An intro to GIMP
What Is GIMP And How Do I Get It?
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an image editing program.GIMP is released under the GPLv3 license as free and open-sourced software. For more information on GPLv3 license see here: http://goo.gl/JtfPQ . You can do many things with GIMP, including: cropping, editing, free-form drawing, digital painting, resizing, converting image formats and many more tasks. If you know what Adobe Photoshop is, think of GIMP as a kind of free version of that program.
Since GIMP is released under the GPLv3 license it is free to download, use, study, share (copy), and modify the software. You can download GIMP from Gimp.org here: http://www.gimp.org/downloads/ .
Getting What you Need.
First of all, you need GIMP. Once downloaded and installed there are many things (free things) that can be obtained from the internet allowing you to increase the usability of GIMP.
The brush is an essential cog in the machine known as GIMP. The brush is exactly that, a brush, your digital paintbrush. It's an essential tool that I consider the basis of GIMP. Basically a brush is an image, simple or complex, that can be applied to your digital canvas by clicking your mouse.If you are familiar with the program Paint by Microsoft you can understand what a brush is. Paint uses very basic brushes; circles , squares and different lines. This is the foundation of brushes in GIMP. In GIMP it can be a circle, a square, a line, a strand of hair or even a high quality graphic.
Where To Get The Brush You Need
Obtaining different brush styles for GIMP is fairly easy. You can simply use a search engine and type in: "Free GIMP Brushes". A number of results will appear. For this tutorial we will be using three different brush packs downloaded from Deviantart.com. The first brush pack is from tycity.You can download it from here: http://goo.gl/Rbz3jB Remember where you saved this file at, you will need to access it later. His brush pack is free to use but I suggest making a Deviantart account and personally thanking him and the other users from which you download. These brushes are free to use for personal use only. You can't use these brushes to make an image and sell it, for example. The second brush pack you will need is a splatter brush set that can be downloaded from here: http://goo.gl/Lkpp8 The final and third brush pack can be downloaded from here: http://goo.gl/HjDfu .
Adding Your New Brush Pack To GIMP
Now that you have downloaded your new brushes for use in GIMP you will need to put them in the correct folder in order to use them in the GIMP program. These brush packs are in .zip file format. What is .zip? .ZIP is an archive file format that allows you to compress data without losing any of it. Basically, it makes a big file smaller. To open these files you will need 7zip a free program that can turn a .zip file back into it's original form, in our case, GIMP brushes. 7zip is free and can be obtained from http://www.7-zip.org/ . After installing 7zip locate your downloaded brush packs. The default download location is C:/Users/"your user name"/Downloads. Double click the folder and it will open the archive. Now we will open the folder that the brushes you downloaded need to go in. The default location is C:/Users/"your user name"/.gimp/brushes. Select all the brushes in the open archive and drag-and-drop them into the brushes folder. Repeat these step for all the downloaded brush files.
What is a render? A render is an image that has been cut out of it's original environment. It's like cutting around the edges of a picture in a magazine you want but you don't want the background. Renders are used in many forms of digital artwork. You must always follow copyright laws when using renders. Mostly, it's fine to use any render as long as you are not selling the image but this is not always true. Make sure you directly visit a site you get a render from and read the copyright information on the image. Renders are very easy to find on the internet for free. You can usually use an image search engine. To find the render type "render" after what you are searching for. In this project we will be using one render of a skateboarder. You can download this image from my photobucket here: http://goo.gl/575tcS . Remember where you save the file, you will need to access it later.