Inkscape Tutorial: Kokeshi Doll

kokeshi_thumbAn Inkscape tutorial for the absolute beginner.

This tutorial shows how to create a cute Japanese style Kokeshi doll.


Open Inkscape. The main window may look a bit daunting, but we'll tell about all the tools you need to create this vector illustration.

Before we start

If you are totally new to Inkscape, I'd like to recommend that you also have a look at the Quick Start section in the Tavmjong's Inkscape: Guide to a Vector Drawing Program, and especially the chapter Anatomy of the Inkscape window. In this tutorial the same words are used to designate Inkscape tools and dialogs and if you need further information on how to use a tool or what it's capabilities are, you can easily find your way around in the manual.

Size of the drawing

Inkscape is a vector editing program. Vectors are scalable. It does not matter how small or how large you draw the objects. However, if you use the keyboard for navigation, then some settings are relevant. By default Inkscape is set to a step size of 2 pixels for movement with the arrow keys. If you draw seriously large objects, then moving them around with the arrow keys at the default step setting is not easy. You can modify the default settings in Inkscape preferences which is opened in the menu File > Inkscape Preferences (shortcut: Shift+Ctrl+P).

For your reference: The default step settings of Inkscape were used.  The illustration was originally created on an A4 size paper (default document) and the total figure took up about 25% of the paper height, the initial ellipse took up about 20% of the paper height. But as said before... it does not really matter as everything is scalable.

Basic Shape for the Kokeshi Doll

Select the Ellipse Tool vsd_ellipse_tool from the tool box at the left side of the Inkscape window. This tool is used to draw circles, ellipses and arcs.

With the Ellipse Tool selected, click anywhere on the canvas and hold the left mouse button down, drag the mouse to draw an ellipse. As long as the Ellipse Tool is active, and an ellipse is selected, you'll see some handles that allow resizing (the squares) and arc conversion (the little circle).

vsd_tut_kokeshi_ellipse

If your drawing does not look like this, and you do not know how to correct it:

Ellipse is not shown in full (opens in new window)

The colour of the ellipse is totally different (opens in new window)

The colour of the outline (stroke) is different or not there at all (opens in new window)

 

Now, in the same manner, select the Rectangle Tool vsd_rectangle_tool and draw a rectangle over the bottom part of the ellipse.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_difference


Path operation to create the Basic Shape

To make the basic shape for the kokeshi doll, we use a path operation to cut the bottom part of the ellipse.

  • Use the select tool vsd_select_tool and select both objects. To select multiple objects: drag an selection window around both objects, or select one object and then hold down the Shift-key to add another object to the selection.
  • Select Path > Difference from the main menu. Alternatively you can use the shortcut Ctrl+- (hold down the Ctrl-key and then press the - key). This will create a difference from both paths (the bottom object minus the top object).

vsd_path_differencevsd_tut_kokeshi_basicshape

The resulting object will be used for 2 shapes: the main body as well as the hair. So we need to create a duplicate.

  • Select Edit > Duplicate from the main menu  (shortcut Ctrl+D). The duplicate will be created EXACTLY on top of the original (same centre point).
  • Move the top object by pressing the Arrow-key Up until both objects are separated. Alternatively: drag the object upwards with the mouse whilst pressing the Ctrl-key to constraint vertical movement.

 

You should now have the following drawing:

vsd_tut_kokeshi_duplicate_body

Body Shape

Next we need to modify the shape for the body a bit.

The Node Tool vsd_inkscape_nodetool is used to modify paths. When we used the Path Operation on the ellipse earlier, the ellipse object was converted to a path automatically for us.

  • Select the Node Tool and make sure that the lower object on screen is selected. You should see 5 markers that indicate nodes.

Note that the ones at the top and bottom of the path show as a diamond, whilst the middle ones show as a square. This is an indication for the type of node. The diamond nodes are corner nodes, and allow sharp corners / peaks in paths. The square ones are smooth nodes and make the path more flowing. There are other type of nodes "symmetric" and "auto-smooth". It is very easy to switch between the different types of nodes, and we will make use of that.

  • Select the 2 nodes in the middle (drag a selection window - or select a node and add node(s) to selection with shift + click, similar as selecting multiple objects before).

vsd_tut_kokeshi_select_middle_nodes

  • Click on the "auto-smooth nodes" button vsd_auto_smooth on the Node Tool - Tool Control bar at the top of the screen. Now the shape looks pretty close to the desired body shape we're after.
  • With the nodes still selected use the Arrow-keys to nudge the nodes a bit upwards, see picture below.
  • Then select the bottom nodes and move them a bit closer to each other (scale inwards) by hitting the < key on the keyboard a few times, see picture below. The shape of the body is now exactly as needed.
There are many options to edit or 'sculpt' a path using the Node Tool and if you are new to Inkscape I'll advise you to read "Editing Paths" in Inkscape: Guide to a Vector Drawing Program by Tavmjong Bah.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_smooth_middle_nodesvsd_tut_kokeshi_move_middle_nodesvsd_tut_kokeshi_move_bottom_nodes

Hair shape

Now for the hair. The shape is basically OK, but it is a bit too high.

