Can you link one layer with the mask of another layer and have your paint strokes affect both layers at the same time?

What I want to do is to paint on the first layer which has a blend mode set to Hue while simultaneously painting on the mask of another layer that has a different blend mode.

Has anyone tried to paint on one layer while simultaneously painting on the mask of another (above it in the layer order)?

4 Answers 4


No, you can not.

But after checking Allow Tool Recording in the Actions Panel Menu:


create an Action recording the painting brush over the first layer and then play this action to the mask:



You can't alter the pixel data on more than one layer at a time. That includes pixel data on masks.

Heres how I'd handle it.....

Create a Hue Adjustment Layer. This will have a mask on it. Paint on the adjustment layer mask to reveal where you want the Hue changes....

When done, hold down the Option/Alt key and click-drag the Layer Mask thumbnail from the adjustment layer to whatever layer you also want to mask. The mask will copy.

So you ultimately get the same mask as the Hue adjustment.

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There may very well be other, possibly better ways to achieve what you are after, but your description is not detailed enough to provide anything more really.


I do not believe you can paint on 2 layers at the same time.

First Way (might depend on layer order)

Group both layers that will use the same layer mask. Add a layer mask to the group and paint what you do not want.

Second way

Create the layer mask on the first layer. After you're done, CTRL/CMD + Left Click on the layer mask to get the selection. Select the other layer's layer mask and fill it in. You would have to do this again and again if you make a change to one of the layer masks.

  • +1 I think only your second option is viable.
    – Scott
    May 31, 2018 at 19:18
  • @Scott, why is that? In my answer I show a way to "simulate" painting red color on one layer while also painting on the mask of a texture below, using Andrew's first way.
    – Wolff
    May 31, 2018 at 19:21
  • @Wolff The mask will alter both layers within the group and the mask will never change while painting. Based upon the question, as far as I'm aware, you simply can not alter the pixel content on more than one layer at a time. The OP seems to want to both reveal or hide where the hue adjustment is painted on a mask, while at the same time bushing on the hue adjustment. I don't think Option 1 or your answer come close to achieving that (due to application limitations).
    – Scott
    May 31, 2018 at 19:29
  • @Scott, you might be right. The question is a little bit vague.
    – Wolff
    May 31, 2018 at 19:49

A basic way of affecting multiple layers simultaneously is to simply group the layers, apply a layer mask to the group and paint there:

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