Swirly curls in Inkscape

Curlsy wishes 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.

  1. Create a new Image
  2. Use Create Spirals (F9) Spiral
  3. Above you now see the details of the current tool, Spiral Details being ‘Spiral’ at this moment. In order to get Swirly curls choose these values: turns 2.10; divergence 1.320 radius 0.020.
  4. Use Node edit tool (F2) Edit Nodes will allow a more natural change of turns, drag the two endnodes.
  5. Choose Select Tool (F1) Move Center Crosshair. Click twice (Toggle) on spiral for rotate mode. Drag center crosshair to the center ‘line end’ of the spiral.
  6. Now Clone (Ctrl-D) the spiral. Click again on already selected, cloned spiral for rotate mode. Rotate a little. Rotate. Click again on already selected spiral for scale mode. Hold shift (scale around center) and scale a little. Scale
  7. Select both spirals, then Path » Combine (Ctrl-K) Combine two lines
  8. Then zoom in on the central endnodes. Drag-select both endnodes Select Endnodes Choose ‘combine endnodes’ Join Endnodes
  9. 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’ Connect endlines
  10. Select complete object Fill and Stroke Choose Fill and stroke (Shift-Ctrl-F) Choose ‘none’ for stroke on ‘stroke’ tab Choose ‘solid’ on fill tab.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.

Dowload the SVG here

This article was published on webschuur.com. And migrated to this blog.

in design14

About the author: Bèr Kessels is an experienced webdeveloper with a great passion for technology and Open Source. A golden combination to implement that technology in a good and efficient way. Follow @berkes on Mastodon. Or read more about Bèr.