Since not all of us want to invest in Photoshop and don’t want to get into a monthly subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud, a great alternative is Gimp. Gimp is a free to download program that is a wonderful and powerful alternative. The best part, it’s FREE. While GIMP is missing some features of Photoshop, it has more than the hobbyist could ever need. So let’s get started!

First, you’ll need to download the software. You can find it at you can read all about GIMP at the homepage. At top of the page, you’ll see a download link.


Once you’ve clicked on that link, you will come to this page:


Depending on your operating system, choose which you’d like to download. This version I’ll be working with is Windows. Click the Orange, Download GIMP 2.5.16 directly button and install GIMP.

Now, let’s get to the fun stuff! For this tutorial, let’s edit a photo. Below, you’ll see your start page for GIMP. Here, you’ll click File then New. Here, we are going to simply open the image we will be working with. So click open and find your image file.


Let’s convert this photo to black and white and leave the red, white and blue hat. This is called spot color.


Select the Free Select Tool. This looks like a little lasso.


Carefully click along the outline of the hat until you have selected the entire hat. Once you’ve selected the entire hat, you’ll get a line of “marching ants.” Now that the hat is selected, it’s time to revert our selection so that it is the only element that remains saturated.


At the top of the screen in the menu, you’ll see a Select option. Under this option find the “Invert” option. This selects everything except the hat you just singled out.


Under the “Color” option, choose “Hue-Saturation”. Here, you can desaturate ( remove color from) the photo, leaving just the hat saturated.


Congratulations!!!! You’ve just created your first spot color! Click OK, then select, and none. This will deselect your image and you can then save as jpg.

~ Jessica