  • Select the object with the Selection Tool vsd_select_tool and use the scaling handle at the top-centre to scale the height of the object down.
  • Use the Rectangle Tool vsd_rectangle_tool to draw a rectangle on top of the hair shape, and make the width smaller than the width of the bottom of the hair shape.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_draw_rectangle

The shapes must be alligned before the next step.

  • Open the "Allign and Distribute" dialog with the vsd_allign_distribute button in the top toolbar or use the shortcut Shift+Ctrl+A.

As the hair object is already exactly alligned with the body, it is easiest to move just the rectangle.

  • Select first the rectangle - it probably is still selected - and then add the hair shape to the selection: hold down the Shift-key and click on the hair shape.
  • In the "Allign and Distribute" dialog, set the "Relative to" drop down box to "Last Selected".

vsd_allign_distribute_dialog

  • Click on the button vsd_allign_center_horizontally to center the objects horizontally.
  • Use Path > Difference (shortcut: Ctrl+-) again to cut out the square from the hair shape.

vsd_path_difference

Your drawing should now look like this:

vsd_tut_kokeshi_cutout_rectangle

 

Further tweaking of the hair shape

The hair shape can be improved a bit by using the Node Toolvsd_inkscape_nodetool:

  • Select the 2 nodes in the middle with the Node Tool and move them a bit upwards with the Arrow-keys.
  • Select the 2 outer nodes at the bottom with the Node Tool, and move them a bit closer to each other by hitting the < key.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_move_middle_nodes_hairvsd_tut_kokeshi_hairvsd_tut_kokeshi_move_bottom_nodes_hair

Face

Time for the face.

  • Draw a slightly squashed ellipse with the Ellipse Tool vsd_ellipse_tool.
  • Allign the ellipse horizontally with the centre of the hair by using the "Allign and Distribute" dialog vsd_allign_distribute. This is similar as before: select the ellipse, add the hair shape to the selection as last object and allign the centres by pressing "Allign Centers Horizontally" vsd_allign_center_horizontally.
  • The face object needs to be behind the hair. Move the object behind the hair by pressing the Page Down-key. This changes the z-order (the stacking) of vector objects on a layer.
  • Move the hair object vertically if needed, it should cover most of the face.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_add_facevsd_tut_kokeshi_order_facevsd_tut_kokeshi_hair_placement

 

Eyes

Kokeshi dolls come with many different looks. Eyes open, eyes closed, winking or not, stars or not and so on. The details on the face give the dolls their character. It is simple to create an open eye with beautiful lashes. We use a simple circle and combine that with a bezier curve that has a pattern along its path, in this case a triangle.

Note: do not worry about the size of the eye yet. We scale it after we complete drawing. The advantage of a vector program is that the graphics are scaleable at all times without loss of quality.

Eyelash

  • Find an empty space on the canvas.
  • Select the Bezier Tool vsd_inkscape_beziertool. Set the mode to "Create regular Bezier path" (it is probably set like that) and set the shape to "Triangle In" on the tool controls. The settings should look like this:

vsd_beziertoolsettings2

  • Draw the Bezier path:
  1. Find an empty space on the canvas.vsd_bezier_step1
  2. Click on the canvas and hold the mouse button down whilst moving in the direction where you want the curve to go. This sets the control handle for the Bezier path (direction). In this case the mouse was moved to the right.vsd_bezier_step2
  3. Release the mouse button and move the mouse a bit upwards, a preview of the curve is shown in red.vsd_bezier_step3
  4. When the curve looks good, click again to fix the node. The curve is shown in green.vsd_bezier_step4
  5. As we are happy with this curve, we finish it by hitting enter on the keyboard (or click with the right mouse button).vsd_bezier_step5
Under the hood Inkscape applied a pattern to a path, all in one step. This is great, but when you start scaling or rotating them, some unexpected effects may occur. For that reason,we convert the object to a path. This will apply the path effects permanently.
  • Use Path > Object to Path from the main menu.

vsd_inkscape_objecttopath

Eye

  • Draw a small circle next to the eyelash with the Ellipse Tool vsd_ellipse_tool. Hold down the Ctrl-key to scale symmetrically.
  • Zoom in (Ctrl + mouse wheel) if you need a better view. The parts for the eye should look like this.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_eyelash

