PYO Planning Tutorial using GIMP

This is a tutorial on how I use the image manipulation program, GIMP, to plan out or test possible color schemes and combinations on PYO statues before I commit to paint. I do all of my planning on my computer. This tutorial may not work for your phone or tablet.

You’ll need to download the program GIMP, found here.

When you first open the program, this is what you should see. We will be looking mostly at the areas I have circled in red below.

You’ll need to have an image of a blank Windstone PYO. You can either take your own picture of the piece, or you can use an image from the Windstone website. I use these because they have a nice, clean black background that will not show any “overspray” of colors that I “paint” over it. The method that I use to test schemes renders any color on a black background as invisible.

Import your image to the program. I am going to use a Rock Dragon image.

I start by creating a new layer on top of the existing image. I never “paint” directly over the image, I use layers so I can use one file for any of my test schemes.
At the top of the program, click “Layer”, then “New Layer”.

In the dialog box that pops up, you can add a layer name or color tag if you wish! You can also change the “Mode” on this box, but I’ll show you how to do it on the next screen. You can change nothing on this screen if you wish, and press “OK”.

On the right side of your screen, you should see your layers. Click on the dropdown box that says “Mode” and select “Multiply”. Make sure that you have the layer selected that you just created.

Now, you are able to apply color onto this layer. You will see that the color that you select and apply is slightly darker than you may be expecting. This is the nature of the “multiply” filter, but it allows us to paint onto the statue while still seeing the texture of the statue itself.

You can change the color of your brush, and your brush size and shape on the left side of the screen.

You can continue to add layers to change different parts of your scheme if you want to try multiple combinations or even entirely different scheme ideas. On the right side of the screen where your layers are located, you can click the eye icon to show or hide different layers.

Be aware that you have to have the layer selected AND visible in order to make changes to that layer.
Also of note: using pure black will essentially “erase” the statue behind it. I generally just use a dark grey to signify black in a color scheme. Keep in mind: this process is not perfect, and my color schemes ALWAYS look different when actually applied in person! I use this process to help me decide on placement, and general color scheme for a piece. This is not an exact science, just a helpful tool to get us to the final product.

I would recommend saving your file as an xcf file (the default GIMP file type) so that you can reuse this system on the same image and go back to your schemes in the future. In order to save a file as a png, jpg, or another type of widely used image filetype, you’ll need to export the image. Click File, then “Export As”.