enter image description hereI was wondering / hoping if someone could give me some direction win drawing a chain effect with a circle and a triangle in Inkscape. No matter how many forums I read or videos I watch, I still can't seem to make this work. I cant get a clip to cut away the shape, can't figure out the knot tool or basically everything I have tried.

  • I am able to create the effect in Lightburn but tracing the image, adding nodes and deleting sections and then then close them off with the line tool, but it would be great to learn how it's in the originating program (Inkscape).
    – Eric Baker
    Commented Jul 5 at 5:09
  • This question is similar to: Inkscape: The Penrose Triangle / Circle. If you believe it’s different, please edit the question, make it clear how it’s different and/or how the answers on that question are not helpful for your problem.
    – Luciano
    Commented Jul 5 at 13:23
  • @Luciano - yes similar, but Inscape now has a Shapebuilder tool, so it's much easier now.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Jul 5 at 14:34

2 Answers 2


I would use the Shape Builder for this in Inkscape. Basically, draw a circle and an intersecting triangle, with a thick stroke applied. Convert both to outlines using Path > Stroke to Path.

You want something like this

Outlines of pieces

Then use the Shape Builder tool to create the over and underlapping pieces.

Screencapture of Shapebuilder

And finally add a white stroke to get some separation.

Or, alternatively group the pieces you made, and apply an offset path effect to the group, and bring the offset in a little.


Let's assume you have in Inkscape the circle on the top and the triangle is sent to back. Duplicate the triangle and bring the duplicate to front.

Make parts of the duplicate invisible with clipping path or opacity mask to allow the circle look like it was here an there in the front. Example:

enter image description here

The triangle is duplicated. One copy of it is sent to back and the original is on the top.

The black shape is sketched above all with the pen. It's color is meaningless, but it must cover those areas of the topmost triangle which should become invisible.

In the right: The top triangle and the black shape are both selected and Object > Clip > Set inverse clip is applied.

The shapes are now quite simple, but they could as well be complex groups and the clipping path would work equally well.

The clip path (=black) can just in this case be a single path but for trickier cases it could be made of several separate parts by applying Path > Combine.

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