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How to Blend Colors & Skin Using Photoshop’s Mixer Brush

October 27, 2019

Welcome to Paintable Tips and Tricks,
guys! In this video, I’m going to show you how to blend color with the mixer brush. And to demonstrate that, I’m going to use this painting of mine. It’s a portrait which has every values,
every shadow, every highlight, in a geometric shape and nothing is blended. Personally, I don’t start my painting
like that. But that way, it’s going to be easier for me to demonstrate the tricks and the tips in this video. The mixer brush tool is one of the greatest tools that Photoshop can offer you. It’s a brush that will act a little bit
like real oil. Like you were to paint real oil on a canvas. First of all, you find that tool over the
brush tool here, and if you look, it’s the 4th one there. And when you click on it,
you’ll have that panel here that will appear with all those settings that you
can adjust. And depending on what you click, it will have different effects. Personally, I’m clicking here on this button which allows the brush each time I’m giving a stroke, to make sure that it
doesn’t take the paint that I’m done painting with. If I were to click this one here, it would use this color, and then as you can see I would paint color. But by clicking this and clicking this, it’s not going to paint any color.
What it does instead is more of acting like a smudge tool. So it’s going to move the
pixels. And depending what kind of brush that I have, it’s going to move the pixels
and the pigment differently. Right now, I’m using this kind of brush, which is basically a round brush with a few particles on it, that allows me that each
time I’m giving a stroke, if i go on the other way, it’s going to give me that
really nice blend. And that’s the technique that i’m using with the mixer brush. If I also quickly go over my settings, you can see that I do it custom, so I’m going Wet 80, Load 75, Mix 90, and Flow 100. And I
always make sure that my simple layer here is clicked on. I want to show you
that over this portrait that I created. So I’m going to create a new layer here
and I’m going to start blending the colors here. Depending on the size of my brush, I’ll be able to blend more or less,
having control over what I do. The mixer brush, with those settings, act a little bit like the smudge tool. The difference being with the smudge
tool, I only had to pass over in one way. I didn’t have to move over the pixels. With the mixer brush tool, I have to actually move them. Like it was
wet painting on my canvas and I had to mix them together. So it gives you that
feeling that you’re actually painting. A smudge tool being really like a computer setting tool. The mixer brush tool is more like having a real brush with real paint. If I had to put the pros and cons to this technique, I would say that the pros is that it’s blending really nicely and it gives that
effect of texture that you won’t have with the smudge tool or even with the
brushes with the soft round brush. You won’t have that textur-y feeling of painting.
And as you see I have been picking color but it’s just a reflex because actually
I’m not picking any color with this setting. So that would be the pro. The cons of this technique is the fact also that I’m not creating any pixels again. So I’m only blending what’s on my canvas
right now, but I have a little bit more control because I’m able to push the
pixels like this. so where there’s no pixel, I can
actually push them and then merge them a little. I would suggest for everybody to try
this one at least once. It’s really fun to actually have that feeling that you’re kind of painting for real. Like what it would be like on a real canvas. And the effects that you can do with it are really cool. If I were
to just–if I wanted to have like a straight edge or something more blurry,
I could just go slowly on it and that way i would keep a hard edge, and
something a little bit more blurry like this. I’ll keep that hard edge and the
blurriness. So you can have a lot of control over it. It’s just that you can’t create some new
pixels. And that’s it for this step, I hope you
enjoyed the video! If you’re interested in trying this technique and using the same brushes that I’m using, just click on the link below the video.


  • Reply The Art of TK February 24, 2016 at 12:43 am

    wish you would of explained the settings

  • Reply ZNM March 16, 2016 at 1:42 am

    (•ヮ ]•) I didn't know photoshop a mixer brush.

  • Reply Digital 101 May 22, 2016 at 9:02 am

    i just discover your channel and you re awesome really. love your style.

  • Reply Dante A July 10, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    OMG thank you! I had no idea that it was that simple to get this nice texture while blending colours properly.

  • Reply Umair Khan August 29, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks.

  • Reply Andrea Fryer September 6, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    What a great tutorial, thank you! I never knew about this tool and I always hated how smudge works so I just didn't bother with it. I tried blending with your settings and it was AWESOME!! Thanks again!

  • Reply BBTS9717 October 21, 2016 at 3:13 am

    I found about this a few days ago, I don't use it for skin but for clothes is great it mixes everything perfectly^^

  • Reply Wolfgirl93 February 2, 2017 at 4:21 am

    I don't have that brush tool. I only have CS2 =(

  • Reply Gena M April 26, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    this was very helpful, haven't used photoshop since college and this was the refresher that I needed:)

  • Reply bolle Portmann May 5, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    thank you so much your tutorial was super helpfull^^

  • Reply LipstickInMyCoffee July 21, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  • Reply John Erdimar Cativo September 2, 2017 at 4:42 am

    umm small question here, Do you use a mouse? or by any chances, Do you use a mouse with such sensitivity which can have pressure in doing brushes in photoshop?

  • Reply TerrifiedGnome November 17, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Clear, simple, and gets to the point, thank you very much for this tip. 🙂

  • Reply Jae Haru January 7, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    I haven't even finished watching this yet but THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  • Reply LifeWithRose March 22, 2018 at 7:58 pm


  • Reply Nguyen Huyen April 15, 2018 at 9:49 am

    thank you
    i think this will help, i have been struggling with blending skin 😓

  • Reply Jason Fella May 28, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Good video, but not sure why you said that you can't get a texture effect with the smudge brush. You totally can, especially if you create a custom brush, like I did

  • Reply Kenneth Quidem August 19, 2018 at 6:29 am

    dafuck… been using photoshop for years… didnt notice that mixer brush.. holy mother of god O_O

  • Reply Jenna Wood August 29, 2018 at 12:46 am

    this is perfect!!! I couldn't figure out how to get rid of the color on my mixing brush and you helped so much!

  • Reply Ariana Dourre November 23, 2018 at 7:29 am

    thanks. i didnt know about transparency option in the mixer brush. 🙂

  • Reply Cyrez Eraser April 17, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    how do you paint with a painterly look instead of the smudge look?

  • Reply Lekan Asani August 10, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    You are simply the best! Seen other tutorials on this….none simplified it like yours. Thank you so much!

  • Reply El L August 12, 2019 at 11:22 am

    thank you!!!! it was torture to render anything until i saw this video.

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