Digital Illustration in Procreate: Working with Layers & Masks | Sandra Mejia | Skillshare

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Digital Illustration in Procreate: Working with Layers & Masks

teacher avatar Sandra Mejia, Illustrator + Pattern Designer

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.

      Project and Supplies


    • 3.

      What are Layers and Why do I Want Them


    • 4.

      Setting Up the Canvas


    • 5.

      Creating the Basic Shapes - Florals


    • 6.

      Adding Details


    • 7.

      Adding a Paper Texture


    • 8.



    • 9.

      Creating the Basic Illustration - Mushrooms


    • 10.

      Alpha Lock and Clipping Masks


    • 11.



    • 12.

      Adding Textures to a Certain Area


    • 13.

      Wrapping Things Up


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About This Class

In this class I’ll teach you how to use layers and masks in Procreate in a fun and hands-on way. Layers and masks allow you to create easy to navigate and organized files with the possibility to create cool effects and add textures and depth to your artwork.  I’ll show you all this while we create actual illustrations so you don’t have to be confused with theory, you'll just start applying it as you draw.


Are you ready to start creating awesome illustrations in Procreate and then you open it up and get all confused with layers and masks? Maybe you’re not even sure of what a layer is. What if you’re thinking “What masks?” It’s happened to the best of us! But fear not, this class will help you solve all your questions.


  • Why layers are so great and how they can make your life easier.
  • How to set up your canvas, install your brushes and color palettes.
  • How to create a simple, but pretty, floral illustration.
  • How to add a watercolour paper texture to your art
  • How to try new and unexpected colorways
  • How to export your files and time-lapse videos
  • The uses and benefits of the alpha lock, clipping masks and regular masks
  • How to add the paper textures just to the images so that you can export them with a transparent background and use them for clipart or stickers.

I use Procreate every day in my work to create illustrations for my clients and my portfolio and I always use layers and masks to create easily editable files that my clients love.


If you’re a total beginner or you’re a bit more advanced, you can follow along as I share with you every step needed to complete these illustrations.


  • iPad with the Procreate app installed


  • Apple Pencil

Other elements I use:

  • Apple pencil silicone grip
  • Drawing Glove
  • Matte screen protector


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Procreate® is a registered trademark of Savage Interactive Pty Ltd.

Apple and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries and regions.

Meet Your Teacher

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Sandra Mejia

Illustrator + Pattern Designer

Top Teacher

Hello! I'm a Freelance Illustrator and Pattern Designer. I was born in Medellin, Colombia (puedes escribirme en Espanol!). I create detailed, stylized, playful illustrations, patterns and characters from my studio in Ottawa, Canada.

I have very big eyes and I love animals. Most of my inspiration comes from nature and animals.

My art has been licensed by companies around the world for use in: Fabrics, Stationery, Kids, Editorial, Greeting Cards, Fashion, Puzzles, Gift and Home Decor.

