that sits beneath your a mask is actually going to be the color that comes through that shows through when you apply the mask. So down here at those bottom thumb. Now we have a white color. But if we filled that layer, no, we feel that layer with color. Let's try this again. So the so the color that shows through when you add a layer mask is the color that's applied to the layer beneath the layer that you're actually masking, so the color beneath the background is white, so when I apply a mask over it, the white will show through. But if you wanted to be a different color, all you have to dio is make sure that you had a clean, empty layer underneath, so we added a layer and using your fill tool. If you try to fill the layer beneath it, it's gonna ask you whether it wants to fill it with a pixel or vector layer. And let's add it with a pixel. It now makes the with the color that shows through the layer mass is actually gonna be that pink color that we selected so you could have it be white, or you could have it be a different color. It's totally up to you 3. Lesson 2 - Selection tool with layer mask: in this lesson will be creating a background and then using their selection tool to trace out a sketch and then add a layer mask. So the first thing we're gonna do is we're going to insert the color palette that we're gonna use for this illustration. And again, I'm just gonna tuck it up into my corner, open my color wheel and add my palate there and then also gonna grab a darker green. The other thing I'm gonna do is I'm insert the sketch that I'll be using the selection tool the trace later, and I'll turn that to multiply as well. Now, for the most part, I'm going to create the background with the sketch layer turned off, but occasionally might turn on just to make sure that I'm getting the color where you want it. I'll be using the live oil brushes again, and I'm going to use the oil chunk and the oil paint short. I still want my paint mix to be fairly low and my brush to be big, and this time I'm kind of coming in with, um, here. Let's turn this layer off. I'm coming in with a very light strokes and creating a, um, very texture to stroke e look. So if you zoom in, it's gonna look really, really textured, just using long strokes, very light pressure with my apple pencil. You can also use your finger, but it's going to come a little bit more boulder just to make sure that I've got some greens kind of in the right place. I'll turn that sketch on for just a second, okay, turning my sketch off. I'm actually gonna move by, pressing and holding. I want my background to be behind my palette of my sketches so that I don't lose site of those. And now coming in with my brighter colors, I'm going to begin to add in a lot of those really light pressured strokes again. And as with previous videos, you'll see that the texture on these oil brushes or just fantastic it's because my color mixes low. I am maintaining some of the consistency of my color, but if you want here and I have a fairly low flow, I could increase my flow on. My color will stay a little bit more vibrant as well, and if you increase your paint mix, you'll see that they are really grabbing the color and blending at I get the fresh color that as it reloads every time I pick up my pencil here. Okay, go back down. I just like it a little thus mixed in case you can go back in and you can check on your sketch, just make sure that you're getting color where you wanted. I don't always keep my sketch on, um, in this particular one this way because I do want the backgrounds to feel somewhat authentic, and I don't want it to be perfect, So I don't I need the color to be exactly, And it's okay if I have color and where this leaves we're gonna be, and vice versa. But it's really, um just about getting the color to mix and flow kind of the way that I want. But having the sketch on does give me a chance. And here amusing my finger kind of going in and just kind of lightly stamping in some of the color a little bit. Get that dark green back out. One thing about your finger is it doesn't tell the difference between the different edges, and so it's going to give me the stamp of the actual imprint of the brush versus with your pen tool or you're an apple pencil. Is it? It gives you, um, a different marking its not as defined as that other brush. I don't like that one up there. Someone back up a little bit. Okay, so now the backgrounds done, let's turn off our layers palette and then turn your sketch opacity down just a little bit . You don't need it to be super low, because with this one, you're using the selection tool. So here's your selection tool, and what you're going to do is on your background. Later, we're going to create a color mask, but or a layer mask. But in order to do that, let's create the selection first. And so you're gonna actually trace over this illustration and the sketch layer, and you're gonna do the entire thing. It's important that you do the entire thing before you hit the mask clear, so just starting in a certain spot underneath your selection