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NEW Affinity Designer tutorial (Cowboy Dog character beer label)

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Hi all, a recent tutorial I did for Envatotutsplus on Affinity Designer is out.  


It's a step by step from start to finish type of tutorial of my basic workflow developing a fun Canine Cowboy character to a cartoony semi-realistic finish. It's an intermediate level tutorial so some knowledge of Designer is required. :-)


Check it out at:




Also checkout the attached image here for a preview of the final image.


Have fun!


(aka Kevin Creative)


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Wow! Thanks MBd and you are most welcome, it was a lot of work to create something AND document every step like that.


I guess as you say they really are simple techniques that add up to something tangible and recognizable in the end. I come from a traditional air brush based background so I guess this is sort of applying some of those techniques in the digital realm.


I'm glad you enjoyed going through it.

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Yes it really came to my mind how much work it was to take all these screenshots and add descriptions, keep it brief AND informative at the same time.

To me it really is important to try to understand design or brush work because photography retouching is not much different to me. One has to imagine the shape of the final output and thus understand the lighting shading and contours. I´m also using some vector objects in combination with photography work to keep things editable and thus flexible.



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I just finished this tutorial yesterday, and I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to retrograde! It took me a whole day to follow the instructions, so I can't begin to think how long it must have taken to put together. I've come away from completing this feeling like I know AD much better, and also that I'm going to be a better illustrator as a result of these techniques.

MacBook Pro 15" 32GB RAM, iPad Pro 12.9" + Magic Keyboard, Apple Pencil.  Software tools of my trade: Affinity Designer | Affinity Publisher | PDF Expert | Drafts | The Archive | Plutio  


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WOW thanks misc33 and ChrisP!!


It's a GREAT feeling knowing people are benefitting from the tutorial. You never know how many, if anyone, are going to invest their time to go through it, especially one as long as it turned out to be. :-)


Yes, It was a long process to document virtually every click but I think that's sometimes what it takes to really show how to do something, especially in a written tutorial.


Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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WOW! How have I only just seen this!?! What a fantastic tutorial, Kevin - thank you so much for sharing it with us!!! As has been said before, it's extremely detailed but easily followed and makes a brilliant illustration at the end, so it's really compelling to follow - thank you again for all your hard work! (now I'm off to read it again!!!) :D

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Cheers everyone!


I myself have followed many tutorials over the years, this is the first one I've completed for any app and it feels great to share a little bit of what I know and my workflow with everyone.


Feel free to post any results you have from the tutorial, I would love to see them!


Thanks to Envato for asking me to do this! 

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Fantastic tutorial, Kevin … your shading techniques are simply amazing …  :)


And what an amount of work! I just created a PDF from the tutorial and ended up with 138 pages …  :o

Thank you so much for sharing!


Cheers A_B_C!  That's a cool idea. I'm curious, is it for future use to look back on or refer to?

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Hey Kevin,


Looks really cool. Will try this out over the long weekend I have.





About me: Trainer at Apple, Freelance Video Editor, Motion Graphics Artist, Website Designer, Photographer. Yes I like creating things!!!


Twitter: @StrawberryMnky  @imAllanThompson

Web: mystrawberrymonkey.com  Portfolio: behance.net/allanthompson

YouTube: Affinity Designer & Photo Tutorials

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  • 8 months later...
  • 5 months later...

Thanks for the tutorial, Kevin, learned a lot. Someone above did it in one day? Took me four!

I pretty much followed it out the window, but with the leaves I used Elliptical instead of Linear option for Transparency. It gave the leaves a more organic appearance, plus I blurred each half 2px and tinkered with their centers. And I changed the nose, and color of his shades.


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I was asked to test and compare Affinity for a possible studio switch from Adobe to Affinity products. I was creating the Beer Label on Tuts+ but I don't see where the supplied file is located. Its possible Tuts+ deleted the file from their server and only kept the steps to create this label.


To give you guys a background...I'm a Print Production Artist for small events to large sporting events. I've been using Adobe products as since 1992 and Illustrator was my first Adobe product. So far I'm very impressed with AD, smooth, fast upload and looks like a 90% keyboard map to Adobe products ( a huge plus ). 


If possible can someone email me or post a link for the tutorial I would like complete the project.  Thank you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all, a recent tutorial I did for Envatotutsplus on Affinity Designer is out.  ... Check it out at:...

Have fun!...


Phew! Completed! If I added up the hours it took they would wrap around the earth 12x... :lol:  For me, here is why it was such a great learning experience:

[Oh, first off, I do use the pen tool a lot so I was not hung up there. I'm not fast with it but I can make a curve take pretty much any shape and I use the different node types.]


1. Didn't know before that you would want to put hi-lights on top of hi-lights and shadows on top of shadows. That was an eye-opener.

2. Crisscrossing between Inner Shadow effect, Color/gradient, and Transparency gradient were fun and extended my knowledge of these tools.

3. More precise use of layer opacity (and effects opacity) than I've used before in relation to the other settings employed.

4. Surprised by the non-use of textures (just using lighting effects did it all). I thought, "A dog, so there will be textures." I can see that could have been an approach, but for this project, I like the final texture without using texture.


Kevin, thanks for the challenge and education! I encourage others who have not done your tutorial to dig in.


♥  WIN 10 AD & AP  ♥  Lenovo Legion Y520 15.6" Laptop

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