  • Move the eye-lash on top of the circle.
  • Rotate the eye-lash if needed: click on the object untill the rotation handles appear, then drag the appropriate one to rotate the object.
  • Duplicate the eye-lash (Ctrl+D). Remember that the duplicate is created exactly on top of the original, so move/rotate again
  • Repeat these steps for a 3rd eye-lash.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_eyelash_placementvsd_tut_kokeshi_eyelashes

  • Select all eye-lashes and the circle (use the selection methods as explained before) and then select Path > Union (shortcut: Ctrl++) to union the 4 objects into a single one.

vsd_inkscape_union

  • Set the fill to black: click with the left mouse button on the black swatch in the colour palette at the bottom of the screen.
  • Remove the stroke (outline), if any, by holding down the Shift-key while clicking on the X in the colour palette. This will make the eye a bit sharper.

vsd_set_fillvsd_tut_kokeshi_eye_fillvsd_remove_strokevsd_tut_kokeshi_eye_remove_stroke

 

Sparkles

Now let's put some sparkles in that eye.

  • Draw 2 small vertical ellipses on top of the eye and fill them with white.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_eye_sparkles

  • Select the 3 objects (eye + 2 sparkles), and duplicate (Ctrl+D) them.
  • The duplicates are automatically selected, use the arrow keys to move them to the the side so you can see both eyes.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_eye_duplicate

  • Now select ONLY the eye (click elsewhere on the canvas to deselect all, then click on the black eye object), the sparkles should stay where they are.
  • Flip the object horizontally by clicking on this button vsd_flip_horizontally in the tool control bar.
  • Use the arrow keys to move the eye-object horizontally so that the sparkles are over it again.

Note: sparkles are to come from the same light source, so while there is a right and a left eye, the sparkles appear at the same side of an eye, and in the same order.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_eye_flipvsd_tut_kokeshi_eye_move_sparkles

  • Group each eye with its sparkles: select the 3 objects and use Object > Group from the main menu (shortcut: Ctrl+G).
  • Select the 2 grouped eye objects and move them over the face. Use the scaling handles to resize if needed, and move them closer or further apart as needed.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_place_eyesvsd_tut_kokeshi_scale_eyesvsd_tut_kokeshi_scale_eyes_vertically

  • When the eyes are at the desired location, group them (Ctrl+G).
  • Open the allign dialog if it's closed by clicking vsd_allign_distribute.  Align the eyes with the centre of the face by using vsd_allign_center_horizontally. Remember: select the eyes first, then add the face to the selection as that is the object you want to allign with (Last Selected).

Note: as you can see I make use of multiple groupings, one for an individual eye object (eye + sparkles) and then for the competed set of eyes. This allows easy movement, rotation and alignment.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_allign_eyes

 

Mouth

There are again many ways to draw the mouth of a Kokeshi doll. From a simple horizontal line, a circle or ellipse, moon shape or even heart shape, everything is possible. For this tutorial we create the mouth by using a pie shape.

  • Select the Ellipse Tool and draw a small circle, if you see no outline: make sure that a colour for the stroke is assigned (Shift + click on a colour in the palette).

vsd_tut_kokeshi_circle_mouth

  • With the circle selected, change the settings at the top of the screen for start to 45 and end to 135. This should result in a nice pie shape.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_circle_segment_settingsvsd_tut_kokeshi_circle_segment_mouth

  • Duplicate the pie shape (Ctrl+D), and use the arrow key to move the duplicate a bit upwards.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_duplicate_circle_segment_mouth

  • Select both shapes and again use Path > Difference (shortcut: Ctrl+-) from the main menu. This results in a nice shape for the mouth.
  • Move it into place and center it horizontally with the face (use the align tools like before). 
  • Set the fill  to a red colour and remove the stroke colour.
  • Scale the mouth to your likings, hold down the Shift-key to scale from the centre point.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_mouth_placementvsd_tut_kokeshi_mouth_scale

Blush

An optional step, but it makes the dolls soooooo cute.

  • Draw 2 simple circles or ellipses left and right and slightly below the mouth. Reset the tool if it's not a full circle by using vsd_reset_circle.
  • Make sure they are horizontally alligned, then group them and allign them horizontally with the face.
  • Apply a pink colour.
  • Open the "Fill and Stroke" dialog by pressing vsd_stroke_fill_tool on the command bar (shortcut: Shift+Ctrl+F), and set "Blur" to 3-5% (to your liking).

vsd_tut_kokeshi_add_blush

Fills

  • Select the hair and set the fill to black.
  • Select the face and set it to an offwhite, beige, yellowish or pinkish colour.
  • Select the body and select a colour to your likings for the kimono.

