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How to draw with Inkscape

Updated on June 6, 2013

Would you like to learn how to draw with computer?

Inkscape is computer drawing program. We can download it (it's free), install it (I prefer portable version) and start drawing right away.

But where to start? What do all this buttons mean? What to do first?

I'll try to guide you how to make your first drawings. All we need is computer mouse, few ideas and will to learn.


All images by Pippi.

Are you ready for computer drawing? I'll show you few basics how to draw with Inkscape.

I must admit that when I first discovered Inkscape I didn't quite like it. It looked more like a kids program to me. I don't know why, maybe because it has colorful buttons... But then I tried to draw few things, learned something, found few tutorials and articles about it... Today I like it a lot, it's easy software and you can make quite few things with it.

As I already promised, here are just few basics. You can learn how to open new document, find the right buttons and make your first drawings.

You'll see it's easy and you'll be trilled when you'll make your first circle or square, color it and outline it.

I know I was trilled when I first started. And then you just add new and new knowledge...

I wish you a lot of fun with drawing and writing with Inkscape.

How to draw with Inkscape

When you open Inkscape, it looks like this.

In the middle there is a working space, on the top, left and right there are a lot of funny buttons and at the bottom there are a lot of little squares with different colors.

So, what to do now?

When you open File or Edit in the Menu (on the top), it it pretty much the same as in other programs.

When you go to File, you can open and save your work, import and export pictures, close or quit program.

And when you go to Edit, you can copy, paste, delete, duplicate, select or deselect all...

At the bottom on the right side you can zoom in or zoom out your work.

It means it will look bigger or smaller. You can go up to 10000% zoom, if you want.

As I promised, you'll learn how to draw, so let's do that.

We'll concentrate on the Toolbox, few buttons on the left side of the screen.

With Rectangle Tool you can make rectangles and squares.

Just try it. Press the button and here is a square. It is so easy, isn't it?

Next one is Ellipse Tool. You can make circles, ellipses and arcs.

Again, you just press the button and your first circle is here.

And the same goes for the Star Tool...

... and Spiral Tool. Just press the button and try.

And it is fun too, making something new.

Next one is Pen Tool. It is a little bit more complicated, but you'll learn very fast, you'll see.

You start with a point and then make four points in a shape of a rhomb.

Then we go to Node Tool and press Ctrl and A (or Edit, Select all).

Then you go to the top, to the Node Tools, and press this button to make nodes auto-smooth.

And your rhomb becomes circle.

Now, we'll try to color our circle a little bit. Go to Object, Fill and Stroke.

As you can see something new has opened. It's Fill and Stroke panel. Here you'll color your drawings.

Fill for the inside and stroke to outline it.

You can choose No paint, and it will stay transparent...

... or Flat color to color your drawing.

I prefer using the Wheel, because it seems the easiest way to choose the color.

And the same goes for the stroke.

You can adjust the width of outline...

...which is measured in percentages, points, picas, pixels, millimeters, centimeters, inches..

And now let's play a little bit and change our circle back to rhomb.

How? Go to Node Tool again, at the top, and press the button which changes nodes into corner.

And here it is, your rhomb again.

And if you don't need the Fill and Stroke panel any more, just close it.

Now we'll play with blur and opacity a little bit.

Change blur to get the left one, and change opacity to get the right one.

And now we can save our drawing.

Go to File and the to Save or Save as...

...and finally close and quit.

Your comments are welcome

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    • profile image

      john9229 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing, will hands on to try it my self

    • AnnRadley profile image

      AnnRadley 4 years ago

      This program looks so interesting. I'm somewhat familiar with Photoshop Elements, but that is it. Thanks for expanding my horizons!

    • dancerene profile image

      dancerene 5 years ago

      That's a nice tutorial. You must have put in a lot of effort in creating it. Thumbs up!

    • Magda2012 profile image

      Magda2012 5 years ago

      Good information, thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 5 years ago

      Nice tutorial!

    • Bustler profile image

      Bustler 5 years ago

      Nice lens. Thanks for sharing

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Great info and a thumbs up!