Discovering the Portrait-Painting Power of the Mixer Brush February 07, 2016 13:41

There are truly an infinite number of ways to configure and apply the mixer brush in Photoshop.  No matter what your preferred painting subject or style; whether you prefer photo-manipulation or painting from scratch onto a blank canvas; whether you prefer fine, detailed strokes or broad, expressive strokes - the mixer brush can help you (as it has me) to achieve a higher level of creative expression.

I love painting portraits - of both people and animals - and over time I’ve developed my own style.  A lot of the time I begin with a photo - first working the colors and tones to my liking, then turning the photo into a simplified underpainting using the mixer brush (my blending brushes).  And then adding paint to my canvas, gradually building the forms and colors and details - once again using the mixer brush (my opaque and wet painting brushes that I’ve developed for this purpose).

I also enjoy working from a sketch - selecting colors and adding them to my canvas, then blending and refining the shapes, and forms and lines using the mixer brush.  I’ve found that this way of painting is certainly more challenging, but also somewhat more rewarding in the end.

I would encourage you to use and experiment with this wonderfully versatile Photoshop painting tool, and discover for yourself the creative power it possesses.

The painting above began as a photo (taken by Darja Vorontsova) and was made as described in the second paragraph - using the same brushes that are provided and featured in Lesson 3 of my MTDC series, “Painting Portraits with the Mixer Brush in Photoshop.”