Remember: set a fill for a selected object by a single click with the left mouse button on a colour in the palette at the bottom. Set a colour for the stroke (outline) by holding the Shift-key down and then clicking on a colour. Remove fill or stroke in a similar way by clicking on the X at the beginning of the palette.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_basic_figurevsd_tut_kokeshi_basic_figure_fill

Further detailing

Sleeves

  • Sleeves of the kimono are easily formed by quartered circles.
  • Draw a circle, set the start to 0 and the end to 90.
  • Place the shape on top of the body, rotate the segment to your likings.
  • Give the sleeve a fill matching the kimono.
  • Duplicate the sleeve (Ctrl+D) and flip horizontally. 
  • Move the sleeve to its location with the arrow keys.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_sleevevsd_tut_kokeshi_duplicate_flip_move_sleeve

Use the allign tools if needed to create symmetry. For example, allign the inner sides of the sleeves with the inner sides of the blush shapes by selecting both shapes and allign right sides and allign left sides respectively. You may need to temporarily ungroup the blush (use Shift+Ctrl+G), like below. Regroup after that (Ctrl+G).

vsd_tut_kokeshi_sleeve_allign

 

Bun

  • Create a small circle or ellipse for a bun on the top of the head. Remember: the Ctrl-key scales uniformly.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_hair_bun

Sleeve Decoration

A lotus flower made out of ellipses is used to decorate the sleeves.

  • Draw a small horizontal ellipse.
  • Duplicate the shape, and scale it down a bit: hold down the Shift-key and the Ctrl-key, to scale uniformly from center. I squashed the ellipse a bit horrizontally before rotating it.
  • Rotate the ellipse 30 degrees (hold down the Ctrl-key to force rotation in steps).
  • Repeat these steps (with the original ellipse, as that scales easier), scale to a smaller size and rotate 60 degrees.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_lotus_ellipsevsd_tut_kokeshi_lotus2vsd_tut_kokeshi_lotus3

  • Select the 2 rotated elipses and allign them with the left edge of the original one. Remember: select the objects to allign first, the object you want to allign with as last (Last Selected). Use the Allign and Distribute dialog vsd_allign_distribute(which is probably still open) and allign with the left edge using this buttonvsd_allign_left.
  • Nudge them a bit vertically with the arrow keys so it appears they start at the middle of the original object.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_lotus_allign

  • Duplicate the 2 rotated ellipses.
  • Flip them vertically and nudge them in place.
  • Draw a vertical ellipse for the bottom of the lotus.
  • Give the lotus a fill and strokes to your liking.
  • Group the lotus object (Ctrl+G) and place it on the sleeve.
  • Duplicate (Ctrl+D) and flip horizontally for the other side.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_lotus_completevsd_tut_kokeshi_lotus_complete

 

Hair Decoration

Draw some circles as decoration on the hair, and draw a few for decoration of the kimono too. Flowers, swirls and dots are great to decorate the dolls. Check out my Japanese flower design tutorial to see how beautiful flower objects can be created.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_basic_decoration

 

Kimono

The collar of the kimono is formed by 2 simple Bezier paths vsd_inkscape_beziertool with the shape set to "Ellipse". Draw from the right side of the neck to the left sleeve and then a smaller one from the left side till it crosses the first path.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_draw_collar

Change both objects to path (Path > Object to Path) to apply the path effect permanently. Scale and rotate if needed to move them to the best location. Give the objects a matching fill and stroke colour. Use the Page Down key until the object moves behind the sleeve and face.

vsd_inkscape_objecttopathvsd_tut_kokeshi_kimono

Highlights

The Kokeshi dolls are traditionally made of wood, and often finished with a shining laquer. To make the vector drawing a bit more lively, you can create 2 bean shapes that present some highlights.

Create an ellipse. Convert to path via Path > Object to Path. Select the outer node and nudge it a bit inwards.

vsd_tut_kokeshi_highlight1vsd_inkscape_objecttopathvsd_inkscape_nodetoolvsd_tut_kokeshi_highlight2vsd_tut_kokeshi_highlight3

Fill with white, remove stroke and place it at an appropriate place. Take note on how the sparkles for the eyes were placed, use the same direction. There are probably some other places that would look good with a highlight, but I think this is fine.



vsd_tut_kokeshi_complete

That's all folks. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Feedback is appreciated - please let me know if you had any difficulties following this tutorial.

 

Downloads

Please do not claim this design as your own. Read our TOU.

