Yes, you heard me right - gradients in Microsoft Paint, and easy to make as well. For this tutorial, I will be using a very small pallet, 8x8, the size most commonly used for forum pips. REMEMBER - you can use ANY size you want.
1. Open Microsoft Paint and change the canvas size to 8x8 pixels (Image>Attributes). Then, click on the magnify tool and click on 8x.
2. Choose a color scheme (I am doing black).
3. Go to the line tool and set it to the smallest line.
4. Now, go to the color selection and choose the normal shade of the color you are using. For me, this is black.
5. Now, drag a line right across the top of the zoomed image.
6. Now, go a little brighter by double clicking the color in the color pallet.
7. Click "Define Custom Colors" and the modify the color using the slider bar on the far right.
8. Click "Add to Custom Colors"
9. Click "Ok"
10. Repeat the process (make sure to change the color tones each time )
11. Post your final result!
Here is mine. After I made it, I went into Photoshop to make it larger so you can see it better and to add a border (you can add a border in paint as well, should be obvious. Just draw a solid color line around each side). Remember, when you make your own it can be ANY size.