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How to Make a Marble Effect in Inkscape
  • By Design Bundles
  • 19 Jul 2021
  • 16 Mins
  • Inkscape Tutorials

How to Make a Marble Effect in Inkscape

Inkscape has a wide selection of options to create a marble effect. To achieve the veined look the Tweak tool and a color palette are used. Marbled backgrounds are especially great for projects like scrapbooking.In this tutorial we will be making a Marble Background Effectin Inkscape.

Let's begin by opening Inkscape and clicking New Document. We will be using a peach color palette. For an awesome collection of colors check out the rest of thebright color paletteson Design Bundles.

In order to apply the palette we will need to use the PDF reference guide provided. The guide contains all the values of each color in the palette. This is very important for accurate color choice. You can also import a PNG or JPG file and use the color picker to select the colors.

Step 1 - Create your color palette

Open the PDF file contained in the product download. We will be using the HEX code as it's easier to copy and paste.

Custom HEX code Inkscape

Go back to Inkscape and click on Create Rectangles and Squares tool on the left side. Draw out a rectangle that is 1.5" wide and 0.5" high. Position this at the top of the page.Right click and select Duplicate.

On the right hand side make sure that the Enable SnappingorSnapping Tool is active. Click and drag the duplicate rectangle so that it snaps to the edge of the first one. Repeat this until you have five rectangles next to each other.

Custom palette Inkscape

Go to the PDF file, locate the color you want and copy the HEX code beneath it. In Inkscape click the Object menu at the top and select Fill and Stroke if not visible on the right. Select one of the rectangles. Under the Fill and Stroke panel, click Fill and at the bottom next to RGBA paste in the code. Repeat this for each rectangle with your choice of colors.

Use Fill and Stroke Inkscape

Step 2 - Create rectangles for the marble design

Use Create Rectangles and Squares to make the marbled design. Click the tool then Click + drag out a rectangle. Make the width 0.8 inches and height 8 inches. We need to make this a path in order to use nodes. At the top click on Path and select Object to Path.

With the rectangle selected, click on the Pick colors from image tool. It looks like an eye dropper. Next click on one of the colors from your custom palette at the top.

Create rectangle Inkscape

 Step 3 - Add nodes to rectangles

To have more flexibility when using the Tweak Tool more nodes are needed. Select the rectangle and click on Edit path by nodeson the top left. Drag a selection box around the entire rectangle. At the top far left of the screen click on the plus sign Insert new nodes into selected segments. New nodes will be added all around the rectangle.

Now, click + drag a selection box down the one side so only those nodes are selected. Hold Shift and Click + drag a selection box around the other side. Only the side nodes should be selected. Click on the add nodes button at the top again.

Add in nodes Inkscape

Insert additional nodes Inkscape

Select all the nodes on the rectangle and click twice on the add nodes button. We now have enough nodes to get us started.

Insert additional nodes Inkscape

Step 4 - Apply colors for the marble design

Right click the rectangle and select Duplicate. Alternatively use Ctrl + D. Using the eye dropper, select a color from the palette to fill the second rectangle. On the right side panel at the top, click on the Snapping tool if not already active. Then further down the panel click onSnap to Paths. This will help in lining up the rectangles.

Click + drag the second rectangle to the right so that it covers half of the first one.

Create duplicate Inkscape

Select both objects, right click and Duplicate then click + drag to the right. Add a color to each new rectangle from the palette. Keep the darkest color aside for the next step. If the Snapping Tool is not behaving, use your arrow keys to adjust the position.

Duplicate the four rectangles and position as shown in the image below. You can duplicate one more time or as many times as needed. The size of the design is up to you.

Use color palette Inkscape

On the left side click Edit path by nodes then drag a selection box around all of the rectangles. All the nodes will be highlighted in dark blue. At the top are the node editing tools. Click on Make selected nodes auto-smooth. The nodes will turn into small circles.

Next, we will need togroup the objectstogether.

Make nodes smooth Inkscape

The Tweak Tool doesn't alwayswork the way wewant.We will be adding a rectangle to fill any gap issues that might show.

Using theCreate Rectangles and squares tool, draw out a rectangle that is the same size as your group. Fill with the darkest color on your palette. Click on the Path menu then Object to Path. At the top of the screen click on the Lower selection to bottom button.

Move object to back Inkscape

Step 5 - Use the Tweak Tool to create the marble design

The Tweak objects by sculpting or painting, or Tweak Tool for short, is a multi-tool option in Inkscape. For this tutorial the Push parts of paths in any direction tool will be used. Be sure to selectthe grouped rectangles before clicking on the Tweak Tool.

On the left side panel click on the Tweak Tool then at the top click onPush parts of paths in any direction. The Widthand Force determine the brush width and strength.Change Width to 15 and Force to 100.

Fidelity adjusts how much of the distortion is applied. A higher number will help avoid possible gaps. But it can also slow your system down so it's better to go with a smaller number. That is why we have a rectangle base underneath. Set the Fidelity to 20.

Locate and use Tweak Tool Inkscape

Nowclick and slowlydrag across the grouped rectangles. The faster you move your mouse the less of an effect you will get. Dragging repeatedly over an area will shift that area more.Think of this as being similar to a Liquify tool.

Click and drag tweak tool

Experiment by changing the Fidelity, Width and Force. The bottom rectangle layer helps to fill in any gaps that may appear.

Marble Effect Inkscape

Step 6 - Clip your Marble Effect to a rectangle shape

Your Marble Effect is just about ready. To make the edges clean and neat, duplicate the bottom dark rectangle. If you are unable to select it, click on the Marble layer then Alt + Click. The bottom rectangle will be selected. Right click and Duplicate.

Select this new layer and Shift + Click the Marble layer then click on the Object menu at the top. Choose Clip then Set. The Marble layer will be clipped to the rectangle layer. The reason we used Clip is because the Marble layer consists of grouped layers.

Set clip layer Inkscape

If you want to change the colors at any time there is a quick and easy way. Double click on the color you want to change. Go to the Edit menu and choose Select Same then Fill Color. Use the eye dropper tool to select a color from your palette. You can also choose a color from the Fill and Stroke panel.

Change colors marble design

Use other shapes instead of a rectangle to clip the Marble effect to. Here we created a quick Heart shape then clicked Object, Clip and Set.

Marble effect heart shape Inkscape

Saveas a PNG file by clicking File and Export as PNG. The menu will open on the right hand side. The file location will appear under Filename. To change this click Export As. Choose your location andjust below Export As click on Export.

Make sure to check out our other Inkscape tutorials likeusing the bezier curve tool,making a gradient in Inkscape, andmaking a split monogram.

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