How to Draw a Love Heart in Inkscape with the Circle Tool

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How to Draw a Love Heart in Inkscape with the Circle Tool

If you're working on a romantically themed or Valentine's Day project, you may find this tutorial useful to draw a love heart in Inkscape. There are several different ways to draw a love heart in Inkscape and each one produces slightly different results and uses different tools and techniques.

This technique of turning a circle into a love heart will give you an introduction to working with nodes in Inkscape and show you some of the ways that they can be manipulated to produce quite different shapes.

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Draw a Circle

The very first step is to draw a circle.

When you open Inkscape, it automatically opens a blank document to work in. Select the Ellipse tool from the Tools palette and draw a circle on the page. It doesn't have to be a perfect circle and you'll see that you can produce slightly different styles of love heart by starting with differently shaped ellipses.

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Start Manipulating the Path

You can produce a symmetrical or asymmetrical love heart depending on your preference.

At this point the circle is actually an object so we need to make it a path first. Ensure that the circle is selected and go to Path > Object to Path.

If you want to produce a symmetrical love heart, you can add a guide line to mark the vertical center of the circle. If the rulers aren't visible, go to View > Show/Hide > Rulers. Now click on the left hand ruler and, still holding the mouse button down, drag a guide line and mark the center of the circle.

Now select the Edit paths by nodes tool from the Tools palette and click and drag the top node of the circle downwards. If you added a guide, keep the node on this line.

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Adjust the Bottom Node

Next the bottom node can be adjusted to further define the shape of the love heart.

With the Edit paths by nodes tool still selected, click on the bottom node and drag it into position to improve the shape of the bottom of the heart. If you want to produce a symmetrical love heart, remember to keep the node on the guide line.

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Shape the Top of the Love Heart

The top of the heart can be shaped using the grab handles.

Firstly we need to change the top node to a corner node by clicking on the Make selected nodes corner in the Tool Controls Bar. Now click on one of the grab handles to the side of the node and drag it upwards until the top curve on one side of the heart is as desired. If you want a symmetrical heart you can add a horizontal guide line marking the position of the grab handle and then drag the grab handle on the other side of the node up to the guide line. To be perfectly symmetrical, you'll probably need to zoom in and ensure that the grab handles are the same distance from the center guide. If you don't want a symmetrical love heart, just position the handle as desired.

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Shape the Bottom of the Love Heart

You can use the grab handles on the bottom node to shape the bottom.

Firstly make the bottom node a corner node in the same way you did in the previous step. Now you can use the grab handles to change the curve of the bottom of the love heart. Again, if you want a symmetrical design, you can use a guide to help position the second grab handle.

At this point your heart may be perfect, but if necessary you can also tweak the nodes on the two sides of the heart to adjust the shape further.

On the following page, you can see an example of a love heart without symmetry.

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An Asymmetrical Love Heart

If you didn't want a symmetrical love heart then this is an example of what you may have ended up with.

With a love heart like this, you needn't worry about using guide lines to position nodes and grab handles as you just want something that looks right to your eye. These types of love heart may be more suitable for wackier, cartoon style designs.