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Simple GIMP Tutorial Mario Bros. How to Make Your Own Signature Art

Updated on October 15, 2017

What is this tutorial about?

This is a tutorial for creating a forum signature with GIMP. I'm taking into consideration people who are completely new, but I will not lie, this tutorial contains things that may be confusing for newbies. On the other hand if you know a few things about computers and some photo-editing software you should be able to follow along fine.

What Is GIMP And How Do I Download 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: . 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 here: .


Step 1: Obtaining Your Free Brushes

For this tutorial you will need a couple brushes that don't come with GIMP. Don't worry, though, there's plenty of places to get free brushes on the internet. For this tutorial I'll be using grunge brushes from . Download the brush pack and copy paste the brushes into C:\Users\{user account}\.gimp-2.8\brushes. (That's the default path, you may have installed yours in a different directory. Just make sure the brushes are in the brush folder.)

Step 2: Creating a new GIMP Image

Let's start off by creating a new GIMP image. Make the size 300 x 150 pixels. ( you can make yours larger if you please, I like to keep my siggys small so they're not intrusive). Next you're going to want to create a new layer. You can press ctrl+shift+n or go to Layers>New Layer. A new layer will appear in your Layer window to the right. Select the new layer you have created. You've finished step two, congratulations!

Step 3: Starting Your Background

Now that you have your new brushes added to your gimp folder, it's time to start painting! Select your new brushes. The pack came with quite a few, which one you use is up to you! Select a light gray color and put the opacity to around 40.0 or so. Start painting! You should end up with something like the image below. Yours may look different but that's okay! You don't want to make something exactly the same as someone else, anyway, do you?


Step 4: Duplicating Your Layer And Adding Blur

Next you're going to want to duplicate your layer. Right click the layer and select "Duplicate Layer". Select your duplicated layer. After selecting the layer go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. I put my setting around 10 and 10. You can mess with this a little bit to reach your desired effect. Next, In the layers window click the arrow and select "Difference". After you have selected "Difference" right click your duplicate layer and select "Merge Down".

Step 5: Adding Color

It's important to keep in mind what color your render will be. Since we are using a render of Mario I'm going to select a blue color. With the background layer selected go to Tools>Color Tools>Colorize. Mess around with the "hue", "saturation" and "lightness' bars until you get the color you want. Mine ended up like the image below. Again, yours doesn't have to be exactly like mine, in fact, I encourage you make something unique!


Step 6: Adding Your Render

Okay let's get our render. I got mine from: . After you have obtained your render it's time to load it into GIMP. Go to File>Open As Layers and open your file. Most likely, your render wil bee too large. To resize it select the resize tool, shown in the picture to the right to the right and resize to what you want. Mine came out like this.



Now, you gotta make a new layer. Copy and paste your Mario into this layer over and over and over again. Your new layer should look like the image to the right. Your layers should look like the image below.


Select the layer with all the Marios. Then go to Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set it to 20 or higher. Make sure your single Mario layer is above the rest of the layers.

Next, select the original Mario layer and duplicate it (right click the layer select "Duplicate Layer"). Now go to Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Set both axis as 19 or around there. This will add a nice little glow effect around your Mario (or whatever render you picked). Feel free to mess around with these setting to reach your desired results. Experimentation, I have come to find, leads to some awesome new things.

Step 7: Adding Text

Now time to add text. Select the text tool (the big letter "A" in the toolbox. Select a font you like. Select where you'd like to put your text. Type what you want. You can even go to FiIlters>Light and Shadow>Drop Shadow. Mess around with settings, trial and error. You'll come up with something good, trust me, just try. After doing that save your image as a jpeg or as a png file. You've completed your signature, CONGRATULATIONS!!

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    • ZachKaer profile image

      Zachariah Kaer 4 years ago from Ohio

      Awesome, Im glad you found it useful. Im highly skilled in GIMP, if you need some graphics or any help creating an image I will gladly help you out.

    • drpennypincher profile image

      Dr Penny Pincher 4 years ago from Iowa, USA

      Thanks for the tutorial- showing how to add the brushes and how to work with layers is really useful. I used Photoshop in the distant past and have been wanting to learn to use GIMP.