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Artwork created using the new Affinity Photo 'Nature' brushes that I created


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I have been designing new 'Nature' brushes in Affinity Photo so that I can create nature scenes, micro worlds and greeting card designs. Its only a 'rough'; needs a bit of work...

I have been using Affinity Photo for a while now - ever since Adobe decided that they were going to force their users to 'RENT' their software and that they are no longer interested in lowly individual designers, they are only interested in large corporate accounts.

So I switched to Affinity Photo/Designer. And I am SO GLAD that I did. They are awesome!

I also have been using CorelDraw and Corel Painter for many years (longer than I used Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign). I started using CorelDraw with version 5, and Painter when it was owned by Fractal Design, also version 5. I can remember opening CorelDraw when I first purchased it and just staring at all the tools and the blank page. Previously I had only used Word. I tried to type something. Nothing. So I closed it. I kept opening it up and just looking in awe at the tools, then finally I read some of the manual, checked out the Help files and figured it out. This started my interest in digital design. Later, I became a Graphic Designer and worked for nearly 20 years at Deutsche Bank doing cover design, Powerpoint template design, redrawing logos and maps, animation and so much more. There is a whole hidden industry of design, 'Presentation Design' and 'Presentation Specialist' jobs and you can get into this market if you use Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Its a great place to start your design career. Not only London, but all over the globe - Sydney, Australia, New York, Paris, Frankfurt... anywhere large corporations have a 'Presentations' department. Check out the job opportunities by typing 'Presentations Design' in Google. Create a portfolio. And if your portfolio is good, they will train you.

I usually use Painter to create my greetings cards and have hundreds of Painter brushes - gold, jewels, silver, glass, diamonds, pearls, satins and silk brushes, and, of course, hundreds of 'Nature' brushes. This is the first one I have done using Affinity Photo. It has taken me a long time to create all the brushes of stones, rocks, rock faces, trees, lichen, toadstools, twisted branches, moss, ferns and to adjust the brush settings just to begin painting with them.

Hope you like it...



Hope you like it...

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@DelN  I like it very much!  

24" iMAC Apple M1 chip, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 16 GB unified memory, 1 TB SSD storage, Big Sur v. 11.7.9.  Photo, Publisher, Designer 1.10.5, and 2.1.1.
MacBook Pro 13" 2020, Apple M1 chip, 16GB unified memory, 256GB  SSD storage
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I haven't used a background image. It's made entirely from the brush strokes and brush dabs of the 'Nature' brushes I have been creating (for weeks and weeks). It takes a lot of time to create them, but I like the result, testing the brush strokes and dabs once I have made them and then creating a scene by painting and dabbing with them.

I made all the 'Nature' brushes from images - toadstools, leaves, moss, lichen, rocks, grass, branches, birds, butterflies, bits of broken tree bark. Recently, I have been taking images of lichen on fallen branches. I select the area of an image I think will make an interesting brush dab/stroke, then remove the background and save the individual object/section of an object and export it as a .png (transparent background). Then I import each individual image back into Affinity Photo and create a brush from it. Some brushes I create from several images and create a 'nozzle' and set the brush stroke for this brush at 'random' so that it cycles through all the images I have saved in that brush.

I hope this makes sense.

The brush settings in Affinity Photo allow you to create amazing variants of the brushes you create, setting the spacing and placement of brush dabs, rotation, twisting brush strokes, nozzles, recolouring the brush dabs and strokes, and using other seamless .jpg images of textures to paint with textured brush dabs.

I have created a step-by-step tutorial in MS Word of how I create an image brush. If anyone would find it useful I will upload it here. Let me know. I'll upload a few of the 'Nature' brushes too if anyone would like to try them...




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@DelNI would love to have your instructions and also the Nature brushes you are willing to share. I am trying to draw terrariums and similar setups. Nature brushes would be great



Edited by muzim
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Wow, looks like a fantasy garden. 👍🏼  Is it Alice I hear whisper to the white rabbit? 😉


AMD Ryzen 7 5700X | INTEL Arc A770 LE 16 GB  | 32 GB DDR4 3200MHz | Windows 11 Pro (22621.2283)
Affinity Suite V 2.2.0 & Beta
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When life offers you only lemons, make limoncello out of them.

