Digital Art with InkScape – The Spooky Scene

As it’s Halloween month I thought I would create some seasonal drawings. This pumpkin drawing is a simple and quick little sketch that quite cool.

Layers

Use the layer tool to create different layers for all the different drawing elements, this will help greatly in putting everything in the right order. Find it under Layer > Layers and layers can be added moved and the like. To work on a layer click on it. + to add – to remove. and the move layers up down order.

But this shows how I did it.

Background

Create two layers for the background at the very bottom on the layer order. I made the very back layer black. The next background layer up I made grey and then added Filters > Textures > Watercolour

I then the the opacity of the layer to 60% to make the black show through a bit.

Grass

If you’ve been keeping up with my posts you will have seen how I created the Grass. If not the Link is Here. Add a rectangle below and fill to fill in the area below the grass.
I set the grass as one layer from the top.

Draw the Tree Branches

There’s no easy way to draw the tree branches. Using the pen tool to create branches, starting from large sizes and getting smaller. Where there’s white gaps use the bucket fill tool to fill them in and make them the size and shape that’s wanted.

I have cheated a bit and done some copying and modification. That’s cuts down a bit on the time to make them.

Add Bats and Pumpkins

From the .PNG files that have been made of the bats and pumpkins, import them into the picture and place them about as desired.

Add the Moon

The moon is simply a circle in white, I set the opacity to 70% and a blur of 5. Put it on it’s own layer and set the order behind the trees and bats.

Gravestones

I used three layers for these so I could give the picture and impression of depth. I created them from rectangles in different shapes and the crosses are two rectangles merged together. I add a little blur (about 1) to the gravestones at the front, the back ones are grayer with a blur of about 4.

Rotate them using the Object ? Transform tool and adjust the rotation. This give your graveyard the very unkempt look and feel.

Hand

The hand was a bit tricky, but it’s drawn from the pen tool and then the shape filled in. It wasn’t right first time bu the node tool helped make it about right.


There it is! I won’t say it’s simple but nothing too hard. I like this spooky scene I’ve wanted to make it for ages but I’ve not done it – until now.

Any ideas for something that you’re struggling with? Let me know.

© Simon Farnell 2020


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Digital Art with InkScape – Drawing a Bat

As it’s Halloween month I thought I would create some seasonal drawings. I’m building up a spooky Halloween scene to go with my Ghost Called Bob stories. I’ve written one every year for a few years now and I’ve had to use an image that wasn’t my own… until now.

Anyway, for this image I need some bats. Here’s how you make it:

1st Half of the bat Body

Create one half of the bat shape, similar to this:

2nd Half of the Bat Body

Copy the shape and then use:
Object > Flip Horizontal
I’ve done it this way so that the bat is symmetrical.

Merge and Fill

Place the 2 halves together, select both and then use:
Path > Merge

In the fill settings choose to fill the bat shape in black.

Copy and Modify the Bat

Using the node tool I copied and modified the bat shape to give a slightly different bat for variety.

With each image set the background to Checkerboard in the document properties and then export as a .PNG file.

Later this week I’ll reveal my spooky Halloween scene and you’ll see it later in this years ‘A Ghost Called Bob’ story.

Any ideas for something that you’re struggling with? Let me know.

© Simon Farnell 2020


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Digital Art with InkScape – Drawing a Pumpkin

As it’s Halloween month I thought I would create some seasonal drawings. This pumpkin drawing is a simple and quick little sketch that quite cool.

Pumpkin Body

Create a shape like this from a rectangle.

Pumpkin Body 2

Create another rectangle shape like this.

Merge the Body

Lay one over the other.

The Stalk

The stalk is made from the pen tool, using a triangular shape.

I make it straight, thickness 5.

I rotated it (selection tool).

Then bended it with the node tool

Marge the Body / Stalk Parts

I Put the stalk in position and merged the shaped with the Path > Union tool.

Make the Face

Create the face using the pen tool with curves turned off and the shape set to None.

I copied and flipped the eye to make it the same. Select all the objects Path > Union

Add it to a layer above the pumpkin.

Cut Out the Face

Move the face over the pumpkin (I make the pumpkin slightly transparent to see this).

The cut the face out with the Difference Tool.

Path > Difference.

Create a Glowing Inside

To give the a nice illumination effect create two circles on a layer under the pumpkin. One larger than the other both must easily fit into the pumpkin.

Make the smaller yellow and in Fileter > Blur > Feather added a blur of 8

The Larger Circle is made Orange and added Dark and Glow Filter under Filters . Shadows and Glows.

I like this pumpkin and I’m adding it to my spooky scene which will be revealed soon.

Any ideas for something that you’re struggling with? Let me know.

© Simon Farnell 2020


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Digital Art with InkScape – Drawing Grass the Easy Way

Ever thought about drawing some grass? Me neither until recently but I’ve found a cool way to do it in Inkscape. Have a look:

Create the Blade

With the pen tool draw a line with the line shape set to Triangle Out.

