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Pixelmator quick tips: How to add gradients to your images

Here's a quick step-by-step guide designed to show you how to edit and apply gradients to your images to enhance your projects using Pixelmator on your Mac.

Pixelmator - Gradients Tutorial - Featured

When it comes to creating your own images in Pixelmator, it’s easy to fall into the trap of making things look a little too ‘flat’. Even if a ‘flat design’ is the look you’re aiming, it’s worth noting that the best examples of this style make use of subtle gradients to give some sense of hierarchy and structure to different elements in the design itself. With that in mind, here’s a quick guide to applying and editing gradients in Pixelmator. Enjoy!

Pixelmator - Gradients Tutorial - Step 1

Step 1: Prepare your layer

Gradients can be added to layers, but the selection tool can limit the application area. You can create irregular selections with polygonal lasso tool.

Pixelmator - Gradients Tutorial - Step 2

Step 2: Customising

You can change the colours used by opening the Gradient menu, choosing the one you want and clicking the points on the slider at the bottom.

Pixelmator - Gradients Tutorial - Step 3

Step 3: More points

Clicking this slider anywhere else will let you add more colour stops to your gradient. You can add transparent sections too, if you want a fade effect.

Pixelmator - Gradients Tutorial - Step 4


Step 4: Linear, radial or angle?

There are three kinds of gradient, and each one works differently. Try them all, and see what each one can do by playing with the preset options.