Episode 081

Episode 081 – Create a Pencil Icon

by heathenx

In this episode I hope to take a Photoshop tutorial of a classy pencil icon and adapt that to Inkscape 0.46.

I would like to thank Eren Goksel, a fabulous artist, and PSDTUTS.com, a fabulous Photoshop tutorial website for providing the inspiration for this screencast. I am a fan of both. Be sure to visit PSDTUTS and check out their other tutorials as well. The original pencil how-to can be found here.

Tags: ,

29 Responses to “Episode 081”

  1. Morgan Says:

    I love your tutorials heathenx ! Go on !

  2. James G Sack (jim) Says:

    This tut demonstrates a useful assortment of basic skills. Good job!
    I especially liked the very nice example of on-screen gradient editing.

    BTW has anyone remarked that the comic font makes it especially hard to follow your navigation/selection in the menus.


  3. Zombiebrainz Says:

    Great work! That in-line gradient editing is great. The color overlay tip is useful too! Very good tutorial to get beyond the basics! Thanks again! I still think it could have used a jab at Richard for good measure but you did compliment him nicely…

  4. manuee Says:

    Great job on this screencast, goes to show how great inkscape is in the right hands 😀

  5. Don W. Says:

    Very good, one of your best. Interpolate gradients, who knew?

  6. cb2k Says:

    Absolute blinder

    The boys hit us with a quick 1-2 with episodes 80 – 81
    Lets hope they keep throwing those combinations…


  7. heathenx Says:

    Christian from http://chrisdesign.wordpress.com shared a tip with me regarding the on-canvas gradient editing. You don’t have to click the gradient tool and eye dropper constantly to change the colors like I was doing. Just get into the gradient mode and use the eye dropper only to select the gradient stop and change the color. Makes more sense that way. I’m such a rookie. 😐

    @James G Sack (jim):
    Nope, no one has complained about my OS font before. As a matter of fact some have been interested in where they can find it to use for themselves. I’m sorry that it’s hard for you to read.

    Richard and I both have screencasts in the works. Expect ep082 and ep083 soon. 🙂

  8. rico Says:

    excellent screencast as usual!
    The interpolated gradient is a really good idea that should eventually get a deeper look… in a microsode? Would it be possible to come close to mesh gradients with that technique?

    Thanx again!

  9. neon g Says:

    What a scorcher! I learnt loads from this one.

    I’ve wanted to do a conical gradient a couple of times in the past but I didn’t know how, so thank you very much for that tip 🙂

  10. rico Says:

    juste a note
    nightly builds of inkscape are now available for ubuntu

  11. Mohamed Says:

    I want to thank you for these fabulous tutorials, I started working on inkscape few months ago and I learned many interesting tips from your blog.
    Greetings from Morocco!

    PS: Concerning the comic font, I’m sorry to tell you that it makes following the tutorial a little bit difficult for me too 🙂

  12. Richard Querin Says:

    Okay. Let me first start by saying.. “Holy Crap!”.

    Such a nice job. Never knew about the interpolated gradients AT ALL.
    Never knew about the Objects To Guides AT ALL.

    I absolutely loved the way you created the metal stamping effect. As soon as I saw the tutorial screenshot I thought to myself, “how the heck is he gonna create that??”. 😉

    Awesome job. If there was an emoticon that mimic’d Wayne & Garth’s “we’re not worthy” I’d surely use it.

    But it wouldn’t be right for me to just heap on the praise without something to add… when you created the drop shadow at the end, you could have just selected everything and ‘union’ed it and then turned it black and blurred it no? Or maybe the clipping or gradients would have caused problems? Not sure why you deleted certain objects before doing it.

    Regardless, that was really really really good. So unlike you. 😛

  13. heathenx Says:

    Ok everyone. I’ll dump the comics-sans (rufscript) font that I’m using for future screencasts. Say…an Arial, 22pt, bold? 😀

    Thanks for the Inkscape repo. Richard just gave that to me recently. Handy.

