15 – GMP – Paint Tools (Part 1)


15 – GMP – Paint Tools (Part 1)


S1: In our sixth tutorial on GIMP, let's start using the Paint Tools and learn the Tool Options the Paint Tools use. There's a lot to go over here, so I'll be breaking this up into two parts. The first part of the Paint Tools tutorial begins here.


S2: With our image open, let's start creating something using some Paint Tools. First, we'll use the paintbrush. Make sure to check the Tool options on all of these, as they will be very useful for doing what you need with each one. In the Tool Options here, you can see that there's a mode setting, opacity to your brush, what the brush looks like, how hard it is (think like an actual brush on an image. How soft or hard do you want the tip to press on the painting?), the size of the brush, angle, and more. For now, we'll just leave it as is and create a quick square.

S3: Next, we'll move onto the bucket fill tool. Here we can see that in the tool options, we have the option to change the opacity, change it so that we fill up the spot with the tool with the foreground or background color, or even a pattern if we want to. The options below that allow us to either fill the whole selection as much as possible or just similar colors if we want more reserved filling. The threshold here will determine how much the tool will try to “overflow” into the nearby colors beyond what you have filled in. Here we'll fill in our square with our background color. As you can see with the similar colors option, it will fill in everything except the transparent edges around our square border, leaving a little bit unfilled.

S4: Patterns can be applied too from the bucket fill, so let's apply a quick Pinewood pattern here to give the box a little wooden feel to it. Here you can see it will paint over our white fill with a nice wooden texture. Our box is starting to look like an actual wooden box!


S5: Next we'll do a gradient or Blend fill, so we'll apply a gradual color change from our foreground to our background color. This works very similar to bucket fill, just that you can choose the colors you want to fill in either as a foreground to background selection or to a preset selection of your choice. The shape can be changed as well to create more impressive gradients. Here I'll make a radial gradient inside our box fill. Make sure to select what you want to gradient as well otherwise you'll add the gradient to the entire layer. Click and drag to determine what direction you want the gradient to go.

S6: The Ink tool is similar to the paintbrush, but it creates an ink-like pool of color that works similarly to real ink. The longer you stay on a spot, the more comes out, and the strokes ebb and flow much like real ink. Change the options as you need in the Tool Options window. We'll draw a little smiley face on our box.


S7: The Airbrush tool is very similar to an actual airbrush, where a constant flow comes out that allows you to quickly touch up or “brush color” onto the image in a way that can be modified. As you see in the Tool Options, one of the important settings is a rate, and the other is flow.

Tweaking these will change the way the Airbrush comes out. Watch as I set the flow to about 20 and see what happens. Now 30. You can now see that the lines are much thicker than they were before. This gives you granular control over how you want your airbrush to look.


S8: Lastly, we have a pencil and eraser tools. Much like an actual pencil, you can draw a very fixed, quick line with this tool, and is the simplest tool in the bunch. I'll give our smiley face some eyebrows.

S9: From there, the erase can pretty much remove everything from the image, so much like other tools, you can change the size of the eraser, the hardness, and many other features. Be warned that the eraser removes all the data from the image, so you will have to recolor in a spot you erased, or fill holes you might create yourself. Oops, I seem to have erased the eyebrows.


S10: This completes our first part in the tutorial about the Paint Tools in GIMP. Now you know a lot about how to paint up your own images!

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