When it comes to art, may it be traditional or digital, there are always just two main tools we need to create our work: the brush and the eraser.
But in Procreate, you’ll see that there’s actually a tool between these two.
This is the smudge tool. As Procreate defined it, it’s a tool used to move pigment around your canvas. This is mostly used to blend o create a smoother transition between colors.
Just like the brush and the eraser, it’s straightforward and easy to use, but there are a lot of things you can do with it.
Freya actually teaches 2 ways we can use the smudge tool in her Procreate Masterclass. Let’s talk about the two.
First, we’ll use the smudge tool to blend.
I have this canvas with 3 colors on it. I’ll tap on the hand icon beside the brush to use the smudge tool.
When you tap on it again, you’ll see that the brush library will pop up. This is because like the eraser tool, we can also use the different brushes with the smudge tool.
I’ll choose the Freya Tamar Cloud brush, it's included in the free brush set in her Procreate Masterclass. Then I’ll use it on the line where the colors meet to blend them together.
You can adjust the pressure when you hold the pen to get varying degrees of blending. You can also change the brush size and the brush opacity. The more opaque your brush is, the more you’ll be able to drag your colors around.
Here's how it would look like when I'm done.
Aside from blending, we can also use the smudge tool to paint. Although unlike the brush wherein we put color, with smudge we’ll be dragging the paint around to draw something else.
I'll be showing the same example as Freya’s. Let’s look at this leaf and see how I can create the veins just by using the smudge tool.
I’ll be using the Shaping Pen since it’s able to drag more color.
Like when you’re using a brush, you’ll have to choose wisely which one you’d like to use when smudging. Different brushes have different properties after all.
The smudge tool is better to use in this context because it creates that soft, natural look compared to when you’re using a brush.
This might feel a little daunting at first, but you’ll definitely get the hang of it!
Once you’re comfortable enough to use it, you’ll be able to do a lot more techniques that you can apply to your work.
How about you, how do you like using your smudge tool? 🤔
Courses and brushes by Freya Kotchakorn helped mored than 10.000 students excel in Procreate drawings.