Tag Archives: affinity

Digital Brushes and Assets

If you follow any of my social media, you’ll probably know that I love using Procreate and Affinity Designer on my iPad to draw.  Although they’re two of the best mobile drawing apps that currently exist, they have their limits in the number of drawing tools available in each app. Thankfully, there’s a great community of artists that make a wide assortment of brushes for Affinity Designer/Photo, Procreate, and Photoshop.

Frankentoon

Frankentoon is one of my favorite websites for aftermarket brush sets and assets for Procreate and Affinity software. They’re constantly releasing new packs and even provide tutorials how to use them. Their nature brush pack is a huge timesaver for anyone who needs to paint leaves, smoke, water, rocks, etc.

Procreate Community

The Procreate community of artists is a fantastic resource for artist-made brushes and tools. Whenever I’m looking for a very specific type of brush, I search the community and I’ve always been able to find one for free or at a nominal fee. iPadLettering.com is also a great source of very affordable brushes and shapes, especially if you’re looking to create lettering artwork. Script isn’t my strong suit, so I mostly use a variety of drawing and painting brushes instead.

Jazza’s Photoshop Brushes

Before Procreate, Affinity, and the iPad Pro existed, I did most of my digital illustrations in Photoshop. In those days, I used a brush pack created by YouTuber, Josiah Brooks, who is also known as “Jazza”.

Inktober & Procreate Inktober: Completed

Today is the final day of Inktober 2018 and Procreate Inktober. There were a couple times I questioned if I could do two drawings a day for 31 days, but I was able to complete it (some drawings were better than others). Thankfully, having the list of prompts allowed me to draw ahead of schedule for days I knew I would be too busy to complete two drawings.

 

Inktober gave me a chance to test out different styles of drawing as well as different software and media. I mostly used Procreate and Affinity Designer on the iPad Pro, but I also experimented with different types of pens, which you can watch on my YouTube Inktober Playlist.

 

As the name implies, I only used Procreate for the iPad to draw all of the Procreate Inktober drawings. I tried to include a lot of references to things I enjoy to see if any of my social media followers also liked the same things. A few references I used were Ducktales, Ghostbusters, Futurama, The Midnight, and a plethora of puns.

If you’re interested in seeing all of my drawings, check out my Twitter and Instagram accounts. How did you do? Were you able to complete all 31 days?

Pixel Art

I’ve been experimenting with different software that allows you to draw pixel artwork easily. My first test was in Affinity Designer since I’ve been using it on a regular basis anyway. This was as easy as creating a grid and then using the rectangle tool to fill in the squares. It’s simple enough to complete as long as you have a good idea of the grid size you’ll want to use.

Screen Shot 2018-09-23 at 11.01.07 AM

I then tried a website called Piskel, which is free to use. One really nice feature of Piskel is that you can create animated gifs and export them.

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Creating an animated gif in Piskel

You can change the both the grid size and the exported frame size in Piskel depending in your needs and since free and available as a website, it’s definitely a very approachable way to create pixel art.

Self

Finally, I tried a free iOS app called Dottable. This app, much like Piskel, is pretty easy to learn and has a small learning curve. I’m not sure if it can easily produce animated gifs like Piskel, though. One big positive it has is that it allows you to convert any photo from your device into pixel art. This can be a big time-saver whether if you want to use the converted image as-is or even just as a starting point.

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What pixel art software do you like to use?

Affinity Designer

A few years ago, I was commissioned to create an online course about Affinity Designer. This was when Affinity Designer was still fairly new and not a ton of illustrators used it. Fast-forward three and a half years, and it’s become one of the best graphics applications for both desktop and iPads.

MixTape
Affinity Designer for Windows interface

Truth be told, just based on the work I had after creating the course, I stopped using Affinity Designer for awhile. When I heard they were debuting a version for the iPad, I quickly regained interest and bought it on its release day. It immediately became one of my favorite iOS apps that I own and I’ve used it almost every day since.

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Affinity Designer for iPad

The iPad version is full-featured and not just a watered down version. Also, sticking to Serif’s business plan, there are no subscription payments involved, everything is buy-once, keep forever. It’s definitely worth your time to watch their tutorial videos about using gestures to control the app, as they’ve done a great job translating mouse clicks into finger gestures.

Since the iPad version release, I’ve been drawing in Affinity Designer so much that I had to update my website to display all of the new illustrations I’ve completed. Everything from t-shirt designs, concept art, and final products that I’ve used for my day job have been done all on my iPad.

GP Animations
http://www.GPAnimations.com

I love that if I’m on the go, I can just grab my iPad and take the project I had open on my PC or MacBook and open it in the iOS version of Designer. It’s really as simple as just opening the file from Dropbox or Google Drive and finishing your work on the go.

I also have the PC, MacOS, and iOS versions of Affinity Photo, but I haven’t had a chance to use them extensively yet. I did play around with some of the features for some quick photo editing and it seemed pretty intuitive just like Designer.

AffinityPhoto
Affinity Photo interface

Overall, if you haven’t tried Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo and you’re tired of paying for Adobe Creative Cloud, you really should check them out. If you’re an Adobe InDesign user, they’re also making Affinity Publisher, which is currently in Beta as of the time of this writing. Now if I could only get them to make an Adobe Animate CC replacement, I could completely drop all Adobe products…

Tutorial: Affinity Designer

I recently recorded a complete video tutorial series on Affinity Designer for Stone River e-Learning. You can check out the entire lesson here. The course teaches everything from illustration, logo design, user interface mock-ups, and exporting for web and mobile devices. However, if you’re just wondering how Affinity Designer can help you mock up mobile user interfaces, here is a tutorial.

You can download the entire step-by-step tutorial and the resource files. You are free to use the artwork provided for personal or commercial use. However you cannot sell or distribute the tutorial.

Download the tutorial here.

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Affinity Designer Video Tutorial Course

I was recently commissioned by Stone River eLearning to create a video tutorial course teaching Affinity Designer. I’m really impressed by the number of features that the software has to offer for the reasonable one-time fee.

It lets you do photo editing like Photoshop, create vector artwork like Illustrator, and even has built-in tools for slicing artwork for mobile application and website design. I was so impressed with it, I used it to create the artwork for my next Construct 2 video tutorial series, which is currently in production.

If you’re interest in checking out the software, click here and if you’d like to learn how to use all of the features, check out my course here.