Inkscape Tutorial: Country Cutie

vsd_tut_country_cutie_200x150This 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.

 

Let's start!

All steps are first described and then followed by an image showing the results of those steps.

Head

  • Use the Ellipse Tool vsd_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.
vsd_tut_cutie_create_ellipse_head
  • Use the Rectangle Tool vsd_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++).
vsd_union

vsd_tut_cutie_add_rectangle_for_neck

  • Use the Node Tool vsd_node_tool and select the 2 nodes that make the sharp corners at the neck.
  • Auto-smooth the selected nodes by pressing this button vsd_auto_smooth_nodes.
  • 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.

vsd_tut_cutie_union_head

Dress

  • Use the Rectangle Tool vsd_rectangle_tool and draw a rectangle for the body.
  • Set the fill colour to a nice blue.
  • Leave the stroke colour brown.

vsd_tut_cutie_create_rectangle_dress

  • Select Path > Object to path (Shift+Ctrl+C) from the menu.
vsd_object_to_path_menu
  • Select the Node Tool vsd_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 vsd_insert_node.
  • 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.

vsd_tut_cutie_add_nodes_dress

  • Use the Node Tool vsd_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.

vsd_tut_cutie_shape_dress

  • Use the Select Tool vsd_select_tool. Use the handles to resize the dress to your likings.
  • Press the Page Down Key to send the dress behind the head.

vsd_tut_cutie_dress_to_back

Ruffles

For the ruffles at the bottom of the dress we do basically the same:

  • Create a rectangle vsd_rectangle_tool, set the fill to white and convert it to an path (Path > Object to Path, or shortcut Shift+Ctrl+C)
  • Use the Node Tool vsd_node_tool and widen the bottom a little (select the outer nodes and press Ctrl+ > repeatedly)
  • Add a LOT of nodes to the bottom vsd_join_endnodes_segment
  • vsd_tut_cutie_add_nodes_ruffle

 

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.

vsd_tut_cutie_jitter_ruffle

  • Select the nodes at the bottom again and "auto-smooth" them vsd_auto_smooth_nodes.
vsd_tut_cutie_smoothed_ruffles
  • Use the Select Tool vsd_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.

vsd_tut_cutie_add_ruffles

Arms

  • Draw an ellipse with the Ellipse Tool vsd_ellipse_tool. Set the Fill to tan (use the colour picker to copy the colour).
  • Double click the ellipse with the Select Tool vsd_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 vsd_node_tool to sculpt it a bit further.

vsd_tut_cutie_create_arm

  • Use the Select Tool vsd_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 vsd_flip_horizontally
  • Move the duplicate to the other side of the body.

vsd_tut_cutie_add_arms

Legs

  • Again..Draw an ellipse with the Ellipse Tool vsd_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 vsd_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.

vsd_tut_cutie_create_leg

  • Use the Select Tool vsd_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 vsd_flip_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.

vsd_tut_cutie_add_legs

Shoes.. more of the same..

  • Ellipse.. brown fill.
  • Select from the menu Path > Object to Path (Shift+Ctrl+C).
  • Use the Node Tool vsd_node_tool to sculpt into a shoe shape. Add extra nodes if needed vsd_insert_node
  • Repeat for the other shoe. The shapes should be a bit different to make the illustration a bit less static.

vsd_tut_cutie_create_shoe

  • Use the Select Tool vsd_select_tool to bring the shoes in position and use the End key to bring the shoes below the leg objects.

vsd_tut_cutie_add_shoe

Puff Sleeves.. same thing...

  • Ellipse/Circle.. white fill.
  • Path > Object to Path and sculpt with the Node Tool vsd_node_tool.

vsd_tut_cutie_create_puff_sleeve

  • Make a duplicate (Ctrl+D) and flip it horizontally vsd_flip_horizontally. Bring in position with the Select Tool vsd_select_tool.

 

Detailing

The Face

The face is quite simple.

  • 2 ellipses for the eyes in a dark brown and 2 lines with the Freehand Tool vsd_freehand_tool for the eye lashes.
  • A triangle for the nose: 3 simple clicks with the Bezier Tool vsd_bezier_tool. Give it a red fill.

vsd_tut_cutie_create_nose

  • 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.

vsd_tut_cutie_create_mouth

  • And for ultra cuteness I added some tiny ellipses for freckles.

vsd_tut_cutie_face_details

The Hair

What can I say... use the Freehand Tool vsd_freehand_tool and go crazy. Make a cute curl and copy / paste it all over our cuties head. Or draw all curls individually...
vsd_tut_cutie_create_hair

vsd_tut_cutie_add_hair

The Bow

Actually more of the same... I made the 2 bow sides seperately and added an ellipse on top.

