I'm having a confusion on how to represent properly the strands of a rope when trying to make a knot tied to one corner of a square.

I was able to reproduce a shape similar to a knot tied to a small hole in the square but I don't know how to make a texture or something akin to the strands you see in a rope. Does it exist a model or a way to do it without much fuss?. Can someone help me with this?.

The figure from below is what I could made but as it is shown the background which I could obtain is entirely a flat color and not the sort of texture which you can have with the threads.

Sketch of the problem

In my research to find a model as a guide I could obtain these:

Sample of a rope

This is a sample of the cotton rope

Sample of a cotton rope

Sample of cotton rope second

However the model which I intend to reproduce isn't exactly a hemp rope but a cotton rope, so the yarns don't stick out from the overall surface in a random manner. I'm aiming at something more smooth.

So does it exist a way to add this effect or how should I draw it?. Can someone help me with a step by step indications so its easy to follow?. I'm stuck with this.

  • 4
    I can appreciate the desire to learn. You should make an effort and then detail where you are having problems. In most of your questions, you are merely asking for a tutorial. I feel compelled to point out that this is not a "tutorial on demand" site. We're here to help.. not provide "easy step-by-step instructions to follow" for some random art thing you wish to create. Draw your rope.. then show us where you are having difficulty.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 4:05
  • 6
    If you are merely seeking tutorials I strongly suggest you search for a tutorial - here's one specifically about creating a rope in Inkscape
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 4:30
  • @Scott Sorry if my questions make it seem that way, it was not my intention. Learning is a slow process. In my question I did posted an example of what I could draw and as I indicated it featured the rope but I couldn't make those twists and turns. The tutorial which you had pointed out is useful but it lacks on how to make the shadow in between the braids or turns of the treads for more realism and that part was what I also having confusion on how to achieve that. Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 19:40
  • Perhaps your goal was unclear to me. "How to draw texture and shadow" is a markedly different question than the one I read. Light and shadow techniques tend to be largely universal. Focusing so much on rope, in addition to asking for "step-by-step instructions" really appears like you want someone to explain, in detail, how to draw a realistic rope.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 22:46
  • 2
    I notice that you have a history of never accepting answers. A bounty is used as bait to make people want to answer. But the ordinary 15 rep points you get for an accepted answer is also meant as bait. Has none of the quite good answers you've received in the past been helpful? It's not too late to accept some of them now. 😀
    – Wolff
    Commented Mar 25, 2021 at 9:49

1 Answer 1


This should be only a comment.

I guess you expect something like this (it's from Illustrator)

enter image description here

It's full vector. A piece of rope (see it in top right) is used as a brush. The piece is a traced photo. It's vector, not a bitmap image. It's a piece taken from one of your rope examples and prepared in Photoshop to make seamless repeating possible. The prepared piece is pasted to Illustrator, traced to vector and defined to be a Pattern Brush. That brush is applied to drawn curves.

Actually recent Illustrator versions and at least Affinity Designer allow also bitmap images to be used as brushes. That reduces the computer load substantially. The traced piece contains hundreds of small objects even when traced only to 8 colors.

The result really resembles rope except the shadow follows the bearing of the curve. It's not any realistic light condition. The photo for this purpose should have symmetric light.

Unfortunately I must tell that the same idea isn't usable in Inkscape. There's pattern along a path, but it doesn't allow shapes this complex. Bitmap image also cannot be used as a brush. The simple non-shaded version that you can find in tutorials is what's easily available.

One workaround would be to place different patterns along copies of the same path and prepare the patterns so that together they make an usable shading. That's extremely complex if there should be also fibers on strands. I skip it.

A plastic looking rope version with single hue color and no fibers is quite easy to derive from the simple non-shaded version of common tutorials which are based on pattern along a path. It's like this:

enter image description here

It's like taken from a cartoon, absolutely non-realistic. Its actually 3 versions layered:

enter image description here

On top there's a thin black stroke to make it look solid. Without it it's blurry.

In the middle there's a colorization layer with blending mode Hard Light.

On the bottom there's a heavily blurred version with thick black stroke and white fill. It's clipped to hide the out-of-the-shape blur. In the next image the BW-version is shown without clipping (clipping path = the same as the colorizing version) and without blur:

enter image description here

Hopefully you get an useful answer for realistic rope from someone with deeper knowledge. A hint: Try to accept some of the answers that you have got in the past. Some of them are so fine that I would never write & draw anything comparable. I guess it will reduce the obvious unwillingness to write answers to your questions.

  • You could eliminate the shadow and redo it with a offset shadower
    – joojaa
    Commented Sep 5, 2020 at 18:09

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