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How To Create A Flat Vector Illustration In Affinity Designer — Smashing Magazine – Google Partner Team

Applying a subtract operation

About The Writer

Isabel Aracama is a designer and illustrator from Spain with +20 years expertise in numerous industries and media. Her speciality is digital graphics. As a …
Extra about Isabel…

Whereas this tutorial was kindly sponsored by Serif, the creator of Affinity, we’d wish to level out that it’s written by an unbiased design skilled who personally enjoys utilizing the software program and shares her classes discovered. The writer just isn’t affiliated with the product in any method, and the article has been reviewed independently by Serif in addition to SmashingMag’s editors.

(This can be a sponsored publish.) In case you are within the design world, likelihood is that you simply’ve already heard about Affinity Designer, a vector graphics editor for Apple’s macOS and Microsoft Home windows.

It was July 2015 when Serif Europe launched the superb software program that many designers and illustrators like me are utilizing now as their important device for skilled work. In contrast to another packages, its worth is absolutely reasonably priced, there’s no subscription mannequin and, as talked about already, it’s obtainable for each Macs and PCs.

In this text, I want to stroll you thru simply a few of its very user-friendly major instruments and options as an introduction to the software program and to point out you ways we will create a pleasant flat vector illustration of a Volkswagen Beetle. The illustration will scale as much as no matter decision and measurement wanted as a result of no bitmaps shall be used.

Notice: As of at this time, July 11, Affinity Designer can also be out there for the iPad. Though the iPad app’s options and performance virtually utterly match the desktop model of Affinity Designer, it depends far more on utilizing the contact display (and the Apple Pencil) and due to that, you might look forward to finding some variations within the workflows.

Final image that we’ll be creating in this tutorial.
Ultimate picture that we’ll be creating on this tutorial. (View giant model)

I may even clarify a number of the selections I take and strategies I comply with as I work. You realize the previous saying, “All roads lead to Rome”? In this case, many roads will take us the place we’d wish to get to, however some are higher than others.

We’ll see methods to work with the Pen device to hint the primary automotive define, methods to break curves and segments, the way to convert objects into curves, and tips on how to use the fantastic Nook device. We will even, amongst different issues, discover ways to use the Gradient device, what’s a “Smart copy”, the way to import a colour palette from a picture that we will use as a reference for our paintings, easy methods to use masks, and learn how to create a halftone sample. In fact, alongside the best way, additionally, you will study some useful keyboard shortcuts and instructions.

Notice: Affinity Designer has three work environments, known as “personas”. By default, Affinity Designer is about to the draw persona. To change from the draw persona to the pixel persona or to the export persona, you must click on on one of many three icons situated within the top-left nook of the primary window. You can begin working within the draw persona and change to the pixel persona at any time, when that you must mix vectors and bitmaps.

The three work environments: draw persona (leftmost icon), bitmap persona (middle icon) and export persona (rightmost icon).The three work environments: draw persona (leftmost icon), bitmap persona (center icon) and export persona (rightmost icon). (View giant model)

Introduction: The Flat Design Period

In current years, we’ve seen the rise of “flat design”, in distinction to what’s referred to as skeuomorphic illustration in design.

To put it merely, flat design removes the metaphors that skeuomorphic design makes use of to speak with customers, and we’ve seen these metaphors in design, particularly in consumer interface design, for years. Apple had a number of the greatest examples of skeuomorphism in its early iOS and app designs, and at the moment it’s extensively utilized in many industries, corresponding to music software program and video video games. With Microsoft’s (with Metro) and later Google’s materials design and Apple’s iOS 7, cellular apps, consumer interfaces and most techniques and OS’ have moved away from skeuomorphism, utilizing it or parts of it as mere enhancements to a brand new design language (together with gradients and shadows). As you’ll be able to think about, illustrations on these methods have been additionally affected by the brand new design currents, and illustrators and designers began creating paintings that may be according to the brand new occasions and wishes. A entire new world of flat icons, flat infographics and flat illustrations opened in entrance of our eyes.

iPhone’s home screen (iOS 6 versus iOS 7).
iPhone’s house display (iOS 6 versus iOS 7). (View giant model)

(Picture supply) (View giant model)

(Picture supply) (View giant model)

(Picture supply) (View giant model)

(Picture supply) (View giant model)

Let’s Draw A Flat Illustration!

I’m offering right here the supply file for this work, so you need to use it to discover it and to raised comply with alongside as we design it. If you don’t but have a replica of Affinity Designer, you possibly can obtain a trial.

1. Canvas Settings

Open Affinity Designer, and create a brand new doc by clicking Cmd + N (Mac) or Ctrl + N (Home windows). Alternatively, you possibly can go to “Menu” → “File” → “New”. Ensure to not verify the “Create Artboard” field.

Set the sort to “Web”, which can mechanically set the sector DPI to 72. It must be understood now as PPI, however we gained’t dive into the small print right here. If you wish to study extra on the subject, examine the next two assets:

Additionally, keep in mind you can change this setting at any time. The vectors’ high quality gained’t be affected by scaling them.

