I consider veerle's blog one of the best webdesign resources around. Because Veerle is not only a great graphical designer (there are many of them on the web), with a keen eye for design, but also knows about accessability, CSS, interfaces and usability. She writes good manuals for Adobe programs.
But. I don't own a mac, nor do I want to own one, I am, ever since '95, a happy Linux user. It's a good thing that there are good OSS design tools for linux around. I re-did Veerles excellent tutorial on Swirly curls in Adobe Illustrator for the great Free and Open Source vector program Inkscape.
- Create a new Image
- Use Create Spirals (F9)
- Above you now see the details of the current tool, being 'Spiral' at this moment. In order to get Swirly curls choose these values: turns 2.10; divergence 1.320 radius 0.020.
- Use Node edit tool (F2) will allow a more natural change of turns, drag the two endnodes.
- Choose Select Tool (F1) . Click twice (Toggle) on spiral for rotate mode. Drag center crosshair to the center 'line end' of the spiral.
- Now Clone (Ctrl-D) the spiral. Click again on already selected, cloned spiral for rotate mode. Rotate a little. . Click again on already selected spiral for scale mode. Hold shift (scale around center) and scale a little.
- Select both spirals, then Path » Combine (Ctrl-K)
- Then zoom in on the central endnodes. Drag-select both endnodes Choose 'combine endnodes'
- And zoom in on outer endnodes Drag-select both endnodes Choose 'combine endnodes with a new segment' Drag-select both endnodes Choose 'make selected nodes corner' Drag-select both nodes, or click-select newly added linepiece Click 'make selected nodes lines'
- Select complete object Choose Fill and stroke (Shift-Ctrl-F) Choose 'none' for stroke on 'stroke' tab Choose 'solid' on fill tab.
- Play around. Use clones of the spiral to trial-and-error, its vectordrawing, so having many copies won't use too much resources. The node-tool is great for adding lines to other swirles and swishes. Delete pairs of nodes in the outer end to make smaller spirals. Use 'Flip horizontally' (H) or 'Flip Vertically' (V) to create swirls that are the other way around.
- Sure, the result is not even close to goodlooking, but it's from here that you can make it so. It's not the price of the tool that make a drawing great, its your artistic skills.