I would like to make a (semi-)transparent brush in GIMP.

Starting from an image of marble with white background and veins in shades of grey, using various layers I selected the white to alpha and then changed the Hue, so now I have nice red veins on a transparent layer. I would like to turn this transparent layer with the red veins into a brush.

However, whatever I try, the brush has a white background colour (even when I delete all other layers).

I just want the veins on the brush, no background colour. Is there any way to retain the transparency while creating the brush?

Thanks! Gladys.

  • What did you do to create a brush from your image? Dec 20, 2015 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


If you just do Edit > Copy (or Ctrl-C) the layer and then Edit > Paste as > New Brush, the layer should be saved with transparency and paint that way.

(Perhaps a little confusingly, the brushes are always displayed with a white background in the Brushes dialogue, but for me a brush saved with transparency does actually paint as expected whichever paint tool I use.)

If that does not work for you, what version of GIMP are you using ?

  • Does not appear to work. The transparent pixels become white pixels in the brushing result even though the pixels are transparent in the brush file itself. Nov 11, 2023 at 9:13

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