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Wanderer Brush Pack for Affinity Quickstart

Wanderer is a set of seamless pattern brushes designed to help you break the uniformity of regular shapes and load them with vibrant organic textures to create beautifully handcrafted style compositions. Creating eye-catching graphics is made simple with Wanderer, which is user-friendly and accessible to everyone.

We know you’re impatient to get started with your shiny new brushes right away, so we won’t be taking too much time from you. We’ll just make sure you’ll get Wanderer for Affinity up and running so you can start creating promptly.

1. Installation

You can check the following quick installation guides to get your brushes imported in Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer in case you’re not familiar with this process.

  • Installing Brushes in Affinity Photo – Watch Video
  • Installing Raster Brushes in Affinity Designer – Watch Video

2. How to use Wanderer Brushes

You can use Wanderer brushes as regular paintbrushes. You can select a brush and start painting and drawing freely with your stylus or Apple Pencil. However, we designed this pack to be used along with Affinity clipping layers, which allows you to paint within vector or raster shapes.

To use this function you’ll need to create a new Pixel Layer on top of your target shape. You can add a new Pixel Layer from the top menu Layer → New Pixel Layer. Or, by clicking on the small icon beside the trash can in the Layers Panel.

TIP: Don’t worry about achieving perfection with your shapes. Embrace a bit of sloppiness to give your illustrations a more authentic, handmade feel when paired with Wanderer brushes.

Then, from the Layers Panel, you’ll need to drag this Pixel Layer onto your target shape (FIG.A). You’ll end up with a nested layer structure as shown above (FIG.B).

To prevent accidentally painting outside your intended shapes, you can select any brush and paint on this Pixel layer without worries. You can add more clipped Pixel layers for extra depth in your texturing work. If you want to learn more about this topic, you can check out this tutorial.

Since Wanderer brushes paint flat, seamless patterns, you can use them even with a mouse.

You can repeat this process by experimenting with different shapes and colors. Notice that you don’t need to come up with complex forms. The beauty of using these brushes is that they will do the hard work for you, and you’ll still achieve extraordinary results with minimal effort.

Play around with your shape’s size, position, and rotation to generate composition ideas. This part is quite enjoyable and might lead to interesting, unexpected results.

The same approach was used to create the cover artwork for this pack. At first it might seem complex, but the closer you look at it, the more you realize the entire illustration only contains a bunch of random shapes put together. The magic happens when you use Wanderer brushes on these shapes. They’ll add instant organic complexity that will make any graphic look better in seconds.

Wanna try it yourself?

Click the image above to download an Affinity Designer file containing the shapes we used for our demo illustrations. As you can see, there’s nothing fancy about them on their own, just simple rough silhouettes. 

3. Going a little further

The remaining elements used for that illustration are two cutout photos, nothing more. The woman’s portrait served as the centerpiece, around which we placed the vector shapes to add interest to the composition. We also included a cloud to have another photographic detail in the background.

The images above are copyrighted, so we cannot share them with you. However, you can use many amazing free pictures on your professional projects from photo stock sites, like Pexels, which is our favorite here. There, you’ll find lots of useful photos of any kind.

Need some help cutting out images?

Check our Youtube video about extracting complex images in Affinity Photo. You’ll find it pretty useful, if you aim to follow-up with the image-based collage illustration approach.

Again, you don’t need to cut these images perfectly, some roughen edges will add to the handmade look of your collage.

Quick demo

Let’s take for instance this portrait found on Pexels by Hannah Nelson.

First, let’s make a quick path around the girl’s silhouette using Affinity’s Pen Tool.

Clip the woman’s image using the clipping layers function. The borders around her hair may be flawed, but they’ll work for our collage-style illustration.

Now, using the Affinity file we provided above, we copy-paste the Cloud and Snake shapes into our document. To fill the cloud we used the FT Wind Waker brush, from Wanderer A category. For the snake shape, we used the brush named FT Dune, also from the same category.

Rinse and repeat. Keep adding shapes from the same Affinity file, change their color, paint inside with some Wanderer brushes and you’ll get to beautiful striking results in minutes.

Tip: Don’t overthink about which brush you should use every time. We’d recommend picking them up randomly for more surprising results. You can also check the brushes guide included with this pack to have a better overview of the patterns.

Of course, you are free to use Wanderer brushes without clipping layers. In the image above, we’ve added arbitrary strokes to break with the defined edges and add a distressed effect to our composition.

Bonus Tip:

If, for any reason, you need to change the size of your pattern. Double-click your brush on Mac/Win (left-swipe with one finger on the iPad and select Edit) and navigate to the Texture tab in the brush editor to modify its scale. We recommend duplicating the brush you edit to avoid overwriting its original settings. 

Alright, folks, this is everything you need to kickstart your artsy adventure with Wanderer for Affinity. This super cool set of patterns is like a playground for your creativity. It’s all about going wild with abstract shapes and colors; trust us, it will be a total blast that’ll keep you engaged for hours!

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If you have any inquiry about a product/order, you can provide us with an order number and attach some screenshots if you need to.

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Enrique, Brenda and Sam, will be more than glad to answer anything you may want to ask!​

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