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3.8. Airbrush Tool

Revision History
Revision $Revision: 1.55 $ 2006-02-05 j.h

Figure 8.29.  The Airbrush tool in Toolbox

The Airbrush tool in Toolbox

The Airbrush tool emulates a traditional airbrush. This tool is suitable for painting soft areas of color.

3.8.1. Activate Tool

  • The Airbrush Tool can be called from the image-menu: Tools/ Paint Tools/Airbrush .

  • The Tool can also be called by clicking the tool icon:

3.8.2. Key modifiers (Defaults)


The a key, or ] under GIMP-2.10, will change the active tool to Airbrush Tool.


Ctrl a changes the airbrush to a Color Picker.


Shift places the airbrush into straight line mode. Holding Shift while clicking Button 1 will generate a straight line. Consecutive clicks will continue drawing straight lines that originate from the end of the last line.

3.8.3. Options

Figure 8.30.  Airbrush options

Airbrush options
[Note] Note

See the Brush Tools Overview for a description of tool options that apply to many or all brush tools.


The available tool options can be accessed by double-clicking the airbrush Tool icon.


Opacity can be set in three ways: the slider bar, the spinner, and direct entry of the opacity percentage value. A higher opacity setting results in a more opaque fill and a lower setting results in a more transparent fill.


The Mode dropdown list provides a selection of paint application modes. A list of these modes can be found in the Glossary.


Opens a brush selection list. Using the slider, one of many styles of brush can be selected. At the bottom of the brush selector are options for how the selections are displayed.


The airbrush has a gradient property, which can be controlled from this drop-down list, which is identical to the standard gradient selector. The direction of the gradient is reversible using the checkbox to the right of the gradient selector.

Pressure Sensitivity

The Pressure Sensitivity section sets the sensitivity levels for input devices that support this option.

Fade Out

This option sets the stroke to fade out after the specified distance. The stroke will fade to transparency at the completion of the set distance.

Use Color from Gradient

With the checkbox activated, instead of using the foreground or background color drawing, the gradient colors are used. The gradient pattern may have repeat patterns, with selected cycle lengths.

The gradient is painted in a forward direction. The entire color sequence of the gradient will be rendered within the distance set.


Sawtooth Wave: Renders the gradient repeatedly. At each expiry of the distance that has been set, the gradient will begin rerendering from the beginning.

Triangular Wave: Renders the gradient repeatedly. At each expiry of the distance that has been set, the gradient will reverse direction and render in that direction until the expiry of the distance once more. At this point, it will begin again until the stroke is complete.


The Rate slider adjusts the speed of color application that the airbrush paints. A higher setting will produce darker brush strokes in a shorter amount of time.


This slider controls the amount of color that the airbrush paints. A higher setting here will result in darker strokes.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire