Blending has to be thoroughly learned, because realism will not work without. I often ruined my paintings with using giant blenders on minutiate detail, or smooth blenders on surfaces that should be textured. You can save lots of time if you use a brush that's easy to blend in the first place. Also, blending can be done in several passes - painting roughly, blending, painting details, blending again.
"Ranarh's tiny tips" is a collection of iddy-biddy tutorials, each containing small bites of advice anyone can chew, aimed at beginner's level artists. They are not software-dependent. If there's a problem you have, something you feel someone should finally explain, or are just curious what I have to say on a particular artistic issue, feel free to tell me.
You'll find the whole Tiny Tips Collection, plus some full-grown walkthroughs in my tutorial section
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