Everything You Need to Know About Affinity Designer Brushes

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

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:

Tutorial Assets

You’ll need the following resources in order to complete this project:

1. How to Open the Affinity Designer Brushes Panel

Step 1

So, first of all, we need to open the Affinity Brushes Panel. To do it, just go to View > Studio > Brushes.

Opening the brushes panel

Step 2

Now you can see the standard Affinity brushes and different categories of presets such as Affinity Designer watercolor brushes, acrylic brushes, and much more.

selecting the brush from the brush panel

2. How to Set Up and Use Vector Brushes in Affinity Designer

Step 1

So, to create a brushstroke, you should just hit B to activate the Brush tool and create a stroke with any brush you like.

creating a brush stroke

Step 2

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.

changing the brush settings

Step 3

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.

changing the stroke pressure settings

Step 4

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:

creating a brushstroke with a stamilizer function

Step 5

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.

changing the blending mode of the brushstrokes

Step 6

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.

creating a brush stroke to a shape

3. How to Create Your Own Vector Brush Affinity Designer Packs

Step 1

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

opening the new brush panel

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.

creating different types of brushes

Step 2

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
changing the brush settings for custom brush

Step 3

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.

changing the body settings of the brush

So now, your brush stroke will create copies of the PNG image you opened as a textured image.

Textured Brush and Textured Image Brush in Affinity Designer

4. How to Use Raster Brushes in Affinity Designer  

Step 1

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.

Raster brushes in affinity designer

Step 2

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.

using the symmetry function in Affinity Designer

5. How to Create Your Own Raster Brushes in Affinity Designer  

Step 1

Let’s take one of the Affinity Designer watercolor brushes and create a stroke with it to see what it looks like.

creating a watercolor brushstrokes

Step 2

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%
changing the settings of the brush

Step 3

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.

adding the texture to the brush

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.

different types of the brush settings

6. How to Install or Save Raster or Vector Brush Packs in Affinity Designer

Step 1

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.

how to install brushes in Affinity Designer

Step 2

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.

exporting the brushes from affinity

7. How to Use Photoshop or Illustrator Brushes as Affinity Designer Assets

Step 1

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.

creating a new document in Photoshop

Step 2

Create a white stroke on a new layer using the brush you want to convert for use in Affinity.

creating a new brush stroke in Photoshop

Step 3

Select the area around your brushstroke with the Rectangular Marquee Tool, and then go to Image > Crop.

croping the document in Photoshop

Step 4

After that, go to File > Save As and select the PNG file format.

saving the brush for affinity designer

Step 5

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.

opening and setting up the exported brush

The same technique could be used for Illustrator brushes as well. This is what our exported brush will look like:

creating brushesstrokes with exported brushes


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.

Affinity Designer assets on Envato Elements

Learn More About Affinity Designer!

If you are looking for more Affinity Designer tutorials, here’s a list of useful ones with different techniques:

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