Mixer with Layer Styles


Advanced Techniques with Brushes in Photoshop® CC®


Lesson Info

Mixer with Layer Styles

With the mixture brush, because it's putting down color, does the wet and dry factor matter, then? It'll put a different texture, wet or dry, you're gonna gain a different result, yeah. I'm sorry, I really wish I could articulate in a painterly way, what the difference is, but I think it's one of those, as Kyle will tell you on his videos, you just gotta try it. What I want you all to be really, really clear about, is try it. What she's asking is right here. Wet or dry, the best thing to do, if you ask me, is okay, you've got your original brush. You take it, do one stroke at whatever it's set at, 100%. Then, move it all the way down to zero, do it, and then do it at 50%, and then you will know what it feels like. Not unlike if you had a paint. You know, when you add a little more turpentine to it, and you oh, okay now I get it. If you were doing that and an instructor was trying to tell you what it really was. How do you explain that kind of ethereal change? Ethereal, that was weird...

. I'm a little weird. Anyway, now, oh Lisa, don't go away. On your handouts it will say in multiple places the other difference between a mixer brush and a blender brush, is with the mixer brush you also have the added benefit of texture. Holy guacamole, that damn pattern once again. Everything we're talking about has that pattern. With a mixer brush, you have the option of also having a texture. The mixer brushes are really complicated. They're brilliant, they scare me a little bit. Alright, so let's take a look at this brush. Let's look at the brush. Tell you what, I'm gonna just start. Well, what the hell is that? Oh, do you remember? I said a mixer brush will allow you to add color. (sighs) I just clicked the clear and now it's gonna pick up what's underneath. You know what? Maybe the thing to do is to start with a blender brush before, because you can't kinda make as many errors. It's a little easier. Training wheels, the blender brush is training wheels. The oil brush, I mean, excuse me, the mixer brush is probably a little more complicated. Or, screw the blender brush, never use it. Only use the mixer brush and just dive in. Whatever you like. Here are the settings on your brush that we're using right now. We've got shape dynamics. On the handout to you, I took the brush heads out. You can see them. You can see what they look like. And then texture, oh, what's he using? I just clicked on the texture button and I cannot see anything highlighted. Do you guys know what it means? Yes, it's not loaded. It's one of those top secret, textures. I'm gonna click there on this icon. This icon is basically add the texture that you-- Oh, it means create a new preset from the current pattern. It's called Fine Grain. You now have it. You guys are in control at all times. Now I'm just gonna go ahead and work on it. I wanna show you a really big difference here. You can also, don't lose your mind here. You ready? I'm gonna hold the option key and click and when I do that, I want you to look at what happens right in here. Right now it is not picking up anything. It's not putting down anything other than what it's picking up from down below, because I've sample all layers on. Are you picking up what I'm putting down? It is not putting down anything else other than what it sees already. If I option click on the document-- Option click, oh, you gotta be on the right layer. If I option click-- Oh, are you gonna ruin my demo? It should be picking up what's down below. Do you see that? I have to have that turned off. There we go, alright, these dang buttons. That was highlighted, which would not let me do it. You can panic now. There's so many different variables, right? You can panic, it's terrible, it's awesome. It's terrible, it's awesome. If, when you're at home, and you're trying this technique and something's not working, chances are it's these two little culprits right here. Watch what's gonna happen. I'm gonna click right here on this little delta. It's load solid colors only. I clicked what's down below, and it just picked up a solid color. If I command z that and I toggle that off, and now I pick up what's down below, now it picked up multiple colors. Wait, what? Okay, let me say it again a little slower. If you have this item toggled on, it will pick up one solid color. It's still blending, it's still a blending brush. It's not a regular pain brush, it's a blending brush. If you say, "No thank you, I don't want that," and you option click on an area, look at that little square, it's not gonna pick up multiple colors that you have under there. If you're crying a little bit, it's fair, it's 100% fair. All you need to do is refer to your sheets, go slowly, and then go and paint. After that, I'm gonna clear that brush and then turn that off. I've now cleared the brush. I did two steps, I cleared it, and then I turned it off. Then you can go back and just paint. So, project oriented. Take your time. Try different things. You're gonna make mistakes. It's not gonna work. You've got this handout, you can take a look at it. Isn't that kinda cool? You can do the impasto after the fact. Do you remember that little blur at the bottom bit I did on the other files? You can do the same, and then you're starting. You just get there, and what I like about this is this stuff doesn't look filtery to me. It looks like something you've made that-- You know, you're making choices on your own. On this one, because I lost my mind, I started doing impasto gesso on here, and then I turned the color off. I wanted to fade it out a little bit, and then I did the patterning. I think I really like the patterning. Some people may think it's cheesy. This is a pattern that looks more like thumb prints. I put a little canvas on top. It's canvas and then thumb prints. Little thumb print pattern. This pattern is not in the piece. If you took this to another person's machine, you wouldn't have this pattern. Once again, you wanna click on that icon and then it will show up, and it's Wow Canvas Brush Overlay Large. How you guys doing? It's a lot, I know it's a lot. But it's really fantastic. The takeaways are here, are there's-- The mixer brush is way, way, way more complicated than the blender brush, but they're also, dare I say, a little more interesting? The textures, you can change your textures. What that means is you can load that Italian canvas and then do that smudging through the Italian canvas. If you go in there-- Do you remember that linear height? You could change that, and if you change that-- Do you remember the Cezanne brush we did right at the beginning? And you scraped it, and it really showed the paper more than the texture. If you change that right here and you put subtract and you make all those 100, then the same thing that happened on the Cezanne brush is gonna happen with your mixer brush. You're gonna see more paper, or whatever's underneath. So, it'll be clear. I don't want you to freak out. I want you to keep coming, and for you, on your notes at home, the thing you've got to put a danger Will Robinson is this right here. This is what's gonna jack you up. Well, it jacked me up, but this area right here. And then (laughs) you wanna go figure out the wet? Good luck to you honey, I didn't have time. It was too much.

Class Description

The brush tool allows you to paint onto your image in a way that makes your final photo truly a work of art. Hollywood high end retoucher Lisa Carney goes in depth on how to control and take advantage of the opportunities that brush tools give you. With the 2017 updates to Adobe® Photoshop® CC®, using brushes has become even easier. Lisa will teach:

  • How to create custom brushes
  • Organizing techniques
  • How to illustrate in Photoshop® for the “non painter”
  • Retouching with brushes for hair and skin

There are many different ways to use brushes within Photoshop®, and you can start to master them with this in-depth course.



Lisa is extremely knowledgeable of the PS Brushes topic covered in this course and she explains everything very thoroughly. Her sense of humor and style made the class fun. She is great at giving catch words and phrases to help you remember what she covers. I feel like my knowledge and abilities in the use of the PS brushes are more clear and polished. Thank you Lisa!

a Creativelive Student

Amazing class!!! Lisa Carney is an amazing instructor and gives so much valuable information and as always so much of herself. I absolutely love learning from her and will purchase every class she instructs. This is another truly amazing class, full of information and of course lots of laughter. I have a whole new outlook on Photoshop brushes. Well worth the money, hands down.

Michelle Mealing

It is easy to see why Lisa is an expert in her field. Aside from her in-depth knowledge, she is extremely passionate about her art. This makes learning from her fun and easy. I thought I knew brushes before the class. Oh wow, what I know how to do now! Thanks Lisa. You're a gem.