Photoshop CS6 Tutorial
How to Use the Mixer Brush in Photoshop
In Photoshop you can choose between the standard Brush tool and the Mixer Brush. The Mixer Brush is unique in that you can control the surface wetness and the way the new color interacts with the existing paint in the document.
Mixer Brushes don't have an Opacity setting. To control the brush Opacity, adjust the Flow slider.
Open a new 1,024 pixel x 1,024 pixel document with a white background in Photoshop (File > New).
Click the Create a New Layer icon to add a new blank layer. You can experiment with your Mixer Brush on this layer.
Select the Brush tool and notice the brush options. Now click the Mixer Brush tool to view it's options. The Mixer Brush has no Opacity setting and also has a few more controls like Wet, Load and Mix.
Once you are finished comparing the options, make sure that the Mixer Brush is selected.
Open the Tool Presets panel by choosing Window > Tool Presets. From the panel pull-down menu choose Artists' Brushes.
Click the Fan - Flat Opaque brush. Set a new Foreground Color and draw multiple different colored lines in the workspace. Notice that the Wet value for this brush is 0. In other words, the painting surface is dry.
Draw a line on the canvas. Adjust the Wet value to 100% and Mix to 30%, then change your brush color. Draw a second line that crosses the first line. Notice how the paint color mixes with the background color and the color of the original line. Once your are finished, return the Wet value to 0%.
The current Load value is 50%. Change the Load to 10% and draw a line across the document. The brush is loaded with paint at the beginning of the stroke, but runs out of paint very quickly.
Set the Load value back to 50%, and draw a line. Change the Flow setting to 20% and draw a second line. The Flow setting changes the Opacity of the painted stroke.
Saving Your New Brush
By starting with a preset brush, you can modify the settings, then choose New Brush Preset from the Brush palette pull-down menu. You can also save your brush by clicking the Create New Brush icon in the bottom of the Brushes panel.
Brushes Work With Many Tools
In addition to the Brush tool, the Erodible Tip Brushes also work with the Art History Brush, Blur, Burn, Clone Stamp, Dodge, Eraser, History Brush, Mixer Brush, Pattern Stamp tool, Pencil, Sharpen, Smudge and Sponge.
A limited round brush version is available with the Healing Brush tool and Spot Healing tool.