 

Comments 

 
+7 # Guest 2010-01-09 09:03
Very nice. I shows my finished doll to my wife, and she couldn't believe I made it. :sigh:
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+3 # syllie 2010-01-12 14:04
I am glad to hear that you were able to complete it :D
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+4 # Guest 2010-01-10 20:07
it is fantastic wen u finish it takes a bit of time to do but it look fab in the end:lol:
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+2 # syllie 2010-01-12 14:05
Hi Emily,

It sure is a bit of a long tutorial, but it shows quite a lot of techniques too. I am glad you liked it.
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+2 # Guest 2010-01-23 21:34
Thanks for the tutorial, it was easy to follow and i learnt lots of new things :P
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+3 # syllie 2010-01-24 06:35
Hi Sleepy,

I am glad you liked it. Thanks for the feedback!
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+7 # Guest 2010-02-09 05:07
Hi Syllie,

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I'd given up on Inkscape even before I started, but now I have hope again :)
Hope to try out some of the other tuts as well. I love my doll, eventhough she's not perfect :)
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+4 # syllie 2010-02-09 13:18
Hi Antoinette,

My mum used to say "Practice makes perfect". Dunno if that is true, but I do know that Inkscape skills improve fast with some practice!

I am glad you were able to complete the tutorial and if you do other tutorials from this site, perhaps the Cartoon Fish is a good next step before trying the bit more advanced ones.

Thanks for your feedback,
Syllie
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+6 # Guest 2010-02-12 21:24
Thanks for this tut, great fun! Now I can finally make my own wallpaper... provided that I know what I want of course. :)

I combined the doll with the cloud you did in the urban tut (just a bunch of circles, really) and a background, and now I have a dreamy wallpaper, yey! :)

Now I just need to master the sacura blossoms :)

Thanks a LOT!
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+4 # Guest 2010-07-28 19:05
Great tutorial. I just finished making the doll.

All your tutorials are a great help. I'm just getting into Inkscape because I'm writing a paper about Open graphics software in school.
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+3 # jim 2010-12-28 09:00
Thanks for these great tutorials. I learned some new things doing this one. Here is my finished product: www.bild.me/.../

Keep up the great work with the tuts! :-)
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+2 # syllie 2011-01-02 16:27
Hi Jim,

That looks awesome! I am glad you picked up a few new things from this tut - thanks for sharing the result!

Cheers,
Syllie
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+4 # Peter-Guitar 2011-01-19 23:19
A great tutorial, many thanks!
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+3 # Mai 2011-01-22 00:37
Thank you for the great tutorials you have, I have done about 6 of them this far and it works great. I'm so glad I discovered this program.
Only problem I can remember now (not about this tutorial) was creating valentine wallpaper when the effect of parallel hollow didn't work (I think I tried everything).
Still, it has been wonderful to do those simple but fantastic looking designs. Thank you! :)
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-2 # k1ru 2011-01-27 07:53
excellent tutorial gave great tips
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+4 # Rik 2011-02-14 06:15
great tutorial, gave me a good impression of Inkscape and my new Bamboo...
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+3 # vira 2011-02-14 15:11
Hi! Awesome tut! I taught myself Gimp now i wanna learn Inkscape. Of course I am so used to working with GIMP that Inkscape can be overwhelming at times.I have a question though. Does each body piece have its own layer or is it all on one layer? When i tried moving the face with the Page down key, nothing happened. :-| NOw that i think about it, maybe it's cause i was working with shapes that had no color fill. Hmm, would like your feedback. and again, thanks for your great tuts! :lol:
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+4 # syllie 2011-02-14 18:33
Hi Vira!
Welcome to the wonderful world of Inkscape - and heaps to explore :)

There is a difference between LAYERS and OBJECTS. Per definition each vector OBJECT that is drawn can be moved up and down in the stack (z-order) by moving it up (Page Up), down (Page Down), bring it (all the way) to front (top of stack) by hitting HOME or sending it all the way to the back by pressing End (or use the object menu / toolbar icons). This behaviour happens between all objects in a LAYER.

To organise the work you can create one or more layers - which can help with for example inking and print making - as each layer can be shown and hidden individually. This layer behaviour is more similar to what you know from image editors such as GIMP.

Note: if you GROUP objects and then want to work on an individual item in the group: double click the group and a "tempory layer" indication will appear. The group mimics the behaviou of a layer.

There is much more to read on this in the Inkscape Guide that is referenced in the article. In my Floral Design tutorial I make use of layers to organise the work. Just familiarize yourself with those concepts to gain better understanding.

Then lastly.. if your object has no fill.. it is a bit harder to select it: you need to click on the outline (or use the selection window (rubber band) method).

