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How do I Select my Color as "Transparent?"

Explorer ,
Aug 30, 2023 Aug 30, 2023

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A few years ago I took an online course on how to create digital paintings in Photoshop. Basically, what you did was start with your photo as a background and added layers. Your first layer was your underpainting. You added your layer, selected the mixer brush tool, set your canvas for about 50% wet, and selected "Transparent" as the color for the mixer brush. It then allowed you to blend the colors in your photo to create a loose underpainting. From there you added the next layer, changed the canvas to 40% wet, and added more strokes to get more detail. From there you added a few more layers and added more detail, until you ended up with what looked like a painting of your photo. Once it was complete you merged your layers and your painting was complete. I was able to do this in earlier versions of Photoshop, and it was an easy and fun way to turn photos into digitial paintings that really looked like paintings. 

 

So I'm trying to use this techique to create a digital painting in the most current version of photoshop. However, when I put in my first layer, I am unable to set my mixer brush tool color to "transparent" so that I can blend the colors in my photo to create a loose underpainting. I get it that Photoshop has changed over the years. I've tried everything I can think of to figure out a way to create my underpainting, but nothing is working. Instead of blending the colors in my photo, it's now an opaque brush that's painting over my photo. Not what I wanted. I guess this means that I can no longer create digital paintings of my photos. 

 

Is there any way that I set my Mixer Brush to "transparent" for the color so I can blend the colors in my photo and create a loose underpainting? 

 

Thank you so much for your time. I really appreceiate your help. 

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Adobe
Community Expert ,
Aug 31, 2023 Aug 31, 2023

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Not sure what exactly you mean but as far as I can tell the Tool has not been changed in recent versions. 

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/painting-mixer-brush.html

 

Could you please post screenshots with the pertinent Panels (Toolbar, Layers, Options Bar, …) visible? 

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Explorer ,
Aug 31, 2023 Aug 31, 2023

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I just stumbled onto something that I think will fix this. Before I was simply selecting new layer, as in shift key, command key, and the letter "N," (Please keep in mind it's been sometime since I've done any digital painting as for the past few years I've been focused on my photography.) This morning, when I went to add my next layer so I could take a scren shot, I went "Layer" in the menu bar. When I selected "New," I noticed something I'd not seen before. An arrow appears. So I followed the arrow, and discovered there is an option called, "Layer from Background." I figured what the heck. Let's give it a try and see what happens. This option has no keyboard command, but boy oh boy did I have an aha! moment. That's the missing step! Now I'm able to use the Mixer Brush tool to blend the colors on my image. Problem solved!

 

You guys rock!! Thank you so much for getting back with me, and helping me find a solution. I really appreciate all of you taking the time to help. 

 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 31, 2023 Aug 31, 2023

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And again: 

Could you please post screenshots with the pertinent Panels (Toolbar, Layers, Options Bar, …) visible? 

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New Here ,
Mar 09, 2024 Mar 09, 2024

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Hi, could please upload a screenshot or video about using the transparent brush? I can't find it atm.

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Explorer ,
Aug 31, 2023 Aug 31, 2023

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Background Layer Solution.png

I stumbled onto the solution while taking a screen shot. The keyboard command for "New Layer" doesn't show these other options. I wasn't aware of them until I tried selecting "New" from menu bar. That's when I noticed the arrow, and when I selected, "Background From Layer," it worked! I was able to blend the colors with the Mixer brush tool. Thank you, all of you, for getting back with me. I really appreciate all of  you taking the time to help. As said, it's been sometime since I've done any digital painting, but this new option makes a lot of sense. Just wish it had a keyboard command. 🙂

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Community Expert ,
Aug 31, 2023 Aug 31, 2023

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You apparently unchecked »Sample All Layers«! (edited)

Background Layer Solution.png

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Explorer ,
Aug 31, 2023 Aug 31, 2023

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That works too, AND it's quicker and less combuersome. Thank you for letting me know. 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 01, 2023 Sep 01, 2023

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That’s why it is advisable to check the settings (in the Options Bar) when a Tool starts behaving in an unexpected manner. 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 31, 2023 Aug 31, 2023

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Did you mean this? 

Screenshot 2023-08-31 at 09.27.37.pngScreenshot 2023-08-31 at 09.27.40.png

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Participant ,
Aug 31, 2023 Aug 31, 2023

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In the little drop down arrow to the right of the swatch that shows the color you are mixing, there is an option to "clean brush." Selecting this will allow you to mix with transparency, or in other words "paint with transparent as the color."

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Explorer ,
Aug 31, 2023 Aug 31, 2023

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I already tried that. Unfortunately, it did not work. Instead of blending the colors in the photo it painted an opaque color on top of the photo. I went into the color pallett to see if I had an opttion to select, "transparent." but there wasn't one. Thank you for your response. 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 31, 2023 Aug 31, 2023

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Again: 

Could you please post screenshots with the pertinent Panels (Toolbar, Layers, Options Bar, …) visible? 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 31, 2023 Aug 31, 2023

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crowMixerBrushToolTestScr.gif

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 19, 2024 Mar 19, 2024

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Hello,

Slightly off topic but do recall the name of the online course? I would love to learn this technique as well.

 

 

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Explorer ,
Mar 19, 2024 Mar 19, 2024

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It was an online course that I took a few years ago, and course itself had been recorded a good five years or six years before I took it, which is why the techniques they were teaching were so out of date. I found it on websiite called, Udemey.. The course was called something to the effect of, "Digital Painting with Photoshop," but I can no longer recall the actual title. I know Udemy has since taken it down, because the last time I tried to look it up it was no longer available. Hopefully they. have a newer version of it by now. Sorry I wasn't able to me more helpful. 

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