Set the dimensions to 2000 × 1300 pixels, and click on “OK”.

Our white canvas is now set, however earlier than we begin, I’d recommend you first save this file and provides it a reputation. So, go to “File” → “Save”, and identify it “Beetle”.

2. Importing A Shade Palette From An Picture

One of many issues I exploit rather a lot in Affinity Designer is its capability to import the colours contained in a picture and making a palette from them.

Let’s see how that is accomplished.

For the illustration I need to draw, I considered heat colours, like in a sundown, so I searched Google with this question: “warm colors yellows oranges reds palette”. From all the pictures it discovered, I selected one which I appreciated and copied it into Affinity Designer in my just lately created canvas. (You’ll be able to copy and paste the picture to the canvas immediately from the browser.)

If the Swatches panel isn’t open but, use menu “View” → “Studio” → “Swatches”. Click on the menu within the top-right nook of the panel, and choose the choice “Create Palette From Document”, after which click on on “As Document Palette”. Click on “OK” and also you’ll see the colours contained within the picture type a brand new palette within the Swatches panel. The default identify for it is going to be “Palette” should you nonetheless haven’t saved your file with a reputation. In case you’ve got, the identify of this palette would be the similar as your doc, however if you wish to rename it, merely go to the menu on the correct within the Swatches panel once more and choose the choice “Rename Palette”.

I’ll name it “Beetle Palette”.

Creating a palette from an image.
Making a palette from a picture. (View giant model)

We will now eliminate that reference picture, or just disguise it within the Layers panel. We might be utilizing this palette as a information to create our paintings with harmonious colours.

Interface: Earlier than we proceed, I’ll current a fast overview of the primary sections of the consumer interface in Affinity Designer, and the names of a few of the most used instruments.

Main areas of the UI in Affinity Designer when using the draw persona.
Major areas of the UI in Affinity Designer when utilizing the draw persona. (View giant model)

Tools for the (default) draw persona in Affinity Designer.
Instruments for the (default) draw persona in Affinity Designer. (View giant model)

three. Creating The Background With The Gradient Software

The subsequent factor is to create a background. For this, go to the instruments displayed on the left aspect, and choose the Rectangle software. Drag it alongside the canvas, ensuring to offer it an preliminary random fill shade with the intention to see it. The fill colour chip is situated within the prime toolbar.

Click the Rectangle tool and drag it along the canvas. Fill it with a random color.
Click on the Rectangle software and drag it alongside the canvas. Fill it with a random colour. (View giant model)

Subsequent, choose the Fill device (the colour wheel icon, or press G on the keyboard), and within the prime Context toolbar, choose the sort: “Linear”.

Choose “Linear” from the Fill device’s contextual menu.
Choose “Linear” from the Fill software’s contextual menu. (View giant model)

We now have a number of choices right here: “None” removes the fill colour, “Solid” applies one strong colour, and all the relaxation are several types of gradients.

To straighten the gradient and make it vertical, place your cursor over one of many ends and pull. If you end up close to the vertical line, press Shift: This can make it completely vertical and perpendicular to the bottom of the canvas.

To straighten a linear gradient, pull from one end, and then press the Shift key to make it perfectly vertical.To straighten a linear gradient, pull from one finish, after which press the Shift key to make it completely vertical. (View giant model)

Subsequent, within the Context toolbar, click on on the colour chip, and also you’ll see a dialog that corresponds precisely with the gradient we simply utilized. Click on now on the colour chip, and a further dialog will open.

In the combo, click on on the “Color” tab, after which choose “RGB Hex Sliders”; within the subject marked with a #, enter the worth: FE8876. Press “OK”. You’ll see now how the gradient has been up to date to the brand new colour. Repeat this motion with the opposite shade cease within the gradient dialog, and enter this worth: E1C372.

You must now have one thing like this:

Setting gradient colors.
Setting gradient colours (View giant model)

Let’s go to the Layers panel and rename the layer to “Background”. Double-click on it to rename it, after which lock it (by clicking on the little lock icon within the top-right nook).

four. Drawing The Automotive Define With The Pen Device

The subsequent factor we have to do is search for a picture that may function our reference to attract the define of the automotive. I searched Google for “Volkswagen Beetle side view”. From the pictures I discovered, I chosen considered one of a inexperienced Beetle and copied and pasted it into my doc. (Keep in mind to lock the layer with the reference picture, in order that it doesn’t transfer by chance.)

Subsequent, within the aspect toolbar, choose the Pen software (or press P), zoom in a bit with the intention to work extra comfortably, and begin tracing a phase, following the define of the automotive within the image. Give the stroke an Eight-pixel width within the Stroke panel.

Observe: You gained’t have to create a layer, as a result of the segments you hint might be mechanically positioned on prime of the picture.