Sign up to my email newsletter to get news and freebies: ->

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: Are you ready to start creating awesome illustrations in Procreate and then you start and you get all confused about layers and masks? Maybe you're not even sure what a layer is. What if you're thinking like, what masks? These mask? Not those kinds of masks. It has happened to the best of us, but fear not, I'm here to help. I'm Sandra Mejia. I'm a Colombian Canadian freelance illustrator and pattern designer. I work with companies around the world and they license my artwork to put on their products. I'm also a top teacher here on Skillshare. I use Procreate every day in my work to create illustrations for my clients on my portfolio. I always use layers and masks to create files that my clients love because they are very organized and they're easy to edit. Even for my own artwork, layers and masks give me the opportunity to create super cool effects and add textures and depth to my artwork. I find that the use of layers and masks is sometimes confusing, so I want to explain them to you in a fun and hands-on way. In this class, I will show you all of this as we create actual illustrations. You don't have to be confused with all the theory. You can just learn as you apply it. Even if you're a total beginner or you are a bit more advanced, you can follow along because I will show you every step needed to complete these illustrations. First, I'll explain what layers are and how they can make your life easier. Then we'll dive deep down into the creative process. I'll explain how to set up your canvas, install brushes and color palettes, and create a simple but pretty floral illustration. Then I'll teach you how to add a watercolor paper texture to your images, try out new and unexpected color ways, and how to export your files. After you have all the basics covered, I will show you the uses and benefits of Alpha Lock, clipping masks and regular masks while creating this mushroom illustration. I'll even show you how to add the paper textures just to your image so that you can use them for stickers or clip art or anywhere that you need a transparent background. What are you waiting for? Join me and let's start making masks and layers. 2. Project and Supplies: For the class project, you will create a floral or botanical illustration using layers or masks. You either make floral or botanical illustrations. You are free to create whatever you want. Just make sure you apply what we see in class. Remember to post your projects in the project gallery and ask any questions you have and if you want feedback, let me know what you would like feedback on. For this class, you will need an iPad with the Procreate App installed. I have provided my basic sets, brush set, and my watercolor paper texture brush for you to download and my color palette. I have also included the sketches for the two illustrations we will be working on in this class. You can use these resources or you can use your own brushes or color palettes or anything you prefer. If you prefer working from your own sketches, that is great too. To download them, make sure you're accessing Skillshare from an Internet browser and go to the Projects and Resources tab. On the right side, you'll see the resources list. If you have an Apple pencil that is great. It's not necessary, but it's very useful because it's very precise and it makes the drawing process so much easier at least in my opinion. I use a silicone grape holder in my pencil because it makes it more comfortable for me to hold for long periods of times and I use a matte screen protector on my iPad because I don't like drawing on the slippery surface. I also use a drawing glove so that my hand glides easily on the screen. None of these is required, but it's just my preference. I will list all the materials in the class description area. 3. What are Layers and Why do I Want Them: In this lesson, I'm going to show you why working with layers can make your life so much easier. I'm going to create a new file, and I'm going to drag my color palette out here. Don't worry about the dimensions or anything. This is just to explain to you the layers. This is where the layers live in Procreate, and you always start with a background color, which if you tap, you can change, you can select from your pellet, done. And you always start with one layer. Let's say you draw this leaf from this layer. If on top of that, I want to draw another leaf, for example, and then I want to add some geometric shapes, it's all in one layer. That means if I change my mind and I want to change the color of this layer, or I want to move it around, I won't be able to because it's just one image. Some people like working in just one layer and that's totally okay. I just wanted you to understand the benefits of using layers and how to do it, so that if you have to choose, you're choosing with the knowledge and not just because you don't know how to do it or you don't understand it. Think of it like trying on different sheets of tracing paper and then stacking them together. If you make a mistake or you want to change something, you don't have to throw away the whole piece, you can just edit the parts that you want. This is how layers in Procreate work too. Keeping elements separated on different layers will allow you to edit or delete parts of your illustrations in a very simple way. This way you can resize, rotate, duplicate, re-color, or delete elements even after you're done with your illustration. This is also very useful when you're working with clients and they ask you to fix something and you have to go back into that file to fix things and believe me, it's way easier if you only have to change one layer and not the whole thing. Let me show you what layers can do. Let's delete that and create the first leaf in the first layer. Now we'll go here, you add another layer, and there we create this second leaf, and then we add another layer, and there we create the shape. Now I have one element per layer. I can tap on that layer and rename it, Leaf 1, for example, press Return. Let's tap on it again. There's a bunch of other options that you can work with, with this layer. We will be seeing them progressively as we move along. I can also hold it and drag it up or down and reorganize it. If I swipe, I can lock it. That means I cannot draw on that layer by mistake. It's great when you have a lot of layers and maybe you're going back and forth and you don't want to touch the layer, you can lock it. Let's swipe to the left again and unlock it. You can duplicate that layer and you can delete it. Also if I swipe to the right on several layers, I can group them and I can rename that group, or I can flatten it. That means it all goes into the same layer. But we don't want that, so let's undo that. I can also merge layers by pinching them down and see, now that is one layer and this is another layer. Again, I don't want that. If you want to take things outside of your group, just select the layer and move it out of the group, and you can reorganize groups also. This is great because you can change the order of elements, for example and change the whole look of your drawing. These are the basics of the layers in Procreate. In the next lesson, let's put this to work and create floral illustration. 