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Inkscape Tutorials for Beginners

Updated on January 11, 2013

Inkscape for Beginners

What is Inkscape? Inkscape is a free Vector Graphics Editor. And a vector is an image that is created with things like lines, instead of pixels, and therefor is scalable without loss of quality.

This program can be downloaded here inkscape.org

When I first started using Inkscape I was lucky enough to find some easy tutorials, perfect for beginners, that made me stick with using the program, even though it could be confusing and overwhelming at times.

In fact, even though I have been using it for awhile now there are still times where I find it confusing or hard to use. Just recently I've run across some more tutorials that are great for beginners...that were perfect for Me! Because even though they were more "basic" things with Inkscape, I did not know them.

A lot of these good tutorials are scattered about on the Internet. Also, while there are a lot of good tutorials for Inkscape, some of them are more Intermediate or Advanced...and you might not realize what level they are for until you start reading or watching them...and find it's way over your head.

So I thought I'd gather some of the tutorials I've found that I think are great for the Inkscape beginner.

There are some tutorials that I have found that are simple to do, but alas were not explained in a way that a beginner could understand, so I've included them in a separate section at the bottom. Hopefully by the time you have played with the other tutorials it will be easier for you to these ones.

Image created with Inkscape by Gigglish

Easy Peasy Tutorials

Tutorials from VerySimpleDesigns.com

I would highly recommend these tutorials from Very Simple Designs as being part of the starting point of your beginning journey with Inkscape.

Once you have used these tutorials try checking out the other tutorials the the Very Simple Designs website too.

Text in a Circle using Inkscape

You can easily make text go in a round shape using Inkscape.

Here is a written tutorial showing how to make your text follow a circle path.

Simple Designs with Shapes Using Inkscape

Many designs can be created by simply combining simple shapes together (so no actual drawing, with either the pencil or bezier/pen tool is necessary, for those of you who say you can't draw).

There are many ways to make hearts with Inkscape. Here's a very easy version that can be made using three simple shapes, made with the circle tool and the octagon tool, combined together.

One of the other videos shows how to make a cloud, just with circle shapes (and shows how to use the gradient tool as well).

(Note that at the end of some of these tutorials they say that you must keep the image inside of the page area when you save it. But I save images out of the page area all the time and do not have a problem. If you exporting the image as a bitmap (png) and the button that says "Page" is selected and your drawing goes off the page the part that is not on the page will be cut off in the saved file, but if you have the button that says "Drawing" selected it will save everything...so you don't have to worry about keeping things on the page area.)

Tutor4u's Inkscape Video Tutorials for Beginners

Some people find video tutorials for programs such as Inkscape easier to learn from than written tutorials, while some people find it harder. Having a clear, well thought out tutorial, no matter what media is used, makes a difference too though.

The great thing about Tutor4u's videos is he usually tends to almost always explain everything he is doing and why. And for that reason I think they are good Inkscape tutorials for beginners.

There are a lot of steps involved in many of these tutorials though, so they are only complex in that sense, but you will learn a lot of different techniques from watching these. You can view it at full screen size (although the quality of the video may look blurrier that way), pause, "rewind" and watch the tutorials over and over again if needed too.

More Tutorials for Inkscape

Easy Tutorials (but not so beginner friendly)

These are the tutorials I have found that are easy to do, but maybe are not quite so beginner friendly because it assumes you know what they will mean by something like "convert object to path" and how to do that. So, in that respect they are slightly more advanced, but other than that are simple to do.

Inkscape Tutorials by heathenx

I've included some tutorials her by heathenx that I like. I don't think he spells things out quite as clearly as Tutor4u does. But I still think that these are good tutorials for beginners. And when you are ready for more advanced stuff, check out heathenx's website where there are a lot of great Inkscape tutorial videos that are hosted there and aren't on youtube.

Note: Some of these tutorials are for older versions of Inkscape, but the way of doing things still should be pretty much the same.

Also, when he is changing the stroke, or outline color, of an object shape he does it in a way that is more difficult than it needs to be. A simpler way is to simply make sure the object you want to change the stroke color of is selected, press the Shift key, and click on the color you want the stroke to be.

A Tutorial for the Bezier Tool

In this tutorial/exercise they use a sort of "paint by numbers" approach to show the basics of using the bezier (pen) tool in Inkscape. If you would like to use the file used in the video to practice yourself you can download it here.

