Mixer Brush Tutorial: Converting an image into a digital painting

This tutorial will be covering how to use Photoshop’s Mixer Brush to turn any photograph or image into a painting.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Settings
2a. Bristle Brush Tip Settings
2b. Mixer Brush Settings

3. Process

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1. Introduction

The Mixer Brush is a new tool released in Photoshop CS5, which allows us to mix around colors and create a painted effect. This becomes a powerful tool when combined with the new bristle brushes released in CS5 as well. In this tutorial, I tend to interchange words like color and paint frequently. When dealing with the Mixer Brush, keep in mind we’re treating it as if it were an actual paintbrush and we had an actual canvas. The colored pixels on our screen therefore get treated as if they were actual paint.

Now there are hundreds of ways and variations on achieving this effect with the Mixer Brush. The process of this tutorial is actually fairly simple and easy. Despite the process being pretty basic, there are a ton of different brush settings which affects what our end product will end up looking like. Because of this, I’ve broken this down into learning what the different brush settings do and how it affects our image, and the actual process.

I’ll be providing the settings that I use in the process. If you’re one of those people who’s just doing this tutorial for fun, or know that you’ll probably never touch the Mixer Brush after this, you’re more than welcome to skip ahead to the actual process. I’m just providing information to save time from bouncing all over the internet looking up definitions.

You’ll find a lot of the settings seem like common sense (The Wet setting affecting how wet our brush is, the Length setting affecting how long our bristles are, etc.), but if we can visually see the differences, we can understand these settings more efficiently. If you’re proficient with brushes already, you’ll notice that I won’t be going into brush settings, only brush tip and mixer brush settings. I’m leaving it out just because it would take me forever finding the words to explain it all, and I don’t use most of the settings in this tutorial either.


~ by Christian Lim on March 4, 2011.

One Response to “Mixer Brush Tutorial: Converting an image into a digital painting”

  1. […] with the Mixer Brush Inspired by Nicole and Christian. Create your own digital paintings with Photoshop CS5′s new Mixer Brush […]

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