tool, you're just going to come around and you're gonna start tracing and you can do it all in one piece or little sections like this and you'll see that the area becomes highlighted and the rest has those kind of marching lines. So anywhere you trays is gonna be selected, and you can do it in little pieces like I was doing there. Or you can try to do larger areas, but you can always fix things later on. This isn't doesn't to be super exact. It's just to get most of the illustration skylighted. Now, over here, where I have these really thin lines, I actually like to use my selection tool. And I am okay with it being not perfect. I don't really want it to be exact. As much as I'm just looking for a basic outline and anything I can adjust later if I really don't like it. But I want this to be, um, a little bit rougher, a little edgier looking. So I continue to trace around with my selection tool all around the entire illustration just add and everything. Okay? I'll speed up the video and then come back and show you the next step. - Okay . Now that the entire drawing is traced out with my late with my lasso tool down here at the bottom, you have transformer race mass de select and more here and click on mask. I'm on the wrong layer. Okay, so want to You are finished with your tracing. Gonna make sure that you're on your background there and down at the bottom. You have a toolbar that says transform, Erase, Masti, Select. That's your lasso tool for your selection tool Task bar and you can click mask and it will mask out the entire background. Now, if you turn off your layer with the sketch, you'll see you have the entire illustration mapped out. Now, what I dio is you can do this with your layer of the sketch layer turned on or off. It depends how you like it. I'm going to switch to a brush. I'm gonna you Kyle's dry media sketch pencil rough, too. I want some texture, but not Aton. And what I dio it's still in my layers mode. I'm going to hide areas so that it defines the pedals. You'll see if I turn the sketch there off sales to find that pedal, I'm gonna work my way around the drawing going to hide more the peddle areas. Same. But I'll end up doing that anywhere that I want to show that there is definite groups, that there's definition stay on my mask layer and under hide. They want to give it that separation and then also with the leaves here. By adding in little lines, I can create dimension to it. See there. - So anything that sits in front I'm gonna create a little erased line, a little mark there so that it shows that that's where the line has been defined. So it'll help show what sits in front and what sits behind. You know, if I take this leave and I were to draw a line over it this way, they would make that leave appears if it were sitting in front of those stems. Now, if I do it different and I actually put the lines this way, it's gonna work like it's sitting between those two stems. See the difference there pretty cool now, for some reason, like I say, this stem was much whiter than I would want. I can come in and with my hide tool selected, I can actually cut out, you know, clean up that line. If I didn't like it now , I just looked through. Make sure that there's nothing I miss like. I missed the's leaves over here, so I just quickly come in and add in my Ryan's. And I just kind of scroll around me illustration here and make sure that I didn't miss anything anywhere he missed. I just had in some lines, and you can always add in lines down the center of the stem. Gonna add highly. And there you go. There's creating an illustration using your selection to on layer masks. 4. Lesson 3 - Brush tool with layer mask: in this lesson, we're going to be using the layer mass and depressed tool to actually draw in our illustration. So first we would use a sketch, and then we're gonna add in the background, and then we're going to use, um, the layer mass actually create the sketch on top of the background, going to camera roll and color palettes. I'm gonna insert the color palette that I need. And again, I'm just gonna transform this and stick it up in the corner. And then I'm gonna come over to my color wheel, and I'm gonna add in my color palette just so that I have it in both places. Okay? And I'm gonna be working with the oil brush again. Go back to the oil paint. Short oil paint. Chunky is also a really nice one. It's got some beautiful texture in it too. So that's always a fun one to use. I'm gonna take my color paint mix down to 18 again, and I'm gonna keep a large brush this time. I'm also gonna add in my sketch layer. And I'm also going to make that I multiply so I can see through and with my oil brush. So even though I'm gonna paint most of the background, I do want the sketch to be there so that when I start to add the color, I can kind of get a sense of where I want the pain to go, because I want to be able to see, um, the right colors to create the texture of the crab. And again, like in the other lessons, I'm just going to start dumping paint in there and work my way kind of around