How to blend in Procreate using the smudge tool and gaussian blur
Procreate has super cool tools that can help you achieve amazing results regarding the quality of your digital art and illustrations. However, you’ve got to learn how to use “these” awesome handy tools.
So, they will help you achieve the artistic look you’re going for! What are these tools you ask? Well, for starters one of them is “blending”. If done right, it can help you just about transform the way your art looks!
And it’s not that there is a blending tool on Procreate, .. Ohh wait there is! BUT, it’s not really the only option you can use to blend your lines/ colors. Surprised, yet? SO, today we’re going to show you the various ways you can “blend” on PROCREATE on your iPad!
In this post, we will be sharing with you the different tools you can use to “blend” on Procreate on your iPad:
- The smudge tool.
- The eraser.
- Gaussian blur.
1. The Smudge Tool.
And that is the basic, most go-to tool for blending. Well, in order to practice blending, let’s first start off with a basic circle in a light grey shade.
To draw a perfect circle, you just draw it with your apple pencil and don’t lift your pencil from the screen just yet. Wait until the circle gets fixed. But now it isn’t really perfect yet. So, still don’t you dare lift that pencil! we need to fix that circle! Now just tap and hold with your pointer finger.
Just like magic, right? Just one of the many handy features on Procreate. Trust us, it will come in handy! Now what you’re going to do is add a new layer on top of your very first layer by tapping the plus sign.
You’ll then want to set it to a clipping mask, to do that you need to tap “Layer 2”, then select clipping mask.
What that does is let you add lines and color to the new layer, within only the circle we just drew, not outside it.
What we’re going to do next is add shading to that new layer we just created, So that we can shade our circle to make it look more like a sphere. We’re going to use the “Technical Pen” in the “Inking” set for that (any inking tool will work just fine).
Now we’re going to add a crescent shape to the circle, It doesn’t really have to be perfect, And you can’t go outside the circle, because we’ve clipped this layer to the base one, remember? Now, we’re going to select the smudge tool.
We’re going to select the “soft blend” brush the comes in the “Airbrush” brush set.
And gradually smudge the black until it fades into the grey beneath it and you create a gradient.
2. The Eraser Tool.
Now this one might seem a little like the smudge tool. However, it’s a bit different. We use the eraser to blend when we get so carried away with shading/ highlighting, that may be the face we are shading starts to look muddy instead of contoured, or washed away instead of highlighted.
So, blending won’t be any good at this point, we’ve already added so much shade/ color. What you will need at this point is to take away some of that shading off the high points of the face that you might have accidentally covered with shadows.
And not to worry there’s a way to do that without the eraser actually creating harsh erased lines. Select the eraser tool, choose a soft blend airbrush. To gradually erase unneeded black or shading.
Then, you should have something that looks like this.
3. The Gaussian Blur.
What is so good with this method is that it is “mistake-proof”, you can’t really go wrong with it, and there is not much control that you have over it anyways. And THAT is what makes it so easy! With the shading layer being selected. You head over to the “adjustments menu”, then select “Gaussian Blur” and then “Layer”.
You might not notice much difference. But, any move you do with your apple pencil will blur your layer to some extent. All you have to do is slide your pencil right and left. You’ll then see that top blue line in the upper right image. That line indicates how much you’ve blurred the image. The further you slide your apple pencil to the right the more it’ll blur the layer. And the further you slide it to the right, the less blurred the layer becomes. Isn’t that just so cool and easy!
Although the blending tools work like magic and make everything look so seamless, they might just look a tad air brushy. Like so smooth that they don’t look realistic. They just look so polished and perfect and sometimes that just isn’t what you need.
So, here’s a tip on how you can still blend whatever colors or lines you need to blend while also adding the texture you’re looking for! You’re going to select the smudge tool just like we demonstrated before! However, this time we’d like to choose a textured brush like the “X Grainer” brush from our “X Illustration Pack” set.
Which is one of our favorites! Note that we’re using it as a smudge tool, not a paint brush! And just start blending and building up the texture until everything looks right to you!
Look at that! Well, if that doesn’t look so earthy and realistic, we don’t know what does!
We repeated the same steps with the “Brush 14” from our “Texture 2” set to show you how different brush textures can help you achieve different looks and effects!
We hope you found this tutorial helpful! Now you know how to blend in Procreate.
And if you are a Procreate brush lover, feel free to check our collection of more than 50.000 brushes that can help you on your way to becoming an excellent artist. Keep on creating!