How to Make an Andy Warhol Style Photo with Gimp in Five Easy Steps

You’ve probably seen these kinds of photo’s all over…and here is how you create them with gimp! Simple and fun to do! Andy Warhol style.

This is one of my favorite effects that can be done with Gimp.  It’s simple, fun and can be done in a few easy steps. 
You’ll take a plain photo like this:  
(All Photo’s and Snippets taken by author.)

and turn it into something colorful like this:

Step One: First of all, choosing a photograph. 

Most should know how to do this, if not I’ll briefly show how.

  • Open Gimp
  • Go to File >Open> then choose the photo you would like to use.  The more colors in the photo, the better the effect will be. 
  • Once you have found the photo you would like to use, click the button that says open.

Step Two: Crop The Photo (if necessary)

  • If the photo is more than what you would like to have in your pop art photo, then you’ll need to crop it.
  • To crop the photograph, find the rectangular select tool on the toolbar and make a selection around what you want to keep in the photo.
  • Next, go to Image > Crop to Selection
  • If you do not need to crop the photo, then you will most likely need to scale  the image.  (if it is over 2000 x 2000 pixels)
  • To do so, right click on image, and go to scale image, or find the scale tool on the toolbar.   Usually a good size is 900-1700 pixels on width and height. You can play around with finding the right size.   Don’t worry, the picture may look small at the moment, but that will change soon.

Step Three: Make the one image into four images

  • First you will want to copy the image to your clipboard.  To do so, go to Select > All.
  • Once you have done that, then just copy the image by pressing control + C (or go to Edit > Copy).
  • Next, open up a new image.  To do this, go to File > New.  Before you press OK, you need to make the size larger.  You will want to take the size of the small image and double it.  Say the small image was 1000×1200, then you would put the new size as 2000×2400. 
  • Now, to put the photo on the new (blank) photo, press control + V (for paste).  It will be in the middle, so you will want to hit control + M so you can move it to one of the four edges.  In the layers dialog it will say “floating selection”, so you want to make this a new layer.  To do this, right click on the words floating selection and click new layer.  Do the same for the other four layers.
  • One Final step (though I still do not understand the point behind it).  On each layer (except the plain white background) Right click on it, and go to Layer > Layer to Image Size  

Step Four: Making It Colorful

  • First, choose the layer you are going to work on, and make the other layers invisible.
  • Next, find the fuzzy select tool in the toolbar.  Click in the white area to select the white area.  After that, go to Select > Invert.   This will invert the selection to the non white area. 
  • Now, go to Colors > Hue and Saturation.  Make each one a different color, and you can play around with the hues until you find what you like.
  • Repeat these steps for each of the four layers.

Step Five: Add some depth

  • First, we need to merge the layers.  To complete this task, just simply press control + M (and then click OK of course).
  • After you merge all the layers into one, then you will want to duplicate that layer twice. 
  • Choose the background layer, while making the other two invisible for now.  With this level, you will change what it looks like.  Make sure everything has been de-selected, and then go to Color > Threshold.  Play around with this effect until you get it where you like it. 
  • Then move on to the next background copy.   Set the layer mode to Multiply.  This is found in the top of the layers dialog box.

    (Note: This is how the layer looks when it is set to multiply and the other layers are still invisible)
  • Finally, the last layer.  Basically, this is just strengthening the color.  You could do multiply again, but it may be too dark.  If so, you can still choose it and just lower the opacity.  Or play around with other modes till you get what you like.  I really like how the Burn mode looks, so that is what I chose. 
  • After you get these layers how you like them, then be sure to merge all layers together again.

And here would be the final product!

Final step:  Save your work!  

What do you think of this tutorial?  I would really love your feedback!

Other Tutorials for Gimp:
Black and White Art
3D Crystal
How To Make Vintage Photography
Pop Art


You are so talented and a good teacher too. Just don’t keep messing too much with the nice looks of my friend. Happy day, friend!


Nice one, share this one to my wife!


This is a brilliant lesson. I must try and download the programme and try it out. I do like playing about with photos. Great work.



Great lesson. Even someone at clueless as I am could do that!
Love the results.


Your becoming quite the artist ;)


Really informative, PE.
Yeah, it’s just a pity you can’t sell them for the same over-flated prices as Andy Warhol did.


Neattt I should try this out thank you

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