There is a colorize tool in GIMP but it only provides HSV. Most of time I want to colorize with RGB so I'm using RapidTables' RGB to HSV color conversion.

Is there way to colorize with RGB only?

  • Thanks for your info! Is there someone who can move the question? I don't have privilege for it.
    – Tetsu
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 4:36
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    I have flagged this question for moderator attention. They will decide if this question will be moved or not. Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 9:07
  • If there is an accepted answer then there is no reason to migrate unless your comments are from photo.stack
    – user9447
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 12:40

2 Answers 2


The inbuilt Colorize Tool from Gimp is hardcoded to only allow only colorization by hue, saturation, and lightness. There is no colorize tool which allows setting color exactly by RGB values.

Still, it is very easy to colorize a greyscale image using the Bucket Fill tool where we can define any foreground color not only by HSV but also using RGB, a HTML color noration, the colour wheel, or the color picker tool.

In addition, we are able to adjust the opacity of the colorize effect, and we do have several fill mode options:

  • Bucket fill mode Addition (foreground fill to RGB 255,0,0, opacitiy 100):

    enter image description here

  • Bucket fill mode Color (foreground fill to RGB 255,0,0, opacity 100):

    enter image description here

Because bucket fill is so easy to configure and use I never missed another colorize tool.

Depending on your needs you may also find a plugin to add more sophisticated colorize tools (e.g. colorizing with more than one color in the G'Mic tools)


A third method is to use Color>Map>Gradient map on a Grayscale version. The simpler method uses a two-colors gradient (black to color, or color to white). Better results are obtained with a three-color gradient: black-to-color-to-white.

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