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Blending colors and varying the tonalities within an image has been associated with several traditional forms of media, particularly dry media. Tissue, cotton, even your finger can be pressed into service to smooth out colors and tones within an image. The Blenders category offers a whole range of blending tools from smooth blenders to grungy smears. So let's take a look at Blenders. Now we're in the Blenders category and I'm going to start off with Just Add Water. Just Add Water is in some ways the king of blending within Painter because of the very smooth transitions from one color to another there possible.
I'm going to work with a file that I created. You'll find it in your Exercise folder. It's called colorblend. I'm actually going to zoom up here a bit, so we can see what's going on. I'm going to start to blend this color and you'll see at first it doesn't seem like it's doing anything but as you continue to blend and start to migrate one color to another, you can start to get a very nice smooth blend. In a way, I almost think of all of these pixels underneath your brush as if they are grains of sand and you're literally kind of doing a pushing activity to help migrate the pixels to the new location.
So just doing this in one location will not work. As you can see what happens, it pushes one set of pixels to the other side and the other color to the other side. So you end up with kind of an optical illusion or incorrect blend. So you need to work both sides of the blend and I'm subtly moving my brush towards each of those colors to soften the blend out. You can also enlarge your brush and in this case I'm using my Right Bracket key to do that. Let's try it over here. A larger brush sometimes will work a bit quicker and again, see I'm slowly kind of transitioning over it to the green and then I transition over to the blue.
And in doing so, I can really get this nice blend of colors. We're also looking at a very perfect situation here, two absolutely different colors divided by a line of demarcation of those two colors. In real world painting and drawing, you're often going to find gradations of colors and colors in different orientations that you need to work with. The one thing that is very important to remember is that if it's a gradation or two colors in this case, you need to go with the trend in the color, because if you go this way, you can see what happens.
I'm pulling the wrong color into the wrong field and so that does not work. You have to go with the color and then just work to smooth out each of these. So being able to blend does take a little bit of practice and I urge you to take this file and just practice with blending these colors because it does take a little bit of orientation to learn how to get as smooth of a blend as you're seeing me do here. So practice it and then when you get into actually drawing or painting activity, you'll find that the knowledge you've gained in this kind of exercise will help quite a bit.
Now the one thing I wanted to point out that I've mentioned elsewhere in the title here but it's really the perfect spot to show it is this brush is a blender by the fact that Resaturation is turned down to 0. As we learned elsewhere, if you turn this up this starts to apply color and the reason I'm bringing this up is a lot of times when I'm working with Just Add Water rather than switch between an airbrush, which is very commonly used to work with softening colors, and my Just Add Water, I go up to Resat and change this on the fly.
One way I think of this particular in this instance is in a way with brushes that use the well and Resaturation and Bleed, Resaturation is painter's color clutch. When the clutch is disengaged, no color comes out of the brush. It's just a blender at this point. All it's doing is moving underlying color. As soon as I engage the clutch, well now it's a color-applying brush. So using something like the Option or Alt key to grab color, allows me to paint with the colors to help work in a blending situation as well as disengage the clutch and then refine it even more.
So I'm just bringing this up because of the use of the Resat slider as this color clutch is a great way to use Just Add Water as both an airbrush, which essentially Just Add Water is. It's only been an airbrush by picking up the underlying color most of the time, but the addition of the slider gives you a way to transition back and forth. I want to just spend a minute or two on a couple of other brushes. Another one that's in here is Smudge. This is one of the ones I was talking about that it's a little more gritty or grainy and this has texture in it.
So sometimes it's nice to have a little bit of noise in a gradation and the use of the Smudge tool allows you to blend, but blend utilizing whatever your current paper texture is. The last one I'm going to show you that's an interesting one is Coarse Smear. This one actually imparts a trend of moving the pixels in such a way that it almost looks like you're taking the brush with no paint on it and moving the color around. And it's just another character of blending that you can do.
So to wrap this up, there are a number of variations on smearing within the Blenders category and depending on what quality you want, you'll definitely be able to find it within this category.
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