GIMP, as wonderful as the free image editing program is, it lacks a few of the tools that dedicated Photoshop users have come to use and love. This proves frustrating for many who switch to it from Photoshop, and has caused many to turn back to the commercial program.

If you’re new to GIMP and have used it for any period of time, you’re likely to have noticed the lack of a history brush. The history brush in Photoshop and photoshop cs6 mac is used to paint over a part of an edited photo to reveal it’s original state. This is used for a number of things, but one of the most popular is using it to paint over one object in a desaturated (black and white) photo to introduce selective color.

In GIMP, it is harder to pull of this effect, as there is no history brush. If you convert a photo to black and white, then use the eraser, you’ll end up with a completely erased photo. How do you overcome this problem? Read on to find out. This tutorial will demonstrate the method to achieve a partially colored grayscale photo, but it can be altered to work with any type of history brush work.

Items Needed:

  • Color Photo
  • Computer
  • GIMP

Step 1:

You’ll need to download the program if you don’t already have it. Be sure to download GTK work environment first, or it won’t work. You can download GTK from the same website as the GIMP program.

Step 2:

You’ll need a color photo, which can be any photo, any size. Note that because of the eraser work involved, it’s generally better to have a large resolution photo so you can zoom up on the finer, smaller portions of it when erasing.

Step 3:

Open the ‘layers’ dialog box by pressing CRTL+L. In the layers box, duplicate the photo layer. Due this by clicking the button with two monitors pictured in the layers box, or by right clicking on the layer and choosing ‘duplicate’.

Step 4:

Desaturate the top layer, which means turning it into a gray scale black and white photo. You do this by navigating to the ‘color’ options on the photo menu. Towards the middle of the menu is the ‘desaturate’. Choose this. A box will appear asking you in what way you want to desaturate it – choose any of the three and hit OK.

Step 5:

Make sure the gray layer is on top of the colored layer. Zoom in on the object you want to color. Use the pen tool to select around the area of whatever it is you want to color. Once finished, double click on the pen tool button to open it’s options. Choose the ‘selection from path’ button. Open the path dialog box, and delete the current paths so only the selection remains.

Step 6:

Choose the eraser tool and a brush to use, and start erasing inside the selection that you made. This will erase only what’s inside the selection.

Once you’ve erased what’s inside the selection, choose SELECT and then NONE to get rid of the selection.