On to Page 16:


We’ve got ribbons (#91, use ganged like this or as a single border); another twirly (#93), and a bunch of wildly obvious tiny spot patterns (#94, six in one plate). I’ve used all of these teenies in my old projects, they’re very handy for filling in spaces too small to use other, larger patterns to any good effect. And they’re also very useful for background fields in voided work. It’s interesting that #96 at a distance reads like a basket weave. You can see that in the thumbnail.

GIMP Charting Tutorial 103 – Building the Dot Layer

O.k. Yesterday we opened the program, opened the Layers window and set our grid spacing constraints. Today we get to use those things to add a layer called “Dots”:

LAYER-New Layer

You should see this dialog box:

12-7-2010 9-01-32 PM.jpg

Type in “Dots” for the layer name. Width and height should both be 320 pixels. The fill type should be “Transparency.” Except for the dots we’re going to draw, this layer should be see-through. Once you confirm that the settings are correct, press “OK.”

You’ll see that the new layer has been added to the layer management window:


The shaded area on the layer management window shows you which layer is currently active – the one on which all changes you are making will be stored. You can hop among layers by clicking on them in this window

Now we can add our dots. To make the dots I’m adding easier to see, I’ve taken the highly optional step of making my original grid indicators appear in red (this is back on the EDIT-Preferences-Default Grid dialog. Foreground color = red).

To add dots, I select the pencil tool on the Toolbox window. Tool-specific options will appear below the cluster of tool icons every time you activate a tool.

To make our dots, we want to use the following pencil settings:

Mode = Normal

Opacity = 100.0

Brush = Circle (01) – that’s chosen by clicking on the little square and picking the SMALLEST available dot.

Scale = 1.00


Now we can begin adding dots. Again to make life easier, zoom in on the active image:

VIEW-Zoom-2:1 (200%)

You can also increase the size of your drawing window so that the entire editable area is visible.

Now using the pencil tool, click on EVERY ONE of the background grid dots. “Oh no! This is tedious”, you say. You’re right. We’re going to cheat.

Click on a bunch of them, drawing about 3 or 4 rows of 6-10 dots. Now we’re going to copy and paste them. Because we’ve got our grid set we will be able to see exactly where to paste them.

Select the square selection tool (the dotted line box in the upper left corner of the toolbox. Center the cross hair cursor it provides on your upper/leftmost dot, and drag the purple selection box to encompass all of the dots you wish to copy. (Make sure that the upper left corner is exactly centered on one of your drawn dots.) Hit <ctrl>C to copy.


Now hit <ctrl>V to paste. The new dots will appear exactly on top of the old dots, making everything look “twinkly.”

Move your cursor back over the area that’s twinkling until it turns into a little four-way compass arrow, now click and drag the twinkly dots on top of your grid dot indicators, taking care that they align exactly. If for any reason this goes wrong, do not despair. GIMP offers (near) unlimited <ctrl>Z undo.

I repeat this process, grabbing ever larger areas of dots and pasting them until my entire field is filled. Needless to say, for a whole page this can get tiresome, but once that page is set up and saved it’s there for infinite re-use. Speaking of which – make sure you save your work before going on.

In the interests of making these posts manageable, I’ll end here. Tomorrow we build the drawing and donut mask layers.

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One response

  1. […] GIMP Charting Tutorial 103. Building the dot layer of your template. […]

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