How to Make Spirals in GIMP

Spiral images may elicit memories of childhood pinwheels and colorful kaleidoscopic images. Painting spirals from scratch requires a steady hand and the ability to draw perfect circles. GIMP, a free image-editing program, enables computer users to produce perfect spirals without ever touching a digital paintbrush. Simply activate GIMP’s “IWarp” filter, adjust a few controls and click your way to perfect spirals in minutes.

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Anyone can create a colorful spiral using GIMP filters.

Step

Launch GIMP, and Press "Ctrl" and "N" simultaneously to open the "Create a New Image" window. Type 500 in the "Width" text box and 500 in the "Height" text box. Click "OK" to close the window. The main canvas appears in a new window. Its canvas size is 500 x 500 pixels.

Step

Find the color box located near the center of GIMP's toolbox. The color box displays two overlapping rectangles. Click the top rectangle, and then click one of the colors that you see inside the “Change Foreground Color” window that opens. Click “OK” to close that window.

Step

Return to the toolbox. Click the "Bucket Fill" tool, and then click the canvas. GIMP fills the canvas with your selected color. Go back to the toolbox and click the top rectangle in the color box again to open the “Change Foreground Color” window. Click another color in that window, and then click “OK” to close the window and return to the canvas.

Step

Click the "Rectangle" tool located in the toolbox, and then draw a rectangle at the bottom of the canvas. Draw the rectangle so that it divides the canvas evenly in half vertically. Click the “Bucket Fill” tool, and then click anywhere inside the rectangle you drew on the canvas. GIMP fills the rectangle with that color. The canvas now consists of two rectangles. The rectangle on top is the first color you selected. The rectangle on the bottom is the second color.

Step

Click "Filters" to open a drop-down menu. Click "Distorts," and then click "IWarp" to open the IWarp window. A small preview of your image appears on the left side of the window. Slider controls appear on the right.

Step

Click the "Deform Radius" slider, hold down your left mouse button and drag the slider so that the value in the box next to the slider reads "150." Drag the "Deform Amount" slider until its value reads "0.20."

Step

Click "Swirl CCW" to select that option, and then click "Bilinear" to check that option if it is not checked. Click the center of the preview image on the left side of the window. The image will warp by a small amount. Continue clicking the same point. As you do, a spiral begins to form. Its arms consist of the two colors you selected for the image.

Step

Click "OK" when you are satisfied with the spiral. The "IWarp" window closes and applies your changes to the real image on the canvas.