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by Wendi E. M. Scarth.


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Create A Sparkle 
Brush GIMP


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Create And Apply A Sparkle (Catch Light) Brush

Create & Apply A Sparkle Brush (Catch Light) GIMP

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This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to create and apply a Custom Sparkle Brush. To work along, you are welcome to download the Start Image I am working with Here. Unzip the file and open the image onto GIMP’s workspace.

Apply Brushes
Create A Multi Coloured Picture Brush
Create A Custom Brush From A Photograph
Create A Custom Brush From A Photo Object
Create, Save & Apply A Copyright Signature Brush
Create A Brush From A Transparent Clipboard Image

Read GIMP’s Comprehensive Brush Notes Here

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

Launch GIMP & Organise Its Workspace & Palettes

Open a shiny Start Image onto GIMP’s workspace - File then Open - Ctrl then O.

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).

Brush Palette Note
To bring up the Brushes Palette, from the top menu, choose Windows then choose Dockable Dialogues and then choose Brushes.

Now, from the foot of the Brushes Palette, click the following New Brush button.

And from the subsequent Brush Editor dialogue box, set the following Diamond settings. Then enter a unique name for your Sparkle Brush.

For personal Sparkle Brushes, it’s important to experiment with the Radius, Spikes, Hardness, Aspect Ratio and Angle settings.


Now that you have designed your Sparkle Brush, it will immediately appear in the Brushes Palette - as illustrated above-right

If you cannot see your new Sparkle Brush, then click the Brush Palette’s Refresh button.

Congratulations, it’s time to apply your new Sparkle Brush.

Learn How To Permanently Save Your Sparkle Brush Here.

It’s safe to close the Brush Editor dialogue box.

Set the Foreground Swatch to Solid White - or to a colour you would your Sparkle Brush to be.

(To set the Foreground to White, tap your Keyboard’s D Key then tap the X Key).

This type of Brush will always apply the Foreground Swatch’s Colour.

Now, from the left-side Toolbox, activate the Paintbrush Tool.

And enter the following Sparkle Brush settings into the Tool Options Box.


You can quickly Resize your Brush by tapping the Bracket Keys.

To apply your newly created Sparkle Brush, left-click over a shiny metallic area. To deepen the effect, left-click over the same area a further two or three times.


Reapplying the Brush will deepen its coverage.

Now, remembering to adjust the Brush Size wherever necessary, using the Bracket Keys: apply Sparkles (Catch Lights) over your image’s shiny reflective areas, such as the metallic helmet - as illustrated below. 

Congratulations, your work is complete and your image
is ready to save.

To permanently save your Sparkle Brush to GIMP’s Brushes Folder, apply your Brush onto a Transparent (Single) Layer. Then save it (top menu, then File then Save As) as a GIMP Brush gbr File, as
Demonstrated Here.

Now you are familiar with this technique, you can have lots of fun applying catch lights to your favourite photographs.

Wendi E. M. Scarth. 
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