Tutorial Gimp: Make a transparent gradient

An easy way to make a transparent gradient with gimp using the layers function


For my posting thumbnails i wanted to use a transparent gradient  (my pictures should fade from opaque to transparent). And while i like open source and dont have photoshop at home, i thought, that i could do that with  gimp. Gimp offers here with its layer masks a simple and effective way to implement this.

This  tutorial will show you how to do it.
At the end you can download a sample-xcf (gimp-format) file.


Gimp and the appropriate operating system;)

Download Linux repositories or https://www.gimp.org/downloads/

Download Windows https://www.gimp.org/downloads/

On Windows you should know that this is not an official installer.



1.    Create a new image

2.    If the Layers panel is not displayed:

Show the menu via “Windows → Dockable Dialogs → Layers”.

It looks then as follows

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3     We fill now the image with a color – for example blue

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4     and … add a layer mask.

Right click on Layer → Layer Mask → Add alpha channel of the layer

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The layers panel should look like on the screenshot below and your image  should be transparent now

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5.     Now switch in the toolbox  your colors to black and white

(little hint → goes pretty fast when you press the small black and white button)

 Black and white

6.   Now just use the blend tool / gradient tool from toolbox and then you already have a nice transparent gradient

Because we use layers , you can use these steps above to fade out a picture  or fade an image into another image.

2 Replies to “Tutorial Gimp: Make a transparent gradient”

  1. Thanks for this! I followed your post on Stack Overflow to this. The other (accepted) post didn’t help me, but this one did. Thanks brotha!