A couple of weeks ago, I showcased 5 free, open source graphics programs. One of the programs mentioned in the post was Inkscape—an Adobe Illustrator replacement.
Inkscape is a powerful, full-featured vector graphics program, capable of producing some mighty impressive graphics. Inkscape can be used to create all manner of vector graphics, logos and icons.
Similar to what I did with GIMP last week, this week we’re going to learn the basics of Inkscape with some tutorials, and then move on to some of the more impressive things that can be done.
The following tutorial sites and links will help you:
- Learn Inkscape’s interface and shortcuts
- Learn how to use some of Inkscape’s most-used tools
- Have fun with Inkscape
Learn Inkscape’s Interface
To start off, let’s learn more about Inkscape’s interface and keyboard shortcuts. We’ll learn the basics by taking a look at Inkscape.org, the official Inkscape website.
This tutorial shows how to perform common tasks like:
- Panning the canvas
- Creating and managing documents
- Creating shapes
- Moving, scaling and rotating
- Fill and stroke
- and more…
This is the first stop for anyone wanting to start using Inkscape, as well as those wanting to refresh their memories on keyboard shortcuts.
Learn how to:
- Draw freehand and regular paths
- Editing paths
- Boolean operations
- and more…
For more Inkscape basics and official documentation, take a look at Inkscape.org’s Documentation section (available in several languages).
Introduction to Inkscape: A nice tutorial showing you the Inkscape interface as well as the various tools.
Having Fun With Inkscape
Now that the basics are figured out, let’s have some fun with Inkscape and actually create some things.
Use Inkscape to create a simple, but realistic vector ribbon.
Blog dedicated to nothing but fantastic Inkscape tutorials. You can find tons of useful, easy-to-follow Inkscape tutorials here, as well as some video tutorials.
A huge list of user-submitted Inkscape tutorials.
A 6 part series on using Inkscape.
Screencasters.HeathenX.org is the place for Inkscape video tutorials.
Benefits of Inkscape
Remember, Inkscape is cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux) and it’s open source.
Unlike Illustrator, Inkscape is easy on the system resources and runs nicely on just about any system.
It’s a good choice for graphic designers who need to create vector graphics, logos or icons.
Since I found Inkscape, I hardly ever crack open Illustrator anymore. I’ve used it for commercial and print projects, and logo and icon designs.