How To Change Eye Colors with GIMP

How To Change Eye Colors with GIMP 1024 602 Nick Saporito

In today’s tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how you can change the color of your subject’s eyes using GIMP. This is a rather simple tutorial that would be ideal for beginners and/or first-time users of GIMP.

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The following is just a brief outline of how we’ll achieve this effect. For complete step-by-step instructions, watch the video tutorial at the top of the page.

Changing Eye Colors in GIMP

The example image I’ll be using is below. If you’d like to follow along with what I’m doing, simply click the image to download a copy of it.

Example image

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The first thing we’ll do is create a duplicate of the layer and completely remove the saturation to make the image gray scale.

Grayscale photo

Next, we’ll add a black layer mask and use a soft white brush to color in the eyes, making them grayscale.

Gray eyes

Now we’ll use the Colorize feature to add color. Go to Colors > Colorize to bring up that menu.

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GIMP colorize menu

The colorize menu in GIMP

In the Colorize menu, slide the Hue left and right to cycle through all the different color options. You will notice your subject’s eye color changing as you do so, so long as you have “Preview” checked. Simply choose your desired color and click OK.

If you don’t like any of the color choices, you can click on the color stripe in the Colorize menu (depicted above as a green stripe) and it will allow you to choose a¬†specific RGB or HEX value.

Finish color change

Once you’ve applied your color, make sure to zoom in around the iris to make sure that none of the color is bleeding through into the pupil. If it is, use the Eraser tool (with a soft brush) to remove the unwanted bleed.

Color change before and after

Before and after

And that’s how you can go about changing eye colors with GIMP! If you have any questions or need clarification about anything just leave a comment below. As always, thanks for watching!


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Want to learn more about how GIMP works? Check out The GIMP Series – a comprehensive collection of over 60 videos where I go over all of the major tools, features and function in GIMP and explain what they do, how they work, and why they’re useful.


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Nick Saporito

Nick Saporito is a Philadelphia-based graphic designer who specializes in branding-specific design. A full portfolio and information regarding services offered can be found at

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