When using the brush tool on a mask, it is painting black and white rather than burning and dodging

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  • Updated 1 month ago
I have a background image, placed a mask on it and an image over it. On the computers at school I can easily select the brush tool and go between black and white as I blend the photos togethers (using it as a less destructive eraser). but at home the brush is actually painting black and white. The setting is on normal, the correct thing is selected,I have even reset the brush settings. I dont know what to do.
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Brie Urbanec

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Posted 1 month ago

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Jerry Syder

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Hi Brie, based on your attached example, you have a layer selected. What you need to do is select the mask and paint black or white on that mask. 
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Brie Urbanec

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When I do that it seems to "paint" through the background layer as well. How do I just just "paint" the selection i pasted in?
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Jerry Syder

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I see you have the background layer hidden. Click the little square/eye icon to the left of the background layer. 
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Max Johnson, Champion

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To "paint" on the mask, you will need to select the mask instead of the layer directly. To do this, click the secondary thumbnail next to the main layer thumbnail in the layer panel. You'll see the little outline around the main thumbnail for your layer jump over to the secondary (probably white) thumbnail that represents the masking layer.
Pro tip: If you want to see what the masking layer actually looks like, you can alt(opt)-click on that secondary thumbnail and it will show you the mask.
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Jerry Syder

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One other observation is that the layer mask that you currently have, is white. This means that whatever is in that layer would be shown and it would cover what's in the bottom layer. Unless, I'm assuming wrong and the layer you want to mask in, is the topmost layer. In that case, you'd want to add a mask on that layer(again assuming that this layer has the tongue and you're trying to mask in/ out some of it?). Remember, white reveals and black conceals. One more tip. If the entire layer mask is white(such as yours), select the layer mask then hit CTRL+I to invert it, making it black. This will hide the contents of that layer. Then you can paint with white on the mask to reveal the tongue.