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How to make a star brush in GIMP 2.8 tutorial

Updated on April 24, 2013
Star brush created in GIMP 2.8
Star brush created in GIMP 2.8

In this tutorial I will show you how to create a star brush from scratches in GIMP 2.8
This brush is very effective and can be used for many purposes like filling a text with stars, create a background with stars and so on.

If you don’t have GIMP yet, you can download it from here: GIMP

Step 1

Open GIMP, create a new file by going to File / New 500 x 500px.

Create a new Transparent Layer by going to Layer / New Layer / Transparency see fig 1.

Fig.1  Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8
Fig.1 Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8

Step 2

Take Brush Tool, go to Tool Options click on brush, a small window will be opened then click on the small brush (first icon at the bottom on the right) see fig 2.

Fig. 2 Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 2 Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8

Brush Tab will be opened. Next click on the second icon at the bottom of Brush Tab see fig 3, it will open Brush Editor.

Fig. 3 Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 3 Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8

Step 3

Give a name to your brush, next set: (see fig 4)

Shape – Diamond (third icon)

Radius – 60.0

Spikes – 5

Hardness – 1.00

Aspect Ratio – 2.9

Angle – 90.0

Spacing – leave on default

Fig. 4  Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 4 Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8

Step 4

Go to Tool Options, set Size to 500px, Foreground colour to Black and click once on the canvas to create a star see fig 5.

Fig. 5  Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 5 Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8

Step 5

Right click on the Layer with star, select Alpha to Selection. Keeping the selection delete the layer with star as we do not need it any more, go to Layer / Delete Layer.

Step 6

Now we are going to convert the selection to path and back which will help us to avoid jagged edges of the star. Jagged edges become most visible when brush is used at small size.

Create a new Transparent Layer by going to Layer / New Layer / Transparency.

Go to Select / To path.

Now remove selection go to Select / None.

Next go to Select / From path.

Step 7

Take Bucket Tool, make sure your Foreground is set to Black and fill the selection.

Now remove selection go to Select / None.

Step 8

Take Scale Tool go to Tools / Transform Tools / Scale. Set Width: 50px, Height: 50px / Scale see fig 6.

Fig. 6  Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 6 Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8

Step 9

Go to Tools / Transform Tools / Align. Click on the star to activate the tool, go to Tool Options and click on the middle icon in the top row. Your star should now be moved to the middle of the page see fig 7.

Fig. 7  Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 7 Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8

Step 10

Make sure layer with star is selected, go to Layer / Duplicate Layer.

Take Move Tool, click on the star to activate the tool then using the arrow keys on your keyboard, move the star down until it is right below the first star see fig 8.

Fig. 8  Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 8 Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8

Step 11

Right click on the top layer select Merge down. Now you should have only two layers: one with stars and background one.

Duplicate layer with stars by going to Layer / Duplicate Layer. Then repeat the previous step which is take Move Tool, click on the stars to activate the tool then using the arrow keys on your keyboard, move the stars down until they are right below the first two stars see fig 9.

Fig. 9  Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 9 Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8

Step 12

Now repeat “Step 11” 3-4 times, depending on your preferences of the length for the line with stars.

Step 13

Go to Image / Flatten Image.

Go to Image / Mode / Grayscale.

Go to Image / Autocrop Image see fig 10.

Fig. 10  Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8
Fig. 10 Making a star brush in GIMP 2.8

Step 14

Now we are going to save the brush. If you are using GIMP 2.8 go to Edit / Copy, Edit / Paste as New Brush. Give a name to your brush, click OK.

If you are using an older version of GIMP, go to File / Save as / User / Gimp 2.6 / Brushes. Give a name to your brush, next select GIMP brush gbr for extension.

This is it, now you can use the brush.

Important notes:

Make sure to change Mode of the image back to RGB by going to Image / Mode / RGB.

If you are using an older version of GIMP, don’t forget to refresh your brushes!

A few tips on how to use such brush:

  1. To change colour of the brush, just set your desire colour as foreground.
  2. If you want to paint with gradient go to Tools Options and in Dynamics select Paint from gradient. Next click on the Dynamics Options and by clicking on Color Options select the gradient of your choice.
  3. Play with fade length, the bigger the number, the smoother the gradient will be.
  4. Also in Brushes tab you can change the spacing, the bigger the number the further will stars be one from another one.

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