Using vectors to draw may seem a little overwhelming if you're new to the method but with a little bit of practice you can create amazing artwork. If you find it difficult to draw smooth lines using a mouse, and you don't have a graphics tablet, working with vectors may be just the thing you need to discover your hidden artist! 

Many people like to use vectors for line art because it lets you draw (immaculately!) clean lines which can be edited with ease. I've got a foot in each camp when it comes to digital art. When I want to paint, I use programs like GIMP, Photoshop and Sketchbook. If I need clean lines and precise shapes I reach for Inkscape every time! Drawing with vectors is nothing like drawing with a pencil.

The following Instructable focuses mainly on the first cat in the image above, the one with the orange background. It's built up using very basic shapes and a little bit of colouring in. You can get a similar result in pixel based programs such as GIMP and Photoshop, or, if you'd prefer to follow along using the more traditional pen and paper you can do that too- they're all drawn using very simple shapes! 

This is definitely a beginner's guide to drawing with vectors and using Inkscape. It assumes you have no previous knowledge. If you're familiar with the tools already- please use the list below to skip through the steps.
  1. Introducing Inkscape- Draw Freely!
  2. Introducing Inkscape- Document Settings
  3. Introducing Inkscape- Setting Up The Document
  4. Too Long; Didn't Read? aka- The Blank Canvas
  5. Creating The Body
  6. Creating the Back Legs
  7. Creating the Head
  8. Creating the Ears
  9. Creating the Back Feet
  10. Creating the Outer Front Legs
  11. Creating the Front Paws
  12. Creating the Tail
  13. Creating the Nose
  14. Creating the Eyes
  15. Fleshing Out the Tail
  16. Filling It All In
  17. Bringing Back Some Edges
  18. Colouring The Eyes
  19. Creating The Fence
  20. The Gradient Background
  21. The Full Moon
  22. The Stars are Shining
  23. The Finishing Touches
  24. The Finished Black Cat
  25. Quick Cat- Tail Up
  26. Quick Cat- Rooftop
  27. Quick Cat- Pouncing
Easter has bunnies, Christmas has reindeer's and Halloween is ruled by the black cat!
This is my second Instructable, and an entry for the Halloween Paint & Draw competition for 2012. I hope you enjoy it!

Step 1: Introducing Inkscape- Draw Freely!

If you would like to follow along *exactly* you will need to download an install a program called Inkscape. 

Download link to Inkscape: http://inkscape.org/

About Inkscape

An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.

Inkscape supports many advanced SVG features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) and great care is taken in designing a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more. We also aim to maintain a thriving user and developer community by using open, community-oriented development.
<p>Very informative and thorough!</p>
This is one of the best tutorials on Inkscape I have seen. Great job and thanks!
I also make a vector kitty with inkscape with help of this tutorial but without background:
I can see the preview image as a pair of glowing green eyes with some outlines for the legs which is a funky style variation on its own. It sort of looks like a black cat in the middle of the street on a moonless night.&nbsp;<br> <br> BUT if I click on the image I see the full picture, which is great! I like the shape of your tail more than my own. They're not identical, nor should they be, maybe they're brother and sister- or close cousins. Hehe!<br> <br> Thanks for sharing your outcome here, I hope you enjoyed following along!&nbsp;
Thank You! MissThrifty
Wonderful stuff! I create vector based art for a livin' (graphic artist/Tshirt screenprinter) using CorelDraw. I'm a perfectionist and vectors are so fun and easy to manipulate, no back and forth from the eraser to the paintbrush, etc. <br> <br>Something else to ponder-You can use vector programs to create your own fonts or clip art! You can assign vector images to keystrokes, I used a program called Fontographer. It was a free download, but I can't remember from where I got it. It was more than 10 years ago.
Working with vectors has some <em>very</em> cool upsides- and being able to modify a design without needing to erase your previous hard work is definitely one of them!&nbsp;<br> <br> I taught myself how to use Inkscape because I wanted to use it to draft and edit my own sewing patterns and for that it still blows me away. I can tweak and change any line or point <em>sooooo </em>easily! And then I can print out a fresh, crisp, clean, brand new copy without the ugly erased/smudged lines or sticky taped add-ons.&nbsp;<br> <br> I've never been great with fonts, but then again I've never tried making my own with vectors so I'll have a look for fontographer. :)<br> <br> Cheers!
Astonishing! <br>
Thanks! :)
wow great documentation! the style of these is awesome, how long do they take you to draw? can you achieve similar results in software other than inkscape?
I spent about two hours &quot;brainstorming&quot; the black cats and their backgrounds. The initial shapes didn't take very long to make but I did spend some time after the basics were down tweaking the poses. That's one of the benefits of working with vectors- you can go back and change things very easily, nothing is set in stone.<em> (Documenting it, however, took almost two days- lol!) </em><br> <br> You should be able to get an almost identical outcome using Illustrator and CorelDraw because both of them are vector based programs with very similar tools. You can achieve a &quot;close enough&quot; result with Photoshop using the shape tool set to &quot;shape layer&quot; which will create an editable vector path. Photoshop has a &quot;paths&quot; palette buried beneath the layers and channels palette. You'd need to create a layer style with similar properties for the shapes you draw... it starts to get a bit clunky after that with workarounds.<br> <br> The bulk of this Instructable is made up using pretty basic shapes so you can also sketch it out with pen and paper if you wanted to. You could sketch the basics, ink the outlines then colour it all in with whatever medium you like. Obviously it won't be identical to the one above but hand drawn pictures have their own charm! :)<br> <br> Thanks for the comment!

About This Instructable




Bio: Dressmaker, doodler, gamer girl, book devourer and lover of all things vintage, especially my Gran! Primary weapons of choice: gaffer tape and a sewing machine!
More by MissThrifty:Drawing A Black Cat Using Vectors Starry Fright- A Post Impressionist How-To 
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