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How to Use the Mixer Brush Tool in Photoshop?

  • Last Updated : 30 Jun, 2021

Adobe Photoshop is a raster-based image editing software. It is developed by Adobe.Inc and available for both macOS and Windows operating systems. You can use Photoshop to create or edit images, posters, banners, logos, invitation cards, and various types of graphic designing work. It provides various tools for designing and editing and the Mixer Brush tool is one of them.

Mixer Brush Tool

Mixer Brush tool can also be termed as “ Painter’s Paradise” as it used extensively by digital painters, and, those who create the illustration. It is also used by photo editors in various aspects. One of the very important uses of the mixer brush tool is skin retouching. The Mixer Brush tool is like a real paint brush and using the mixer brush tool is like painting on a real canvas. It mixes the color of the brush with the background color. Or in other words, using a mixer brush tool, you can mix colors together as you paint by picking up a sample color from the image on which you are currently working and set the rate at which the brush picks up color from the image and the rate at which the paint dries out. This tool can be found in the brush tool section. To select it, right-click on the paint brush tool icon-> a dialog box will open-> You will find the Mixer Brush tool -> click on it to use it. The symbol of the Mixer Brush tool is:

Note: The mixer brush tool may change to a + sign if the caps lock is turned on, so turn it off and you will see the brush symbol in the canvas when you use it.

How to use Mixer Brush Tool? 

As mentioned earlier, the mixer brush tool is used to mix the color of the brush with the background color.  Now, let’s understand this in detail with the help of an example:



Step 1: Open a new document of adobe Photoshop.

Step 2: Now, paint a part of the document with any color of your choice (say yellow) using the brush tool as shown below:

Step 3: Right-click on the paint brush tool icon-> A dialog box appears -> Select the mixer brush tool from it.

Step 4: Now choose another color from the palette (different from the color which you have previously chosen) say blue.

Step 5: Simply paint with it over the yellow color part. You will see something like this:



As we can see, the painting with a mixer brush tool feels like painting on a real canvas with the yellow color already painted and the blue color somewhat mixed with the yellow color and produces a slight violet tone. Thus, we have learned the basic idea of how to use the mixer brush tool in Photoshop.

Note: You may not get a result like this if the mix and wet are set to zero. Set it to some value to get the mixing effect.

Options of Mixer Brush Tool

Now having learned how to use the mixer brush tool, let’s understand the options of the brush tool. With the help of these options, it becomes an extremely powerful tool.  When we select the mixer brush tool, we can see the option bar as shown below:

1. Brush Size 

This option is the same in all brush tools. This option lets us adjust the brush size and the angle of the brush and the sharpness.  

2. Current Brush Load 

This option shows the current loaded color of the brush. Now this option has interesting features. If we click on it, there are other different options available as given below:



  • Load brush: This option reloads the brush with color.
  • Clean brush: This option cleans the brush.
  • Load Solid Color only: This option is checked then the brush only loads solid colors.  

Now a question may arise, whether the brush can pick anything other than the solid color? The answer is Yes.  

3. Load the brush after each stroke  

If this option is kept checked, the brush automatically reloads itself with the same color after each stroke.

4. Clean the brush after each stroke 

If this option is kept checked, the brush automatically cleans itself after each stroke.

5. Presets

These options have several pre-defined functions created by setting different values of Wet, load, and mix. By default, it set to custom, where we can make our own preset. If you click on the option, you will see something like this:



6. Wet

This option has a value within the range of 0-100%. This option tells us how much paint your brush picks from the canvas and also we get the mix option enabled when we make wet value >0. Lower the wet and mix, lesser the color that will mix.  

7. Load 

This option also has a value within the range of 0-100%. This option tells how much paint we have taken on our brush. Higher the value, the larger the amount of paint on the brush. As like a real brush, the load color gets exhausted as we paint with the brush. If we set the load to 100% and set Wet and Mix to 0, we get a brush like a normal paint brush.

8. Mix

This option also has a value within the range of  0-100%. This option tells us how much mixing of the color will occur with the colors of the canvas when we paint with the brush. This option gets only enabled when wet has a value >0 because we already know if the wet is set to 0, then the brush will not pick any color from the brush.

9. Flow 

This option also has a value within the range of 0-100%. This option controls the flow rate of the color with each stroke. More the flow rate, more color with the flow at the stroke. By default, the flow is set to 100%.

10. Smoothing 

The higher the value it is set to, the more it will reduce the shakiness in the stroke of the brush.

11. Sample all layers 

If this option is checked then the brush will behave as if it is painting in a single layer canvas although there may be different layers. The tool combines all the layers to one and paints according to it through multiple layers are present in it. By default, the sample all layers option is kept checked.

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