I am regularly using the ornaments from the pgfornament package and especially those representing animals.


However, sometimes I don’t find what I need (e.g. a bear or a dolphin). So I was wondering if there was a way to produce similar-looking drawings in LaTeX?

My thought was to use Metafont to have a variable line thickness along the drawing and a reference image in order to extract the coordinates of key points but I am not sure on how to do that.

Edit. You can use whatever animal or reference image (including an already vectorised one) you want for the answer since I am more asking about a technique. But as an example you can consider the following.


  • Hi Blincer, welcome to TeX.SE! What is the source of the bear or dolphin? Because an example workflow could be: Open the file in Inkscape and export to TikZ, from there convert further manually to pgf.
    – TobiBS
    Jul 7 '20 at 18:35
  • I edited the question :)
    – user219810
    Jul 7 '20 at 19:50
  • Variable line thickness is not a simple thing to achieve. The calligraphy package can do it. Jul 8 '20 at 17:48

So I was wondering if there was a way to produce similar-looking drawings in LaTeX?

I fear that there is no easy way to write down a few LaTeX or TikZ commands to get any animal drawing in that style. If you look at the source code of pgfornaments, it's just long lists of coordinates.

So, those ornaments are simply vector graphics, which were clearly drawn by a talented artist (EDIT: the artist is Vincent Le Moign, as Clément stated below). The way to produce similar-looking ornaments of other animals is to draw them in a vector graphics program, in the style that you want, and then export that in a vector graphics format that you can include in LaTeX. For example, Inkscape can export PDF, SVG or TikZ code. All 3 can be used in LaTeX.

I'm pretty sure that there is no automated way to do that (unless someone has trained an artificial neural network to design ornaments). So if you do not have the artistic skill to draw something like that yourself, I guess your only option is to find an artist who is able and willing to do that. Either you pay someone, or hope that you are lucky enough that someone will do that work for free (or for reputation on StackExchange).

  • Thanks for the link to the source code, I'll take a closer look.
    – user219810
    Jul 8 '20 at 7:47

As stated in the package documentation, the ornaments were authored by Vincent Le Moign.

You can find on his page a free vector pack that contains "110 Penmanship Illustrations", among which the two you listed:

enter image description here

Those files are shipped in a large flourishes-ornaments.eps file, instead of individual files, so it can be hard to "disentangle" them, but that's doable.

You can "[u]se these free vectors for any commercial work", but I guess that if you want more in the same style, you'll have to contact the original authors.

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