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How to Blend on Procreate

Hey Procreate artists!

In a previous blog, we went over the importance of colors and how to use color palettes in your work. For this one, we’ll be walking through just exactly how we can make these wonderful colors work together because today, we're looking into blending, a method which can significantly elevate your digital art. No more messy mix of colors-- we're here to provide you with a clear roadmap on how to blend on Procreate that's easy to follow, even if you're just starting out. Use stunning gradients and transitions to make your artwork breathe life! We're here to take you through the benefits of blending colors for your art.

In this guide, we'll break down blending into three methods: the Gaussian blur, the airbrush, and the super handy smudge tool. Let’s dive in!

Blending in Procreate

When it comes to blending colors in Procreate, you have three strong tools at your disposal: the Gaussian Blur, the airbrush, and the smudge tool. With the help of these techniques, you can create a range of textures and different kinds of depth in your work, and they offer a unique approach for blending colors. Learning any of these methods can take your digital art to whole new levels, whether you're looking for smooth transitions, beautiful textures, or a natural depth.

Gaussian Blur

Gaussian Blur stands out as a useful tool in Procreate's toolbox that makes the process of blending colors effortlessly simple. Unlike typical methods, which involve tricky brushes and layers, Gaussian Blur uses a different method. It blurs the contrasts between colors, for example, by applying a soft filter that effortlessly blends colors.

Procreate blending with Gaussian Blur
Procreate blending with Gaussian Blur

However, there are also some downsides to consider when using Gaussian Blur to blend colors in Procreate. One significant drawback is the loss of details. If you overuse Gaussian Blur or apply it intensely, your artwork may lose crispness and definition. Additionally, if not used skillfully, this technique may lead to an unrealistic effect that might not be in line with your end goal for a specific work. There's a risk that the final result may appear artificial or overly processed if the blur isn't consistently applied or unevenly distributed. Finally, although Gaussian Blur is simple to use, it is just that— simple. You won’t have much wiggle room for unique textures and styles as opposed to using the other two techniques.

The use of this technique is quite simple: duplicate the layer you wish to blend if you need to, access the Filter menu, select the Gaussian blur and fine-tune the blur strength to achieve the desired result.

Selecting Gaussian Blur to blend in Procreate
Selecting Gaussian Blur

Airbrush

On to our next technique, for artists who are already familiar with the basics, using an airbrush in Procreate to combine colors is a pretty amazing method. It's similar to painting with a real airbrush. It softly sprays color over your digital canvas, so you can easily combine various colors. When you want to add shading, subtle color shifts, or even a sense of lighting to your artwork, this is quite useful. You have complete control over how much color you spray and how clear it appears by changing the airbrush's opacity and flow settings. Layering various colors at different opacities lets you generate subtle transitions and give your artwork a more finished, realistic feel. To use the airbrush for color blending in Procreate, simply choose a soft round brush in the brush tools.

Choosing a soft airbrush
Choosing an airbrush

Procreate blending with an airbrush
Procreate blending with an airbrush

You can experiment with the pressure and gradually build up colors to achieve various effects. Example: if you're painting a sunset, you can begin with a light orange and gradually add darker oranges and reds to make the colors blend together properly. Additionally, the airbrush is ideal for giving your subjects a smooth skin-like texture and reducing any sharp lines in portraits.

Smudge Tool

Our last but certainly not the least is Procreate's smudge tool, which is yet another fantastic tool for blending colors. The smudge tool performs exactly what its name implies— it easily mixes the colors you've already applied to the canvas. This may give your artwork a more artistic look, as if you were smudging actual paint on a canvas with your fingertips. It's great for softening color transitions, making skin tones appear realistic, and giving your works a feeling of depth.

One of the best things about the smudge tool is that you can still get that blended appearance while keeping the details in your painting. You can choose how much blending you want to do—a little for subtle changes or more for a more dramatic contrast between colors. Additionally, it works well with a number of brushes, making it possible to experiment with different brush types to achieve any particular look you like.

Procreate blending with an painting brush
Procreate blending with a soft brush

You'll discover that some brushes are specifically made for blending and smudging, while others are not, when using the smudge tool in Procreate. Blending brushes often have softer edges and textures that help make the colors mix smoothly. If you want to add those subtle color transitions and soft effects to your painting, these brushes are superb. Brushes that aren't designed for blending, on the other hand, could have stronger forms and textures, making them great for adding details or bold lines. Fear not! You can still use these brushes to “smudge” and create awesome textures instead. In order to achieve the greatest results while using the smudge tool, it's a good idea to use brushes that are specifically created for blending.

Procreate blending with an artistic brush
Smudging with a hard brush

That's all there is to it! Learning how to blend colors in Procreate using tools like the airbrush, smudge tool, and Gaussian Blur can enable you to create aesthetically attractive and compelling compositions. Whether you're an experienced artist trying to improve your abilities or a novice eager to explore new possibilities. Begin your blending adventure right away and set off on a route through artistic progress and creativity.

Happy Blending!

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