This tutorial is very easy and explains how to make a country prim style illustration and uses custom filters to create the typical shading effect.
I assume little Inkscape knowledge, and the tutorial should be easy to follow for a beginning Inkscape artist.
As many steps are repeated, I give full explanations the first time around, and less when the tutorial progresses. Simply browse back if you need more details.
All steps are first described and then followed by an image showing the results of those steps.
- Use the Ellipse Tool to draw an ellips.
- Set the fill colour to a nice tan. Left click with the mouse cursor on the colour swatches at the bottom.
- Set the stroke colour to a darker brown.
- Use the Rectangle Tool to add a small rectangle at the bottom of ellipse.
- Select both objects. Drag a selection window around both objects (rubberband) or select one object, hold down shift and add the other.
- Select from the menu Path > Union (Ctrl++).
- Use the Node Tool and select the 2 nodes that make the sharp corners at the neck.
- Auto-smooth the selected nodes by pressing this button .
- Use the node tool to drag the bottom line a bit downwards (bend it).
- Use the node tool to model the shape of the head till you like it.
- Use the Rectangle Tool and draw a rectangle for the body.
- Set the fill colour to a nice blue.
- Leave the stroke colour brown.
- Select Path > Object to path (Shift+Ctrl+C) from the menu.
- Select the Node Tool . This makes the nodes visible (Node Edit mode).
- Press Ctrl+A. As we have the rectangle selected, and we are in Node Edit mode, this will select ALL nodes of the active object.
- Insert more nodes into the selected segments by pressing this button .
- Deselect the nodes by clicking somewhere on the canvas.
- Select only the 2 nodes at the bottom corners and press Shift+> repeatedly make the bottom of the dress a bit wider.
- Select all the nodes at the bottom (rubberband selection) and insert again extra nodes.
- Use the Node Tool and sculpt the bottom of the dress by nudging it with the node tool (place the tool on a line segment and push it up or down).
- Drag the node handles to make it more flowing, select the node if you don's see the handles.
Modify the top of the dress in the same manner.
- Use the Select Tool . Use the handles to resize the dress to your likings.
- Press the Page Down Key to send the dress behind the head.
For the ruffles at the bottom of the dress we do basically the same:
- Create a rectangle , set the fill to white and convert it to an path (Path > Object to Path, or shortcut Shift+Ctrl+C)
- Use the Node Tool and widen the bottom a little (select the outer nodes and press Ctrl+ > repeatedly)
- Add a LOT of nodes to the bottom
Make them nice an curvy. Of course you can do this all manually.. but Inkscape has a cool extension that helps here:
- Use Extensions > Modify Path > Jitter Nodes. Select Live Preview to see the effect and press Apply.
- Select the nodes at the bottom again and "auto-smooth" them .
- Use the Select Tool to position the ruffles at the bottom of the dress. Resize if needed.
- Press the Page Down Key to send it behind the dress.
- Draw an ellipse with the Ellipse Tool . Set the Fill to tan (use the colour picker to copy the colour).
- Double click the ellipse with the Select Tool so that the rotation handles appear. Rotate the ellipse a bit.
- Add a small ellipse on top in the same manner.
- As we did before for the head: select both objects and use Path > Union (Ctrl++).
- The 2 ellipses are now joined into a single path and we can use the Node Tool to sculpt it a bit further.
- Use the Select Tool to move the arm in place.
- Press Ctrl+D to duplicate it (the duplicate is created exactly on top of the original) and flip it horizontally
- Move the duplicate to the other side of the body.
- Again..Draw an ellipse with the Ellipse Tool . Set the Fill to tan (use the colour picker to copy the colour).
- Select from the menu Path > Object to Path (Shift+Ctrl+C).
- Use the Node Tool to sculpt the form into shape - basically move the centre nodes a bit to one side to create the bend and drag the handles at top and bottom to flatten them.
- Use the Select Tool to move the leg in place. Press the End-key to bring it behind the dress.
- Press Ctrl+D to duplicate it (the duplicate is created exactly on top of the original) and flip it horizontally .
- Move the duplicate to the other side of the body. I rotated one leg just a bit to make the position look a bit better.
Shoes.. more of the same..
- Ellipse.. brown fill.
- Select from the menu Path > Object to Path (Shift+Ctrl+C).
- Use the Node Tool to sculpt into a shoe shape. Add extra nodes if needed .
- Repeat for the other shoe. The shapes should be a bit different to make the illustration a bit less static.
- Use the Select Tool to bring the shoes in position and use the End key to bring the shoes below the leg objects.
Puff Sleeves.. same thing...
- Ellipse/Circle.. white fill.
- Path > Object to Path and sculpt with the Node Tool .
- Make a duplicate (Ctrl+D) and flip it horizontally . Bring in position with the Select Tool .
The face is quite simple.
- 2 ellipses for the eyes in a dark brown and 2 lines with the Freehand Tool for the eye lashes.
- A triangle for the nose: 3 simple clicks with the Bezier Tool . Give it a red fill.
- 2 ellipses in a pink for the blush.
- A curve with the bezier tool for the mouth. Tip: draw a straight line and nudge it with the Node Tool as we did many times before.
- And for ultra cuteness I added some tiny ellipses for freckles.
What can I say... use the Freehand Tool and go crazy. Make a cute curl and copy / paste it all over our cuties head. Or draw all curls individually...
Actually more of the same... I made the 2 bow sides seperately and added an ellipse on top.
- Use the Freehand Tool for the bow parts. Sculpt with the Node Tool and add nodes as required.
- Select the individual parts of the bow and group them with Ctrl+G so it can be easily copied and recoloured.
- Position the bow on top of the hair, use the selection tool to position and rotate to your liking.
- Make a duplicate with Ctrl+D (remember that it is created exactly on top of the original).
- Use the selection tool to move it to the bottom of the dress.
- Scale / Rotate to your liking and recolour. Remember that the colour picker can be used to copy colours.
- Duplicated (Ctrl + D) for the bow on the other side of the dress.
- 3 simple ellipses as buttons on the dress and a pocket drawn with the Freehand Tool.
And there she is.. our country cutie..
Typically in country prim art a cloudy texture is used with a darker border. This effect can be created in Inkscape by using filters. I have made a set of filters availabe specifically for country art and you download it and find installation instructions in my tutorial on Country Prim Shading.
I'll leave it to you to experiment with all different shading styles. They all render slightly different but for this illustration I will simply use Country.Shading.10 as it works for most colours.
- Select everything except for the hair, eyes, nose, mouth, blush, freckles and buttons.. It probably is fastest to select the head and bow and then use the rubberband selection to add the rest of our cutie (draw a selection window covering everyting below the head).
- Select Filters > Country Shading > Country.Shading.10
Feel free to experiment with other settings. You can add combinations of filters too to make the effect lighter or darker.
Note that using filters in a design really slows down working in Inkscape, so it is a good thing to apply filters at the very last step. It also helps to zoom out quite a bit so not too much detail needs to be rendered. There are also some options to render lower quality on display, but high on export. Tweak these settings if Inkscape slows down too much to work with.
- Select the 2 ellipses that form the blush. Open the Fill and Stroke Dialog (Shift+Ctrl+F) and set the Blur to 20%.
In the presentation picture at the top of the article a simple brown rectangle was added with the the country shading filter applied to it. A smaller rectangle was added on top without fill and the stroke set to dashes - to resemble stitches. The font used is CurlyCue.
That's all folks. As usual: feedback is as always highly appreciated.
Please do not claim this design as your own.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License.