Now you'll use the blur tool to soften the edges of your paint strokes, smoothing out the color transitions between the brown shadows, the underlying bark, and the bright highlights.
1 In the toolbox, select the blur tool ( ). Then, in the Brushes palette, select a small brush, such as the Soft Round 21 brush you used earlier. Make sure that tool options bar is set with Mode at Normal and Strength at 50%.
Mode: [ Normal t | Strength: |50M I > I □ Use All Layers
2 Make sure that the Highlight layer is active (selected) in the Layers palette.
3 Drag the blur tool brush over the shadows and highlights of the tree branch to soften the color transitions. (It may be helpful to zoom in to see the results as you blur the image.)
4 As you blur the image, try adjusting the Strength option value in the tool options bar. If you don't like the results one percentage produces, choose Edit > Undo, and try a different one.
5 When you are satisfied with the blend of highlights and shadows, choose File > Save.
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