I draw nearly all of my art works in Inkscape. This open source software for creating vector graphics has a lot of opportunities. Well, if Inkscape doesn’t have something that other similar commercial analogs have — it’s a great reason to think and solve needed task in your own way.
I think all Inkscape tools become useful sooner or later — it all depends on the goal. But I would like to highlight five tools that I use more frequently.
My workflow begins with the creation of a pencil sketch. The more detailed sketch is — the better. If only I don’t already see the whole picture in my mind. When the sketch is ready, I scan it and move on to Inkscape.
Bezier Tool (Shift + F6)
Earlier, I have always used this tool to draw an outline. It’s very handy when you are working with a mouse or you don’t like a freehand drawing. However, Bezier Tool can be very tricky. For example, I still don’t know how to draw a paths with ‘click and drag’ as I want them to. So I just create nodes in the right places and then edit them.
Nodes Tool (F2)
The nodes are edited with this tool. Not only nodes that were created using Bezier Tool, but in all other paths too. With it we can drag a node to any other place and make paths smoother.
Pencil Tool (F6)
Now, I prefer to trace the outline with a pencil. I set its smoothing to 50%, so my lines are smooth enough for me. But Pencil Tool isn’t the best way to draw circles with. For this goal there is nothing better than the next tool.
Elipse Tool (F5)
This tool speaks for itself. With it we can create the perfect circle or basis for ellipse, arcs, etc.
Spray Tool (Shift + F7)
Only recently I’ve discovered the convenient way to use this tool. It helps me in creating, for example, various forms of bushes, trees or clouds. I create a circle, and without deselecting it I switch to the Spray Tool. After editing options like Amount, Scale and Scatter I create a rought shape. Then I unlink clones and unite them in one object.
And what are your favourite Inkscape tools, that provide you a great help in your workflow?