Bend the Brass

Using the Nodes tool click on the grass in the middle and pull it out to give it a realistic bend.

Move the Origin

Now using the selection tool, click on the blade twice. A cross will appear. This is the origin – drag it to the bottom.

I needed to use black as a colour, click on another colour or gradient to set the blade to how it needs to look.

Clone the Grass

Go to Edit > Clone > Create Tiled Clones.
Click reset Before starting.

SHIFT TAB

Set Shift X – Per Column to -85%
Set Shift Y – Randomize to 25%

SCALE TAB

Scale Y – Randomize – 10%

ROTATION TAB

Angle – Randomize – 10%

APPLY TO TILED CLONES:

Rows, Columns 1 & 500

Click Create and wait for the magic.

A patch of grass created with Inkscape

There it is – a patch of grass, this can be copied or new clones duplicated as required. But I loved how this was a nice, effective easy way to create grass in Inkscape.

Any ideas for something that you’re struggling with? Let me know.

© Simon Farnell 2020


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Digital Art with InkScape – Drawing Shapes

When I first looked at InkScape as a graphical design tool I was bit disappointed with the shapes I thought were on offer. But as it turns out I was a bit hasty. After having a little play I’ve found they have a few shape tools with a lot of power.

Rectangles and Squares

A rectangle or square is just that – not here. Place a rectangle onto the drawing space, it doesn’t matter what size or shape really.

Now click and drag the circular corner handle either down or along.

Keep going…

Then back and bit of the other one… neat.

Circles and Ellipses

Circles are pretty as the norm, circles and ellipses

Stars and Polygons

This was the big surprise for me though.

Place a star, any size and look for the square handle on it. Then play. I was getting all sorts like this:

There’s lots of fun could be had with this. So there it is – shapes in Inkscape. I’m hoping to create more posts on using Inkscape and creating my own work with it – is there anything you readers would like to see?


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Digital Art with Inkscape – Giving the Drawing Colour

Over the last few months I’ve been experimenting with approaches to create illustrations in digital and I’ve been sharing these. I’ve also been keen to work out how to take and improve on hand drawn sketches and ideas and bring them into digital too. Key to this has been learning how to use Inkscape or at least to get by with it and find out what it can do. This is the first in a series of posts which I’m hoping will help others to pick up the same techniques I have and bring their own creations to life.

Firstly anyone wishing to follow this will need to get their hands on Inkscape, this isn’t a problem as it it open source (i.e. free) and should be able to work across a range of platforms. In order to find out more and download it have a look at https://inkscape.org

Also if you want to find out more and can’t wait for me to write my posts there’s the Inkscape manuals:

Inkscape Manuals

There’s also the Inkscape Wiki:

Inkscape Wiki


In the last digital drawing post ( InkScape – Creating the Drawing ) we created our drawing, a kind of goofy little Minion:

Minion_006.png

Even though he has a smiley face he’s still looking kind of bland so is in some need of some colour.

Do do this we need to use the Fill tool Digital Art with Inkscape Part 1 – How Inkscape Works shows us where to find this. The way the Fill tool works is a colour is selected either before or after clicking on it and it will fill an area bounded by lines with that colour. What this means is that any gaps will make the colour leak everywhere. So watch out for that.

Minon_010.png

First off the eyes want filling in:

  1. Select Black for the pupil and then select the fill tool.
  2. Click the fill tool in the centre of the eye and it should be nicely filled. You’ll notice there’s a thin white boundary – I’m not sure how or why this is yet.
  3. With the Fill tool still selected press ESC once.
  4. Click on the colour for the eye and fill it. ESC needs to be pressed first to break the link between the last filled shape, if you go ahead and select a new colour then the last filled shape will change to that colour.
  5. To correct any mistakes press CTRL + Z to undo.
Minon_011.png

Now for his body.

  1. Fill in the body colour with a bright Minion yellow.
  2. Do the same for his outfit, making it a nice blue and don’t forget his buttons.
Minon_012.png

Make the hands, feet and goggles band black and et voila!

Once almost convincing and colourful Minion.

Let me know what you think of these posts – are they useful or not? Want to know something specific then ask me in the comments.

Also have a go yourself and let me know how it goes!


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Digital Art with Inkscape – Creating the First Drawing

Over the last few months I’ve been experimenting with approaches to create illustrations in digital and I’ve been sharing these. I’ve also been keen to work out how to take and improve on hand drawn sketches and ideas and bring them into digital too. Key to this has been learning how to use Inkscape or at least to get by with it and find out what it can do. This is the first in a series of posts which I’m hoping will help others to pick up the same techniques I have and bring their own creations to life.


In this second post I’m going to go through creating a drawing step by step, showing the different functions I’m using to create it. My subject matter for this drawing is…

minion

Because hey – why not?

Body

Unlike some other programs I can’t see a ‘create rounded rectangle’ feature. This is bad in one way but good in another, we have to create the shape and learn Inkscape a bit more.