The Pen software is likely one of the most daunting instruments for rookies, and it’s clearly probably the most essential instruments to study in vector graphics. Whereas follow is required to succeed in perfection, it’s also a matter of understanding some easy actions that may provide help to use the software higher. Let’s dive into the small print!

As you hint with the Pen device in Affinity Designer, you will notice two kinds of nodes: squared nodes seem first, and as you pull the handles, they may flip into rounded nodes.

Sharp, smooth nodes and handles on a path segment
Sharp, clean nodes and handles on a path phase (View giant model)

Affinity Designer comes with a number of pen modes, however we’ll solely be utilizing the default one, referred to as “Pen Mode”, and as we hint the automotive, we’ll eliminate one of many handles by clicking Alt in such a method that the subsequent part of the phase to be traced shall be unbiased of the earlier one, even when related to it.

Right here’s easy methods to proceed. Choose the Pen device, click on as soon as, transfer a long way away, click on a second time (a straight line will probably be created between nodes 1 and a couple of), drag the second node (it will create a curve), Alt-click the node to take away the second management deal with, then proceed with node three, and so forth.

An alternate method can be to pick the Pen software, click on as soon as, transfer a long way away, click on a second time (a straight line can be created between nodes 1 and a couple of), drag the second node (it will create a curve), then, with out shifting the mouse, Alt-click the second deal with’s level to take away this deal with, then proceed with node three, and so forth.

Trace the outline of the car and get rid of the handles we don’t need by Alt-clicking.Hint the define of the automotive and eliminate the handles we don’t want by Alt-clicking. (View giant model)

Observe: Don’ be afraid to hint segments that aren’t good. With time, you’ll get a greater grip of the Pen device. For now, it’s not essential that every node and line appears as we would like it to look in the long run. In reality, Affinity Designer makes it very easy to amend segments and nodes, so tracing a tough line to start out is simply fantastic. For extra perception on easy methods to simply use the Pen device (for newbies), take a look at Isabel Aracama’s video tutorial.

5. Resculpting Segments And Utilizing The Nook Device

What we’d like now’s to make all of these tough strains look clean and curvy. First, we’ll pull the straight segments to smoothen them, after which we’ll enhance them utilizing the Nook device.

Click on the Node device within the aspect toolbar, or choose it by urgent A in your keyboard. Now, begin pulling segments to comply with the strains of your reference image. You may also use the handles to assist make the road take the form you want by shifting and pulling them accordingly. Simply do it in such a approach that all of it matches the reference picture, however don’t hassle a lot if it’s not but good. With the Node software (A), you’ll be able to each choose and transfer nodes, however it’s also possible to click on and drag the curves themselves to vary them.

Resculpt and correct segments with the Node tool A.Resculpt and proper segments with the Node device (A). (View giant model)

As soon as all the segments are the place we’d like them, we’re going to smoothen their corners utilizing the Nook software (shortcut: C). That is considered one of my favourite instruments in Affinity Designer. The reside Nook software permits you to regulate your nodes and segments to perfection. Choose it by urgent C, or choose it from the Instruments sidebar. The tactic is fairly easy: Move the nook software over the sharp nodes (squared nodes) that you simply need to smoothen. If you’ll want to, change again to the Node device (A) to regulate a piece of a phase by pulling it or its handles. (Clean nodes (rounded nodes) don’t permit for extra softening, and they’ll show a smaller circle the second you choose the Nook device.)

View giant model

View giant model
Use the Corner tool on sharp nodes to smoothen the lines.Use the Nook device on sharp nodes to smoothen the strains. (View giant model)

As soon as our corners and segments look good, we’ll need to fill the form and alter the colour of the stroke. Choose the closed curve line that we simply created for the automotive, click on on the fill colour chip, and within the HEX colour subject enter FFCF23. Click on on the stroke colour chip beside it and enter 131000.

This is what you should have after applying the fill color and stroke color.
That is what it is best to have after making use of the fill shade and stroke colour. (View giant model)

Create now a form with the Pen software, and fill it with black (000000). Place it behind the automotive’s bodywork (the yellow form). The precise form of the brand new object that you’ll create does not likely matter, besides that its backside aspect must be straight, as within the picture under. Place it behind the primary bodywork (the yellow form) by way of both the Layers panel or by way of the menu “Arrange” → “Back One”.

Black shape behind the car bodywork.
Black form behind the automotive bodywork (View giant model)

6. Creating The Wheels Utilizing Sensible Copy

We have to put the wheels in place subsequent. In the Instruments, decide the Ellipse device, and drag over the canvas, making a circle the identical measurement because the wheel within the reference image. Click on Shift as you drag to make the circle proportionate. Moreover, holding Ctrl (Home windows) or Cmd (Mac), you possibly can create an ideal circle from the middle out.