4. Setting Up the Canvas: In this lesson, we're going to set up the canvas for our illustration and install our brushes and color palette. If you want to create a new document, you just press plus here and you will have some pre-made sizes. But if you want to create your own, you press on the plus sign here and this is where you create a custom canvas. Here you give it a name, let's call these vertical. Because Procreate is not a vector program which uses mathematics to scale images, so if you create something small and you scale it up, it will always look crisp. Procreate is a raster program, which means that it creates pixel-based images. That means that if we create a very small size and then you enlarge in it, the edges will start looking blurry, so that's why in Procreate and any raster program, you should be mindful of this size. You create your artwork in and create it as large as possible so that then you can shrink it down or keep it at that size and not loose any quality. I usually like to work in inches and my vertical files are always 11 by 15. Why? Because I design a lot for greeting cards, so a regular green card is usually five by seven, for example. The width will be five but I work twice the size so that's 10 and I add one inch to have a margin, it's called a bleed. It's for that when you print the products out, you have a safe zone where if you cut it, you're not going to get a white border and that looks ugly and that is required if you're creating client work to have a certain bleed. Then 15 it's the same thing as 7*2, 14 plus one inch bleed. The DPI is a resolution, 300 is the least that you want to have for printing. Always keep it at least at 300. Here it shows you the maximum number of layers you will have with your iPad. It depends on your iPad model, how many layers you will have in Procreate. Newer iPads that have more RAM, will have more layers. I created art for three or four years in a very small iPad and it had seven layers at the maximum size, and I created professional art with that, so there's a possibility, and don't worry about it right now. Now here's a color profile. The differences between RGB and CMYK used to be very simple. RGB was if you were going to design things for screen, like computers, tablets, phones, and CMYK, if you were going to print it out. Now, a lot of printers have started using RGB files because it produces brighter colors, so there's not a right or wrong answer. This is a difference between an RGB file and a CMYK file. You can see that the pinks and the greens are more muted in the CMYK. That's why I like creating things in RGB because it's brighter. If a client asked me for a CMYK file, I would take that into Adobe Illustrator and modify the levels and adjustments and you can make the colors brighter and then match the colors. But in reality, I have never had that happen, so I create everything in RGB and I choose this profile every time. Here at a time-lapse settings, Procreate has a super cool thing and instead it records your strokes, so then you can show these in social media, your website, or you can even just look at it to see your process and I think it's really cool. I keep it at 1080p so that it doesn't consume a lot of memory and at good-quality and that has worked great for me. You can create larger and better quality time lapses, but this is how I use it. Then in the Canvas properties you can choose a background color for all your canvases and if you want to start with a transparent background, you would turn this on. I don't like that, so I just keep it off. Now you click Create and it has created the new document for you. If you go back to the gallery, you can rename it, flowers. Now, if you're going to create a new Canvas, you'll see that it has added this as a preset here, so the next time you don't have to do all that, you just press here and there you go, you're ready to start working. I have provided the brushes that I use for my commercial work for you to download, so go to the class resources and download them and have them in your iPad. Once you have downloaded them, just close Procreate, go to your files folder and locate them. I have them on my iPad, they're here, just press on them and they will import. When you go to your brushes, you'll find them up here. They will be the first ones after the recent folder. Here they are. The way to install that is very similar to the brushes I showed you one where you close procreate and you go to the Files folder and find it wherever you saved it. The other way to do it is to drag up here slowly and you will find your most recently used apps here. Since I use the file's app recently it's here, so I will just touch it and drag it over and this creates a split screen. Now I will just go and find my palette and I will just drag it into procreate, and then I can close this here. You see it here because I already had it there, but it will install it in the bottom of your stack, so just go down and there you will find that. If you hold this here, you can drag it up and reorganize it. In the next lesson, we'll start creating the basic shapes of our floral illustration. 