I'm looking to recreate the below look on some vector based shapes in Inkscape, where the edges are broken and slightly see through, and fills are grainy.

Any help to either point me in the right direction, or if there is a name for this particular style that I can search for would be great

(Note: This is from foxadhd on Tumblr)


2 Answers 2


In theory you can draw in Inkscape images which have resembling textures. There's ready to use grainy effects and nothing prevents you inserting your own effects or editing the existing ones. Unfortunately there's 2 big obstacles:

  • complex effects make Inkscape slow, you probably will lose your creative flow with sluggishly responding tools

  • SVG effects are hard to create and edit, the learning curve will be very steep except in that lucky case you happen to be a genius

You can also use traced strokes as "patterns along paths" to create complex strokes.


enter image description here

  1. A bitmap image - this is a brush stroke copied and pasted from Photoshop. As easily one could draw this in GIMP.

  2. Image 1 traced to vector shape in Inkscape

  3. A random curve drawn with the pen

  4. Shape 3 after applying extension Pattern along Path, the pattern is in image 2. The result has got fill color = red. It's a filled path, not any more a stroke.

  5. Shape 3 copy without stroke , but filled with solid blue color and a pgrainy path effect applied. The effect is Filter > Scatter > Pointillism with its default settings.

If you put a grainy curve-like shape (=3) with reduced opacity and a little blur in place of a stroke, you are quite near your wanted texture.

enter image description here

You have already got a suggestion to use something like Photoshop or GIMP. That's a good idea because grainy things are simply too complex for Inkscape.

I suggest a hybrid approach. Check Affinity Designer. You can draw vector shapes like in Inkscape, but you can apply complex bitmap textures as fills and strokes (=image brushes) without making the program slow. Even gradients can have grainy colors.

  • Number 4 is closest to what I was looking for thanks, I'll have to play around with it for sure but this sends me in the right direction. And hybrid approach is also a good idea, start with the vector then move to GIMP/Photoshop to apply effects
    – Mackija
    Dec 31, 2018 at 16:46
  • @Mackija if you can accept the available vector drawing tools in GIMP or Photoshop, you can "stroke a path" there with current painting brush.
    – user82991
    Jan 1, 2019 at 11:45

The image looks like a simple animated gif - the texture is called "dithering" - which is common with that format. It's unlikely that it was made with Inkscape, more likely a raster image editor like Photoshop or GIMP.

  • I don't believe it's as simple for the edges though, the graininess yes but the edges are broken and see through so it would have to have something to do with the alpha. Just not sure what :(
    – Mackija
    Dec 31, 2018 at 13:06
  • If there's some transparency in the original, then that would also explain the dithering pattern when converted to GIF, since GIFs don't support that kind of alpha transparency, the only option is dithered transparency.
    – Billy Kerr
    Dec 31, 2018 at 15:00

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