the crab, adding color where I think it needs to go. You can always put color, move my paint palette up higher just that I can get easy access to it so it doesn't get buried underneath these layers. But feel free to take your paint off away from the crab also, because sometimes as we add in, um, over the drawing and I start toe, use those layer modes when I go back and there's times that all actually add to the illustration a little bit and changed a couple of things. And by doing that, um, I actually need to have the background extended beyond the actual drawing, because that way I'm not rushing to try to add in the background because I decided I wanted to move a leg or or something like that. I'm actually gonna take this down a little bit. I would like my pain to not mix quite so much right now. - Adding layer upon layer of texture here. Can I like to kind of just slop it all in all around everything and here, meeting my finger again to kind of stamp in some of those color? I'll show you another really cool technique in just a second as I after I get all this color in. So I want to make sure all the white spaces covered because again, like I said, I don't know exactly where I'll be. Um, illustrating. I for the most part will try to stay within the sketch. But if I do move something, I want to be able to have a background in place. I'm feeling like I might need really Deep blue to try this here, Pilyeon, like there's some areas that might need a little more purple Lee than I would like. Okay, so one of the really cool things that you can dio is obviously, you can adjust your prone. You can adjust your paint mix, and the higher the paint mixes, the more your colors are going to mix together. But it's always gonna bring in whatever whatever color you have selected currently on your color wheel is what color you're gonna start with when you start mixing. So one of the things that you can do is actually underneath. Your color will take here, or you can do it here, which is your flow and take it all the way down to zero. And what that is is essentially giving no color to your brush but giving you the ability to continue to mix still. So if you were in a watercolor brush, it's like having a brushed full of water as you flow it and mix it along with all the colors. So with the oils is kind of doing the same thing. It's just allowing the paint's to mix together without giving it any additional color. Okay, so going back with my color now, I'm actually gonna switch to my oil detail brush, and as you can see, it's a finer brush. It's not quite as big has the other one, and I'm just adding some color in areas that I specifically want the color to be a little bit darker, a little bit more defined. And that's the nice thing about having the sketch underneath. Or I'm sorry this got sitting right above it is because it gives you kind of a clear idea of where certain things are and so that you can kind of give it that event the dimension in the balance of color that you want based on where you think the illustration is actually going to sit. - Okay , Once you have the background done, you can turn off your palates. Following the same steps of the other lessons, you're going to create an empty mask clear and then select your brush. I'm gonna work with the same dry media sketch pencil rough from Carl's Try media, and I'm gonna use it like a regular brush. I'm just going to draw in the illustration and it almost acts is if it's a brush just holding white paint. Instead, it's almost like I'm painting with an eraser. And again, I'm only using this sketch as rough lines to fall level. I want my lines to steal to still feel authentic and unhurried and non stiff. I don't want it to feel like I'm just tracing, so I'm just kind of giving it a rough idea. Here on the Oregon coast, we see these crabs all over our beaches. So it was Superfund to get a chance to really study the way that they look for this sketch family. - Okay , I'm just gonna keep working my way around Illustration. Okay, So what I do next is in order to remove the background, cause I like the crab to stand on its own. I go back to my hard round brush stain in my layers mode and make a big brush. And I wipe around all around the outside of the background, avoiding getting too close to the crab just yet. And I start to block out the background and again doing this allows me to work non destructively. So I'm not actually erasing the background that I worked on. I'm just hiding it underneath there. Okay, So now getting really close to my lines, I'm actually going to continue to delete the background. I just get really closer those the edges of the other. And because I use a textured brush. I try not to destroy too much of the textured edges, but you'll see next. What I do is I go back in and I add any textured edges to kind of increase that area If I have erased a little too close. I was just making my brush big and small based on what I need, I just kind of continue to move around and erase my background so I will speed this up and then we'll talk about adding