Hi everyone, CTM Tammy here. I know that I am in the minority of scrappers because I use a little-known program called GIMP. GIMP is great for new scrappers who want to try the hobby without committing big bucks to a premium program. That’s how I started with it… and now I love it and I’m not interested in switching! BUT… if you use GIMP, you’ll find that there aren’t a ton of tutorials out there. I mean, yes, you can find them, but you really have to dig. So today I wanted to share my tutorial on how to re-color items in GIMP.
Have you ever been looking for just the right element for your layout, and there’s a great button or frame in the kit, but it’s not the color you want? Well, here’s how to fix it!
1. First of all, SAVE YOUR LAYOUT right where you are. I’m going to assume you already know how to do that part. It’s always a good idea to save before doing something like this.
2. Now you’re ready to begin. Drag the element you want to use into your layout. For this tutorial, I’m using a frame and paper from Laura’s new kit “Charmed Artistry”. I currently have my transparent background layer plus three other layers: my paper, and two frames (you only need one – I want to be able to show you the “before” and “after” later).
3. In the layers tab, right click on the element layer, and choose “New Layer”.
5. Now the new layer should be highlighted in the layers tab. Just under the toolbars, you’ll find a dialogue that says “Mode” with a drop down tab to the right. Click the drop down tab and change the mode to “Hue”.
6. Now select your paintbrush tool. You can change the size of your brush in the tool tab.
7. Now, right click on the element layer in the layers tab. Select “Alpha to Selection”.
8. Left click the new layer to select it. This is where you’ll actually be doing your work. But you should still see the marching ants around your selection.
9. Just underneath your toolbars, you should see two colored boxes. Click the top box to change your foreground color. Another box will pop up, where you’ll see a grid on the left and several bars on the right. Just underneath the bars, on the far right side of the box, you’ll see something that looks like a computer screen with a pointer. Click that box. This will allow you to click anywhere in your layout and choose the exact color for your element. For this tutorial, I clicked in the yellow butterfly in the lower right corner of my paper. Your new color should appear in the bar that says “current”. Click “OK”.
10. I like to be able to see what I’m doing, so depending on what your current zoom level is, you might want to take a moment to enlarge your image. Click “View” then hover over “Zoom” and select the size you want on the right.
12. Because you have selected only the element, you can’t color outside the lines. However, in this particular case, I want to be a little careful around the other parts of the frame itself. Keep painting until the bow is the color you want!
13. Now to make life a little easier, go to “Select” and click on “None”. The marching ants should disappear.
14. Right click on the New Layer and choose “Merge Down”. Now your “New Layer” will disappear.
15. Now your layer is the full size of your canvas. So to make it easier to move your element around, you can re-size it. With your element layer selected, click on “Layer” and then “Autocrop Layer”. Now the layer is only the size of the element.
VOILA!! Now you can see the what the original element looked like, and my new re-colored element!
Now just so you know, this isn’t the ONLY way to re-color something. And sometimes, it just doesn’t give you the look you’re after. So I’ll briefly tell you some other options.
SELECTION OPTIONS (Step 7): If you are working with just a portion of the element, as I was with the bow on the frame, you may wish to use your fuzzy select tool to select only the portion of the element you are working with. Likewise, you may wish to use the lasso or free-select tool. Either will work just fine for this task. Just use what you feel comfortable with. If you are re-coloring the entire element, I would simply recommend using “Alpha to Selection”. Especially if the element has a lot of fine detail.
COLORING OPTIONs (Step 5): Sometimes using the “Hue” option for your layer mode just doesn’t work as well as you’d like. I ran into this while re-coloring this doily from Laura’s kit “Life’s Journey Never Forget”.
Then I went back to my doily and chose “Alpha to Selection” (because I wanted to re-color the whole thing, and this element has a lot of fine detail).
Then I selected my New Layer and added the color I wanted just as I did in the other method (steps 8-12). Once I finished adding color, I could adjust it by changing the opacity of my new layer.
If the portion of the element that you wish to recolor is properly selected, you may also choose to use the bucket fill tool.
Play around with this and see what works best for you. This is how I do it, but there are other ways too. Have fun, and happy scrapping!!