GIMP gradient tutorial
This tutorial has been updated for use with GIMP 2.6.
I have split the tutorial into two different levels.
The one on this page is for people reasonably familiar with the GIMP interface and image manipulation commands.
The second is for people with very little experience of image manipulation programs and GIMP particularly. This includes screenshots with tooltips for each step of the operations involved. Follow the title links for the more indepth tutorials.
In the main GIMP toolbox double click on the
Fill with a colour gradient.
This opens the Gradient options box, here you are presented with various options for your gradient.
If you click on
Gradient a dropdown list of set gradients will appear that you can use for your image. The default is
FG to BG (RGB), which we will use here.
Double click on the
Foreground colour in the main GIMP toolbox and pick or type in the hexadecimal code for the colour you want in the
Change foreground colour option box.
Now double click on the
Background colour in the main toolbox and choose the colour you wish to graduate to.
If the gradient is one that you are likely to use frequently click on the
Gradient dialogue button on the main toolbox. Right click on the highlighted gradient,
FG to BG (RGB) in this case and select
This opens the
Gradient Editor dialogue. Rename the gradient in here and save it. It will now appear on the dropdown list of gradients.
Open the image you wish to apply the gradient to. Click on the
Select regions by colour on the main toolbox and select the colour on the image you want to apply the gradient to.
Fill with a colour gradient and position the cursor where you wish to start the gradient. Click on the image, hold the mouse button down, move to where you want the gradient to end and release the mouse button.
The image should now have your gradient applied to it. Note that the foreground colour is your start of gradient and the background is your end point. The gradient will go in any direction that you want, experiment with it.
Ok, so now you know how to create and save your gradient. You can also now apply it to an image, but a very popular use for gradients is using them as a background for your web pages.
For an explaination of how to do this go to the css background gradient tutorial.
If you want to use a freehand gradient, follow these instructions.
Click on the
Airbrush tool on the
GIMP toolbox, to make it active.
Then in the active window open the
Tool Options dialogue
Windows » Dockable Dialogs » Tool Options
Tool Options dialogue click on the
Use color from gradient option to make it active and change the various options to suit the size and type of gradient you wish to apply.