I hope this helps,
Cheers,
Syllie
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-2 # Ellie3 2011-02-16 05:47
Wonderful...thank you! So grateful that you've given this for free.
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+3 # Impressed 2011-02-19 21:39
My first model using Inkscape and by the end I felt comfortable with the controls demonstrated in this tutorial. Great work. Thanks.
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+4 # p33p 2011-02-22 17:13
Thank you very much this was a BIG help in my entry to Inkscape. The instructions were very clear and easy to follow and I learned several new tricks that will stick with me. :lol:
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+3 # Edward.H 2011-02-23 14:37
Owesome tutorial which helped me on designing logo in Inkscape for my site
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+4 # Lane 2011-02-23 18:45
Great tutorial, it makes an absolute beginner feels thrilled. Thank you!
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-1 # mango 2011-03-04 09:07
Great tutorial, thank you very much! ;-) This is my first experience in Inkscape and my kokeshi is wonderful :lol: :lol: :lol:
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+5 # Peepper 2011-03-09 12:11
I barely started to play with Inkscape. This is the first tutorial i read, I think is great! I learned many useful technics in a couple of hours.
Thanks a lot.
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-1 # Tanya 2011-03-12 07:05
Loved this! My only problems with it were that all my circles and ellipses have a black line that goes from the center to to right outline. Can't figure how to get rid of it. Also, I can see the outline of the body behind the face, although it is quite faint.
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+2 # syllie 2011-04-03 12:13
Hi Tanya,

It sounds like you missed the first remark on how to reset some styles that are used on tools.

If you have objects showing below others, then some transparency is applied. Check at the bottom of the screen: is the value in the box next to the colour swatch set to O: 100 ?

Also is the colour swatch displayed as a single solid colour or is transparency shown for half of it? In that case you may need to correc the Alpha (A) value in the stoke and fill dialog. It is the list slider, indicated with an A and the value should be 255 to show a solid colour (0 = fully transparent).

I hope this helps.
Cheers, Syllie
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+2 # Chris 2011-03-29 22:13
Hi,

Thanks for an excellent tutorial. This was my first time creating a character using a graphics programme after years of dreaming! It didn't quite turn out like yours, but pretty close! It gave me a really good idea of some of the tools available.
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+2 # syllie 2011-04-03 12:06
Hi Chris,

I'm glad you liked the tutorial. Whenever I follow one myself it never comes out exactly as intended by the author, but I call that 'artistic freedom'. Tutorials are a great way to explore tools and methods and give a head start in mastering a program.

Cheers, Syllie
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+2 # PapaSue 2011-04-10 02:59
I've been drawing in Inkscape for almost two years and I'm still learning. I loved your tutorial. Mine also is a bit different but I'm really happy with it and all I learned going through it,

Thank you so much.
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+3 # Masha 2011-04-18 01:38
Thank you very much for the tutorial. Enjoyed it a lot :)
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+4 # Dan Winfred 2011-04-29 00:39
Your tutorial was great and I as a beginner could actually draw these dolls and they turned out like the original Thanks
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+2 # kay 2011-05-03 05:11
have to say what a fab tutorial,downlo aded inkscape and was struggling but your tutorial made sense and i could relate to it so thanks,off to link you on my blog,x
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+2 # margarita 2011-05-18 02:42
me parece muy interesante todo el trabajo que hacen en este programa
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+2 # sahha 2011-05-18 23:41
:lol: it is beautiful, emotion is pretty an not dificult
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+4 # Ramon 2011-05-22 18:41
For people of the 3A like me this tutorial is fantastic. Easy to follow, my grand little kids we'll be happy and can teach them how to change the colour of the kimono and have fun. Thank you.
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+1 # Jennifer 2011-05-23 14:04
Wooww!!!! !Nunca había visto una herramienta tan genial y tan útil para el diseño vectorial!!
Me acabo de enamorar :lol: :lol: :lol:
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+1 # Deb 2011-06-02 18:19
:-) , my son and I have dyslexia, and I had such ease following your directions, and created such an adorable doll. Thank you so very much! My son is excited to make his own next.
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+1 # syllie 2011-06-13 17:24
Hi Deb,

I am glad this tutorial was easy to follow despite having dyslexia. I try to include a lot of screenshots as a picture says more than words.

Thank you for your feedback!
Cheers,
Syllie
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+1 # Gustavo Pugliesi Sac 2011-06-04 05:08
great tutorial.... I had tried before doing some things on Inkscape, but had no idea on how to begin and have just finished my first decent file (onde I managed to draw a Mexican sombrero :lol: )
thank you very much for sharing.... if you don't mind, I'll publish it in my facebook account to show my friends, but will gladly link to your page....
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+1 # syllie 2011-06-13 17:26
Hi Gustavo,

Thanks for your feedback. I am glad it worked out alright for you. Sounds like you made a cool modification to the design. I would indeed like to see your result .. it is great to see how these tutorials inspire people. Just pop in the link in a comment and I will change it to display the image during moderation..

