This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to create a Butterfly Tattoo Collage. To work along, you are welcome to download the Start Images I am working with Here. Unzip the file and open the Start Images onto GIMP’s workspace.
Transparent Background Note
When utilising your own “Tattoo” ensure its background has been removed first.
You can quickly Undo a step at any time by pressing Ctrl then Z. Alternatively, click a previous Undo History snapshot - Windows then Dockable Dialogues then click Undo History. In addition, to Zoom in (or Zoom out) of your image; from the top menu, choose View then select a Zoom Tool from the subsequent drop-down list.
Understand Blend Modes
Launch GIMP & Organise Its Workspace & Palettes
Ensure the Layers and the Undo History Palettes are visible, and then drag them into position over your workspace - (Windows then Dockable Dialogues - then click Layers and Undo History).
To open the two Start Images onto GIMP’s workspace: from Gimps’ top menu choose File then Open - Ctrl then O. Now, from the Open Image dialogue box, navigate to the folder where your Start Images reside, then Ctrl-click to highlight both files - and then click Open.
Now, from the Butterfly Image’s Top Menu, choose Edit and then choose Copy.
Then from the Legs Image’s Top Menu, choose Edit and then choose Paste as and then choose New Layer - as illustrated below.
It’s safe to Close the original Butterfly Image. (Top menu, then File then Close). In addition, Maximise the Layered Image by clicking its Top Right Maximise tab.
Now, right-click over the Butterfly (Clipboard) Layer: and from the subsequent
drop-down list, choose Duplicate Layer. Repeat this as many times as required.
From the left-side Toolbox, activate the Move Tool.
Then left-click over each Butterfly (one at a time). And then separate and reposition each Butterfly over the Legs Image - as illustrated below.
Now, you will need to activate each Butterfly Image with Move Tool, as required - (or activate the respective Butterfly Layer in the Layers Palette). And then, working on individual Butterfly Images: from the left-side Toolbox, activate the Scale Tool - Shift then T. And then resize each Butterfly over the Legs Image.
Flip and Rotates Tools
You will also find the Flip and Rotate Tools beneficial.
My tutorial here demonstrates how to utilise the Scale and Rotate Tools in detail.
My tutorial here demonstrates how to utilise the Flip Tool.
Rotate And Scale Tools
After you have Resized, Rotated and Repositioned each Butterfly over the Legs Image, you are ready for the next step.
Note: Butterfly Overhang
When repositioning each Butterfly, be very careful not to leave any part of the Butterfly hanging outside the legs. However, don’t worry if, prior to Flattening The Layers, you notice parts of the Butterflies’ transcending the Legs, as you can quickly remove them with the Eraser Tool.
Now is a good time to save your Layered Image as a GIMP XCF File.
7/ Understand Blend Modes
Now, activate each Butterfly Layer in the Layers Palette - one at a time. Then change each Butterfly Image’s Blend Mode from Normal to Overlay - as illustrated below.
For personal blends, experiment with different Blend Modes and Layer Opacities.
To bring your Butterfly Tattoos to life, right-click over each Butterfly Layer - one by one. And from the subsequent drop-down list, click Duplicate Layer.
8/ Flatten Image
When you happy with your work: from the top menu, choose Image and then choose Flatten Image.
Congratulations, your Butterfly Collage is complete, and it is ready to save - top menu, then File then Save As.
Now you are more familiar with this technique, you can have lots of fun creating personalised Tattoos.
Wendi E. M. Scarth. Top of Page.