Masking is an artistic method by which a portion of a composition is isolated and protected in order to make changes disturbing or affecting other areas of the composition. It’s a very useful technique that artists employ in their work, sometimes even without thinking about it. Masking has even been used by painters as far back as prehistory.

After Tyler Denis’ tutorial recently — a tutorial that involved a significant amount of layer masking in Photoshop — we were inspired to look for some more great examples of masking techniques by other artists.

Below, for inspiration, you’ll find some great compositions that utilize masking in some way. Some are even done on paper and masked by hand. Enjoy!

Raphael Vicenzi

You Will Never Be Rich and Famous

I Have Nothing Left to Say

Hannah Jor

Inspired Magazine

Sylvia Robles

Look at You

Fabian Delange

DACS United

Drool

Chrissy Kurpeski

Life in the Universe cover

Frank Chimero

So Far Around the Bend

Raewyn Brandon

MILK Magazine Cover

Tang Yau Hoong

Flying Colors

Moustacheville

Home.

Daniel Garcia Rodriguez

Shape Up

Randy Knott

Bobo

Bobo 2

David Lopez

Stormtrooper

Darth Vader

Thomas Tessier

Nous Avons 20 ans

Silverin87

Impossibles

Ephemeral

Valp

Cris Wicks

Beautiful Boogieman

Untitled

Abb-d Choudhury

Tigercub

Groynfinga

Cris Gommes

Alberto Seveso

I saw Alberto’s work a few years ago, and while we were searching for pieces for this collection over the last couple of days, I was given a pleasant reminder about the work of this master.

His designs and illustrations have been featured in many publications and have been imitated, emulated, but never duplicated.

Biebeees 2

David Lynch

Conclusion

As you can see from the great pieces we’ve collected from these immensely talented artists, masking has come a long way, and the technique is used in many creative ways on digital mediums and even by hand.

It’s a very versatile tool to have in your arsenal, and if used properly, can offer many opportunities for creativity.

Author:

Isaac is the Co-Founder and Chief Editor of Design Instruct. He has experience in various design and art related fields including design, illustration, and photography. He's in charge of making sure that Design Instruct publishes high quality content that professional designers and digital artists demand and expect. Get in touch via email and on Twitter as @designinstruct or @IAMTHEGUBE.