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How to use blending modes with Photoshop brushes tutorial (Difference, lighten etc)

Blending modes and Photoshop brushes tutorial and combining with difference modes etc in CC 2017 2015 2014 CS6 etc

Blending modes in Photoshop

photoshop brushes blending modesYou can apply the Photoshop brushes without ever touching blending modes, just apply them in standard normal blending mode. You can, if you wish, use the brushes with different blending modes in Adobe ® Photoshop ®.


They can be applied using difference / multiply / overlay / lighten etc blending modes (though these depend on the current image mode and channels) to achieve different brush strokes; you can also set the opacity say to 10% or 20% to create subtle additions of brush stroke. Letter / alphabetical type brushes for Photoshop, PSP etc used in the examples


1) To set the blending mode for the brush, select a brush and then go to the top bar of Photoshop and select the blending mode dropdown.

2) Set to 'Darken' 'Difference' 'Lighten' (the blending modes vary from version to version of Photoshop or PS Elements).

3) Apply Photoshop brushes to the document as normal.


The actual result will depend on the blending mode, the current color of the brush as well as the background color of the document.


Photoshop brushes and blending modes via fade command

photoshop brushes blending mode fadeAnother alternative way of applying the brush using blending modes is via the edit menu and fade command which can fade the brush and change the mode. I really quite like using the edit menu command but it is one of those features that is not always accessible. If you have do some actions, the fade is gone for good and that is just such a pity as it would be great if the feature was 'live'.


Anyway, apply a brush stroke and then go to the fade and you can set the fade to darken or lighten etc blending mode as well as changing the opacity of the added brush stroke.


Blending modes via Photoshop layers

photoshop brushes blending modes layerAnother alternative approach to applying the Photoshop brush strokes with different blending modes would be to apply the strokes to a layer and then use the blending modes of the individual layers via the Photoshop layers panel.


This is probably the slowest way of doing the blending modes but it is also perhaps the most flexible as the brush stroke and the layers can be removed in seconds or the blending mode changed to a new setting which is pretty useful.



You can find many other tutorials such as how to use Photoshop brushes with color channels and on separate channels