5. Creating the Basic Shapes - Florals: In this lesson, I'll show you how to create the basic shapes for a simple floral illustration by using layers. One of the best uses for layers is to be able to add sketches to create our artwork. These sketches can be drawn by you in one of the layers, and then use that as a sketch. Or you can import sketches like the one that I have included in this class so that you can follow along. Make sure that you have downloaded your sketch to your iPad, and now I'm going to show you how to import it into your Canvas. Go to the Actions panel, Add, insert a photo and you can download this catch from the downloads area of the class. Select it, then tap here to set it. Then you can rename it and call it sketch for example, sometimes I like to be very organized with my layers and I named them all, and sometimes I don't. It's your preference. Here, if you tap the N, you can change the opacity of that layer. Make it more transparent or less transparent. When I'm working with a sketch, I like to make it less transparent, usually like these where I can barely see it. But I'm going to leave it this midway so you can actually see what I'm doing. These are all blending modes for that image. I like to select Multiply, because what it does is that it gets rid of the white area and just keeps the colored areas, and makes it look like a tracing paper. Let's tap on there and add a new layer, and I'm going to work underneath my sketch. Leaves, and I went to select my brush and start creating the leaves. For this, I'm going to go to the basic sets and use the gouache brush. Maybe I want these color of leaves. I'm just going to start filling these in. I'm going to move this down because I'm going to show you something. There's still ways to fill in this area. One is to drag this color into the area, and you'll see that trust holds shows up. If you see white lines around your color. Just keep your pencil press down on the screen and drug right, until the point where it only floods your image and not the entire screen, then I will release. The problem with this is that it creates a solid color, which is great if you're creating solids. But because I'm using a brush that has textures, it doesn't look so good. The other way I like to fill this in when I'm using brushes that have textures, is to just color it in as if I was using regular colored pencils. It takes a lot more time. But it keeps these textures that I love. If you like solid shapes with no texture, I suggest use a brush like the mono line in calligraphy. This brush is super smooth and it's great for solid shapes. I'm going to go back to my gouache one and fill in all these areas. I never worry about following sketches super closely, because I feel that when you do that, it makes your drawing very contrived. I like using it just as a guide. If you don't like these little areas here or this brush is not precise. You can reduce the size, go back in and fix those areas. This brush has some transparency so you can see where you went back in. But I don't mind that because gauche sometimes looks like that when you just paint over it. That will be my first layer. Let's call that leaves. Now we can create another layer on top, let's call it petal one, and we can start making the back of the petals. Let's use a darker color for the back. I'm going to make your brush larger and start thinking of the figures on how they overlap, for example, these petals are on the back. This one, this one and this one. Then I would make the center of the flower in another layer, and then in another layer, the front petals. Your brain will soon get used to the layers and you won't even be thinking of these anymore. Let's reduce the size of the brush and create this one. But see, this layer is in front of this one, and I really want these body here to cover the petals as if they were coming out from the body. I'm going to delete that, and I'm going to go and create another layer that's called bud. I'm going to drag it underneath the leaves. Once I dry it, it's underneath the green. I'm going to reduce the opacity of the sketch a bit more. Because now you've seen how I'm doing it. That way, I can see what I'm painting way better. Now I'm going to create the centers of the flowers on top of the petals one. Create a new layer, centers, and we'll create those width. This dark color. Sometimes you have to tap twice to select the color when you're pallidus here. Great. Now I want to create outer petals. There I'm going to use this little pink color. Make sure it's selected here. Here we go. We're almost done with this. See that I can still see some of the seats in there. It's because this brush has some transparency, you can just go back in and paint the shapes. That way you won't be able to see it. Same here with the leaves, I can cover that area. But I love how this brush leaves, those dry brush marks that real gouache leaps on the paper. Now I only have to do these little bud leaf. I want to do it on top of these ones. It's still under the leaves. I go here and I click the pause sign, rename this one. Now that I'm done with that, I can go to my sketch layer and I can either turn it off here. That way you don't see it, but it's still there. Or I can go ahead and delete it. If you need extra layers, just delete it. If not, and you want to keep it there, you can keep it there. Some people like their illustrations to be very simple or just made of basic shapes, so it's very graphic. This could be you. But if you're like me and you like adding more and more details, then in the next lesson, I'm going to show you how to do that. 6. Adding Details: For some reason, I love adding details to my illustrations. I think they just look more finished this way. But even if you don't want to add more details to your illustrations, come with me and in this lesson, I am going to show you how easy it is once you have created your basic shapes in different layers. Now, I'm going to go into the back petals and I'm going to add more details. I'm just going to keep that brush and select maybe this color. Let's try it out. Make the brush smaller. I'm going to reduce the opacity to maybe 25 percent. I'm not pushing too hard on my pencil and see I have it slanted a bit. Now I want to add details to the leaves too. I like my art to be very detailed. I'm going to choose this color to just maybe add some lines. Let's see. Yeah, lines look good. I overlapped here and this is where I want to show you the eraser. So this is the eraser. The eraser basically it has exactly the same brushes as your brush. You can choose what brush you use to erase. I always use in airbrushing, a hard airbrush if I want clean lines. Or if I want to use the same brush I've been using and have some texture on my eraser, I can go to the recent brushes and choose the latest one I've been using or whatever brush you want and then I can erase with texture. I'm going to erase here and I can perfect the shapes if I want. Now I'm going to keep adding a little bit more details and just go to the brush there and add a tiny bit of light maybe with this yellow to the center. These floral illustration is done but in the next lesson I'm going to show you how to add watercolor paper texture to it to make it look a little bit more hand-drawn. 