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Basic Mixer Brushes



TL;DR: Simple Mixer Brush Tool presets for smooth color blending. Have fun!

In a recent journal entry, I talked about how I haven't been able to make Photoshop's Mixer Brush Tool work quite the way I'd like, but it's far from a useless tool. I know a lot of you like to use the Smudge Tool for blending colors, and based on my own experimentation with different tools for blending colors, I think the Mixer Brush Tool is a much better option for comfortable color blending than the Smudge Tool is. It has a wider variety of settings available to it, and also mixes colors in a more interesting way. The trade-off is that it is a less intuitive tool to get used to. Because of this, I decided I want to share a set of two basic Mixer Brush tool presets with you guys. Hopefully, these will give you a better impression of the tool than the settings you start out with.

How to install:
Download the .zip and extract the .tpl file and place it where ever you like. Go to the Tool Presets panel in Photoshop and hit the little menu button in the top right of the panel. Click "Load Tool Presets..." in the drop-down menu and browse to the .tpl file. Load it, and that's it! The presets should be compatible with CS5 and above.

How to use:

Both tool presets are very basic and are intended for smooth color blending, like the blending you see in the preview image above. The Mixer Brush Tool works sort of like a combination of the regular Brush Tool and the Smudge Tool. It smudges colors together similar to the Smudge Tool, but with the settings I've included in this pack, it also puts your currently picked color onto the canvas. So remember to pick mid values while you blend to get the smoothest gradients, sort of like you do when blending with the normal Brush Tool.

If you have any other questions about how to use it, feel free to ask in the comments.

Copyright stuff:
The brushes don't really use anything I could claim to have copyright of, like textures or custom brush shapes, so there isn't really anything to worry about here. Use them for whatever! Just don't be a dick and try to sell the brushes outright.

Technical nonsense:
I chose to share these in the Tool Presets format (.tpl) instead of as Brush Presets (.abr) because Tool Presets include all brush settings, not just the settings in the Brush panel (.abr brushes don't include presets for Wet, Load, Mix and Flow percentages, while .tpl brushes do). This means you can play around with any of the settings as much as you want and break the brush horribly if you like. To revert it back to my settings, just click the brush in the Tool Presets panel again.

The brushes are very simple, but what makes them a bit special is that they use a flat gray texture in the Texture settings. Using a flat texture without any actual texture to it sounds a bit silly, but it gives you access to settings (Brush Panel -> Texture -> Depth) that control the flow of the brush more elegantly than the normal Flow settings do. It's not something you have to worry about unless you're genuinely interested. If you just want a blending brush that does a decent job, the default settings I provided should treat you fairly well.
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