Layers are a massively important part of digital painting, allowing you to organize and separate out different parts of your artwork. But there are many extra tricks that layers have to offer, one of which is to facilitate the use of blend modes. Blend modes can change the way a layer in your painting interacts with the layer underneath it to produce a range of visual variations.
There are a number of different blend modes to choose from, including Normal, Multiply, Screen, and Color, but understanding what each one does is not the easiest task. So to get started in figuring out how blend modes can heighten artistic expression, let's have a look at some of the most commonly used layer blend modes and examine when and how to use them in your iPad painting apps.
[ Kyle Lambert is a UK-based visual artist specializing in painting, illustration, and 3D animation.]