7. Adding a Paper Texture: In this lesson, I will show you how I add watercolor paper texture to my illustrations. I will be using my own brush for this and there's a lot of ways to create these but I'm going to show you mine. If you want to add a paper texture to your illustration, you can go to your Layers, create a new layer on top. I'm going to call it Texture. If you go to your brushes and go to Sandra's watercolors, you'll see there's two brushes here, add line and paper and add paper texture. I'm going to select the add paper texture. It says set layer to Linear Burn. I'm going to go and do that. Tap here in the end, set it to Linear Burn. This makes a transparent, and ingrain itself into the paint underneath. Then I'm going to choose this color here, any muted color works. That's not too dark and with the maximum opacity and the maximum brush size, I'm going to go over the whole canvas without lifting my pencil. You don't see what's happening now, but you're going to see it in a bit. Now that we've covered the whole canvas, I will lift my pencil and you can reduce your canvas so it's easier. Go back in maybe three times and paint it. You don't see it but when I zoom in, you'll see that now it has this pretty paper texture. This is it without the texture and this is with the texture. I really love this paper textures. This is something you can do to add like a handmade feel a bit more of handmade feel to your illustration. You don't have to do it, it's up to you. If you create a new layer and you select a color. Let's choose this green for example, and you drag it into your Canvas. It will fill the whole layer and if we reduce the opacity a bit and start going through these, you'll see how it changes the whole mood of the image. Sometimes it creates really pretty combinations you hadn't thought of. Like for example this one I really like. I like to play with this sometimes and see what our color combos I can get. Look at that one for example without the layer, with the layer, without, with. I actually like this color better than the one we had. I find this is a super fun way of experimenting with colors and unless I am working for a client with a very specific color palette, then I won't do this, so I don't alter the colors I already use. But unless I'm doing that, I always do this to my illustrations just to see what fun and new and unexpected color ways I can create. Sometimes they surprise me like this time, I'm going to keep it this way. In the next lesson, I am going to show you how to export it. 8. Exporting: In this lesson, I'm going to show you the options that Procreate has for sharing files. Now that you have your image and it's ready to share with the world, you can go here to actions, share and you'll find all the formats that Procreate can export to here. This one is for images, so the whole thing and this one is four layers so it will export individual layers you have created. Here, in the image area you will find these formats. Procreate can only be opened in Procreate. But the good thing is that if you back up your files this way, you will keep the time-lapse video. This is the only format that exports both the time-lapse video and your image in the same file. This is Photoshop so it will export as an Adobe Photoshop document and it will keep all your layers intact. PDF JPEG will create a flat image, so no layers. PNG will export with a transparent background. If you export it as it is, it won't export with a transparent background. But if you go to your layers and you turn off the overlay and texture and turn off the background color and you export these, it will export it with a transparent background. Finally, TIFF is a flattened file, but it's very high-quality, it doesn't lose any resolution. Sometimes this is preferred by clients. Here you can share all of your layers in a PDF, so it will export each layer into one of the pages of the PDF. Finally, these are for animations. We won't go into that. I'm going to show you the video. Here, you see the time-lapse replay. You can see the whole process of what you've done in your Canvas. This is so cool. Done. Here, you can turn off your time-lapse recording and it will ask you if you want to purge the video. That means to delete the existing video. I'm going to say don't purge. If I want to pause it for a certain time, and now I want to try some things here that I don't want them to be in the time-lapse replay, this is how I do it. Once I'm done with that and I want to continue with my recording, I will just turn it on and it will just start recording from this point on. Finally, you can export just a time-lapse video and you can choose between full length or 30 seconds. The option for 30 seconds will only be activated if the video is actually longer than 30 seconds. Since this one is very short, I'm just going to choose full length. Now I can share it or save it to my iPad and that's it. That's how you export your videos and your images. Now you know how to export your files on even your time-lapse videos. Let's go to the next lesson and start working on our mushrooms illustration. 