how to clip a design with inkscape

I use inkscape a lot, either for drawing figures for my thesis, or for designing fabric. Last year my brother taught me how to clip an image and in this tutorial I want to show you how I used that function in one of my designs.

This was a design for one of the weekly contests at spoonflower with the theme Australian animals. I started by sketching a number of different animals, scanning the sketches, cleaning up the lines and converting them to paths. Then I drew the eucalyptus leaves and pods, duplicated and arranged them until I had enough to fill the area of the animals. This tutorial shows how I clip the eucalyptus leaves into the shape of the kookaburra.

1. The kookaburra needs to be a path (I used the Path->Trace to bitmat function to convert it into a path), make sure the image you are clipping is big enough to fill the shape of the kookaburra. I moved the leaves and pods around a bit to make sure I included smaller parts like toes and the beak. 
2. Place the outline over the image and select both. Then comes the fun bit: Object->Clip->Set.
3. The path disappears and the image is clipped to the shape of the path.
4. I added a background colour (again, clipping the grey colour with the outline of the kookaburra)
5. The finished design!


I'm a fabric designer fascinated with the intricacies of seamless repeats. I enjoy creating vector designs as well as working with linoprint and watercolour. I've lived in 5 countries and love to use special places and memories in my designs.

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