the layered or the textured edges back in. - Okay , now look at this. Now that it's all cut out of the background, you can see how amazing that background shows through into the illustration and how pretty all the texture and all that to mention that comes up with all of that. I mean, look at how just beautiful that is. Now here what I do, and they go back in with my dry media sketch, pencil rough and staying still in layer modes. I go over my illustration in any areas groups, I guess, which to reveal, and I go over any areas that I want to thicken up the area or redefine bringing that textured age where my clean up removed too much of the background. And then if I also want to redefine anything or delete areas that needed to be cleaned up, that will give me the time to do that now, too, because I didn't erase my background. All they did was hide it with a layer mask is it gives me the ability. There still bring in any texture, and I don't have to add it. And it will always look like a cohesive piece of art, even though I've erased and am now bringing back see how I can bring in those textured edges again, - seeing because I'm doing that with a layer mask has I want to just thick enough that claw there, a little snapper area. And so by being able to erase in or take out what's a layer mask? Because I am never really losing my background and anywhere I want to show more highlight. I can always cut in an area out a shadow or highlight or mean that highlight there, - and there you go. That's illustrating by using layer masks and your brush 5. Lesson 4 - Watercolor brushes with layer mask: I've been using all of these layer mask techniques with my illustrations for quite a few weeks now with adobe fresco. And it's giving me a chance to really play around with everything and to kind of take the techniques that I have taught in lessons 12 and three and two kind of flip them a little bit. And so what we're gonna do in this lesson is, after we create our background, we're gonna actually use a layer masking. We're gonna black out the entire background, and then we're going to illustrate on top of that layer mask and bring the color back through. But this time we're gonna use, um, some watercolor brushes that Kyle Webster has designed for Adobe. It will be a pixel brush, and it's going to be ones that you're gonna have to download from adobes website. And you do that by going up to your pixel brushes and hitting the little plus sign and then get more brushes and it will allow you to log in to your adobe and, um, Dentyne download. And the ones that you're gonna want are the watercolor brushes I'm going to be creating an illustration of a fall tree. And again, I'm gonna go with the oil short for this one, and I'm gonna change that to multiply so I can see through it and I'll actually bring it down lower just for now. I'll keep my sketch later on while I do the background this time, just because I want to kind of have a sense of where the colors they're going to go. Um, when you are using the layer mask later on and you're using the actual watercolor brush, you'll see that not all of the vibrancy will come through, and that's kind of the beauty of it. And when you look at fall colors, especially on, you know, trees there so many colors and there's so many different tones that just looks so beautiful . And so I don't want it to be like there is a yellow leaf and there's a orange leaf. I really kind of want them to be very blended together. And so that's kind of the the effect that I'm going for. So I'm gonna bring in some, get my brush a little bit bigger. I'm gonna bring in some of the Brown's now again. It's OK if I'm going over because there's a lot of Brown's in the trees as thes leaves start to die out. Let's bring this down a little bit. I don't really want it to blend yet. I want the color to hold its own for a little bit longer, and then I'll blend in a little bit a little bit of red in there. Okay, so then I'm gonna darken up some areas with this nicest, dark brown. Um, I will do a little bit beyond my illustration, because I don't exactly I mean, I'm going to use my sketch, so really guide me with this one, but I don't necessarily want to have a white area appear in the middle of my illustration when I am using the layer mask later on. So even though right now I'm kind of applying a lot of color right underneath the sketch, I am going to extend that out just because I want to be able to reach, um be on there if I if I want to Because I want my illustration to still feel very loose and free and the strokes too few authentic and unhurried. And that's only gonna happen if I know that I have enough space on my layer, the background layer in order to provide me the ability to create natural strokes. So and with this one, if you look, I'm I'm not doing a lot of, like swirlies and, um, and strokes that are all over the place. I'm kind of creating a kind of a very upward downward kind of motion. I want the I'm liking the way that the texture kind of blends into each other here. So I'm gonna kind of try to maintain