I'm copying a drawing in Inkscape to be able to enlarge it and use it to print a t-shirt.

The original is this:


And the one that I made is this (far from perfect, but the best I my abilities allow right now):


My question is: How can I make that "airbrush" effect, either in Inkscape or GIMP?

Also, is "airbrush" a correct term for that effect?

1 Answer 1


You could try creating a texture in GIMP to mask out a grouped object in Inkscape so that the black background shows through.

Something like this, which was created in GIMP using some splatter brushes.

enter image description here

Applied as a mask in Inkscape it looks like this

enter image description here

Note: if you link the textured mask image in Inkscape, rather than embedding the image. You could even edit the mask image in GIMP, overwrite the file, and it will update automatically in Inkscape. That's how I made the edit above.

  • 1
    Thanks! That worked like a charm. Just need to experiment a little to get it right. Especially liked the ability to link the mask instead of embedding it!
    – paul
    Mar 11, 2019 at 13:26
  • openclipart offers several ready-made SVG grunge / dirt / grime images for free use, in case you don't want to create it yourself: openclipart.org/search/?query=grunge
    – Moini
    Mar 13, 2019 at 13:24

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