Cheers,
Syllie
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+2 # Gustavo P. Sachs 2011-06-15 10:31
oh, I actually didn't change anything, the sombrero thing was a file that I had once done for fun.... my doll is exactly like yours, you can see it on: www.facebook.com/.../ (not sure if you'll be able to see it, but I tried making it public), too bad I didn't have time to go through other tutorials yet....
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0 # rinart romano 2011-06-10 08:52
:P belissimo tutorial e seria muito bom se tudo na vida fosse assim... . . . . . .
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-1 # Morgan 2011-06-15 17:01
Great tutorial. I just started Inkscape yesterday and ran through some of the official tutorials. Your tutorial really cemented those ideas in my brain as well as gave my wife something to "oo" and "aah" over. Your tutorial is well written and great for the beginner who knows almost nothing. Thanks a bunch!
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-1 # srujan raghavendra 2011-06-17 17:09
hello sir..its so nice of you to publish such nice and simple tutorials of inkscape. keep guiding like this. thank you sir..
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0 # Om 2011-06-20 06:40
Thanks much for this great tutorial. Now onwards I can draw such figures for my baby boy to color.
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0 # charlyasap 2011-07-08 03:51
Fantastic!. I did in my inkscape and I will repeat with another of your tutorials. Thanks you for sharing this knowledge.

:roll:
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0 # Tiz 2011-09-19 09:22
Even if my English is bad I could do everything easly! Thanks a lot... I think I will try to teach it to my children: they will enjoy it!
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+3 # dtoebe 2011-09-23 12:54
Thanks This is my first vector image Im excited
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+2 # valentina 2011-10-02 07:29
i cannot find the modes to created the eyelashes for the beizer tool? :o
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0 # syllie 2011-10-02 07:42
Hi Valentina,
These options are available in Inkscape 0.47 and above.

When you click on the bezier tool the "Tool Control" bar appears at the top of your sreen. It should look like this:

Then from the drop-down you sellect the appropiate shape before you start drawing with the bezier tool.

I just checked with Inkscape 0.48.2 and the tool control bar appears at the top in all layout modes. You can switch between layouts via the menu View and then the options Default | Custom | Wide at the bottom of that menu. I typically run the tutorials with the layout in "Default" mode.

If this doesn't help, can you tell me what version of Inkscape you're using please? (and a link to a screenshot would be helpful too. You have to upload your image to an image hosting location tho).

Cheers,
Syllie
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0 # Theron 2011-10-21 05:15
This was excellent! Thanks! I am just learning inkscape and I haven't done graphics in a long time. In this tutorial, you showed how to use the basic tools.
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0 # syllie 2011-10-25 21:37
Hi Theron,
I am glad the tutorial was useful. Inkscape is an awesome and free program and is a good choice to get back into making graphics.
Cheers, Syllie
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0 # Kurosaki Ichigo 2011-12-19 00:05
Very good!

Continue creating more tutorials.
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0 # Marco 2012-01-13 07:02
I really appreciated this tutorial! It was my first image created and it has been quite similar to your! ;-) Thank you
cheers Marco
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0 # Sam 2012-01-25 06:06
Fabulous tutorial, I love that you not only say what to do, but explain the why and also the purpose of the tool. I feel I can use these skills to try my hand at my own designs! Thanks heaps. :-)
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0 # Joe 2012-02-03 01:48
Wow, what a great tutorial. 8) It wasn't my first one, but it's defenetly the best ONE, I've seen yet.
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0 # Sage 2012-02-18 04:37
I've been running Linux for two years, but I've held onto my Windows vector drawing program, running it under Wine. This tutorial was tremendously helpful in allowing me to find the comparable (and sometimes better) aspects of Inkscape. Thanks so much.
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0 # Keith 2012-04-03 23:46
Wow! I'm only 1/3 of the way through this but I feel I should stop right here and just say thank you. Thank you for taking the time to go step by step and explaining for us newbies.
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0 # Skippy 2012-04-19 02:22
Just finished doing one myself. It turned out really good, thanks. Gonna give it to my sister in Australia. xtrct.wordpress.com
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0 # Tahir Hassan 2012-05-07 05:41
Excellent tutorial. Btw I learned about the controls using the microsodes found on screencasters.heathenx.org, thereafter I followed this tutorial all in one day and I did this! I must say that I am mightily impressed with this application!
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0 # Mark 2012-05-30 17:38
Good tutorial. Even though I've been using Inkscape for a year, I learned some things (step settings, scale-inwards key). Excellent presentation.
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0 # Giodina 2012-06-02 21:51
Thank you very much for this tutorial!!!! :D
My first kokeshi is so cute!!!^^
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0 # Rissa 2012-06-05 09:38
This has definitely made Inkscape a lot less intimidating. Thanks for the awesome tutorial.
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0 # Bingster 2012-06-11 00:42
Thank you. I just downloaded Inkscape today, and your tutorial is the first thing I have tried. It was clear and easy for a beginner to follow - I'm really pleased with my finished doll! The only thing I struggled with was the Bezier tool, but hopefully practice will make perfect.