this little flick E, um, type coloring here. And this is just gonna be my base for the moment, as you can see him coming back in now with the Reds. And, um, I'll add some yellows. - Okay , let's get similar when there. I do want the leaves to have more of that bright. Um, it's got this color, that bright yellowy orange color that you see kind of early and fall when everything just some of those beautiful trees to start turning super super yellow for my software, I don't know if you'll notice it in yours, but in fresco there is it does have a little lag time occasionally when I'm really flicking my my brush around and to me that's a glitch. Um, you know, it's one of those things that, as Fresco continues, Teoh update and add things that hopefully those are little things that will start to come and get worked out. But it can be a little bit annoying when all of a sudden it's hesitates and it freezes and no glitches out. See, it's going to do it right here. See, I just did that. And all of a sudden there is thes the stamp type, um, brushstroke instead of the brushstroke that I was doing. And to me, it's just the software lags a little bit, and I don't know if anybody else's is running into that problem at all. But it's definitely something that that I start there kind of have an issue with here and there. It's annoying, but just back up, do your undo and then repeat your strokes or slow down. Maybe it's because I'm using my stroke so quickly that's gonna do it again. Watch. Yeah, maybe I should slow down and my because I'm in life rushes to. Maybe there is a lag. Okay, so I filled in most of the background. I'm not going to need all of it realistically, but let's turn the color palette. Also, we can see what we've got here. Okay, so now that this all the colors been applied, what we're gonna dio like in any other lessons is working up, add or create empty layer mask. And for this, I like to go over to the hard round brush and then just make it super huge because it's just going really quickly. Paint that over, and then you'll see the schedule your appear again. But that background is done and it's it's hidden behind that layer mask now. Okay, so now I'm going to select Kyle's riel Watercolor size 80 rough and underneath your library brushes. Your water color brushes should have downloaded. And here you're gonna look for Kyle's Rio water color. Here it is. 80 rough, and then you can start it. If so, that it saves your favorites. And now down at the bottom with your hide reveal, You wanna have it revealed because you're going right now, the layer mask is there, and so you want to be able to show increase our brush size here and see how the colored shows through that from what we had underneath. Now, if you press really lightly, the water color will be more water down. The harder you press, the darker it's gonna show through, right? And then obviously, if you flow back over, it will increase it. This is all picking up the color that we had underneath. See how appears the reds and the Browns. So we're going to do is work your way around your sketch filling in your leaf, and I'm gonna come back through with a different brush later on to give it a little bit more detail. So right now, I'm just looking for kind of boat, a generic shape so that the water color just looks like it's a natural watercolor, as is, if you were really going to be putting that down. So even though this isn't the the rial live watercolor brushes that come with fresco, you can still create a very similar watercolor feel by using other adobe brushes and then giving each leaf its own kind of details. Some are going to be lighter and darker, you know, just depend on how hard I pressed down on my brush here. One's a little dark. The reason is because when I come back over with a detail brush, I'm still only pulling the color from underneath the a layer mask. So if I've pressed too hard in certain areas, when I come back in and out tried and more detail, there won't be any color left to show through. So I still want this toe look very much like a wash of water color That's on this first layer just working my way around when I went to create this illustration. Um, I tried not to create too many leaves because I knew when I was going to come to film that it would be a long process so tried to make. It is easy for me and for you guys watching. So let's see a few more to dio. Okay, so the leaves air done right now. Okay, so now that the leaves air done, I'm going to switch to Kyle's watercolor clean edge brush and I'm gonna keep the size really low, I think. And I'm gonna work on the tree limbs and the trunk here, and I'm just going to trace out like that you'll notice that the colors coming through more vibrantly with this brush, then the other brush, and that's just because the properties of the brush allow more of the pigment to show through. It's not as watery, not, you know, like the watercolor brush we used last, which was the real watercolor Rough is just had a lot more water to it lumps so again, even though I've got my sketch here