How do I create an 8x8 square brush, with no smoothing in GIMP? Do I actually have to create a custom brush? You'd think that the pencil brush would work but the size seemingly doesn't line up with the actual dimensions of the square it makes.

I.e. The pixel brush at size 11 is a 9x9 square? What? Size 10 is 7x7 so it is skipping even numbers for some reason.

I'm on GIMP 2.8.14.

enter image description here

  • 2
    I've encountered the same issue. The workaround I would use is drawing an 8x8 box using the pencil tool, copying that box, and then using the "clipboard" brush with the size set to 8. Faster than creating a brush if this is a one-off type of thing. Nov 7, 2014 at 19:38
  • @Scribblemacher method works. Can you tell us something about you efforts? Some screenshots? Nov 8, 2014 at 12:08
  • I'm sorry, I'm not able to replicate your problem, perhaps it's related to GIMP version. In my version (2.8.10 for Windows) I have created a brush from the clipboard (ref. Scribblemacher), and tested it with the pencil tool varying the size from 1 to 15 px. You can see the result here: download it and measure the boxes. Nov 8, 2014 at 23:37
  • Btw thanks both for the workaround. I will use that!
    – user29318
    Nov 9, 2014 at 3:13
  • In my research I had not looked at this related Q on the side. A car that uses square wheels cannot run evenly.
    – user29318
    Nov 9, 2014 at 20:28

3 Answers 3


As of GIMP 2.8.4, this doesn't seem to be possible for the odd quirk the pencil tool has of skipping even numbered sizes.

For a workaround (without creating a custom brush):

  1. Use the pencil tool with the pixel brush to draw an 8x8 box.
  2. Select and copy the box you just drew
  3. Using the "clipboard brush" set the brush size to 8.

This has the disadvantage that you are stuck with whatever color you copied to the clipboard.

  • Do you know if there are plans to resolve this quirk?
    – Jet Blue
    Dec 11, 2017 at 23:31

If you want a precise size use your brush with Pencil Tool instead Paintbrush Tool.

  • This doesn't solve the problem in the question. The user needs a brush. Also, in testing (GIMP 2.8.4), the pencil tool can't be set to 8x8 pixels By increasing its size, it perplexingly goes from 7x7 to 9x9. Jan 20, 2015 at 12:44
  • It can be set to 8x8 - use the 1x1px brush and set the size in the pencil tool options to 8. May 22, 2015 at 20:42

Right-click the Brushes palette and click "Rectangular..." and use the default 20x20. For some reason, when you set this newly created brush to size 8, it works as expected.

Your Answer

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

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