In today’s tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how you can use GIMP to design a logo comprised of a single letter with a dripping paint appearance.
Upon first impression, creating a design like this seems quite intricate and time-consuming considering the color composition. It’s actually quite simple, though!
Step 1: Find A Colorful Sunset Image
This is the secret ingredient of the design.
Find a picture of a nice sunset that utilizes an array of colors from a similar spectrum. I chose this particular image because the spectrum of pinks, purples and violets make for a nice touch. I would advise avoiding images that contain color combinations that contrast a bit too much, like blues and oranges. You’re better off using an image that has a fluid gradient of red and orange, or purple and blue.
If you’d like to use the image I used in this tutorial, it can be downloaded here. I suggest downloading the highest resolution that Pixabay offers. You’re going to need it!
Once we have our image chosen, we’re going to use it as the basis of our makeshift paint.
Step 2: Place Your Text Over The Image
Simply grab the text tool and type out your letter/word in your chosen font. The color doesn’t matter, but as far as font choice goes, I would recommend using a cursive or hand-drawn style of font. That seems to work best in emulating a brush stroke.
Place the text over an area of the image where there’s a nice selection of colors, as you see in the above example. I placed the letter L over the sky portion of the image where there’s a good variety of colors.
Once you’ve done that, create a selection from the letter, turn off the visibility of that layer, then invert the selection and delete the selection from the image layer so that only your letter with the sunset image within it remains as depicted below. Make sure your image layer has an alpha channel.
Step 3: Use The iWarp Tool To Distort The Image
Move your letter/word towards the center of the page, then go to Filters -> Distorts -> iWarp.
In GIMP, the iWarp extension is somewhat similar to the Liquify tool in Adobe Photoshop. We’re going to use this tool to create some smudges along the contours of the letter. This is going to distort the sunset image so that it appears as if it’s comprised of paint.
This may take some practice before you get a good feel for it. There’s obviously a freehand element involved with this. I would recommend adjusting the Deform Radius to suit your particular image. The deform radius represents the size of the area that gets distorted when you click and drag on the selection.
I would also recommend bumping the Deform Amount up pretty high, like 0.80 as you see in my example. The deform amount basically represents the length that the paint streaks will be, and since we’re trying to emulate dripping paint, we’re going to want long streaks.
The Finished Product
Once you’re finished tweaking the design within the iWarp window, go ahead and click OK to finalize it, then add a background of your choosing.
For complete step-by-step instructions along with voice-over narration, check out the video tutorial…
Become A Master of Adobe Illustrator!
Want to learn more about how Adobe Illustrator works? Check out my Illustrator Explainer Series - a comprehensive collection of over 100 videos where I go over every tool, feature and function and explain what it is, how it works, and why it's useful.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read affiliate disclosure here.