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Grid Holly


grid_designs2.pngMy next project is to learn more about Affinity Designer, a vector app. I’ve taken a class on Skillshare by Chris Heath to fine tune my use of the pen tool to create designs using a grid.


You can see the grid of concentric circles and squares to guide lines and create a pattern. I drew one leaf in two shapes, coloring each part of the leaf differently for a shading effect. I duplicated the leaf and rotated it, adding three differently shaded berries. Grouping those, I could duplicate and create a pattern.

One thing you can do in Affinity Designer is to create symbols — like the group of two leaves and three berries. With a symbol, if you make any changes, all the other symbols update. In the column of holly on the left, I first create a symbol of the group, then, I create the pattern of four groups. When I changed the colors of the leaves on the lower symbol, all the other leaves changed too!  Pretty slick.

Below you can see the symbol of a vine, with a change in the skinny leaf color — then the other vine I’d created with that symbol also changed. The orange lines in the layers panel show which shapes are symbols.


A trick to remember, whenever creating an object, is to set the object, curve, or group to “scale with object,” so that the all the shapes with it will increase or decrease when the whole object is resized.  Go to the color/stroke panel, select “advanced,” and turn on “scale with object.”


Another great technique is to save your creations as “assets.”  Here you can see my new assets from this project. I can then insert those objects, with all of its layers and effects, into any other project. Slick.  If an asset is a also a symbol, it retains its symbol status and all symbols will update.  I’m not sure yet what that means— but I’ll be sure to update about it when I learn more!  Here’s a link to a tutorial about symbols at Affinity Designer.


Sheri Edwards View All

Geeky Gramma ~~
Retired Middle School Language Arts/Media Teacher ~~
Writer and Thinker~~
Art from the Heart

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