I was working on the Paisley Motif tutorial and right at the last step I decided to add a floral motif to it.
And there it happened again, my short and easy tutorial became a lot longer! So I decided on a spin-off again.
This tutorial is short and sweet and only focusses on creating a simple decorative flower ornament that can be used in many designs, including the paisley motif.
I assume little Inkscape knowledge, and the tutorial should be easy to follow for a beginning Inkscape artist.
Before we start
Inkscape remembers by default the last settings of a tool. Therefore objects you draw may differ from the screenshots in this tutorial. Help on how to correct the most common settings can be found on this page: Inkscape Beginner Tips (opens in a new window).
Design of a Floral Motif
Traditionally the paisley motif features floral designs in the centre. These designs can have many shapes from beautiful flowers, lush guirlandes to abstract motifs. A lot of the paisley motifs cut into woodblocks and then used to stencil the motif on fabric or paper. The motif we create here could have been used for that.
Size of the Motif
The size of the motif is really not important. I made this one for decorating a paisley motif, so in its use it will be very small. But I created it using a large part of the default document. In the end it was taking up about 25% of the paper, and then I scaled it further down to suit my design.
- Open Inkscape with the default document.
- Select the bezier tool with the default settings:
The bezier tool is one of the most important tools in Inkscape, but most beginners find it a bit hard to master it.
- So lets use an eay way out - 4 simple clicks on the canvas to create an approximate triangle:
Click on the canvas and move the mouse cursor to the left and a bit upwards.
Click again to form the top left sharp corner, then move the mouse to the bottom right.
Click to form the bottom right corner and move the cursor to the start point.
Click at the start point and finish by pressing the Enter-key on the keyboard OR click with the right mouse button at the starting point.
- With the triangle still selected, select the Node Tool .
- With the Node Tool, nudge the lower connecting line a bit upwards. Just hover over the line, click and drag it upwards:
- Repeat for the top connecting line:
- Select the 2 outer nodes by dragging a selection window (rubberband) around them, or select one node, hold down the Shift-key and then click on the other:
- Open the Align and Distribute dialog (Ctrl+Shift+A) and align the nodes vertically .
- Use the Select Tool .
- Give the shape a black fill by clicking on the black swatch in the colour palette at the bottom of the screen.
- Remove the stroke (outline) by holding down the Shift-key and then click on the X in the colour paletter at the bottom of the screen.
- Duplicate the shape via menu Edit > Duplicate (Shortcut: Ctrl+D). The duplicate is created exactly on top of the original.
- Flip the duplicate horizontally by pressing this button :
- Select both shapes.
- Open the the Align and Distribute dialog (Ctrl+Shift+A) if you closed it.
- Align the outer edges of the object such that you end up with below shape. The selection order determines whether "Align left edge of object to anchor right edge" or "Align right edge of object to anchor left edge" has to be used. Just try the other if you do not end up with below shape .
- Use Path > Union from the menu. This unions both objects into one.
- Make a duplicate again: use menu Edit > Duplicate (Ctrl+D). Remember that the duplicate is created on top of the original.
- Move the duplicate with the mouse or arrow keys above the initial shape. Hold down the Ctrl-key to constraint vertical movement if you use the mouse.
- Hold down the Shift-key and squash the duplicate shape horizontally by dragging the middle handles. The Shift-key ensures it resizes from the centre:
- Make a duplicate from the resized shape only. Menu Edit > Duplicate (Ctrl+D).
- Move it down such that it overlaps with the original shape. Hold down the Ctrl-key to constraint vertical movment:
- Select the 2 bottom objects.
- Use Path > Union from the menu. This creates one path from both objects:
- I decide to stretch the object a bit further vertically, by dragging the bottom centre handle:
- Select the 2 objects and combine them (Ctrl+K). This makes them into 1 path, exisisting of 2 subpaths:
- Make a duplicate via menu Edit > Duplicate (Ctrl+D) and flip it vertically pressing this button :
- Use the mouse or the arrow keys to move the duplicate downwards. Hold down the Ctrl-key to constraint vertical movment if you use the mouse.
- Select both objects and group them via menu Object > Group (Ctrl+G).
- Make a duplicate via menu Edit > Duplicate (Ctrl+D).
- Rotate the duplicate group over 90 degrees by pressing this button :
- Group the total design via menu Object > Group (Ctrl+G).
Note: if you completed the floral design tutorial, you'll know that creating a rotated design like this might as well be done with cloned tiles. There are many ways to create certain effects in Inkscape. I just try to show different techniques in the various tutorials. There is no right or wrong, just experiment and find the way that suits you best.
For the preview pictures I added a simple rectangle to the background, and gave that a radial fill with turquoise.
That's all folks. As usual: feedback is as always highly appreciated.
Please do not claim this design as your own. Read our TOU.