A client had me do a flyer and newspaper ad for his car show. He was happy.

He also wanted a T-Shirt. We redid the CMYK design in coarse halftones for silkscreening. I don't like the way it looks. What I want to do is redraw the design but for shading use cross hatching and stipling instead of halftones.

I made a new layer and went to the K channel to trace the black outlines. But the paintbrush does nothing on the 2nd layer in the K channel. Nor in the yello, cyan, or magenta channels.

Brush works fine with all channels visible.

enter image description here

Above is a screen capture. I'm in layer 3, K channel. Paint brush tool doesn't work.

Here's with all 4 channels visible:

enter image description here

When all channels are turned on, I can use the paint brush tool just fine (see curley Q on top of "De")

  • 1
    Channels aren't like layers. Picture please.
    – joojaa
    Apr 12, 2016 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


If you want to paint directly onto the Cyan channel then you should be in the Cyan channel on the panel:

enter image description here

It should then work just fine. You can't paint on the Cyan channel of an empty layer because there is no Cyan channel.

  • I thought I was going crazy not being able to paint in 1 channel. I saw others online saying it's easy but it wouldn't work for me. My problem was having an empty layer, just as you said. For my purposes, filling it with black does what I wanted. Thanks.
    – Kenmore
    Jul 11, 2021 at 2:53

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