Saturday, January 9, 2010

Drawing tools of the Gimp

In this tutorial we'll be learning how to use the paintbrush, pencil, airbrush, and ink tools. As this is a basic tutorial, I'll only be covering the basics of how to use these tools and what these tools look like.

1-Paintbrush tool
Activate the paintbrush tool (B). Draw a line by left clicking+dragging over your canvas.

2-Pencil tool
Activate the pencil tool (N). Underneath the paintbrush line, draw a line by left clicking+dragging over your canvas.

3-Airbrush tool
Activate the airtbrush tool (A). Underneith the pencil line, draw a line by left clicking+dragging over your canvas.

4-Ink tool
Activate the ink tool (A). Underneith the airbrush line, draw a line by left clicking+dragging over your canvas.

5-About the drawing tools
As you can see from the above image (click to see better detail), all these tools produce different effects depending on how you go about using them. You will notice on the paintbrush and pencil lines that one has anti-aliasing and the other does not. I used my own cloud paint brush tip to illustrate how different they are.
The airbrush tool increases opacity over time. The longer you stay in one spot holding down the left mouse button, the less opaque the ink will become, just like an airbrush.
The ink tool works based on velocity. as you drag a line out you will notice that the slower you go the thicker the line will become.
In the brushes palette you will notice an assortment of brushes that are either default brushes that come with the GIMP or are brushes you have created yourself. (See my tutorial on creating your own brush tips). The ink tool is the only drawing tool that does not use custom brushes. However you can change the shape of the tip of this tool along with other variables in the ink tool options. Below is a screen capture of both the paintbrush and ink tool options. I will not be going into detail about the options for these tools, but encourage you to experiment and discover for yourself what each can do. (Note: Using a pen tablet greatley enhances the experience of using the drawing tools, but is not neccessary.)

5-Drawing straight lines with the drawing tools
To draw a straight line click once on the canvas where you want your starting point to be. then holding down the shift key move your cursor to the destination of your straight line and click the left mouse button again to complete the line.

6-Draw 90 degree or 45 degree straight lines
Lets say you want a 0, 45, or 90 degree angled straight line. Follow the exact directions as above for drawing a straight line with one addition. while holding down the shift button also hold down the control button. Move your cursor to the destination point while holding down these two keys. You will see that doing this only allows you to make lines at 0, 45 or 90 degrees. Click the left mouse button to complete the line.

These are among the most powerful tools in the Gimp. If you can figure out how to use the tools, especially in colaboartion with other tools and affects, the creative possibilities are endless. Enjoy using these!

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