    @Richard Querin:
    Thanks for the comments. I can’t take much credit though. Eren Goksel and PSDTUTS should get all the praise. Besides, Eren’s pencil was much better than mine.

    Regarding the union of the shadow…for some reason I couldn’t get it to work on my first take so I avoided it on my second take. I wonder now if my shapes weren’t touching or something. Hmm…

  14. Alpha13 Says:

    ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! I had a great watch and do session last night. I had a great time reproducing your screencast. If I may. there are two things I want to comment on… The sound level is a little low on my system, perhaps it is my crappy on board sound chip. The other comment is that I was disappointed there was no Lover Boy in the intro 🙂

    Thanx HX!

  15. Soichiro Takeda Says:

    It’s a very excellent tutorial!!!

  16. Zlatko Says:

    I learn something new about gradiens in Inkscape, on my PC sound is very good, sound chip Realtek HD ALC888 and speakers Logitech 2.1 Z4.

  17. llogg Says:

    One of your best screencasts yet, heathenX. Thanks. The interpolate feature is extremely powerful and often overlooked, I think. I would not have thought to use it in this way, though. Great idea. Curious why you didn’t use that technique for the lead, though. Also, why no blur on the highlight of the lead? Again, excellent work.

  18. heathenx Says:



    I suppose I could have carried on with more things in this screencast, like blurs and reflections, but I had to cut it off at some point. I think I had given you enough to build upon. You can always pick up where I left off and make yours even better. Just look at some of the pencils that were made on the Screencasters’ flickr group. Excellent stuff. Besides after recording for nearly 40 minutes I get antsy and want to wrap things up. 😉

    Yes, the interpolate effect was rather handy here. I wonder what other methods can be used for making conical gradients. Hmm…

  19. rico Says:

    why do i get this message when looking for screencasters on google:

    Warning – visiting this web site may harm your computer!


  20. zombiebrainz Says:

    @rico — Google search has a SERIOUS bug today… speculation that they may have gotten hacked. ANY search results you get from google will say “Warning – visiting this web site may harm your computer!”. If you click on a search result link, you can remove the “http://www.google.ca/interstitial?url=” and hit enter. You should be golden. While google gets its act together, you can use yahoo or another search engine…. Hope this helps.

  21. Richard Querin Says:

    Yep zombiebrainz I concur. Got that on a whole mulititude of sites today after upgrading to Intrepid and searching around for some info. I wasn’t sure if it was my upgrade or Google that was the problem.

  22. rico Says:

    Same for me, just installed intrepid on the computer of a friend and i was putting some favorites in his firefox.. of course screencasters had to be part of it, and i was a bit surprised by the message as i’m very lazy and usually type only “screencasters” in the url bar to get me to the site, but this time i got blocked by google. I thought maybe you found a way to have a virus that automatically installs inkscape on the computer of anyone visiting the site 😛

  23. heathenx Says:

    Read about it here:


  24. capnhud Says:

    I think that using http://ffaat.pointclark.net/blog/archives/155-GIMP-Script-Sample-a-Gradient-along-a-Path.html gimp script would allow someone to create the gradient in a snap. Use this for all images that need an accurate gradient.

  25. llogg Says:

    heathenx, I think the issue with doing union for the drop shadow may have been related to the pencil tip objects being clipped.

  26. Bercik Says:

    Hey, i have made a great pencil. I\’m from poland, and I can understand what are you speaking. You\’re great, thanks you, I can use Inkscape nw 😉

  27. Moonlilly Says:

    Wow! I learned SOOO much from this tutorial! Plus, I’ve never drawn anything that cool before LOL! It was really easy to follow and I didn’t have any obstacles along the way like in some other tuts… smooth sailing all the way! Great job, keep up the good work and stop being so modest! Not everyone could just figure out what you did on their own 😉

  28. Xbody Says:

    One of the best tutorials. thx! 😉

  29. Resonance Says:

    Another bad-ass tutorial. Never thought I would enjoy vector drawing so much. Here is my attempt (ring over all erasers is for covering up the wrong gradient over rubber)