  • Use the Freehand Tool vsd_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.

vsd_tut_cutie_create_bow

  • 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.

 

Finishing touches

  • 3 simple ellipses as buttons on the dress and a pocket drawn with the Freehand Tool.

vsd_tut_cutie_completed_no_shading
And there she is.. our country cutie..

 

Country Shading

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.

The blushes

  • Select the 2 ellipses that form the blush. Open the Fill and Stroke Dialog (Shift+Ctrl+F) and set the Blur to 20%.

vsd_tut_cutie_blur

vsd_tut_cutie_completed_shading

 

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.

 

Downloads

Please do not claim this design as your own.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Australia License. Creative Commons License

 

Comments 

 
+3 # angie 2011-08-12 11:31
This is wonderful! So glad to see you back with some more great tuts!
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+3 # angie 2011-08-15 13:24
How do I upload a file? Want to show you my country girl!
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-1 # syllie 2011-08-15 17:22
Hi Angie,

We do not allow file uploads to the site. The best way to share your results with us is to use a free hosting location for your file and then link it here in a comment. I update comments and change links to images if presented.

Options for free filehosting (amongst many others):
Image Hosts
TinyPic - No registration required
ImageShack - No registration required.
ImageVenue - No registration required


I am looking forward to see your country girl!

Cheers,
Syllie
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-1 # Laurianne 2011-09-25 08:07
Thanks for the great tut! Very easy to follow.
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-1 # PapaSue 2011-11-27 14:15
I saw your post on my Twitter and came right over to see this. Your tutorial is perfect.

thanks for sharing
papasuecreative.blogspot.com
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-1 # Carolyn C 2011-11-27 16:55
Excellent and very easy to follow. I think even I with no artist ability could create a country cutie. Thank you.
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-1 # Kathy grabe 2011-12-06 20:26
Great tutorials, lots to learn!
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-1 # Susan 2011-12-31 13:37
I just ran across your tutorials and find them very easy to do. I've dabbled with inkscape for a while now and I'm somewhat familiar with the operations, but I must say that your tutorials have given me an even broader perspective of the infinite designs I can create. I'm a novice now, but not for long. Thanks
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-1 # syllie 2012-01-03 12:15
Hi Susan - glad to hear the site is of some help to you :)

I checked out your website and I assume your main objective is to create fabric designs. I think you might be very surprised about the possibilities that are unleashed when using cloned tiles. If you want a quick overview of what one can do with that.. have a look at the Floral Design tutorial or if you dare at the Seamless Pattern tutorial (it is a bit more advanced).

Also check out the page about Tiling in the Inkscape Guide.

If you want to know more about the options (as they look a bit like setting mathematical equations - which they are :)) you can also have a look at the wiki to understand a bit more about the principles behind the settings on the symmetry tab.

I hope that brings you another dose of inspiration!

Cheers,
Syllie
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-1 # EVe 2012-01-08 08:50
Thank you for this great tut. Having some Illustrator and Coreldraw experience, this was a great first start with Inkscape.
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-1 # shashank sharma 2012-01-19 21:44
thanks for the tutorial..
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-1 # Headwinds 2012-02-15 09:32
I first tried making the limbs and sleeves of the Country Cutie from clones instead of copies. When I applied the filter, the cloned objects apparently got the filter applied twice and so were twice as dark as the original objects. Thus, cloned objects should be left out of the selection to have a filter applied -- I think.
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-1 # becky 2012-04-22 22:57
:D thankyou so much its the first time i have been able to do something that i understood what i was doing, as well as every step has a picture of what it looks like love it. Thank you
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-1 # ross 2012-10-07 17:16
thanks a lot for the tutorial! awesome!
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-1 # Andres 2013-01-20 11:53
it`s excellent
I speak spanish but i can get everything you say
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0 # Freda 2013-05-16 13:04
Your site is absolutely wonderful. You have presented these tutorials in a manner that anyone can understand. I am so enjoying them, thank you.
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