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Mountain Landscapes with Highlights and Shadows using Clipping Masks in Procreate

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

Background Information:

  • This lesson is the first installment of creating mountain landscapes in Procreate.

  • I prefer to use this sequence of mountain landscapes to help students learn the system of layers in the app, while also reinforce their knowledge of value.

  • Students first begin with creating mountains with highlights and shadows through the use of clipping masks.

  • Clipping masks are my method of choice due to the non-destructive nature. However, depending on the storage size of the iPad, clipping masks do use a higher number of layers. The use of alpha lock is another method that achieves the same effect--however, it is a destructive method of creating.

Learning Objectives:

  • The student will learn how to create highlights and shadows in Procreate through the use of clipping masks.

  • The student will learn how to use blending modes to create value.

  • The student will create an original landscape that demonstrates a correct use of value with a light source.

  • The student will learn how to create non-destructive layers in their digital drawings.

Anchor Standards:

  • Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

  • Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

  • Anchor Standard 3: Refine and complete artistic work.

  • Anchor Standard 4: Select, analyze and interpret artistic work for presentation

Essential Questions:

  • What conditions, attitudes, and behaviors support creativity and innovative thinking?

  • How do artists work?

  • How do artists and designers determine whether a particular direction in their work is effective?

  • How do artists and designers learn from trial and error?

Enduring Understanding(s):

  • Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed.

  • Artists and designers experiment with forms, structures, materials, concepts, media, and art-making approaches.

  • Artist and designers develop excellence through practice and constructive critique, reflecting on, revising, and refining work over time.


Project Duration (2-3 Days):

  • Introduction, tutorial: 25 minutes

  • Studio Time: 50 Minutes

  • Reflection and Critique: 1 Day


  • Students may follow teacher tutorial, but can change color palette or minor details to help create their own version.

  • Students with more advance skill sets may experiment with different textures and lines of their mountain ranges. The smoother lines are easier for beginner students.

Student Examples:

Happy Reflecting!


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