How to Do Pop Art in GIMPby Naomi Bolton
The free image editing software GIMP is a great tool to create eye-catching visuals without the cost involved with similar paid products like Adobe Photoshop. GIMP has the ability to work with different image layers in order to create unique visual effects. This allows you to create images with a 1950s-style pop art feel which can then be used for an advertising campaign to promote your business. You do not need any drawing skills to accomplish this, as you can use a stock image or original photograph as the basis for your pop art.
Right-click on your desktop and then select "New" and "Folder" from the list of options. Type "Popart" (without the quotation marks) as the name of the folder and then press "Enter."
Right-click the photo or image that you want to use in the pop art and select "Copy" from the list of options. Right-click anywhere inside the "Popart" folder and select "Paste." This allows you to work with the copied photo or image and preserves the original so that if you want to re-use it again you have a backup.
Download and install the latest version of GIMP (see the link in Resources) if it is not already on your computer and then double-click the GIMP icon on your desktop to launch the program.
Click "File" and then "Open" to select the image in the "Popart" folder to work with. Click the "Duplicate Layer" button at the bottom of the "Layers" tab twice so that you have three identical layers in total.
Double-click the name of the original image on the "Layers" tab and then type "Original" as the layer name. Do the same for the other two layers, but call one "Layer 1" and the other "Layer 2" to avoid confusion. Click the eye icon next to the original layer on the "Layers" tab to hide the layer from view.
Click "Layer 2" on the "Layers" tab (the one at the top of the list of layers) and then click "Colors" from the file menu. Select "Invert" from the list of options displayed. Click "Filters" from the file menu and then select "Blur" from the list of options. Select "Gaussian Blur" from the list of blur options and then change the value next to Horizontal and Vertical to 7.0 pixels. Click "OK" to commit to the changes.
Click the drop-down menu next to "Mode" on the "Layers" tab and select "Dodge" from the list of options. Press "Ctrl-M" to open the Merge Layers window. Click the "Merge" button to combine the two duplicate layers that you have created. The Original layer remains unchanged but Layer 1 and Layer 2 are combined into a single layer with the name Layer 1.
Select "Layer 1" and then click "Colors" from the file menu. Click the "Threshold..." option and drag the slider towards the right to increase the amount of detail in the image. The end result is a black and white image that looks like a line drawing of your original image. Click "OK" to apply the changes once you are satisfied with the amount of detail in the drawing.
Click the "Create new layer" button on the Layers tab. Enter "Matte Color" as the layer name and select "Transparency" from the Layer Fill Type section of the New Layer window. Click the "OK" button to commit the changes. Select "Multiply" from the Mode options on the Layer tab.
Click the Paintbrush tool from the Toolbox window and then double-click on the "Foreground color" box to select a different color. Use the Paintbrush tool to color in parts of your image on the Matte Color layer. For a pop art effect, use flat colors without any shading for the foreground objects that you want to focus on and use a single color for the background.
Press "Ctrl-M" and then click "Merge" to combine the Matte Color layer with Layer 1. Click the eye icon next to the Original layer to make it visible. Click and drag the "Original" layer on the Layers tab over Layer 1. Select "Overlay" from the list of options on the Mode menu.
Click "Filters" from the File menu and then click "Distorts" to show a list of options. Select "Newsprint..." and then drag the slider next to Cell Size to the right until you are satisfied with the image in the Preview pane. Click "OK" to commit to the changes.
Click "File" and then "Save As" from the file menu. Enter a name and location for your pop art image and then click the "Save" button.