The way I did this was to create a shape like this using the Draw Bezier Curves / Straight Lines tool.

Minion_001

Once this was created I used the Edit Paths by Nodes tool to round off the body of my Minion.

Minion_002

Next I crudely drew in a leg on one side and a shoe, again using a combination of the draw and edit path tools. I then copied the leg and used Object >> Flip Horizontal (H) to flip the leg and foot over to the other side.

I placed a circle for the glasses, on the right a tools for playing with the colour and thickness of the line.

Minion_003

With that done I enlarged and copied the glasses and drew the eye in and copied that. The reason why copying is great is that it’s easier to create an identical object that way rather than drawing it again and eyeballing the size.

I also added the band for the glasses.

Minion_004

Next I added an arm and as with the feet I copied and flipped the arm to give our minion two of them. The key trick with using the draw bezier curves / straight lines tool is how to draw the curves. It sometimes needs a kick to get started with curves, I found that holding down the left mouse button is useful for drawing curves.

Minion_005

Next I embellished him with some detail, a smile (becasue Minions smile right?!?) hair and of course his outfit. This was all done with the draw bezier curves / straight lines tool. To me this is the really powerful feature of Inkscape – straight lines and curves in one tool

There we have it – a minion. Ok so I have done him some more fancy feet but this is to kind of show you the kind of drawing detail that can be achieved with Inkscape. Next he needs colouring but that’s for the next part!

How did you guys find this – if you tried it how did you get on? What are the things that you struggle with?


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Digital Art with Inkscape – How Inkscape Works

Over the last few months I’ve been experimenting with approaches to create illustrations in digital and I’ve been sharing these. I’ve also been keen to work out how to take and improve on hand drawn sketches and ideas and bring them into digital too. Key to this has been learning how to use Inkscape or at least to get by with it and find out what it can do. This is the first in a series of posts which I’m hoping will help others to pick up the same techniques I have and bring their own creations to life.

Firstly anyone wishing to follow this will need to get their hands on Inkscape, this isn’t a problem as it it open source (i.e. free) and should be able to work across a range of platforms. In order to find out more and download it have a look at https://inkscape.org

Also if you want to find out more and can’t wait for me to write my posts there’s the Inkscape manuals:

Inkscape Manuals

There’s also the Inkscape Wiki:

Inkscape Wiki


What I want to do for the first few posts is get some familiarity with the drawing an processing functions. To start we need a canvas to draw on.

File > Drawing Properties

These options come up and there’s a whole load if you want to play. For now just set the page size to A4 and set to landscape to follow what I’m doing.

Inkscape1

Now we have the blank canvas to work on.

Inkscape2

On the left is a toolbar like this will all kind of useful stuff.

Inkscape_Tools

But what does it all mean and do? I’ve found out for you…


Select and Transform

selects objects either with a single click or a window select and has some re-shaping and transforming functions.

Edit Paths by Node

Where objects are defined with nodes, use this to move / edit the nodes and re-shape (nodes are square grab points that appear on selection of objects).

Tweak Object by Sculpting or Shaping

Seems to move objects about in different kind of ways, when using this tool it has options that appear in the upper toolbar.

Zoom in and Out

Zooms in and zooms out.

Measurement Tool

Measures objects or distances in pixels.

Create Shapes Tools

These are what the shapes tools do – for different colours, select the colour before applying the shape. Create spiral tool does exactly that.

Inkscape_shapes

Draw Freehand / Calligraphic

Examples of the draw freehand and italic tools.

Inkscape_italic

Draw Curves and Lines

This tool is really useful and helpful, it can help the artist create nice straight lines easily and geometric curves without much hassle. It also creates more organic curves really easily. It’s hard to explain in words, use this tool at the top to switch between the different lines.

Inkscape_lines1

Have a play and see what they all do to find the types of lines needed. A quick doodle from me created this.

Inkscape_lines

Text Tool

Self explanatory.

Spray Object

Kind of weird to get your head around but it sprays the selected object.

Inkscape_spray

Erase Tool

Rubs out whatever is in the way on the selected layer.

Inkscape_erase

Fill

Select a colour and fill an area with he colour. Any gaps in line sof the object and the colour ‘leaks’.

Gradient Tool

Creates gradients like these and any others the artist might want to think up.

Inkscape_gradient

Mesh Tool

The mesh tool is a bit of a complicated feature that’s going to need a post of it’s own, in essence it’s a way of creating a ‘virtual’ looking image of a real object. Watch out for the Inkscape post on this.

Dropper Tool

Selects colours from an image.

Create Diagram Connectors

Used mainly in creating flow charts, this feature connects together different elements of a flowchart.


So that’s the start and literally it is just the start, the basics of how to get by in Inkscape. If you’re interested have a play, try some things out and let me know how things go, there’s more on this to come but if there is something that is unclear or you need to do then it could form the basis of a new post.

Happy Drawing!


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