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As mentioned above, I am attaching the 'step-by-step' guide on how I created my 'Nature' image brushes in Affinity Photo. Its a MS Word document and explains how to create a 'Butterfly' brush in Affinity Photo using multiple images. The process is the same for any image(s) whether butterfly, rock, stones, tree, shrub, moss, lichen. At the end of the tutorial I explain another process to create a 'moss' image brush which uses simple selections that you export individually. There may be other and easier ways to do this, but this is the way I have done it because it is a method I use to create them in Corel Painter. I am not so experienced in Affinity Photo, so I don't yet know where one saves seamless textures that you create to re-use; in Corel Painter, you save them in the 'Patterns' Library. 

The 'step-by-step' tutorial explains...

1.    How to Create a Brush Category
2.    How to Remove the Background from an Image
3.    How to Save the Butterfly as a .PNG (Transparent Background) Image
4.    How to Create a ‘Butterfly’ Brush (Multiple Butterfly Images)
5.    How to Duplicate a Brush
6.    How to Rename a Brush
7.    How to Create a ‘Moss’ Brush using Multiple PNGs

...which are the steps you must take to create your first image brush. You can create an image brush just by selecting a single layer, but you need to convert it to a Pixel layer first. I wanted to explain how to create one by selecting it and extracting it from its background. More complicated, but once you have done it once, you can use the same process to create any image brush. I would advise you to experiment and test out all the different brush settings.

To load the brush category in Affinity Photo 

Save the DelN's Free Brushes.afbrushes file
Locate the location where you saved the file
Open Affinity Photo
Double-click the DelN's Free Brushes.afbrushes file.
An 'Import Brushes' message will be displayed
'Brushes Imported Successfully'
Click OK
Click 'Brushes' tab
Locate new DelN's Free Brushes
Start using the brushes

Please let me know if you found this tutorial useful. I attach the image Moss 01.jpg so you can use the same image. 

It is an image of moss from Pixaby.com https://pixabay.com/photos/the-green-moss-background-green-the-5357422/

I nabbed the butterfly images from the internet. 

I also attach several images of the brush strokes and their brush names in my DelN's Free Brushes.afbrushes.

Also, if you create anything using the brushes I would love to see it...



Del's Brushes_Examples 01.png

Del's Brushes_Examples 02.png

Del's Brushes_Examples 03.png

Del's Brushes_Examples 04.png

Del's Brushes_Examples 05.png

Del's Brushes_Examples 06.png

Butterfly 01.jpg

Butterfly 02.jpg

Butterfly 03.jpg

Butterfly 04.jpg

Butterfly 05.jpg

Butterfly 06.jpg

Butterfly 07.jpg

Moss 01.jpg

How to Create a Butterfly Brush_Multiple Butterfly Images.docx DelN's Free Brushes.afbrushes

Edited by DelN
I forgot to attach the Brushes file
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Hello DeIn, this looks very nice, great work!

Unfortunately I have problems by downloading the brushes:-( it interrupts in every effort:-(

Is it possible, that you can put the brushes in a dropbox and share the link?




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I have been working on some free 'Atmosphere, Smoke & Fog' brushes over the last two days. Thought I would upload them here so you guys can download them. I may have to split them again cos the file size is large. I keep the images large so that, like me, if you work in 300dpi for print, the brush strokes won't pixelate. If you work in a lower resolution, you can simply reduce the size of the brush. 


This is an image I created using the 'Atmosphere, Smoke & Fog' brushes along with the 'Nature' brushes. 

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@DelN  your new Atmosphere, Smoke & Fogbrushes look very interesting.   Are you planning to upload the files?

24" iMAC Apple M1 chip, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 16 GB unified memory, 1 TB SSD storage, Big Sur v. 11.7.9.  Photo, Publisher, Designer 1.10.5, and 2.1.1.
MacBook Pro 13" 2020, Apple M1 chip, 16GB unified memory, 256GB  SSD storage
,  Big Sur v. 11.7.9.   Publisher, Photo, Designer 1.10.5.  
 iPad Pro 12.9 2020 (4th Gen. IOS 16.6); Apple pencil.  
Wired and bluetooth mice and keyboards.9_9

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It has taken a while to create these Atmosphere, Dust & Smoke brushes.

