How can I make the pencil/brush width exactly 4px, with a hard edge?
(i.e. no fading, feathering, gradients, etc.)

I know it's an incredibly simple problem but all of GIMP's presets/defaults are quite sophisticated by comparison, making the real basics far less intuitive.

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  • If this is a follow-up (or in parallel) to your question on IRC, then you were told to use the Pencil tool, not the Brush tool. Aug 8, 2016 at 22:15

1 Answer 1


Use the Pixel (1x1 square) brush (NOT "1. Pixel" brush!!!) :

GIMP brushes popup with Pixel (1x1 square) brush highlighted

This brush has its hardness set to 0, and thus doesn't exhibit the 3x3 pixel issue you have encountered. It uses the size set for the paint tool.

In addition to selecting this brush, you should also use the pencil tool if you want pixel-grid-aligned 4x4 stamps and lines. You can achieve the same with other tools by using a actual grid and making sure the tool snaps to it, though.

  • Can't you see I have the 1. Pixel brush selected? Although, I wasn't using the airbrush tool, like you are. I tried it with the pencil tool as well. As seen on the far right of the brush examples.
    – voices
    Aug 11, 2016 at 18:12
  • 2
    Yes, you are using the "1. Pixel" brush. I'm using the "Pixel (1x1 square)" brush. Aug 11, 2016 at 19:45

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