Notice: If it is advisable, disguise the layers created so far to see higher, or just scale back their opacity briefly. You’ll be able to change the opacity by choosing any form and urgent a quantity on the keyboard, from 1 to 9, the place 1 will apply a 10% opacity and 9 a 90% opacity worth. To reset the opacity to 100%, press zero (zero).

Select a random colour that contrasts with the remaining. I like to take action initially simply in order that I can see the shapes nicely contrasted and differentiated. When I’m proud of them, I apply the ultimate colour. Set the opacity to 50% (click on 5 on the keyboard) to have the ability to see by way of as you draw it.

Zoom into your wheel form. Press Z to pick the Zoom software, and drag over the form whereas holding Alt key, or double-click on the thumbnail akin to it within the Layers panel. (It doesn’t have to be beforehand chosen, though this can allow you to to visually find it within the Layers panel.)

We’ll now discover ways to use Sensible copy, and we’ll paste some concentric circles.

Choose the circle and press Cmd + J (Mac) or Ctrl + J (Home windows). A new circle might be positioned on prime of the unique one. Choose it. This command is discovered beneath “Edit” → “Duplicate”, and it’s also referred to as Sensible copy or Sensible duplicate.

Click on Shift + Cmd (Mac) or Shift + Ctrl (Home windows), and drag in to rework it right into a smaller concentrical circle. Repeat 3 times, decreasing a bit extra in measurement every time, to suit your reference. Sensible duplicating a form by urgent Shift + Cmd (Mac) or Shift + Ctrl (Home windows) will make the form rework in a relative method. It will occur out of your third smart-duplicated form onwards.

smart copy via keyboard shortcutsSensible copy by way of Cmd + J or Ctrl + J. (View giant model)

So, we have now our concentric circles for the wheel, and now we now have to vary the colours. Go to the Swatches panel, and within the beforehand created palette, select colours that work properly with the yellow that we’ve got utilized to the automotive’s bodywork. You possibly can choose a colour and modify it barely to adapt to what you assume works greatest. We have to apply fill and stroke colours. Keep in mind to provide the stroke the identical width as the remainder of the automotive (Eight pixels) apart from the innermost circle, the place we’ll apply a stroke of 11.5 pixels. Additionally, keep in mind to place again to 100% the opacity of every concentric circle.

I selected these colours, from the outer to internal circles: 5D5100, 918A00, CFA204, E5DEAB.

Now we need to choose and group all of them collectively. Choose all of them and press Cmd + G (Mac) or Ctrl + G (Home windows). Identify the brand new group “Front Wheel” within the Layers panel. Duplicate this group and, whereas urgent Shift, choose it and drag alongside the canvas till it overlaps with the again wheel. Identify the layer accordingly.

The car should look similar to this now.
The automotive ought to look just like this now. (View giant model)

7. Breaking Curves And Clipping Masks To Draw The Inside Strains Of The Automotive’s Bodywork

To hold working, both disguise all layers or convey down the opacity in order that they don’t get in your approach. We have to hint the back and front fenders. We’ve got to do the identical as what we did for the primary bodywork. Decide the Pen device and hint an overview over it.

As soon as it’s traced, modify it through the use of the handles, nodes and Nook software. I additionally modified the black form behind the automotive a bit, in order that it exhibits a bit extra within the decrease a part of the physique work.

Fenders added to the car.
Fenders added to the automotive. (View giant model)

Now we need to hint a number of the inside strains that outline the automotive. For this, we’ll duplicate the primary yellow form, take away its fill shade and place it onto our illustration within the canvas.

Press A on the keyboard, and click on on any of the underside nodes of the phase. In the highest Context toolbar, click on on “Action” → “Break Curve”. You will notice now that the chosen node has was a red-outlined squared node. Click on on it and pull anyplace. As you possibly can see, the phase is now open. Click on the Delete or Backspace key (Home windows) or the Delete key (Mac), and do the identical with all the backside nodes, leaving simply the leftmost and rightmost ones, and in addition being very cautious that what’s left of the highest part of the phase isn’t deformed in any respect.

(View giant model)

I exploit this technique for one important cause: Duplicating an present line permits for a extra constant look and for extra harmonious strains.

Choose now the newly opened curve, and make it smaller in such a means that it matches into the primary yellow form once you place them on prime of each other. In the Layers panel, drag this curve into the yellow form layer to create a clipping masks. The rationale for making a clipping masks is straightforward: We would like an object inside one other object in order that they don’t overlap (i.e. each objects are seen), however one nested inside the opposite. Not doing so would end in some bits of the nested object being seen, which isn’t what we would like; we’d like good, clean-cut strains.

Word: Clipping masks are to not be mistaken for masks. You’ll know you’re clipping and never masking due to the thumbnail (masks present a crop-like icon when utilized) and since if you find yourself about to clip, a blue stripe is displayed horizontally, a bit greater than midway throughout the layer. Masks, however, show a small vertical blue stripe beside the thumbnail.

