I love masks because they are non-destructive methods utilized in a painterly manner.
If I delete pixel data on the layer, it's modified, and I can't get it back.
If I modify the pixel data via a mask (even better, a mask on it's own layer), then I haven't modified the base data in anyway that I can't go back on down the line.
Simply put, what's white is fully opaque; what's black is fully transparent, and the shades of gray are varying levels between.
"Doing something half-assed more than once just makes you more of an ass."
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