How to Draw a Love Heart in GIMP

If you need a love heart graphic for a Valentine's Day or romantic project, this tutorial will show you a quick and easy way to draw one in GIMP.
You just need to use the Ellipse Select Tool and Paths Tool to produce a love heart that can be reused time after time.

Open a Blank Document

You need to open a blank document to start working.
Go to File > New to open the Create a New Image dialog. You'll need to select a document size suitable for however you intend to use your love heart. We also set our page to portrait mode as love hearts generally tend to be taller than they are wide.

Add a Vertical Guide

A vertical guide makes this tutorial very quick and easy.
If you cannot see rulers to the left and top of the working area, go to View > Show Rulers to display them. Now click on the left-hand ruler and, while holding the mouse button down, drag a guide across the page and release it roughly in the middle of the page. If the guide disappears when you release it, go to View > Show Guides.

Draw a Circle

The first part of our love heart is a circle drawn on a new layer.
If the Layers palette isn't visible, go to Windows > Dockable Dialogs > Layers. Then click the Create new layer button and in the New Layer dialog, ensure that the Transparency radio button is selected, before clicking OK. Now click on the Ellipse Select Tool and draw a circle in the top half of the page that has one edge touching the vertical guideline, as shown in the image.

Fill the Circle

The circle is now filled with a solid color.
To set the color you want to use, click on the Foreground color box and select a color in the Change Foreground Color dialog. We chose a red color before clicking OK. To fill the circle, go to Edit > Fill with FG Color, checking in the layers palette that the red circle has been applied to the New Layer. Finally, go to Select > ​None to remove the selection.

Draw Bottom of Love Heart

You can use the Paths Tool to draw the bottom part of the heart.
Select the Paths Tool and click on the edge of the circle a little way above the center point. Now place the cursor on the center guideline nearer the bottom of the page and click and drag. You'll see that you're pulling a drag handle out of the node and the line is curving. When you're happy with the curve of the line, release the mouse button. Now hold the Shift key down and click to place the third anchor point. Finally, hold down the Ctrl button and click on the first anchor point to close the path.

Move the First Anchor Point

Unless you were very lucky or very accurate, you'll need to move the first anchor point slightly.
If the Display Navigation palette isn't open, go to Windows > Dockable Dialogs > Navigation. Now click on the Zoom In button a few times and move the viewport rectangle in the palette to position the page so that you are zoomed in on the first anchor point. Now you can click on the anchor point and move it as necessary so that it is touching the edge of the circle. You can go to View > Zoom > Fit image in window when that is done.

Color the Bottom of the Love Heart

The path can now be used to make a selection and the selection filled with color.
In the Paths Options palette that appears below the Toolbox, click the Selection from Path button. In the Layers palette, click on the New Layer to ensure that it is active and then go to Edit > Fill with FG Color. You can deselect the selection now by going to Selection > None.

Duplicate and Flip the Half Love Heart

You should now be the proud owner of half a love heart and this can be copied and flipped to make a whole heart.
In the Layers palette, click the Create a duplicate button and then go to Layer > Transform > Flip Horizontally. You will probably need to move the duplicate layer a little to one side and this will be easier if you go to View > Show Guides to hide the center guide. Pick the Move Tool and then use the two sideways arrow keys on your keyboard to move the new half into the correct position. You may find this easier if you zoom in a little.
Finally, go to Layer > Merge Down to combine the two halves into a single love heart.

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