Use the Clipping Mask in Photoshop to Create Gold Foil Art

Text with gold foil flowers. How to Use the Clipping  Mask to create gold foil art
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Turn Your Art into Gold Using the Clipping Mask

If you want to learn how to add gold foil texture to your digital art then I’m really glad you’re here because I’m about to show you just how easy this is.

Before you dive in, make sure you’ve had a chance to go over my earlier tutorial where you learn to make your own gold foil texture because you’ll be needing it for this tutorial. Or just download it here:

Along with your gold foil texture file you’re also going to need an image with a transparent background, but don’t worry if you don’t have one. You can just type in a quote like, ‘Foiled Again!’. Use a thick font at a large size so you can see your foil results.

Step One: Prepare Your Document

Open Photoshop & create a new document. For this tutorial set the size of your document to 8.5 x 11 inches at 300 dpi so if you feel like printing it later you can!

Add the image or text you’d like to apply the clipping mask to into your document. Remember, for this to work the background of your image needs to be transparent. A transparent background will show as a checkered background on your screen as well as in the thumbnail of your layers panel.

If you’re using text, be sure to use a font that is thick and large enough so you can see effects when you apply the clipping mask.

I’m using a pair of swallows I drew in Procreate.

bird drawings on Photoshop canvas
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Photoshop layers. Birds layer is above background layer
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Step Two: Add Your Gold Foil Texture

Next, drop your gold foil digital texture onto your canvas. It should show up on a separate layer and should be above your image layer.

Make sure your gold foil is covering your entire image using the transform tool.

  • Go to Edit > Free Transform
  • or use the shortcut: Command T
gold foil texture added above all layers
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Step Three: Create Your Clipping Mask

Your layers panel should be in this order from top to bottom:

  • Gold foil layer
  • Illustration
  • Background

Let’s get that gold on! In your layers panel you’ll see three horizontal lines at the top right. Click it then click ‘Create Clipping Mask’ which you’ll find if you scroll down about 2/3rd of the way.

location of clipping mask circled
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Your image should now have the gold foil texture! If your gold isn’t sitting quite right, and say for instance it doesn’t cover your entire image you can go to the gold foil layer and using the ‘move’ tool you can move it around.

Or use the transform tool to adjust the size.

Gold Foil Birds
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Simple, quick, and easy enough for beginners, right? You can do this with just about anything as long as you use an illustration or text with a transparent background.

Okay, so there is just a little more to do before you can call it done…

Step Four: Save Your Work

Let’s flatten your image to reduce your file size, then save it.

  • Go back to the three horizontal lines in the layers panel.
  • Near the bottom click ‘flatten image’.
  • Go to File > Save As > then name and save.

Now that you know how to add gold foil texture to your art have fun being creative with it!

If you want to grab a copy of the gold foil birds printable art you can download it along with other freebies in my Creative Resource Library. Just sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send you the password!

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Text with gold foil flowers. How to Use the Clipping Mask to create gold foil art
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