The Smudge Tool

What really is the smudge tool, first it is a tool that blends the color together.

The level depends on how much pressure you put on your canvas to blend the color. The higher the level and the more pressure is applied the more the color will blend with the other color. So it means if you put a very high level the color you want to blend may almost disappear into the secondary color, or into the darkest color.

Different shape and size settings will also give you different results at the same level. A round and square shape at the same level and size do the same blend depending on the way you do your stroke. Meaning where you push your paint to blend.

The horizontal and vertical shape if you bring it to the size of a line would need a higher level to push the paint to blend into the other color. Same goes with the angle shape if the size is made like a line. But if those shapes are made as a rectangle you may need to lower the level.

The soft edge speaks for itself, the edge will be softened, depending if you want to make it soft or a clear sharp edge, the higher the setting the softer the edge will be.

Now that we know what the settings do, Let's look at some examples

Here I did a canvas with two colors and chose the horizontal line with the setting shown in the example.
I positioned my line in the lighter blue and pushed it down into the darker color a few times.

Here is an example you can use to practice the smudge tool by right clicking and saving to your hard drive then open in PI . Using the paint tool and the setting below with a medium gold brown color, the one you see when you click on the color square to pick your color choice.
Just paint the color into the white area and just a bit over the black, it doesn't matter if all the white isn't well covered it will be blended with the smudge tool.

Using the setting below for the smudge tool, you are going to blend your paint. Try to follow the shape and angle from up to down and from down to up, don't over do it or you will lose some detail and you don't want that.

Before applying the smudge tool again here I added a second color on the end of the turn part of the cone. A sand beige tone color.
With the setting below, I smudge the color doing one stroke at a time, not back and forth.

and here is the result.
It could have been better but this is just an example to show you what the smudge tool can do.
If you want to finish it off, use the dodge tool at this setting where the lights should go.
And this setting for the burn tool where you want more shadow and a darker color to be.
Below is the final result. I over did the Dodge tool, maybe a lower level would have been better, it is a matter of trying and experience what would fit best.
Here are some other examples on how the color blends.
With the smudge tool setting below I blended in all directions doing a half circle stroke.
With this new setting for the smudge tool

you can easily see the way I did the stroke
Here is a different setting for the tips of the tree branch . Push it to make the end more narrow.
Some other examples.
Using this setting . and going pretty well straight have this result.
apply this setting and as you can see in the second one my stroke wasn't straight but kind of a wave effect, very nice for blending water, ocean, scenery.
Well there is a lot more you can do with the smudge tool, you have to play and experiment with the different settings, shapes, sizes, angles, softness and levels. And Remember the way you do your stroke also makes a big difference in the end result.

We hope these examples have helped you to understand the Smudge tool better.

This tutorial was written by Acadie - Acadie's Art
to be added to the Painting Tools Tutorials
assembled by Sparrow and found at- SparrowzWorld
If you have any questions you can email