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advanced photoshop
May
30

Using the Mixer Brush tool in Photoshop CS5 and CS6

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Tips & Tutorials, by The Advanced Photoshop Team

How to use the essential Mixer Brush tool in Photoshop

The Mixer Brush tool is selected from the same option set as the Brush tool. With this brush selected, you can combine multiple colours on one tip, as you would in a real-life painting. For even more realism, the Mixer Brush tool has a host of controls over paint wetness, the load rate for paint, the rate at which paint mixes and whether a brush is cleaned, refilled or both after every stroke. An advantage of this tool is the ability to turn a photo into a realistic painting with ease. A dry Mixer Brush (ie, with no paint loaded) can be used on a new layer above a photo, with Sample All Layers selected, cloning the colours of the photo with every stroke. The Mixer Brush tool can be used with the static tips (the standard ones) or the new Bristle Tips. There are two options of what should happen with the brush once you have made a new stroke. The first is to load the brush after each stroke, or you can opt to clean it instead, as we show you below.

Step 1: Load or clean the brush

Using the Mixer Brush tool in Photoshop CS5 and CS6

Here you can pick what happens with the brush once you have made a new stroke. The first is to load the brush after each stroke, which picks up fresh paint so that you can continue to paint seamlessly. The second is to clean the brush after each stroke, which means that once you start brushing, your brush will clean off, which is good for mixing multiple colours into one piece.

Step 2: Brush presets

Using the Mixer Brush tool in Photoshop CS5 and CS6

There are a whole bunch of presets for the Mixer Brush, as shown here. These are common options for the brush that give you combinations of brush settings to give specific looks. This can save you time when setting up the Mixer Brush for a new project. You can change the wetness, amount of paint and the mix of paint on the brush easily using percentage-based sliders.

Step 3: Sample all layers

Using the Mixer Brush tool in Photoshop CS5 and CS6

If you want to turn a photo into a painting, you can create a blank layer on top of the photo to paint on and then tick this box. With a clean brush, you can start to paint over the photo and it will pick up all of the colours from the photo underneath to give you an accurate representation.

Using the Mixer Brush tool in Photoshop CS5 and CS6

  • Vitor Melo

    Excelent

  • carlos

    is there a full video tutorial on this topic

  • kim

    thankyou, this was a very easy to understand tutorial that explained each aspect simply and beautifully! for a newbie like me, it will be of great assistance!