So far, we have given the shapes a single colour fill. One very useful tool is the gradient fill. It allows for an automatic gradient between two colours (or more). Also, it comes in two settings – linear or circular/ elliptic. Let’s have a look at it in this tutorial:
Start with 3 circles and squash one of them slightly.
Use the gradient tool and choose radial.
The two circles show the extent of the gradient and the square the starting point.
Create duplicate shapes and colour them dark purple. Set the opacity to 25% (either in the Fill & Stroke window or in the lower left next to the colour).
Alter the nodes to deform them. Turn the left and right nodes into corners.
Add a wider duplicate of the centre circle with a 10% opacity dark purple and 2 deformed black circles.
A third black circle will form the mouth with two rectangles cut out [ Path/ Difference ].
Duplicate the eyes and mouth twice with a 20% opacity light yellow and dark purple.
After a few more deformed circles at the top and for the inside of the eyes, we end up with a nice Halloween pumpkin…
… and a first step towards shading our vector illustrations.
I might repeat myself here, but variations are a key element for interesting illustrations. Vectors make it easy to quickly try out different settings. Lights, expressions, colours can be easily altered without loss to the main design elements.
A major advantage of working with vectors is the ability to quickly alter the artwork. Eg. lowering the light means changing the deform on the shadows and the centre of the gradient.
Alternatively, you can try different expressions.
Light from the right side means altering the positions of the highlights as well as the position of the gradient.
Even inverting the lights to a candle inside the pumpkin is just a matter of quickly altering the colours of the shapes.
This concludes the third post. I hope you have fun trying to recreate some of the tutorials yourself or just play around with Inkscape, gimp & co.
…and please let me know what you think about the tutorials, tell me what you would like to see featured or would like me to change.
Get the source art (svg file) of this tutorial for free!
Next, we are moving on to more complex shapes with the help of combined shapes using union, intersection, difference, exclusion and division.