I'm very new to inkscape and I am trying to change the colour of a vector graphic I downloaded. Below is a a screenshot of my window:

enter image description here

All of these bubbles are in shades of green. I want to keep the same pattern and transparency and change all these to a shade of red or maroon. Is this possible while maintaining the same look of what I have in green.

I searched online and I found that there is a change colour option in the extensions menu, but that is not producing the desired effect, it picks up only one shade of green and changes it to red while losing the transparency I have in green, see screenshot below of failed change colour option:

enter image description here

Some guidance here would be greatly appreciated.


Based on @Billy's directions, this is what I get:

enter image description here

This is where I got this design from, if that is any help: https://www.vecteezy.com/vector-art/197319-modern-abstract-green-and-blue-circles-business-trifold-brochure

  • 1
    After ungrouping the bubbles in the linked file in Inkscape, I get 12 paths, and 215 embedded raster images. No wonder it only works with a filter. Most extensions are meant to only work on paths. Tbh. I think I wouldn't suggest to use this template with Inkscape at all.
    – Moini
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 13:55

2 Answers 2


You can try this:

At first some circles with gradient fills. They are not transparent, all have blending mode multiply - that's how your pattern is in principle made.

enter image description here

White background is a must to get the right color with blending mode multiply. It can also be an union of the circle copies with white fill.

No background is needed, if the pattern has blending mode normal and it has only opaque colors. The pattern can be even a raster image.

Make a copy of the pattern, let all parts have a solid fill (now red), make an union of the parts

enter image description here

Give to the union blending mode = Color in the objects panel. Lift it to top and align it with your original shape. It should snap perfectly if there are all snaps to points ON.

enter image description here

Here's the same, but the union on the top has got brown color:

enter image description here

Warning: My Inkscape portable lost all blending mode functionality with this. Everything is like normal with 100% opacity, no matter are the colors solid or gradients.

One possible reason: = there were circles taken from an imported SVG file. I was trying this at first in Illustrator (no problems there) and saved as SVG too see it in Inkscape.

The method worked better if everything was drawn in Inkscape. It wasn't perfect. When I duplicated the gradient circles and tried to make an union of the copy or tried to turn their blending mode to normal, parts of the original pattern vanished. The workaround was to keep the original pattern in the clipboard and paste it back after the colored copy was ready.

So, Inkscape has something against just this job. Some underhood knowledge would be useful.


I started with this image

enter image description here

Edit > Select all, or press CTRL+A

Filters > Colourise

Choose the settings shown below

enter image description here

Click the Colour tab, and enter the value ff2a2aff. This should colourise everything, even those fills that are gradients.

Remember of course that this is an SVG effect, and it's not the same as changing the actual fill colours, which would be another way you could do it. But that wouldn't work with gradients, you'd need to edit these separately.

  • Thanks for the helpful reply, but it does not seem to work for me. I did exactly as you suggested but I got only red colour no gradients. Screenshot attached in my question above, I also added a link to where I got this from, if that helps. Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 23:22
  • @StuckInPhD It might depend on how these shapes are filled. The ones I used already had transparency and gradients with transparency in them, and they were made in Inkscape. If the fills are all solid, then it won't work right. You might be better to recreate your own shapes instead from scratch.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 23:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.