Welcome to this Affinity Designer tutorial, in which you’ll learn everything you need to know about Affinity Designer brushes, from how to create and install brushes to how to use Photoshop and Illustrator brushes in Affinity Designer. You’ll also learn where you can find Affinity Designer halftone brushes and other valuable design resources. Let’s jump straight into it!
What You Will Learn in This Affinity Designer Tutorial
- How to open the Affinity Designer Brushes panel
- How to set up and use vector Affinity brushes
- How to create your own vector brushes in Affinity Designer
- How to set up and use raster brushes in Affinity Designer
- How to create your own raster brushes in Affinity Designer
- How to install or save Affinity brush packs
- How to use Photoshop or Illustrator brushes in Affinity Designer
Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:
You’ll need the following resources in order to complete this project:
1. How to Open the Affinity Designer Brushes Panel
So, first of all, we need to open the Affinity Brushes Panel. To do it, just go to View > Studio > Brushes.
Now you can see the standard Affinity brushes and different categories of presets such as Affinity Designer watercolor brushes, acrylic brushes, and much more.
2. How to Set Up and Use Vector Brushes in Affinity Designer
So, to create a brushstroke, you should just hit B to activate the Brush tool and create a stroke with any brush you like.
You could also change the settings of the brush: just Right Click on the brush and then select Edit Brush. Let’s change the Brush Size to 50, the Size Variance to 100%, and the Opacity Variance to 90%. You could also adjust the outline of the brush using the sliders at the bottom of the Edit Brush Panel.
If you don’t have a digital pen, you could easily change the pressure settings manually. Go to View > Studio > Stroke, open the Pressure tab, and just change the Points of the graph.
Another great option here is that you could activate the Stabilizer function and your brushstrokes will be much smoother, as you can see in the picture below:
Also, you could change the Blending Mode of the brushstrokes not only in the Layer Panel (by changing the Blending Mode of the layer) but in the brush settings. Let’s create a few red strokes and then change the Blending Mode of the brush to Color Dodge and create a few orange strokes above.
Besides that, you could add a brushstroke around any shape. Let’s create a shape in the center of the document and then add a Brush Stroke around the shape just by selecting any of the brushes while your shape is still selected in the Layers Panel.
3. How to Create Your Own Vector Brush Affinity Designer Packs
Let’s now try to create our own brushes for Affinity Designer. In the Brush Panel, click on the icon in the top-right corner, and here you’ll see three options: New Solid Brush, New Textured Intensity Brush, and New Textured Image Brush.
What’s the difference between these brushes? New Solid Brush just creates a simple stroke brush with no textures/colors or images applied to it. New Textured Intensity Brush creates a brush with a texture from a PNG file. New Textured Image Brush allows you to copy the image with the colors of the original PNG file.
In the example below, you can see the difference between these brushes. So you could easily create your own Affinity Designer assets using these three options.
Let’s create a New Textured Image Brush. Select the green watercolor PNG file from the attachment, and then change the settings of the brush strokes to the following:
- Brush Size: 50 px
- Size Variance: 35%
- Head Offset: 80 px
- Tail Offset: 400 px
Draw a stroke with the brush we’ve just created, and after that let’s try another great option. Go to the Brush Settings and change the Body setting to Repeat.
So now, your brush stroke will create copies of the PNG image you opened as a textured image.
4. How to Use Raster Brushes in Affinity Designer
Let’s move to the part of our Affinity Designer tutorial where we will take a look at the raster Affinity Designer brushes. So, to switch to raster mode, you need to press that button in the top-left corner. Once you’ve pressed it, you can see the different raster brushes. I especially love the Affinity Designer watercolor brushes section here, as it gives you these realistic and handmade-looking brushstrokes.
Let’s take a look at the cool option of raster brushes in Affinity Designer. In the top settings panel of the brushes, put a tick on Symmetry and change the Symmetry Number to 4. So now, when you draw one stroke, Affinity will automatically create four symmetrical copies of your main brushstrokes. As you can see in the example below, you could create cool ornaments or patterns with almost no effort.
5. How to Create Your Own Raster Brushes in Affinity Designer
Let’s take one of the Affinity Designer watercolor brushes and create a stroke with it to see what it looks like.
Now you can set up Affinity Designer brushes to suit your needs. Just Right Click on any of the Affinity Designer brushes and select Edit Brush. After that, let’s change some of the settings to the following:
- Accumulation: 50%
- Spacing: 25%
- Flow: 25%
After that, go to the Dynamics tab and use the following settings:
- Size Jitter: 70%
- Scatter Y: 80%
- Hue: 15
- Saturation: 20%
What’s I really like about Affinity brushes is that you get not only the dynamics and general settings of the brush, but you can also add textures and sub-brush layers (it’s pretty similar to Photoshop textures and dual brush functions). Let’s add a texture from the attachment. Go to Texture, and then hit the Set Texture button and select the Texture PNG from the attachment.
This is what our brushstrokes look like now. As you can see, we can easily make new brushes from the standard Affinity Designer assets by adding our own textures.
6. How to Install or Save Raster or Vector Brush Packs in Affinity Designer
If you’ve bought or downloaded some brushes for Affinity Designer, you can install them in the following way: In the Brushes Panel, click on the top-right corner icon, select Import Brushes, and then select the brushes you want to install.
If you want to save the brushes you’ve created to share them with your colleagues or friends, press the same button again and select Export Brushes.
7. How to Use Photoshop or Illustrator Brushes as Affinity Designer Assets
Let’s now learn how to use Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator brushes in Affinity Designer. Create a new document with 500 x 500 px size and a black background in Photoshop.
Create a white stroke on a new layer using the brush you want to convert for use in Affinity.
Select the area around your brushstroke with the Rectangular Marquee Tool, and then go to Image > Crop.
After that, go to File > Save As and select the PNG file format.
And finally, create a New Textured Intensity Brush in Affinity and then Right Click > Edit Brush in the Brushes Panel and set it up as you need.
The same technique could be used for Illustrator brushes as well. This is what our exported brush will look like:
There are plenty of useful standard brushes and loads of settings in Affinity Designer that could help you to achieve the desired results for any of your needs. I hope you found some useful information about Affinity Designer brushes today, and feel free to ask anything in the comments below or share your tips and tricks for Affinity Designer.
Need Some More Affinity Designer Assets?
As you may have noticed, there are no standard Affinity Designer halftone brushes or textures, and you might be wondering where you could get them? Check out Envato Elements, where you’ll find plenty of Affinity Designer assets for an affordable price.
Learn More About Affinity Designer!
If you are looking for more Affinity Designer tutorials, here’s a list of useful ones with different techniques:
Affinity Designer6 Affinity Designer Tools That You Should Be Using Right Now
Emoticon DesignHow to Create a Stylish Emoji in Affinity Designer
Affinity DesignerTransitioning From Adobe Illustrator to Affinity Designer
Fan ArtHow to Create a Porg From Star Wars in Affinity Designer
Affinity DesignerHow to Create Patterns in Affinity Designer