How To Make A Clipping Mask In Krita

Designers need to know how to make a clipping mask in Krita. It allows users to create unique effects. But creating a clipping mask in Krita is a bit more complicated than in Photoshop. So, how does it work?

Krita lacks the clipping mask capabilities that Photoshop and other software that imitates Photoshop’s features have. This is because a group layer in Krita is not an arbitrary collection of layers like in other tools. We employ the Inherit Alpha function in Krita to achieve a similar result.

Keep reading below for more information.

What Is A Clipping Mask?

In Photoshop, a layer composition method called “Clipping Mask” may reduce visibility by adding another layer. For instance, if we have a layer with a picture of a circle on it and add another layer on top of it, it will reduce the visibility of the base layer.

There is no transparency restriction; by definition, any drawings we generate on this layer will conceal what is beneath them. 

However, if we keep pressing the Alt key while clicking on the boundary between these two layers, we may transform this layer into a “clipping mask.” The transparency or alpha channel of the layer underneath it is now confining the picture on this layer. So, it is the essence of a “Clipping mask.”

How To Make A Clipping Mask In Krita

You can create a clipping mask in Krita using the instructions listed below.

 For more information on how to create a clipping mask in Krita, watch this video below:

Using the Quick Group Command

There is no function called “Clipping Mask” in Krita. But by employing a feature called “inherit alpha,” we can produce the desired result. 

  • For instance, if we already have a layer, start by adding another layer. 
  • Next, select both of these layers. 
  • To make a group layer, use Ctrl + G. 
  • On the layer above, turn on the “inherit alpha” option. 

As you’ll see, this layer’s visibility is now constrained to that of the layer underneath it, much like the “clipping mask” effect in Photoshop. Similar to Photoshop’s “clipping mask,” “inherit alpha” is a non-destructive tool. In other words, you may switch it on or off whenever you choose without affecting the image. 

  • If you lose the shortcut, you may locate it by selecting “Group” from the context menu when you right-click on a layer, then “Quick group.” 
  • Alternatively, you may access the “layer” menu, choose “group,” and then select the “Quick group” option.

Clipping Mask Effect

In addition to the “Quick group” command, Krita offers a quicker way to produce the “clipping mask” effect. The “Quick clipping group” command is used for this. 

  • The keyboard shortcut for this command is Ctrl + Shift + G. 
  • In order to use the “Quick clipping group” command, you must first choose the base layer. 
  • Next, press Ctrl, Shift, and G. 
  • As you can see, Krita will produce a new layer with the “inherit alpha” option already selected, in addition to a group layer. 
  • So, we can start drawing immediately using this new layer as a clipped layer. Because the layer underneath it already limits the transparency.

Clipping Mask: Photoshop vs. Krita

You might have assumed up to this point that applying a “Clipping Mask” effect in Krita is more difficult than in Photoshop because a group layer has to be created for it. The answer to this is both “yes” and “no.”

If you only require one layer to serve as a “clipping mask,” then yes, it is a little bit more difficult. And “no,” because using “inherit alpha” does not require a group layer. The fact is that “clipping mask” and “inherit alpha” operate in quite different ways.

To function, “Inherit Alpha” reads every layer below it—not just the top layer. If we exclude two layers from the group, the “inherit alpha” will stop working. Why? The backdrop layer is responsible for this. 

This layer has a solid, opaque white hue. It will impact the alpha state of the layers over it that has enabled the “inherit alpha” option because it exists at the same level as and below the other layers. This is why a group layer is used.

The “inherit alpha” effect must be contained to prevent references to unnecessary layers. In essence, a single layer is used as a reference by Photoshop’s “Clipping Mask” feature. As long as the layers underneath it exist at the equivalent hierarchical level, Krita’s “inherit alpha” utilizes all of the levels underneath it as references. This characteristic may be utilized to create intricate visual compositions.


Using “inherit alpha,” we may produce a result that resembles a “clipping mask.” Although we frequently use it with a “group layer,” it initially appears more difficult. But given that “inherit alpha” operates differently than “clipping mask,” using a group layer may make more sense.