Articles, Blog

How to Blend Colors in Photoshop: 4 Essential Techniques

October 17, 2019

Hi, and welcome to Paintable Tips and Tricks! Today, I want to talk about the four best ways to blend color on a canvas, realizing and creating those beautiful skin for your portrait. Let’s go right ahead with Tip No. 1:
Blending with a Soft Round Brush. Now the soft round brush is probably one of the most common tools in Photoshop to blend color. It gets really easy with this brush to blend color, because it kind of finishes in a gradient so the brush being so soft and so smooth, that will start mixing the colors just by brushing them on top of each other. Realizing those perfect smooth edges
everywhere that you need them. The problem has been sometimes, with this kind of brush, is that if you’re not careful enough, you’re going to start rounding everything and a portrait needs some hard edge. If you blend everything with a soft
brush, those hard edges will just disappear and it will result in your painting as if something really plastic and roundish, with no structure at all. You have to be careful to not make it too small as well, to make sure that your blending
doesn’t come to be muddy. Let’s move on to Tip No. 2: with a Hard Edge Brush. Now, blending skin with a hard edge brush can be really difficult. The edge being harder than the soft brush, makes it harder to actually blend the color together. You have to pick up the color and pass it a few times to get those mid values in between the two colors. The good thing with the hard edge brush is that once you paint with it, it will keep a hard edge. So every place on your painting that you need a little bit more structure, let’s say the eye socket or the cheek bone or the nose, by painting with the hard edge brush, you will actually keep the structure and a straight edge which will help you, at the end result, to be able to actually read the portrait better. If everything is too soft or too round, it’s just not going to look like a human face. Tip No. 3: Smdge Tool Now the smudge tool is really tricky if you don’t have the right brush It all depends on the brush that you will use Basically, what the smudge tool does is moving the pixels that are already established on the painting. It can be really hard in some places because it will not create new pixels, it will only push them away and blur them a little. It’s still going to do a great job as when mixing the colors. But when it comes to having a lot of control over your edges, it’s gonna be really really hard with the smudge tool. And that brings us to Tip No. 4: Mixer Brush. Now with the mixer brush, when it comes to actually mixing pigment and paint on canvas, It is really really efficient–it works really well. The problem has been though, depending on the setting, it can be really difficult to control. There are so many settings that you can have and you can use any brushes that you want– the possibilities are just infinite. It takes a little bit of time and a little bit of trial and error to get exactly the right settings for you. Obviously, I think I’ve found my way, in which it works a little bit more like a smudge tool, and gives great results. And that’s it! That’s my four best ways to blend color in Photoshop! I hope you guys really enjoyed it. If you want to know a little bit more about each of them, you just have to simply click on the screen right now on the soft, the hard, the smudge, or the mixer, and we’ll bring you to a video that talks a little bit more in detail about each or them. And it you want to know a little bit more about Paintable and the classes that I’m teaching, you simply have to go to Hope you enjoyed this, and I’m looking forward to talking to you guys later!


  • Reply Sixx March 2, 2016 at 6:36 am

    Great channel bro! Short but informative. You earned a sub!

  • Reply Screamingdk March 10, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Great work, love the realness you bring to the subject.

  • Reply Pellbort August 19, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    The great strengths of these videos are the simple, relatable explanations, tight pacing and short, easily-digestible length. Awesome. Thanks a lot for this.

  • Reply Ravissant XXIV March 27, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    uhmm very interesting!! thank you for this video it helped me so much 😀 each technique gives nice results,but i really like the effect of the soft and mixer brushes alot! i will try with those in these days! ^^

  • Reply Synyster Smile April 18, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    new sub ^^, gonna watch hard and mixer brush techniques! great comparison video!
    thanks a lot! im so excited

  • Reply Boydef May 24, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    thanks so much

  • Reply Nina L June 12, 2017 at 3:36 pm


  • Reply PeeyanoKeys June 28, 2017 at 5:09 am

    I'm lost already. How are you actually blending in the first part? What is the setting? The sped up video makes it impossible to follow along for me 🙁

  • Reply The Alan P Channel July 16, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Hmm, the hard blending brush makes a pretty cool effect

  • Reply Satisfied Soul 147 July 27, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Why are you saying "ard" instead of "hard"? You don't know how to say "h"?

  • Reply Tuliply 23 September 4, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Thank you i can draw realistis now!

  • Reply Tamara September 8, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    can you please make one for me

  • Reply Arsagard Lim November 5, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    I think a combination of hard and soft brush is good enough

  • Reply z-axis 1982 December 26, 2017 at 2:11 am

    you are an O.G. thanks for the tips. pun intended

  • Reply Political Cartoons for DONALD TRUMP April 16, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    for a long time I thought you were saying Saffron brush. instead of soft round brush. I am member. I love paintable digital academy 8 weeks now

  • Reply MGtv May 6, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    lol watching this at speed 0.25

  • Reply Demetrius Harris May 30, 2018 at 10:43 am

    is it common to blend different type of ways on the same figure

  • Reply BoxingBird July 9, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    how the fuck are you blending!!>!?!!?! sorry im new to Photoshop and my brush tool just adds pixels on top, not blends

  • Reply Luther Barnett August 27, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    I love and ard-eg brush =) great techniques thanks!

  • Reply Gre95ta September 5, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    On paint tool sai there's the blur tool that is so easy to use! I'm looking for a brush like that or something that can give the same effect. Can someone help me? Should I use the mixer brush maybe?

  • Reply GilGaladxx83 December 14, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    i think for blending Corel Painter is better…

  • Reply LittleFlyingAnimationMV's December 18, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    Well, time to stick to the blur-tool for the rest of my life 🙂

  • Reply Procrastinator Håkon December 25, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Eh, this video kind of went too fast for me to properly understand. Say, with the Hard Brush method. DId you basically just take the color that appeared as a mix between the two previously, and paint over.. or? Like, I understand the concept, but the speed you do show it makes it hard to understand.

  • Reply Kya- Ken! Art March 16, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    This is great! Trying to transition from Clipstudio to Photoshop so I was pretty lost lol. Can't wait to try these

  • Reply Janbert Guerrero March 25, 2019 at 8:40 am

    So hards the best bet

  • Reply Joseph van Wyk May 25, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    You know what would be great, if you get a "wet-brush" algorithm. Like when you paint a colour it stays "wet" by 100% setting and if you paint next to it with another colour, the pixels will start to blend automatically via a range setting, then if put it on 50% the colour is more "dyer", and you can dry brush. Is such a thing difficult to design?

  • Reply Cynthia July 20, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    Can't believe that photoshop doesn't have a blend tool!!

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