Inkscape strategies: line/paths vs. calligraphic tool
Hi all, this is my first real post here outside the new members' intro section :)
I'm trying to get going with sketching out a new world-level (or continent-level, anyway) map using Inkscape. I'm keen on the advantages of vector-based drawing to make scaling up or down for later, more or less detailed map versions. I thought I'd start by aiming for a basic "fantasy novel insert map" style, Tolkienesque, with a simple line-based coastlines and rivers and then some drawn in stylized mountains and forests and such like. Inkscape seems well placed to do that.
I did a little experimentation with Inkscape's calligraphic tool, but found i difficult to draw a whole coastline in one go (I'm working with a mouse here!), and failed miserably in trying to figure out how to join up the separate shapes created by drawing the coastline in multiple sections into one continuous calligraphic shapes. (I later learned more about joining end nodes in simple lines while playing with them, so I might be able to go back and try again ... but it seemed tricky at my current skill level!)
I decided it would certainly be much easier to just draw simple freehand lines that could then be edited and tweaked into shape if desired. It was easier to figure out how to join up different sections of simple lines! :) But now I wonder if there's a clever way to transform a simple line path into a calligraphic shape that follows the line? So, basically, the idea would be to draw a complete outline as a simple line, but then apply some transformation that made it as if I had drawn the complete line using the calligraphic tool?
Just an idle question, really! Seemed like it might be an easier way of creating a calligraphic effect coastline outline, etc. (at least until I learn more about how to join up separately drawn calligraphic segments!).
As an aside, I'm starting my all-new digital cartographic adventures by sketching over some imported bitmaps scanned from earlier versions of my world's hand-drawn maps. (Naturally, I've thought of various changes that need to be made to the geography ;) so they'll be introduced in my new digital version. :))