I know how to draw a simple arrow, but I don't know how to create a curve arrow with empty body like this. Do you have any idea?

enter image description here

  • Are you looking for some special tool-based approach or would normal construction (as you would do with any other shape) suffice?
    – J.E
    Jul 22 '20 at 13:21
  • @J.E I'm not sure what you mean by special tool-based approach, but I guess normal construction is suffice
    – Ooker
    Jul 22 '20 at 14:55
  • In Illustrator, I'd just draw a thick stroke with an arrowhead, expand, merge, and then add a stroke and no fill.
    – Scott
    Jul 22 '20 at 17:02

One easy no-tricks solution: Draw some guides and draw an arrow with them:

enter image description here

  1. Draw 2 circles and a line ,duplicate the line and flip the duplicate. Align all horizontally and vertically

  2. Select the circles, apply to them Path > Object to Path. Apply Extensions > Generate from Path > Interpolate > 3 steps to get equally spaced three intermediate circles

  3. Have all snap to points ON. Draw the arrow by clicking 10 times with the Bezier curve tool (=the Pen) to get the arrow as straight line segments. The drawing tool snaps on crossings and paths.

4-5. Select the node tool. Hold shift and drag the Bezier handles of the middle nodes out of the node to get the roundness. The result is shown in 5 without the guide shapes.

  1. Make a vertically and horizontally flipped copy if needed.

The method can be criticized "it's not exact, the curvature is eyeballed". True, but it can still be ok for illustration purposes. If you need exact curvature you can for example cut parts of circles or draw circular arcs. I tried to avoid messing with separate arcs and lines or triangles.

You can combine a triangle and a circular arc. I cannot recommend to use arrowheads because they behave in a complex way in Inkscape. A triangle is much easier to control.

enter image description here

The parts must be drawn so that the fitting edges are parallel. In the left there's a triangle drawn with the star-polygon tool. Hold Ctrl-key to get it horizontal. Below there's a vertically squeezed copy which very likely is a better arrowhead.

In the right there's a circular arc. Its starting angle is 0 degrees to make it fit with the horizontal triangle. Hold again Ctrl. It makes the arc circular as you draw. The next steps:

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  1. Place the triangle. It snaps to the top of the arc if you have all point snaps ON

  2. Adjust the stroke width of the arc. Apply Path > Stroke to path when you are ready. You get a filled closed path.

  3. Select the triangle and the arc. Apply Path > Union. Remove the fill color and set the wanted stroke color and style.

  4. Flip or rotate the arrow to the wanted position.

  • 1
    Why dont you cut the circle?
    – joojaa
    Jul 22 '20 at 14:53
  • The arrowhead must still be constructed except in the lucky case the preset one is OK. I am sure the questioner tried it at first and it didn't fit.
    – user287001
    Jul 22 '20 at 14:55
  • Yes but the point of using a computer is gor it to do the work. Me drawing a approximate src defeats the purose.
    – joojaa
    Jul 22 '20 at 15:51
  • 1
    OK. I added an exact arc version.
    – user287001
    Jul 23 '20 at 12:33

This is for Inkscape 1.0.

  1. Draw a line, apply a thick stroke and an arrow head.

  2. Using the Edit Paths by Nodes Tool, click and drag the line to bend it.

enter image description here

  1. Do Path > Stroke to Path

  2. Do Extensions > Arrange > Deep Ungroup, Apply, then close the extension

  3. Select the arrow head and do Path > Break Apart

  4. Select both arrow head and cruved rectangle by holding down Shift as you click to make a multiple selection

  5. Move them away so you can see any left-over triangles, and delete these.

enter image description here

You should now be left with a single path arrow head, and curved rectangle.

  1. Select both pieces and do Path > Union

  2. Remove the fill and add a stroke

enter image description here

  • I knew there had to be a simple way to deform a stroke with arrowhead like this with Inkscape... just no clue how to accomplish it myself :) +1
    – Scott
    Jul 24 '20 at 18:51
  • @Scott Actually, it's very similiar to using Illustrator's Anchor Point tool, which can bend a straight path. Stroke to Path is like Expand in Illustrator, and Break Apart is like releasing a compound path in Illustrator. Not so different from Illustrator really, just the names for tools are a bit different.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 24 '20 at 20:59
  • Inkscape is one of those tools I really respect but have no use for due to my (seemingly mandatory) Adobe subscription. In addition, on the Mac, the whole X11 thing is just more trouble than it's worth. 😀 But were it not for AI.. I'd be an inkscape user.
    – Scott
    Jul 24 '20 at 21:07

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