9. Creating the Basic Illustration - Mushrooms: In this lesson, we'll be creating the basic shapes for our mushrooms illustration. I want to create this image as a square. I'm going to go and create a new file, but I need to create a new Canvas for it. Press here and I'm going to name it square. I'm going to make it inches, 12 by 12. I have 47 layers. That's a lot. I'm not touching any of these and click ''Create''. Now I'm going to import my sketch. You don't have to import a sketch every time, you can sketch here in one layer and then use that as a reference, or you can just start painting directly. But for the sake of this class, I have created my sketches beforehand so we can work on them at the same time. If you want to import a sketch, just go to Actions, add, insert a photo or a file wherever you stored it. I stored mine in the photos of my iPad so I choose insert a photo and we're going to create these mushroom illustration. Just click here to set. I'm going to do the same thing as I always do. Go to my layers, reduce the opacity to about 10 and set it to multiply. I'll create another layer, drag it underneath, and rename it, and I'm going to start by creating these first mushroom. Let's use the basic sets for these one. I'm going to be using the gouache brush, but you can use any brush that you prefer. Now, let's take our color palette out, just palette and I'm going to drag it here and start painting the head of the mushroom. I make sure the opacity is at 100% and I'm going to make it a bit bigger. I'm going to color it in as if it was colored pencils so I get these textures that look a bit like wash. Now, let's create another layer. Here I want to carry this stem. But before I paint it because I want it to be very light, I'm going to choose my background color. Let's try that one for now. Press ''Done''. Then I can start painting my mushroom stem. I'm going to use this light color and I'm just going to use the eraser and erase this part here so that it looks like this is the top part and this is the part underneath the mushroom. I'm going to create another layer, and this will be the second mushroom head. See I stopped and started again. Because this brush is transparent, it will make this effect where you can see that you're going over an area. If you don't like that, just color the whole thing at once without releasing your brush. Now I create a second stem so another layer. Same light color. Again, I'm going to erase here. Here, I don't mind that it erases very straight, but here I want to delete some of these stem, but I want it to still have this texture. I'm going to go into my brushes and go to my basic set and choose gouache. and this way I get to keep the pretty rough outline. Let's create the back leaves. I'm going to drag this layer down because I want that to be underneath the mushrooms. Make sure I'm using the brush. Choose this color. I'm going to reduce the size and start coloring them. Now I'm going to create another layer and I'm going to create outer leaves here. I'm going to reduce the size of my brush a bit and maybe choose a green color, maybe this one. Now, in the next layer, I'm going to create a text. For that, I'm going to use my textured mono line brush. I'm going to choose black and all these colors I can change later. I'm just making some quick choices here. I'm just going to go around. I actually don't want it to be on the back, I want it to be on the front so I'm going to drag it up, and I'm just going to continue lettering I'm happy with this. What I'm going to do is turn off my sketch layer. Now we don't see it. Now I have the basic shapes ready for this illustration and in the next lesson, I'm going to show you how to use masks to start coloring them in. 10. Alpha Lock and Clipping Masks: In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to use Alpha Locks and clipping masks so that you understand the differences and how to use them, and when to choose each one. Let's select this mushroom head, and concentrate on these for a bit. If you swipe on your layer with two fingers to the right, you will see that a checkerboard appears in the back. You can also tap here and select Alpha Lock. Alpha Lock means that you can only paint on the areas of your layer that were already painted. Let's choose this yellow. I'm going to go back to my gouache brush. Now if I paint on this, I'm not going outside the line. I'm staying inside the mushroom head. This way I can add more details and textures, and I'm just painting there. So this is great. I can also use a stamp brush, for example, this one. Let's make the opacity 100% on top here. That texture will only cover this area. Let's undo this and let me show you how that looks in the layers panel. The yellow is on the same layer. So later, if I want to modify that yellow, I want to make it bigger, or I want to change the colors, it's going to be attached to this mushroom head. It's going to be a bit difficult to do that edit. But this is a great work around when you want to add something to our layer, and you don't have too many layers to start stacking up. It has its pros and cons. I really like using these, but there's also another way to do it that creates a non-destructive edit. What a non-destructive edit means is that you can then come back and edit that and not alter the original image. Let's undo this and create a new layer on top. When we touch that layer, we will select clipping mask. Now you'll see this arrow here. What does that mean? It means that everything you paint on this layer, even if you paint something out here, it will paint it on that layer, unlike the Alpha Lock, which will only paint on this area. But since it's using these as a clipping mask, you will only be able to see what's in here. Now if I stamp that texture, it's all here in the layer, but it's only showing what's on top of the mushroom head. This is really cool because later I can come and move it, I can scale it down, and it's not affecting the outer layer. Same way if I want to draw here. It's on a total separate layer so I can turn it off, I can turn it on, I can delete it. I'm going to be using clipping masks to color this illustration. Now that I made this yellow here, I don't like how this stem looks. I'm going to use this eraser. Yeah, that looks better. I'm going to keep adding details to this mushroom. I could do it on this layer, but I can also add another layer, create that as a clipping mask, and it is still clipped by this element. So you can have as many clipping masks as you like. Let's say I'm going to add these white dots, and then smaller ones. Because it's a clipping masks, these dots are being clipped and not shown completely. I want them to come out of the mushroom because sometimes in real life, they're bumpy these little mushrooms and the white things are actually raised. So I want to give that impression. Since I didn't do it here as an Alpha Lock mask, I have the possibility to touch here and deselect Clipping Mask, and now I can actually see the whole thing. That works great. Now let's go to the mushroom here. I want to add some shading to these things for the same reason because they're are bumps, so they should create some shading. I'm going to use a darker color, this