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Gradient Fill Layers and Masks in Photoshop Tutorial Beginner's Guide

By Andrew Buckle, Video Tutorial Creator / Designer

Updated : 2021


Gradient fill layers in Photoshop can be used with a mask to modify the result of the gradient.


To create a gradient fill layer in Photoshop go to the layer menu and new fill layer and gradient. You can create multiple gradient layers or just have one. You will get the first gradient in your panel, you can, of course, select any of the presets you have in the panel as well as change the gradient stops etc


You can find your gradient fill layer in the layers panel (window menu). You can then select them and move them around as well as delete them as well as double click the entry to bring up the gradient settings


How to add a mask to the gradient fill layer, well, by default it is already there and you will notice it as the second box in the gradient fill entry. It will be, by default,white so you will see all the entire fill layer. You can fill it with anything, if you make it all black then you won't see the gradient fill layer at all. You can fill it with in between greys as well as fill it with black and whites etc in different parts of the layer to expose more or less of the gradient fill layer.


To change the fill layer gradient mask, click on the mask thumbnail (the white box) and then add brush strokes in black or grey as well as add shape pixels via the custom shapes tool as well as add gradients (the color is ignored) as well as modify the design by applying effects / filters to change the pixels of the mask.