I am starting with a blank canvas in GIMP. I want to create a gradient border around the entire perimeter of the image. I am not looking for fade to transparency or feathering the edges (which there are many tutorials for).

I want to create a Gradient using the gradient tool that goes from foreground color to background color. Unfortunately the gradient tool only allows you to do 1 of the 4 edges. How can I do this using the gradient tool?

Here is the bad part. I've done this before and can't remember how I did it. I attached a picture so you can see what I'm trying to do. I need to do it again because I want to change the color.

enter image description here

  • There is a "square" shape setting in the Gradient tool options in GIMP, but it would need to be applied to a square and not a rectangle. But your example doesn't look like it was created that way. See example here
    – Billy Kerr
    Mar 4, 2020 at 1:12

2 Answers 2


Another method:

  1. Set foreground/backgroud to the two colors
  2. Select>All
  3. Start the Blend tool, with
    • gradient: FG to BG (RGB)
    • shape: Shaped (Spherical)
  4. Click and drag on the image, this will create a shaped gradient, as well as adding a control line.
  5. Click on the middle of the line to add a control point, and slide it to adjust the color transition. You can also change the blend characteristic (used Spherical(decreasing))

enter image description here

  1. Strike [enter] or double-click when happy with the result
  2. You can apply a bit of Gaussian blur to the result:

enter image description here

  • This answer actually does what the question asks instead of providing a workaround and this also works with arbitrary selection shapes! Saved my day. :^)
    – RuRo
    Jan 27, 2022 at 20:51

Have 2 empty layers, both full sized and with alpha channel or at least the top layer must have alpha channel

Fill the bottom layer with the background color.

Make a rectangular selection, smaller than the layer and fill it with the foreground color in the top layer:

enter image description here

Blur the top layer:

enter image description here

Keep the layers separate as long as you are not sure if some adjustments are needed.

  • Thanks. That works. I thought I did it the first time with the gradient tool, but this works just as well.
    – Carl
    Mar 4, 2020 at 1:00
  • Only problem is I'm not getting to blur like you are. "Make a rectangular selection, smaller than the layer and fill it with the foreground color:" Is this on the top or bottom later?
    – Carl
    Mar 4, 2020 at 1:21
  • The yellowish rectangle is in the top layer. Both layers must be as big. This doesn't work if the top layer hasn't room for the blur.
    – user82991
    Mar 4, 2020 at 6:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.