I’ve been meaning to learn how to draw and paint for the longest time. The thing with living in a small flat is that there is simply no space for a hobby that will accumulate paraphernalia like paints, brushes, notebooks for sketches and especially canvases, among other things probably. As it is I have already given away so many books over the years, keeping only a few shelves of the most loved novels, the ones which for various reasons hold the most sentimental value. These days I borrow e-books from the National Library.

I’m actually fine with this. I like living in a small space because there are less housekeeping and maintenance. Having to think twice (or thrice or more) before I buy and add anything, including clothes, is something that actually makes me happy. It’s a big blessing in disguise because I believe the best thing we can do for our planet is to buy less, consume less, so we end up creating less trash.


I discovered Inkscape, the free (free!) graphics software a year or two ago, but never got around to exploring it until recently.

I really enjoyed making the illustration below and I hope it will be a regular activity, a new hobby.

I learnt how to do it thanks to the following video from a YouTube channel called Draw Simple Things.

The tutorial is done in real-time but there is no voice over. The audio is just music and you learn the steps by looking at where the mouse cursor goes. Apparently this is common for tutorials in YouTube because it cuts down the duration of the video. I tend to do 3 things when I watch such videos:

  • The music tends to annoy or distract me, or both, so I set the audio to mute and listen to my own music from another source (haha).
  • Slow down the speed so I can catch the steps better. When you play the video, there is a ‘Settings‘ button at the bottom right corner of the video window, where you can access the ‘Playback Speed‘. I usually bring it down to 0.75 or 0.5.
  • Rewind it often anyway because I’m still too slow and keep missing the steps. Something very useful I just discovered for viewing YouTube videos:
    • To rewind 10 seconds, press J on your keyboard
    • To rewind 5 seconds, press the left arrow key
    • To pause or play the video, press K

The following tutorial by the channel Davies Media Design seems to be similar to the one above, but with its host Michael Davies guiding the viewer step by step. I haven’t tried this one yet.


Related links:


16 thoughts on “Inkscape

  1. Good tips there, Halim. I’ve had Inkscape on my desktop for ages but haven’t got around to using it yet, apart from opening it and closing it again! I shall have to give it a go… anything for quick creativity!

    • Thanks, Tom! Yes, it’ll be fun! What I really like about it is that on Youtube there’re all these ideas of different things to have a hand creating, like logos for example, as we get used to the different tools.

  2. Pingback: Patterns with Inkscape | simple & gayforward

  3. Great to read that you learn Inkscape, too. It’s amazing that software like this is Free and Open-Source, isn’t it? Do you made progress during the pandemic?
    Maybe you like to add filter effects like watercolor to the clouds and tweak the look until you are satisfied?

    • Thanks for the comment. Yes, it’s incredible indeed that’s it’s free. I don’t know about progress, as in I get better or not, but I use it pretty regularly, relying on YouTube to try out new tutorials.
      That’s a great idea about the watercolour to the clouds. I’ve always liked the watercolour effect on things. I think I might have to go to raster programs for that like GIMP, and Krita which I recently discovered, but it would be nice to do it well on Inkscape too. Thanks for that. Cheers!

  4. Pingback: Blog/Web/Promotions. Simple and Gayforward. - Williams Writings.

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