Inkscape Tutorial - Selecting Hard-To-Select Objects Video

After awhile you might find yourself creating multi-layered images on Inkscape, maybe adding shadows, highlights and more....and then finding maybe you want to do something like change the base layer from blue to yellow. But when you try to click on it you end up clicking on the object above it that is the highlight. Dealing with this was causing me to waste a lot of time until I recently saw This wonderful video.

Create a Plush Toy with Inkscape

If you are the crafting type you might like to use Inkscape to make your own plush toy patterns to sew. And even if you aren't you still might find the Basic Pattern Making with Inkscape Tutorial useful, as it covers a lot of basic Inkscape techniques that anyone can use.

How to Export Graphics from Inkscape

At some point you will probably want to save your image in format other than a vector format (the default format for Inkscape being .svg). With Inkscape you can "export" your image as a .png file (this file allows parts of your image to be transparent or semi-transparent). Here is some info on how to export your Inkscape design as a png file.

Books on Inkscape

I haven't bought any books (or eBooks, Kindle books, etc.) on Inkscape yet. But I have been thinking about it. And you might too, so here are some for you to consider.

Guestbook Comments

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I do like to draw but just don't have the heart to learn one more program at the moment. Glad to see it's working so well for you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Good Info. Thank you!

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      i knew how to make some of this stuff but not the plushie. what a cool idea

    • profile image

      myshelle01 5 years ago

      Finally I have used Inkscape and am very grateful for your lens. Thank you again.

    • Violin-Student profile image

      Violin-Student 5 years ago

      Cool lens. Very helpful. I WILL be back.

    • profile image

      myshelle01 5 years ago

      Thank you for this great tutorial,have downloaded Inkscape and will have a practice

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 5 years ago

      Another very helpful lens. Well done and blessed!

    • DreamsBloom profile image

      DreamsBloom 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Caroline. I have not come across your videos before. I'll look them over and see if there are any I would like to include here. Thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi there - you've a nice list of tutorials here. We were a bit disappointed that ours weren't included :(

      Seriously, we teach beginners how to use Inkscape (& Gimp) and we think that Inkscape is the Bees Knees.

      You can find our tutorials on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/GraphicDesignTuts and if we are request a video on how to do something, we usually oblige :)

    • profile image

      grannysage 5 years ago

      I need all the help I can get. My learning curve is really steep. But I want to learn it.

    • hlehnerer profile image

      hlehnerer 5 years ago

      I look forward to tryout all these tutorials.

    • DreamsBloom profile image

      DreamsBloom 5 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: I know what you mean...it's hard to tackle something new when your brain has been fried with so many other things. We gotta have breaks sometime and let those gray cells recuperate. While learning Inkscape can be easy if you have good info, there is a Lot that can be learned (I think I only know one eighth of what Inkscape can do) so it could be easy to get brain overload from it.

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 5 years ago

      I've tried using it in the past but after using photoshop for many years, I had a difficulty grasping the concept of this program. Nevertheless, I'm still planning to "decipher it" one day. Thanks for sharing those videos and links, I'll have to check them out as soon as possible. Wish me luck! =)

    • DreamsBloom profile image

      DreamsBloom 5 years ago

      @rewards4life info: Yes, it's a totally different concept than Photoshop or GIMP and other raster/bitmap based programs. I think having tutorials like these can really help figure Inkscape out more easily. I hope when you get around to playing with Inkscape that it will be an enjoyable experience. There have been times of frustration for me, but for the most part I find it quite fun.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Not ready to tackle this yet (brain overload) but maybe someday I can give it a try.

    • DreamsBloom profile image

      DreamsBloom 5 years ago

      @BarbRad: I never considered myself an artist either. I am not good at drawing with paper and pencil. But with Inkscape I found I can do a lot of creative "artistic" things I wouldn't have thought I was capable of. And now I get paid to create digital designs using Inkscape.

      I'd say, try watching some of the videos and see what you think. If you decide to try Inkscape, do the Kokeshi doll tutorial. It's probably a lot easier than you think it will be (it may not be perfect, but I really think you can do it). The worst that can happen is you decide you don't like it. :)

      At the very least you could do things like create some simple frames and add cool text to your photos with Inkscape (I find it easier to position text and other things so it is perfectly aligned with Inkscape than other things). But you cannot edit photos themselves with Inkscape since they are raster (pixels) based and Inkscape uses vectors.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I haven't tried this yet, but I'm no artist. I work strictly with my photos. Would this be of any use to me?