Clipping versus masking in Affinity Designer
Clipping versus masking in Affinity Designer (View giant model)
Clipping mask once it is appliedClipping masks as soon as it’s utilized (View giant model)

Now that we have now utilized our clipping masks to insert the newly created phase inside the primary form of the automotive, I’ve damaged some nodes and moved some others round a bit in an effort to place them precisely how I would like. I’ve stretched the width a bit, and separated the entrance from the remainder of the phase utilizing precisely the identical strategies we’ve already seen. Then, I utilized a bit extra Nook software to melt no matter I felt wanted to be softened. Lastly, with the Pen device, I added some additional nodes and segments to create the remainder of the inside strains that outline the automotive.

Word: In order to pick an object in a masks, a clipping masks or a gaggle when not choosing the item instantly within the Layers panel, you need to double-click till you choose the thing, or maintain Ctrl (Home windows) or Cmd (Mac) and click on.

Adding extra lines to a segment.Including additional strains to a phase (View giant model)

After some amendments and tweaking utilizing the talked about strategies, our automotive seems like this:

How the car looks after a little tweaking of the segments and nodes
How the automotive takes care of a bit of tweaking of the segments and nodes (View giant model)

Eight. Drawing The Home windows Utilizing Some Primitive Shapes

In the aspect Toolbar, choose the Rounded Rectangle software. Drag on the canvas to create a form. The dimensions of the form ought to match within the automotive’s bodywork and look proportionate. Regardless of the way you create it, it is possible for you to to resize it later, so don’t fear a lot.

Notice: Once you create a form with strokes and resize it, make sure you verify “Scale with object” within the Stroke panel if you would like the stroke to scale in proportion with the item. I like to recommend that you simply visually examine the distinction between having this feature checked and unchecked when it is advisable to resize an object with a stroke.

Make sure this is checked if you plan to resize your artwork, so that it scales the strokes accordingly.
Be sure that that is checked in case you plan to resize your paintings, in order that it scales the strokes accordingly. (View giant model)

After you have positioned your rounded rectangle on the canvas, fill it with a blue-ish color. I’ve used #93BBC1. Subsequent, choose it with the Node device (press A). You’ll now see a bit orange circle within the top-left nook. In the event you pull outwards or inwards, you’ll see how the angle in that nook modifications. In the highest Context toolbar, you possibly can uncheck “Single radius”, and apply the angle you need to every nook of the rectangle individually. Uncheck it, and pull inwards on the tiny orange circle within the top-left nook. In the event you pull, it is possible for you to to spherical it to a sure proportion, however it’s also possible to enter the specified worth within the enter subject for it, and even use the slider it comes with (it’ll present whether or not you’ve clicked on the little chevron). Let’s apply a worth of 100%.

View giant model

How the rounded rectangle primitive shape looks in default mode and how it changes when we uncheck the single radius box. Now we can manipulate the corners individually.
How the rounded rectangle primitive form seems in default mode and the way it modifications once we uncheck the only radius field. Now we will manipulate the corners individually. (View giant model)

Primitive shapes will not be so versatile when it comes to vector manipulation (in comparison with curves and features), so, in an effort to apply additional modifications to such a form (past fill, stroke, corners, width and peak), we might want to convert it to curves.

Notice: As soon as you change a primitive form into curves, there isn’t any means to return, and there might be no choice to control the form by means of the little orange stops. For those who want additional tweaking, you will want to do it with the Nook device.

Choose the rectangle with the Node device (A), and within the prime Context toolbar, click on the button “Convert to Curves”. The bounding field will disappear, and all the nodes forming the form can be proven. Additionally, notice how within the Layers panel, the identify of the thing modifications from “Rounded Rectangle” to “Curve”.

Now you have to manipulate the form to be able to create an object that appears like a automotive window. Take a look at the reference image to get a greater concept of the way it ought to look. Additionally, tweak the remainder of the drawn strains within the automotive, in order that all of it matches collectively properly. Don’t fear if the shapes don’t look good (but). Getting them proper is a matter of follow! Utilizing the Pen device, assist your self with the Alt and Shift keys and observe how in another way the phase nodes behave. After you will have created the entrance window, go forward and create the again one, following the identical technique.

We additionally have to create the reflections of the window, which we’ll do by drawing three rectangles, filling them with white colour, overlapping them with a little bit of offset from each other, and setting the opacity to 50%.

Place the cursor excessive bounding-box white circle, and when it turns right into a curved arrow with two ends, transfer it to offer the rectangles an angle. Create a clipping masks, dragging it over the window form within the Layers panel as we noticed earlier than. You can even do that by following the next various strategies:

  • Beneath the menu “Layer” → “Insertion” → “Insert Inside” the chosen window object.
  • With the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + X (Home windows) and Cmd + X (Mac), choose your window object → “Edit” → “Paste Inside” (Ctrl/Cmd + Alt + V).

Repeat this for the again window. To add visible curiosity, you’ll be able to duplicate the reflections and barely change the rectangles’ opacities and widths.