There are a few mad brushes thrown in, such as the Pink Glitter Motes, but I think they look great and had atmosphere when used in a wood or forest environment. I use them all the time.. You can change the look of the brush dabs/strokes in the Layers panel.

Hope you like them. I'd love to see the stuff you create using them. I enjoy seeing other people's creative work.

DelN's Free Brushes Pt3_Atmosphere Dust & Smoke_01.jpg

DelN's Free Brushes Pt3_Atmosphere Dust & Smoke_02.jpg

DelN's Free Brushes Pt3_Atmosphere Dust & Smoke_03.jpg

DelN's Free Brushes Pt3_Atmosphere Dust & Smoke_04.jpg

DelN's Free Brushes Pt3_Atmosphere Dust & Smoke 05.jpg

DelN's Free Brushes Pt3_Atmosphere Dust & Smoke Brushes.afbrushes DelN's Free Brushes Pt4_Atmosphere Dust & Smoke Brushes.afbrushes

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have been working on a few images over the last few days using the 'Nature' and 'Atmosphere' brushes that I created for Affinity Photo again, which you can download for free, also a step-by-step instruction in MS Word on how I created my brushes, with screengrabs, for you to follow, also images of each brush stroke/brush name... 🙂

I have been fascinated with the photobashing technique for many years (although I wasn't aware until recently that it had a name). I used a similar technique when I worked as a graphic designer in London for 20 years. 

Check out the work of one of my favourite concept artists, Ryan Church, concept artist, illustrator and designer in the film industry. http://ryanchurch.com/ 

Others are Shaddy Safadi, Feng Zhu, Noah Bradley, Tyler Edlin, James Paick, Jordan Grimmer, Darek Zabrocki, Gilles Beloeil, Neil Blevins, Tuomas Korpi, Jorge Jacinto and so many others. Also check out https://www.illustrationhistory.org/artists and learn about artists/illustrators of the past: Kay Nielsen, Arthur Rackham, Beatrix Potter, Gustave Doré, Walter Crane, Adrienne Segur, Aubrey Beardsley and so many others...

Check out too 'Becoming a Concept Artist for a Hollywood Film' https://www.clipstudio.net/how-to-draw/archives/155681

A good concept artist working in the film industry or the gaming industry can easily make USD400k pa, so hone your Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer skills, gather your best work into an online portfolio and focus on your future in design/illustration. They are fabulous tools for any illustrator/designer - and they are affordable too!

You could become a concept artist working in the film industry or doing book design cover illustration, advertising, cartoons, comics and graphic novels illustration, children's book illustration, or work as a concept artist/illustrator in the gaming industry. Or you could be the next Walt Disney...

Work in an industry you will enjoy...


Old Tower w Overgrown Garden 96dpi.jpg

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Thanks, VectorWhiz. I really appreciate the comment.

I used Photoshop. Illustrator and InDesign, CorelDraw and Painter for almost 20 years and used to train new members to the design team in these software, mastering the pen tool by drawing maps, redrawing logos, creating Infographics, brochures, etc. I really encourage creative people interested in design to follow their dream. 

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I've been working on 'Frost Dancer' in Affinity Photo for a few days now. I wanted to use a reduced colour palette, which I created from an image I found which had the right frosty/icy tones I was looking for. I called the colour palette 'Ghostly Blue', then created a Gradient Map from the colour palette, but I ended up using a Recolour Adjustment, which seemed to work best. I found an image of a ballet dancer and used 'Photobashing' techniques to create the 'Frost Dancer' using the many 'Nature' and 'Atmosphere' image brushes I created, changing the colours of the image dabs and textures to white and selecting brushes that looked like frost and ice. I also used a couple of the 'Fog Overlays' by Paper Farm to create the rolling mist in the field.

I wanted to create a carefree dryad or wood spirit dancing lightly across heaths, fields and woodlands, laying frost across the landscape. I wanted the dryad's hair to be coiled like the wave in the Japanese print 'The Great Wave off Kanagawa' by Hokusai. I created the hair by painting it with a load of Gold brushes I created, then put the layers beneath the Recolour Adjustment, which seemed to work quite well...

Frost Dancer.jpg

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