Here's my problem: I want to make some brush strokes for a motion graphic video I'm working on. I want them to be plain, with no texture rather than a gradient. I have the figure of the brush drawn in black over a transparent layer and in the upper oneI have the gradient ready to go.

I want to "merge" both layers but without actually merging them nor having to cut out some area of the gradient. I want to draw a stroke and have it filled with the gradient.

I don't know if this is possible or how could this be done.

Any help is higly appreciated.


1 Answer 1


If I understand you correctly there are (at least) two ways to do this.

  1. If your brush strokes are drawn on a transparent layer, you can use a Clipping Mask:

    • Place the gradient layer right above the stroke layer.
    • Hold down Alt and left click to use the brush layer as a clipping mask for the gradient.
  2. If your stroke layer has white background, you can use a Layer Mask:

    • Select the stroke layer.
    • Press Ctrl / Cmd + A to select all.
    • Press Ctrl / Cmd + C to copy to clipboard.
    • Turn off the stroke layer.
    • Select the gradient layer.
    • Click the Add layer mask button in the Layers panel.
    • Hold down Alt and left click the mask to enter it.
    • Press Ctrl / Cmd + V to paste from clipboard.
    • Press Ctrl / Cmd + D to deselect all.
    • Press Ctrl / Cmd + I to invert the mask.
    • Click the gradient layer icon to leave the mask.
    • Now you can paint in the layer mask.

These two methods are essential for image editing in Photoshop. They can be used for numerous different tasks.

  • that was exactly what I was searching for!
    – spund3
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 14:25

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