Create the reflections on the windows, and clip them inside.Create the reflections on the home windows, and clip them inside. (View giant model)

9. Including Visible Curiosity: Halftone Sample, Shadows And Reflections

Earlier than we begin with the shadows and reflections, we have to add an additional piece onto the automotive in order that all the parts look properly built-in. Let’s create the piece that sits under the doorways. It’s a easy rectangle. Place it on the corresponding layer order, in order that it appears like the image under, and hold inserting all the items collectively in order that it appears compact. I may even transfer a bit the entrance fender to make the entrance shorter.

The car, once the final bodywork pieces have been placed and tweaks made. We’re getting there!
The automotive, as soon as the ultimate bodywork items have been positioned and tweaks made. We’re getting there! (View giant model)

Now let’s create the halftone sample.

Seize the Pen device (P) and hint a line in your canvas. In the Stroke panel (you may also do that within the Pen device’s Context toolbar part for the stroke, on the prime), set the dimensions to one thing like 7 pixels. We will simply change this worth later if wanted. Choose the “Dash” line fashion, and the remainder of the dialog settings must be as follows:

Settings for the first part of creating the halftone pattern.
Settings for the primary a part of creating the halftone sample. (View giant model)

Now, duplicate this line, and place the brand new one under with a little bit of an offset to the left.

View giant model

Group each strains, duplicate this group with a Sensible copy, and create one thing like this:

Smart copy the first two lines, and create the whole pattern.
Sensible copy the primary two strains, and create the entire sample. (View giant model)

If you drag a variety in Affinity Designer, solely objects which are utterly inside the choice space will probably be chosen. If you wish to choose all objects with out having to tug over all of them utterly, you could have the next choices:

  • Mac: Holding the ⌃ (Ctrl) key will will let you choose all objects touching the choice marquee as you draw it.
  • Home windows: Click on and maintain the left mouse button, begin dragging a variety, after which click on and maintain the fitting mouse button as properly. As you’re holding each buttons, all objects touching the choice marquee shall be chosen.
  • Alternatively, you can also make this conduct a worldwide choice. On Mac, go to “Affinity Designer” → “Preferences” → “Tools”, and verify “Select object when intersects with selection marquee”. On Home windows, go to “Edit” → “Preferences” → “Tools”, and verify “Select object when intersects with selection marquee”.

To make the illustration extra fascinating, we’re going to range the start and finish of a few of the strains a bit. To do that, we choose the Node software (A), and transfer the nodes a bit inwards.

It ought to now seem like this:

View giant model

To apply the sample to our design, be certain that all the things is grouped, copy and paste it into our automotive paintings, scale back its opacity to 30%, and in addition scale back the dimensions (ensuring “Scale with object” is checked within the Stroke panel). We’ll then create a clipping masks. It is very important maintain consistency within the angle, colour and measurement of this sample all through the illustration.

Applying the halftone mask.Making use of the halftone masks (View giant model)

Now, apply the halftone sample to the again fender and to the automotive’s aspect; ensure that to create a placeholder for it first, be it the fender itself or a brand new form. Make some tweaks if it’s essential adapt the sample to your drawing in a harmonious method. You’ll be able to change the general measurement, the dots’ measurement, the transparency, the angle and so forth, however attempt to be constant when making use of these modifications to the sample bits.

For the shadow under the home windows, I drew a curve to be the placeholder, and utilized the colour #CFA204 in order that it seems darker.

10. Creating The Remaining Parts Of The Automotive

Now, it’s all about creating the remainder of the weather that make up the automotive: the bumpers, the again wheel and the surf board, plus the design stickers.

  • The back and front lights
    For the entrance mild, change to the Phase software and draw the form. Then we have to rotate it a bit and place it someplace under the automotive’s fundamental bodywork. The identical may be accomplished for the again mild however utilizing the Rectangle software. The colours are #FFDA9D for the entrance mild and #FF0031 for the again mild.

Creating the front lightCreating the entrance mild (View giant model)

  • Surfboard
    To create the surfboard, we’ll use the Ellipse device and draw an extended ellipse. Convert it to curves and pull up the decrease phase, adjusting a bit the handles to provide it the perfect form.

Creating the surf boardCreating the surf board (View giant model)

Now, simply create two small rounded rectangles, with a bit of additional line on prime for the board’s rack. Place them in a layer behind the automotive’s most important physique form.

Board rack pieces
Board rack items (View giant model)

With the Pen device, add the rudder. Its shade is #B2E3EF. And for the stroke, use a 6-pixel width and set the colour to #131000.

