How to Blend Colors & Skin Using Photoshop’s Smudge Tool

Welcome to Paintable Tips and Tricks, guys! In this video, we’re going to learn how to blend color with the smudge tool. And to demonstrate that, I am going to use this painting of mine. It’s a portrait which has every value, 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. So how do we blend color with the smudge tool? Lots of people when they try the smudge tool they take any brushes that they actually use to paint. And basically what it does is something more like moving pixels around. But with the right settings, what it will do is this: it’s just gonna blur the two colors
together. And by passing a few times, you will get that gradient and that blending that you actually want. To get that kind of effect you just have to setup the tool preset and if I open my brush panel here you’ll see that I have a little bit of
scattering and transfer is on and all those settings make sure that my brush, which looks like that, will give me the blending that I need. I’m not going to go in like in deep with with the settings here but what I’ll do is I’ll
make sure that you you can download if you look below this video and you can
download the brushes I’m using which are actually presets tool, but I explain
all that, to tell you how to install them. What I want to do in this video is show
you how I use this tool, the smudge tool, to blend this portrait. So I’m going to create a new layer on top of this one, and I’m going to start blending the colors. So because it’s a smudge tool, it’s smudging the colors–smudging the the pigments. It’s gonna move them away. If I put my brush really small, it’s going to make that just a little bit small. But if i make it bigger, it’s going to blend a lot more. Now if I’m not careful here and I go
over the eyebrows, It’s just gonna smudge everything which is not what I want.
I just want to blend the colors together so I’m just gonna pass everywhere like this and be careful to keep all the values that I need and just smudge them. Now the main difference between blending color with a smudge tool and then in color with a brush is that I’m not creating any pixels, any pigment; I’m just mixing them the way they are on my canvas. So if I needed to add some more pigment, some more values, I would have to use my brush.
But if I have already all my values on my painting I can only use the smudge tool and smudge down like this. It’s a very nice tool. It’s handy to use at
certain moments. I would personally I would not initially smudge or blend all my
color with a smudge tool. I think that you would need a little bit more control
over what you do and the brush, the hard brush or soft brush could be a much
better tool for this. But the smudge tool can be really handy when you want to
have that blurry effect on a little part of it and keep the rest straight, like
this. So you have like a transition here. That’s really cool, that the smudge tool gives me the possibility to have. If I had to put the pros and cons to
this technique, I would say that as a pro, it would blend really easily the colors. I don’t have to to think about picking the colors, and then painting a
little bit of brown. painting a bit of yellow. and doing it back and forward. I
just have to basically paint over what’s already there, and smudge tool is going
to do the job for me to blend them perfectly. So that’s the big pro for this one. The con is definitely the fact that I
don’t have any control over the colors that I’m applying. So if I need more
colors, I have to use a brush. I have to paint those colors, because they do not
exist. Like if I want and more yellow here, I can’t really just push them away. I would
have to take my brush at this point and paint it. When it comes to blending the
colors that are already there, the smudge tool is perfect for that. 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.

8 Replies to “How to Blend Colors & Skin Using Photoshop’s Smudge Tool”

  1. Anyway to fix the fucked up pixels? If you blend black and white, the pixels will have hints of green purple and blue.

  2. Sir? I download blending brushes in brush presets but how can ı to load Smudge Tool? İs that something different?

  3. Can someone help me, please? Whenever I go to change the size of my smudge tool it doesn't stay in the smudge preset and goes back to moving the pixels instead of blending. It's really frustrating, any help would be appreciated!

  4. One of my first teachers taught me not to use the smudge tool but I came to realize there are a lot of people using it with the toolset you just mentioned.
    It seems useful but I'm not trying it out yet due to stigma. Maybe it's time to change that.

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