and trying to keep my strokes as, um, flowing as possible. So I'm I'm just kind of keeping the sketch as a basic guideline but allowing my brush to flow naturally. - So as the brushes are allowing the background to show through its giving such a unique look to the strokes and the coloring that you wanna have been able to get by just picking a color palette and applying the brush. So now I can go back in with the same clean edge brush, and I can ad definition to the actual leaves, and you can go very specific, very detailed. We're just even a little bit of color like this. Maybe you could just add maybe a little bit of definition that way. I actually really like that. Let's try that for a little bit and see how that looks. Leave the leaves. I believe the leaves. Very whimsical and watery looking. You could actually connect them. Let's see. That's how that looks. It's pretty now . You can be done there or I'm thinking about going back in with my rough 80 watercolor brush and adding in some fall leaves that are falling because that's all it seems to be happening around us right now is all these leaves are just dropping special in all the wind storms we've been having. So it will be fun to have criticism some leaves at the base and falling off the trees, blowing in the wind. So we'll do that. Been going back in with the clean edge brush, I'll add little stems to it to each of the leaves that I just created on them. So this is a big wet wash brush, and I just want to see what it looks like if I add a bit of shading behind. Oh, look at how beautiful that is. So the big wash brushes allowing me to be just bring it a tiny bit of color through around the trunk. No, I love That is not pretty. So it's just giving the trunk in the leaves a bit of base to work off. Now again, with these brushes, that harder I press, the more tone that shows through. So if there is an area that you really want to like, give some shading to definitely press a little bit harder, and the more times you go over an area with the brush will also allow more color to show through. So I'm just kind of playing with the tone here and finding the feel that feels right to me about how much color I'm going to show through. So, using the same technique, you can create a slightly different colored background, and we're going to use this on a larger floral type background. And so I'm just gonna create color palette real quick. Yeah, okay. With a large brush, Private, I meant low flow. I'm gonna throw in some color here, get this behind my color palette so I can see it. - So I'm gonna be using, um, floral pattern on this one, but I might have a little bit agreeing, so I'm adding some green down here. Just so that I'll have it in place. Okay? And I'm kind of rushing with this one, just so you can see the other option that they have or that there is Teoh create with this . So you're gonna create your empty layer mask, switched your heart brush, make it nice and big, and just wash that out really quickly, okay? And then I'm gonna import a flower sketch that I can use Make it multiply laurier the opacity. And now again with, uh, Kyle's riel watercolor, the rough 80 here make this bigger, actually. Might bring the flow down just to see So what? I'm gonna dio get rid of all these extra layers, making sure that I'm on my layer and then I'm going to or my layer mask and I'm gonna hit Reveal I'm going to treat this like a, um, like a giant watercolor brush. And I'm just gonna bring it in this watercolor depending on how hard I push is gonna how much of that pigments gonna show through? And I can always go back and add more if I want to add shading to it. So I'm gonna flow through each of these flowers pretty quickly is by using that clean edge. So this gives it a much more defined line and, um, pigment that shows through compared to the very watery blossoms and leave. If you leave white space in any of your flowers or leaves, it's gonna look like a highlight. So that's a really good way, making sure you got allies. And if you want more shadow, you would just come back in over your first wash color and actually give it more of a a shadow. But we'll do that more of that in a minute. I like the fact that the color that shows through isn't always, you know. Oh well, that's the stems. What should be green? I love the way that these brushes bring through such unique colors, and now I can use the same brush, and I can add details like the center of the flower here 6. Your Project: Now it's your turn to get to practice some of these techniques. Your project will be to create an illustration using one of the layer mass techniques that we went over in class. Here's some examples of other illustrations that I've done using the exact same techniques that we went over in class. There's so many ways to apply these techniques to different illustrations. So how fun with it and just start exploring when you're ready to share your project. And I hope that you dio load your images and text under the Create Projects tab. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with.