brown, maybe. Just create some shadows. I'm just creating the shadows to the bottom as if the light was coming from up here. I like that, but maybe I don't want these ones to be so white so I can go back to the layer. I haven't named this one. But let's call it dots. I can make this an Alpha Lock. I can do two things. Let's try these yellow. I can tap on it and choose Fill layer, and it will feel only the parts of the layer that were already colored. Say if I didn't have an Alpha Lock on and I chose fill layer, it will fill the entire thing. Alpha Lock is very useful to recolor things. But in this case, I don't want them to be a solid color. So I'm just going to add a bit of yellow to them. For that, I'm going to reduce the opacity of my brush, and just very softly add a tiny bit of yellow here to the bottom. Maybe just to the big ones and some of the small ones. I already think that looks better. Now I want to do something with the yellow part underneath. Because I have it in its own layer, I can Alpha Lock it too. I'm going to up my opacity. I'm going to choose this color, and I'm going to create a border like this, just so that it looks like the under part of the mushroom. I'm going to choose this dark color again, make it even smaller and just make some lines. My lines are so wobbly. I can undo that. Go into the brush, go to stabilization, and add a streamline, a stabilization. Press Done. Now my lines are so much better. Maybe add some white ones there too just to give it a bit more interest. A cool way to practice these on your own art and your own style is to select other types of mushrooms and do this, but with different mushrooms and a different word. That will make it your own. I'm going to choose this brown again and then go back in, and cover these lines. Then make sure you go back to brush and remove the streamline on stabilization if you're going to keep painting with it. Because for painting, I don't think it works so well when it has streamline applied. I think that works well. Now I'm thinking I want to add texture to these mushroom head. You can go to the mushroom head layer and then go to gallery, insert a photo, and you can add a texture. Press here to set it. Then if I go here, again, I can play with these blending modes until I find something that I like. Multiple layer is pretty great again because it creates like tracing paper feel. You can see the color underneath but then you can see the texture on top become ingrained in the bottom layer. I think that's super cool. I'm going to leave it like that and I'm going to go to the stem. This is one way to Alpha lock it. I'm going to add some shadows here, just because these will be creating a shadow on it. Then I want to add some little details, just some lines. You could also add darker shadows. If you reduce the opacity, then this brush will add a grainy texture. I'm going to do exactly the same thing to the other mushroom stem. Create an Alpha lock, add some shadows here just so it's separated from the front one. Then raise the opacity and create the little details. Now we can go to this mushroom head and do the same thing. I'm going to create a new layer, touch in it, clipping mask, and I'm going to choose this yellow color and make the inside of this mushroom. This one maybe I'll actually do like this, so I leave the border visible, and I want to add a shadow to this shape so I'm going to touch it, Alpha lock it, reduce my opacity, and use this color to add a shadow. Then raise the opacity, reduce the size, and add some details. Now I want to add the same texture to this one. I'm going to go here and swipe to the left and duplicate it and I'm going to drag it down. If I put it underneath an existing clipping mask, it will automatically create a clipping mask. I think that works perfectly fine. Now I just want to add another layer and create the white dots. Let's do the same to this one and use some yellow, reduce the opacity, and add a bit of a yellow to them. This is not necessary and it always depends on your style. I just like adding shadows and things. I don't like flat images. A lot of people do, so that's why I add textures and details and more textures. But there's no right or wrong answer here. I'm using these shadows that I created here on the mushroom. I'm going to go back to the head and use this very dark brown, up the opacity and add them. I'm not seeing a real separation between the head of the mushroom and the stem like here, so I'm just going to go back to this area and add a bit of yellow there with less opacity just so I create some separation. I could also go into the stem and add a bit of a darker shadow. That works too. I'm experimenting all the time. The reason why I don't pre-color my illustrations before I teach a class, I just make the sketch is because I want you to share the process with me of exploring and experimenting. Because if I already solved all these problems beforehand, then you want to see how my mind works as I develop an illustration and then you would lose a big part of the process. This is the reason why I preferred to backtrack and I'm always going back changing colors because that's how it is in real life. I don't want you to feel bad and think that every time I paint something, it's ready or it's perfect for a client. There's a lot of back-and-forth, even if it's just for myself. I want you to be part of that process. For example here, I really think I should have a shadow here somewhere so it shows that this one is in the back. I'm going to go into the layers, into the mushroom head and I need to make sure the Alpha Lock is on so that I can add this shadow here and some to the stem. Now I'm going to add some textures to these ones. These are going to be pretty basic textures because I want the mushrooms to be the main elements. I'm just going to create an Alpha lock on the leaves mask, and with a darker color, I'm just going to tap. This squash brush is really great because you can use it both as a brush but also tapping and it creates really cool textures. Maybe you want to go in with a lighter color and add some light, and then you can go in with a darker color, and make it full opacity and add some details. Then do the same to the leaves, Alpha Lock. I'm going to choose this green. Maybe I can color softly. See, I'm barely touching the Canvas and I'm slanting my pencil a lot. You can add some darker shades still. Creating dark