This is somewhat a newbie question, but I couldn't find any solution. While painting, if I lift up the brush and start painting again, colors start adding up at intersections. This makes it hard to make it look smooth. As you see in the image it is darker in the place where two brush strokes intersect.

The behavior I want is, as if brush is not lifted, painting over the same area will not change the color unless it is darker (Max filter maybe?). Or maybe I should change the way I work. What do you suggest?

Photoshop brush strokes adding up

  • Welcome to GDSE! To get the most out of the site, please review our help center. What program are you using to paint? What are your brush settings? And what have you tried to do to stop the paint overlap? – bemdesign Feb 26 '15 at 0:24

Next to the opacity is a drop down box labeled "mode:" change that to 'normal'.


The brush has opacity (transparency), so for example is you paint 2 lines of opacity 20% one on top of the other you get a 40% opacity area.
Change the brush opacity to 100%: enter image description here

  • The problem is, I want opacity to not increase even if I painted over. You suggest me to increase it all the way up to %100. – Gökhan Kurt Feb 25 '15 at 21:11
  • Draw everything with 100% opacity on an empty layer and then change the opacity of the entire layer. If you need explanation on how to do that ask and I'll edit my answer. – Naty Feb 25 '15 at 21:17
  • Well but, I don't want everything to be at same opacity. I am using a graphic tablet and colors should have different opacity according to pressure I apply. – Gökhan Kurt Feb 25 '15 at 21:19
  • 1
    Well that's how opacity works. Opacity means transparency or see-through, or see through the object to whats underneath it. If I understand correctly you want a white tint to your final colour. You can add a white colour overlay effect to the entire layer to get that – Naty Feb 25 '15 at 21:23
  • You are not understanding. I am trying to do digital painting. Digital painting consists of continuous colors instead of 1-2 discrete colors. To paint a shadowy area I apply more pressure than normal to give more opacity. But If I lift up my brush to draw another shadow area, at the intersection of areas, my problem occurs. – Gökhan Kurt Feb 25 '15 at 21:28

Have the brush at 100% opacity and lower the opacity of the layer you are shading on.


I have seen pro illustrators express brightness value like this using opacity so I think it is also meant to be used like this (The question is not about why I use it though).

Most videos of pro illustrators I've seen either (a) paint at 70% - 100% opacity most of the time without using the pressure sensitivy and have the magical ability to always pick exactly the right color before their next stroke, or (b) paint at around to 70% - 100% opacity and make use of the pressure sensitivity to mix their next color, then pick from their color blend area the color they want to use for their next stroke.

So if doing something like what is shown in your image the typical painter I've seen would have done that first stroke with 30% opacity black. Then hold alt and click the color to pick up exactly that shade of grey. Then undo. Then change brush opacity to 70% or higher then paint with near-opaque grey instead of near-transparent black which is what your image shows.

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