  • Spare wheel
    Now let’s create the the spare wheel! Change to the Rounded Rectangle software. Drag over the canvas to attract a form. Colour it #34646C, and make the stroke #131000 and eight pixels in measurement. The dimensions of the spare wheel ought to match the proportions of your automotive and will have the identical diameter as the opposite wheels, or maybe only a bit smaller. Pull the orange dots completely inwards, and provides it a 45-degree angle. For the rack that holds the wheel, create a small piece with the Rectangle software, and provides it the identical 45-degree angle, shade it #4A8F99, and make the stroke #131000 and four.5 pixels in measurement. Create the final piece that rests over the automotive in the identical means, with a shade of #34646C, and a stroke that’s #131000 and four.5 pixels in measurement.

Lastly, let’s create a shadow contained in the wheel so as to add some extra curiosity. For this, we’ll create a clipping masks and insert an ellipse form with a colour of #194147, with no stroke.

Word: We might need to create the identical shadow impact for the automotive wheels. Use the Rectangle software and a shade of #312A00, create a clipping masks, and insert it within the wheel form, putting it midway.

Three simple shapes to draw the spare wheel and its rack
Three easy shapes to attract the spare wheel and its rack (View giant model)

  • Bumpers
    For the bumpers, we’ll apply the boolean operation “add” to 2 primary shapes after which clip-mask a shadow, simply as we did for the wheels.

Boolean operations are displayed within the part of icons labeled “Geometry” (Mac) and “Operations” (Home windows). (Sure, the label names are inconsistent, however the Affinity workforce will doubtless replace them within the close to future, and one of many labels will grow to be the default for each working methods.) In the event you don’t see them within the higher toolbar, go to “View” → “Customize Toolbar”, and drag and drop them into the toolbar.

Essential: If you’d like the operation to be non-destructive, maintain the Alt key whereas clicking on the “Add” icon (to mix the 2 primary shapes).

Boolean operations: Add, Subtract, Intersect, Divide, Combine.
Boolean operations: Add, Subtract, Intersect, Divide, Mix. (View giant model)

Applying the (destructive) Add operation to create a single shape from two shapes.
Making use of the (damaging) Add operation to create a single form from two shapes. (View giant model)

Observe: For those who attempt to paste the “shadow” object contained in the bumper, it’s going to solely work if the bumper is one entire object (a damaging operation). So, when you used Alt + “Add”, this won’t work now. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to nonetheless work round this by changing the Compound form (the results of a non-destructive operation that may be a group of two objects) to at least one Curve (one entire vector object). You simply have to click on on the Compound form, then within the menu go to “Layer” → “Convert to Curves” (or use the important thing mixture Ctrl + Enter).

  • Again window
    We’re nonetheless lacking the again window, which we’ll create with the Pen device, and the ornament for the automotive. For the 2 coloured stripes, we’d like the Sq. device after which clip-mask these two rectangles into the primary bodywork. The dimensions is 30 × 380 pixels, and the colours are #0AC8CE and #FF6500. Clip them by ensuring you’ve put them on the appropriate layer, in order that the darkish strains we drew earlier than are above them.

  • Quantity 56
    For the quantity “56” ornament, use the Inventive Textual content software (“T”), and sort in “56”. Select a pleasant font that matches the type of the illustration, or attempt the one I’ve used.

The colour for the textual content object is #FFF3AD.

(I added an additional squared form behind the again fender, which can seem like the top of the exhaust pipe. The colour is #000000.)

  • Shade strips
    Now that we’ve executed this, examine the colour stripes and the window they overlap with. As you possibly can see (and since we put some transparency within the window glass), the orange stripe is seen by means of it. Let’s use some Boolean energy once more to repair this.

Bumpers and exhauster added. Check out the overlapped window and the orange stripe!
Bumpers and exhauster added. Take a look at the overlapped window and the orange stripe! (View giant model)

Duplicate the window object. Choose each the window object (the one you simply duplicated) and the orange stripe within the Layers panel. Apply a “subtract” operation.

Stage 1, before the subtract operation.
Stage 1, earlier than the subtract operation. (View giant model)

tage 2, once the subtract operation is applied.
Stage 2, as soon as the subtract operation is utilized. (View giant model)

Now, the orange stripe has the right form, becoming the window in such a means that they don’t overlap.

Stripe and window with subtraction operation applied.
Stripe and window with subtraction operation utilized. (View giant model)

  • Smoke
    To create the smoke from the exhaust, draw a circle with a white stroke, 5.5 pixels in measurement and no fill. Rework it to curves and break considered one of its factors. From the underside node, hint a straight line with the Pen device.

Duplicate this “broken” circle, and resize to smaller circles, and flip and place them in order that they seem like this:

Creating the exhaust smoke
Creating the exhaust smoke (View giant model)

Notice: Now that the automotive is completed, group all of its layers collectively. Will probably be a lot simpler to maintain working should you achieve this!

11. Creating The Floor And The Background Parts.

  • Floor
    Let’s hint a easy line for the bottom, and add two bits breaking it with a view to create visible curiosity and recommend a little bit of motion. We additionally need to add an additional piece to create the bottom. For this, we’ll use the Rectangle software and draw a rectangle with a gradient shade of #008799 for the left cease and #81BEC7 for the best cease. Give it 30% opacity.