Thanks for taking the time to create this tutorial.
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0 # spaventapasseri 2012-06-17 07:26
Hello guys, we tranlated your tutorial in italian language for the inkscape italian community. Thanks a lot for your effort

inkscapeforum.it/.../#new
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0 # Harshi 2012-07-06 14:28
It's really nice doll. can u ant one please tell me how can i download this Ink space software.i try it..but it doesn't work.can u help me to download it. give me the path..plz
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0 # ci1no7sa2na3p 2012-07-12 08:14
Very clear tutorial. Thank you!
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0 # Greywolf 2012-07-27 17:11
:-) Brilliant tutorial for a complete newbie like me. I am totally hooked on Inkscape now. One question please, I would like to complete my design but putting japanese script onto the drawing, Is this possible and if so how.

Thanks again for your tutorial, off to create sume flowers now.
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-1 # syllie 2012-08-06 15:56
Hi Greywolf,

I am glad that enjoyed the tutorial.

There are 2 ways to add japanese script to the drawing (3 if you dare to use the calligraphic pen :))

1. Use an supported font and add the script as 'Text' to the drawing.

2. Import an image with the script and use it simply as image. Inkscape also has a great 'trace' option that might be used to convert your image to a vector. I explain a bit about that in the Abstract Wallpaper tutorial.

I hope this helps.

Cheers,
Syllie
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-1 # David 2012-08-02 14:16
Thanks for the tut. Been kinda on hiatus with my vector skills. Trying the inkscape universe, a departure from my corel draw world. Nice and simple place to start.
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0 # vira 2012-09-20 07:27
Hello again,
I was referring to this tutorial, specifically, the part where you combine the closed shape of the eye lashes with the circle and they become one solid shape and color. I attempted to do that with a shape of a leaf i am trying to make but it came out all wrong!! i was expecting it to become a an outline instead some parts of the leaf disappeared. hope you can help me. what i did was draw an outline of a simple leaf shape, then a drew another curved line that represented a vein on the leaf coming out at the bottom of the leaf shape and at the end of that vein, i created a circle. well it looks nice put together but what i want is to be able to click on the leaf outline and have it to any color i want. I thought of combining paths, maybe uniting the paths, but i dont get the result i want. i either get a closed shape or a shape that loses the vein and circle shape. goodness i am blabbing, i am at my wits end and hope you can help me.

thank you,
vira
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-1 # syllie 2012-09-21 10:58
Hi Vira,

Nice to see you back. I tried to grasp what you are after exactly but I do have some troubles visualising. I have quickly doodled some examples but none of them may be what you are after. It would help if you could share your partial result or an example of the effect you try to achieve (as image).

Anyways.. for what it's worth - my interpretation:


I hope this helps.. if not.. drop me an image example or contact me through the contact us form so we can work something out directly?

Cheers,
Syllie
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0 # vira 2012-10-26 16:55
Hello Syllie!
thank you for your detailed explanation. Maybe i can send you image of what i am trying to do. I also had a question about clipping but you don't seem to have anything in reference to that in your tuts. :( Where can i send images to better explain myself? I would appreciate your reply.

thank you,
vira
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0 # Elsa 2012-11-03 02:12
Thank you very much for this tutorial!! My first doll is very nice!!
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0 # Oscar 2012-11-18 12:29
Muchas gracias por este tutorial, me sirvió mucho para aprender funciones básicas de Inkscape. Saludos :)
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0 # Urv 2013-02-23 19:41
Hi there, your tutorials are great. I managed do draw this doll, and feel so proud of my self lol i know! Well thanks for this since is making me well familiar with Inkscape. :)
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0 # Liam 2013-03-19 09:19
i liked this tutorial :P
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0 # Kennis 2013-11-16 06:52
Thanks for the tutorial. I am stoked to create this little doll!

I think I understand most of the steps, except I haven't got a hang of the Bezier tool and the step of changing path to object. Perhaps after I go through more tutorial, I can master them.
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