contrast with light colors I think it's the best way to give depth to your illustrations and make them interesting. This might be like a circle or some element in the back to bring it all together. I'm going to create a new layer. I'm going to call that circle and just drag it to the bottom. I'm going to use my gouache brush. Maybe use this color, make sure it's 100 percent opacity. There's something really cool in Procreate and it's that if you draw a circle and you don't release at the end, you'll see this show up here and you can either use it as an ellipse and modify it from these points. I can make it a bit oval like or I can make it a perfect circle. I think something not-so-perfect would be great. Something like that. Once I'm happy with it, I can just stop there and color it in. This works for squares and rectangles and also for straight lines. For example, if I want to make a straight line and I hold it at the end, it will snap to a perfect line and if I touch my finger here, it will snap by increments of 45 degrees. This is almost done, but there's still some little details that I want to fix. In the next lesson, I'll show you how to use a different type of mask to finalize this illustration. 11. Masks: In this lesson, I'm going to show you a totally different type of mask. This is a mask that conceals or reveals a part of your image. This is called a non-destructive edit because you can delete parts of your images, but if you change your mind afterwards, you can bring those images back so you're not losing the information. If you use the eraser to erase a part of the image, it's gone forever, but if you use a mask, it's just concealed under the mask. Let me show you. For example this green leaf here is crossing under my word, and I want this one, but just this one to cross on top of it. What I need to do is delete these little line that is covering the stem. I'm going to go into my lettering text. I'm going to click on it and add a mask. For the mask, I like to go to this color selector and work with either black or white. Everything we paint with black is erased and everything we paint with white comes back. I'm going to reduce the size here and go with my black and erase this part that is covering the stem. Here it's covering the leaf also and then I have these vine crossing over my word, but it's not the same as erasing that part because if I ever want to change the position of this leaf or I change my mind, I just have to go to my layers and either make it invisible or swipe to the left and delete it. Then I'll have my whole word back. This is very useful. I'm going to undo this because I do want to keep my layer mask, and I'm thinking I just need to add a bit of detail to this word, so maybe you can go on top of it and create a new layer, call it decor. Using the texture monoline, maybe this color, I can create an internal outline. Maybe change the color of grow. I just swipe to the right. Now it's in Alpha lock, and I'm going to choose this dark brown, go to the layer, tap it and choose "Fill Layer". I liked that, but I don't like the background now, so I'm going to go back to the background and maybe use the classic view. I think that looks better. I just noticed something, my line is crossing over the leaf and I don't want that. I'm just going to go back to my decor, add a mask to this also and remove this part of the illustration too. Now the following step is optional, but I'm going to show you how to add a watercolor paper texture or an overlay to change the colors just to the illustration part and not to the whole illustration. This way, you can export it with a transparent background and you can use it for things like clipboards or stickers or anything that needs a transparent background. 12. Adding Textures to a Certain Area: In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to add textures and color overlays to just the illustration and not the whole page. Now you can export it and keep the watercolor paper texture and the color overlay but have a transparent background. What I'd like to do for that is go to the gallery and duplicate this file. Now go into the copy, open it up, and swipe right on all of the layers, except the background, group them, and then when I go here to New Group, I can press this arrow to close it and if I tap on it, I can flatten it. If I want to add just a texture to that, we will create a new layer, select our add paper texture brush, choose this color maybe, and color over it. Once lift your pencil, twice, lift your pencil, three times, lift your pencil, and set it to linear burn. This way, it's going over the entire canvas, so you have it on the background too. But if you tap on it and you create a clipping mask, it will only go over your illustration. Then if for some reason you want to export this as a transparent file, just turn off the background. If you did not have this as a clipping mask and you exported this, it would have this beige background and you don't want that. You can also add overlay layers this way. Remember, on our otter illustration, we had these pretty overlay color here, without it with it. If you want to do that again, you just go into this file, add a new layer, use this same green color we had before. Go to the blending modes and where are you divide? It was divide. Maybe you want to make it more transparent. I think that opacity is good. Now I just set it to a clipping mask. There you have it. It's not affecting the background. You've made it till the end of the class, so in the next lesson, we're just going to wrap things up. 13. Wrapping Things Up: You made it until the end. I hope you had lots of fun and that you're not intimidated or confused by the use of masks or layers anymore. Now you know how to create illustrations using layers and how to add Alpha Locks, clipping masks, regular masks to take your illustrations to a whole different level. Now you even know how to turn your illustrations into clip art or stickers with a transparent background. I can't wait to see what you create. Please post your projects to the project area and let me know if you have any questions or comments. If you want some feedback, let me know what I can focus on. If you want to post your projects in social media, tag me with #learnwithsandramejia. I'd love to see what you create. Remember to review the class and leave me feedback. If you liked it, share it with a friend. See you soon. Bye.