Gradient for the ground piece and the grouped car layers for a clean view in the Layers panel.
Gradient for the bottom piece and the grouped automotive layers for a clear view within the Layers panel. (View giant model)

  • Clouds
    For the clouds, choose the Cloud device from the listing of (primitive) vector shapes. Draw a cloud by holding Shift to maintain the proportions. Make it white. Rework it into curves, and with the Node software (A) choose the underside nodes and delete them. Sub-select the bottom-left and bottom-right nodes (after deleting all the others), after which within the Context toolbar, choose “Convert to Sharp” within the Convert part. It will make your backside phase straight. Apply some transparency with the Transparency device (Y), and duplicate this cloud. Place the clouds in your drawing, unfold aside as you would like and in several sizes.

My clouds have 12 bubbles and an inside radius of 82%. You are able to do the identical or change these values to your liking.

Creating the clouds with the Cloud tool and the Transparency toolCreating the clouds with the Cloud device and the Transparency software (View giant model)

  • Palm timber
    To create the palm timber, use the Crescent software from the record of primitive shapes on the left. Give it a gradient colour, with a left cease of #F05942 and a proper cease of #D15846.

Drag to attract the crescent form. Transfer its middle of rotation to the underside of the bounding field, and provides it a -60-degree angle.

The middle of rotation might be made seen within the Contextual toolbar part for the Transfer (and Node) device. It appears like a bit of crosshair icon. Whenever you click on on it, the crosshair for shifting the rotation middle of an object will present. Duplicate it, both by way of Cmd + C and Cmd + V (Mac) or Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V (Home windows), or by clicking after which Alt + dragging on the item, and transfer the angle of the brand new crescent to -96 levels. Make it a bit smaller. Copy the 2 shapes and flip them horizontally.

I additionally created and additional crescent.

Creating the palm leavesCreate the palm leaves (View giant model)

To create the indentations on the leaves, rework the thing to curves, add a node with the Node software, and pull inwards. To make the vortex sharp, use “Convert” → “Sharp”.

Creating the leaves’ indentationsCreating the leaves’ indentations (View giant model)

Create the trunk of the palm tree with the Pen software, group all the shapes collectively, and apply an “add” boolean. This manner, all the shapes will rework into only one. Apply a 60% opacity to it.

The palm tree once the Add boolean operation has been applied.
The palm tree as soon as the Add boolean operation has been utilized (View giant model)

Duplicate the tree form a number of occasions, altering the sizes and tweaking to make the timber barely totally different from each other. (Making them precisely the identical would end in a much less fascinating picture.)

The very last thing we have to make is the solar.

  • The solar
    For this, merely draw an ellipse and apply a shade of #FFFFBA to it. Apply a transparency with the Transparency device (Y), the place the underside is clear and will get opaque on the prime.

Transparency applied to the sun shape
Transparency utilized to the solar form (View giant model)

Now we’ll add some element by overlapping a number of rounded rectangles over the solar circle and subtracting them (click on Alt for a non-destructive motion, for those who want).

Applying a subtract operationMaking use of a subtract operation (View giant model)

Place your solar within the scene, and we’re completed!

12. A Word On The Stacking Order (And Naming Of Layers)

When you work, and because the variety of objects (layers) grows, which may even make your illustration increasingly complicated, have in mind the stacking order of your layers. The earlier you begin naming the layers and putting them in the fitting order, the higher. Additionally, lock these layers that you simply’re accomplished with (particularly for issues such because the background), in order that they don’t get in the best way as you’re employed.

In this illustration, the order of parts from backside to prime is:

  • background,
  • floor,
  • solar,
  • clouds,
  • palm timber,
  • automotive.


I hope you may comply with all the steps with no main issues and now higher perceive a few of Affinity Designer’s essential instruments and actions. (In fact, when you’ve got some questions or need assistance, depart a remark under!)

These instruments will help you create not solely flat illustrations, however many other forms of paintings as nicely. The instruments, actions and procedures we’ve used listed here are a number of the most helpful and customary that designers and illustrators use day by day (together with me), be it for easy illustration tasks or far more complicated ones.

Nevertheless, even my most complicated illustrations often want the identical instruments that we’ve seen in motion on this tutorial! It’s primarily a matter of understanding how a lot you will get out of every software.

Keep in mind the few necessary ideas, corresponding to locking the layers that would get in your means (or utilizing half-transparency), stacking the layers in the correct order, and naming them, in order that even probably the most complicated of illustrations are straightforward to arrange and work with. Follow typically, and attempt to manage issues in order that your workflow improves — this can result in higher paintings and higher time administration as nicely.

Additionally, to study extra about easy methods to create any such illustration, take a look at the video tutorial that I posted on my YouTube channel.

The completed Volkswagen Beetle illustration.
The finished Volkswagen Beetle illustration. (View giant model)

Smashing Editorial(mb, ms, ra, yk, al, il)