Use the Mixer Brush to take smudge painting to another level…
Choose a brightly coloured picture. To assist with the painting process, it helps to remove some of the finer details. Go to Filter>Blur>Smart Blur and use a Radius of 5, Threshold of 25 and set the Quality to High.
Grab the Mixer Brush tool and set the tip to the Round Curve preset. In the Options bar, engage the “Clean the brush after every stroke” icon, set Wet to 57% , Load to 1%, Mix to 64% and check the Sample All Layers option. In the Brushes panel, set the Bristles to 46%, Length to 132%m Thickness to 20% and Stiffness to 38%.
Create a new layer above the photo. Gently trace along the contours of the subject with the brush that was set up in the previous step. Follow along the shape and colour lines using smooth strokes to create visible brush marks on the image. Decrease the brush size for smaller details and increase it for the large, flat areas.
Remember the paintbrushes are not the only tools that can use the new brush tips. Merge the layer contents to a new layer by pressing Ctrl/Cmd+Alt/Opt+Shift+E, then use the Burn tool set to Midtones at 12% Exposure. Change the brush tip to the Round Fan and darken the corners of the painting.