This is the continuation of the article about the Photoshop mixer brush for digital painting. One of the most useful tools to create using the mixer brush is a blender.

A real blender in traditional media must be:

  • Shape adjustable. With traditional media normally I use a cloth or a conical blender. Here in the digital world we will be able to use whatever tip we want.
  • Blend both color and tone.
  • It is not loaded with paint (always clean). This is not totally true in traditional drawing and painting, as sometimes I use the blender when it has still some color or tone on it (a bit “dirty”). But let’s asume we want a clean blender which is the most habitual situation.

These are the three main settings on the mixer brush for a real blender:

  • The blank square indicates that the next stroke is clean, not loaded with paint.
  • The Load setting is inactive (grey), thus after each stroke the brush is not loaded with new paint.
  • The Clean setting is active (black), thus after each stroke the brush is auto-cleaned.

The rest of the mixer brush settings (Wet, Load, Mix, etc) are different according to the brush tip used, brush tip dynamics and the desired “blending” effect. It is not possible to provide the best settings for al situations.

It is a better idea to use the Tool Preset instead of the Brush Preset for the Mixer Brush. Point is there are more adjustments to be made to the mixer brush and every blender we create will need to be fine tuned for days or weeks till we like it and feel comfortable.

In the next weeks I will provide some .tpl Tool Preset file with several blenders using the mixer brush.