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How can one replicate this style of drawing in Inkscape?

Raster graphics, line art of a mountain slope

In my attempts to implement this I've explored three approaches: (a) filling an object with a stripe pattern, (b) using the hatch path effect, and (c) a combination of the interpolate sub-paths + roughen path effects.

You can see the results so far. Although the interpolate+roughen method seems to provide the most promising result, it still doesn't create the same aesthetic as the original. Perhaps it is a matter of tweaking something here and there, or maybe there's a conceptually different approach I should try.

Vector line art experiment

What would be the most appropriate method to replicate this style? And what is the correct terminology for referring to this style of drawing?

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  • For Illustrator... nice vellum, draw hatches, scan, trace, create custom brushes or patterns. The problem with pure digital means is they all look digital - as in far too uniform and symmetrical - even if one uses some digital "roughen" feature. Custom brushes or patterns are really the only way to effectively convey hand-crafted in my opinion. But.. this is merely my opinion.
    – Scott
    Aug 14, 2023 at 13:09

2 Answers 2

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This isn't a tutorial, but here's a method that could be used. I've used only a small portion of the example drawing to show what could be achieved.

You can certainly tweak the Hatches effect, and you can also add a Roughen effect, and tweak taht to increase the amount of roughening. An example

Screenshot showing Hatches and Roughen effects

Once you have something that looks good, you could create several duplicate rectangles and make adjustments to the spacing to create a few samples with varying density. Then select them all and do Path > Object to Path to bake in the effects. Then select each in turn and convert into a custom pattern using Object > Pattern > Object to Pattern

Screenshot showing finished example

Then it's a matter of creating your drawing as separate shapes. In Inkscape 1.3 you can now use the built in Shape Builder Tool to create different pieces, then you can apply the patterns as fills, and resize/move/rotate the patterns as required. My example above could probably do with a bit more roughening, but I'm sure you get the general idea.

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None of the shown semi-automatic hatching methods is perfect. The density of the hatch presents the amount of shading caused by geometry and light conditions. The directions of the lines hint the directions of the surfaces.

The lines are not always straight, They can be drawn to present also the directions of non-planar surfaces - an extra portion of information to reduce the needed density of lines. The "presenting also the surface direction" -idea is used hundreds of years because the reduction of the amount of needed lines speeded up substantially the making of wood carvings and copper engravings for image printing. Of course, it was as useful in drawings on paper, but there one has also other shading possibilities.

The clean uniform straight line hatch is too clinical, it makes all look machined and planar. The blue curved hatch implies an impression of curved surface. I guess you didn't plan just this surface should look curved. The effect is difficult to control, it does what it does, no matter there's many numbers to be set. In theory the effect has an adjustable amount of randomness which in a lucky case could simulate manual scribbling.

The green version of your examples offers the best possibilities to present also the directions of non-planar surfaces. You can limit it to a certain area by using a clipping path. Making one is now easy because the shape builder is recently added to the repertoire.

The next image (drawn for this answer) has hatches which are made by interpolation. The excessive ends are clipped with clipping paths.

enter image description here

It looks like it has also curved areas, but it doesn't at all have the elegance of manual crafting. I'm sure the best result can be got by drawing the lines manually one by one. Interpolate is still mechanical. In addition using plenty of effects somehow makes Inkscape to hang itself soon. The program becomes at first slow and finally stops to respond. Drawing lines manually keeps the number of nodes and possible accumulated crap in the computer memory in control and the program stays responsive longer.

You may say that drawing so many lines one by one is error prone and needs much work. Sure, but when compared to metal engravers and people who draw on paper you at least have UNDO which affects only a single dot or line segment.

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