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by Wendi E. M. Scarth.

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Face Painting GIMP


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Face Painting (Face And Flag Blend)
Beginners Plus (Confident Beginners)

Face Painting (Blend Modes) GIMP

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This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to blend two images to create a face painting effect. To work along, you are welcome to download the Start Images I am working with HereUnzip the file and open the Start Images onto GIMP’s workspace.

This website
Here has a large selection of world flags.

Preparation Notes
This type of blend works best when the subject’s background is very dark, or black. Therefore, when working with your own photograph - (for optimum results), remove the subject’s background using your choice of
Background Removal Tool. And then replace the background with a Solid Black Fill. In addition, for optimum results, remove your Start Image’s Colour - Remove An Image’s Colour Tutorial.

Resize Images Note
The Start Images I have provided in this tutorial are exactly the same size. When working with your images, for optimum results, resize them so they are exactly the same size. Link Here to learn how to resize two images equally.

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.

Resize Images
The Eraser Tool
Understand Layers
Understand Blend Modes
Remove Colour From Photographs
Resize Two Layered Images Equally
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 choose 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 Flag Image’s Top Menu, choose Edit and then choose Copy.

Then from the Face 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 Flag Image - top menu, then File then Close

Now that you have Layered your Face and Flag Start Images, you are ready for the next step.

It’s a good time to save your Layered Image as a

Understand Blend Modes
Now, change the Top Layer’s (The Flag’s) Blend Mode from Normal to Overlay - as demonstrated below.


Changing the Blend Mode to Overlay blends the Flag’s pixels the Face’s pixels - as demonstrated below.

For personal blends, always experiment with different
Blend Modes and Layer Opacities.

Reducing The Flag Layer’s Opacity Example
(Layer Opacity Slider)
Reducing the Flag Layer’s Opacity reduces the Flag’s saturation - as demonstrated below.

  opacity 66 blend face

Eraser Tool Note
(Eraser Tool Tutorial)
Unwanted Flag pixels (for example, from over the eyes) can be removed using the Eraser Tool.


Zoom Tip
You will find the Eraser Tool’s application much easier if you enlarge your image by Zooming into it.


You can quickly Resize the Eraser Brush’s Size by tapping the Square (Outer) Bracket Keys.

Now is a good time to save your Layered Image as a

5/ Flatten Image
When you happy with your work: from the top menu, choose Image and then choose Flatten Image.

Sharpen Tip
To create extra impact, apply a
Sharpening Filter of your choice - Filters then Enhance.

Congratulations, your Face Painting Blend 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 photo blends.

Face Painting (Blend Modes) GIMP

Wendi E. M. Scarth. 
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