Image Brushes from Selections in Affinity Photo Tutorial

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By Andrew Buckle, Updated : 2021

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Use any image as a brush stroke in Affinity Photo. They can be quickly created using selections. How to create from patterns. How to create brushes from gradients.



Affinity Photo Shapes cannot be used without rasterising them, they need to be a pixel layer. Go to the shape tools in Affinity Photo such as the star tool, donut tool, etc. Create your shape design, set color etc as required.


To rasterise the shape, go to the layer menu and rasterise. You now have a pixel layer which can be selected. That is the next step, as the whole point of the tutorial is to create an image brush from a selection. Go to the select menu and then selection from layer. You have a selected raster design which can now be converted into a brush. You can also add effects and brush stroke designs etc to the selection if you wish.


Go to the brushes panel, this can be found via the view menu and studio and brushes and then go to the right side menu and then new brush from selection. You will see your design added to the panel.


To modify the brush stroke further, double click the brush entry and then change the size, dynamics etc as required.


See the video at the top of the page to see some possible ways to use this to create more artwork designs. You can use the image brush feature with many more things than just a shape, of course, such as a selection from an image, or perhaps selected text etc. You can also add effects to the brush stroke design such as layer effects via the effects option in the layers panel.


Patterns as sources for Image Brushes

You can use patterns as a great source for image brushes. Select a shape or another design and then use the pattern layer from selection feature found in the layer menu. You can then re-size the pattern and rotate etc but to use it as an image brush you will need to go to the layer menu and rasterise the pattern layer to a pixel layer and then that can be defined as a brush via the brushes panel by using the Image Brush from selection command. The brush can then be modified in countless ways


Brushes from gradients

You can also use gradients as a great source for image brushes. Create a new pixel layer and then go to the gradient tool and add your gradient, you can then modify the gradient by adding stops and colors etc. You can also set the 100% setting to 0% opacity to create a transparency for the rest of the layer. The design can then be added as an image brush via the brushes panel and image brush from selection