How to Draw a Love Heart in Inkscape With the Bezier Tool

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How to Draw a Love Heart in Inkscape With the Bezier Tool

Many Love Hearts
Love hearts drawn with the Bezier tool in Inkscape. Text and images © Ian Pullen

If you want to draw a precise and regular love heart for a Valentine's Day or other romantic craft project, this tutorial will show you how to do so using Inkscape. There are several different techniques that you can use to draw a love heart, but this one uses the Bezier tool.

Many users find the Bezier tool a little intimidating at first, but it is a very useful tool once you learn to use it. A simple love heart is a great shape to practice on as it is so simple and you will also see how you can duplicate elements to produce new shapes.

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Prepare a Blank Document

When you open Inkscape it always opens a blank document for you to work in, but before doing any drawing you need to add a single guideline. This guide line will mark the vertical center of the finished love heart and will make life easier.

If there aren't any rulers visible to the left and top of the window, go to View > Show/Hide > Rulers to turn them on. Now click on the left hand ruler and, still holding the mouse button down, drag to the right. You'll see that you're dragging a vertical red line onto the page and you need to release the line about halfway across the page. It turns into a blue guide line when you release it.

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Draw the First Segment

You can now draw the first segment of the love heart.

Select the tool from the tools palette and click once on the page at a point about two thirds of the way up the guide line. Now move the cursor to the left horizontally and click again to add a new node, but do not release the mouse button. If you drag the cursor down to the left, you'll see that two drag handles appear from the node and the line starts to curve. You can use these grab handles later to tweak the curve of the heart.

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Draw the Second Segment

When you're happy with the curve of the first segment, you can draw the second segment.

Move the cursor down the page and across to the guide line. As you do so you'll see that a curved line is automatically dragged behind your cursor and you can judge the shape of the first half of the love heart by looking at this. When you're happy with the shape, ensure that your cursor is placed on the guide line and click once. If you move the cursor now, you'll see that a new line appears behind the cursor. To get rid of this, just press the Return key to stop drawing the line.

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Tweak the Path

You may have drawn the perfect half of a love heart, but if not, you can tweak it a little at this point to improve its appearance.

Firstly select the Edit paths by nodes tool and click on the line to select it. You'll see that there are three nodes available – they're the square or diamond markers on the line. You can click and drag these to reposition them and change the shape of the line. If you click on the middle node, you'll see two drag handles appear and you can also drag these to alter the curve.

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Duplicate the Path

To produce a perfectly symmetrical love heart, you can duplicate the path that you have drawn.

Click on the Select tool and make sure the curve is selected. Then go to File > Duplicate. This places a copy of the curve on top of the original so you won't see any difference. However if you go to the Tool Controls Bar above the page and click the Flip selected objects horizontally button, the new path will become obvious.

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Position the Paths to Make a Love Heart

The two curved paths can be positioned to make a love heart.

Firstly position the duplicate path to form a love heart, either by dragging it or pressing the right hand arrow key. Before ensuring the paths are correctly positioned we can color them red and remove the outline. Go to Object > Fill and Stroke and click on the Fill tab, followed by the Flat color button. Then click the RGB tab and drag the R and A sliders fully to the right and the G and B sliders fully to the left. To remove the outline, click the Stroke paint tab and then the X that is to the left of the Flat color button.

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Group the Paths to Finish the Love Heart

The two paths can now have their positions fine tuned and be grouped to make a single love heart.

If your center guide line is still visible, go to View > Guides to turn it off. Select the Zoom tool and click on the bottom point of the love heart to zoom in. From the screen grab, you'll see I zoomed in 24861% to make this step a bit easier. Unless you placed the two paths perfectly you should see that you need to reposition one half of the heart so that there is no gap between them and they are correctly aligned. You can do this with the Select tool and drag one of the paths into position. When you're happy with this, go to Object > Group to make a single object from the two paths.

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