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GIMP Tutorial #16 – How to Draw Shapes Using the Selection Tools and Stroking Capabilities

GIMP is an astonishing free image manipulation program that offers great tools, effects and filters in an extremely easy to use environment with layer control and the possibility to expand its functionality via plugins.

Typically, one would use an external painting program to draw shapes like circles, triangles and rectangles and then import the drawing/image to GIMP as this free image editing program doesn't include the specific tools to do so. However, in this tutorial I'm going to show you how to use GIMP's selection tools and their stroking capabilities to draw shapes without the need of any program.

I cannot go any further without asking if you have GIMP installed and running in your computer. If you don't, you can get your free copy by clicking on the “Download” button above. InstallIQTM will carry out the setup process for you.

To get started you need to know that you can create selection shapes with any of the tools you'll see in a red frame in the next screen capture:

Assuming you have created a new image in GIMP (for instruction on how to check our previous tutorials) you'll select the selection tool that fits the shape you want to make, remember that if you press and hold the Shift key in your keyboard during the selection process will add this new selection to what is previously selected, on the other hand if you press and hold the control key (Ctrl) the new selection will be subtracted.
Here's a couple of example of that, first, on the left side I selected a rectangle and added an ellipse and then I selected a rectangle and subtracted an ellipse.

So, once you've made the shapes you wanted just right click on the image and go Edit -> Stroke Selection. The Stroke selection dialog will show up

Here you have two options Stroke line or Stroke with a paint tool. In the Stroke line option you can select line width (in several units like pixels, inches, millimeters etc.) and if you wish to use a solid color (determined by the current foreground color selection) or a pattern (determined by the current pattern selected) so maybe before doing the stroke you may want to adjust this parameters (line width, color and pattern) You can also select a line style among dashed, dotted and a few more.

As you can see there are a myriad of possibilities here.

If you decide to use a paint tool, for instance a paintbrush, you can choose to use brush dynamics emulation, the rest of the aspect adjustments will be done directly on the paintbrush tool options in its respective toolbox. Again, possibilities are countless.

Final Words

Now you know how to draw shapes directly with GIMP without even launching your painting program and in an extremely easy and simple way. Download this free image editor now and start drawing shapes like a pro in no time. Just click the “Download Now” link below, its free and fully tested to be virus and malware free.

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