Sea & Sky

Sea & Sky - student project

Tools and Techniques

I did not touch the Pen Tool!

I am using Affinity Designer, so the terminology is sometimes different. Tools used:

     Node Tool

     Rectangle Tool

     Ellipse Tool

     Triangle Tool

Affinity Designer does not have a spiral tool. When I used Windows, Inkscape was my preferred vector drawing application, but it is awkward on the Mac, so I only use it occasionally now. However, it does have a Spiral Tool, so I drew spirals in Inkscape and transferred them to Affinity Designer.

Geometric functions:




Pressure to vary the width of strokes

Noise and a couple of grunge files for texture


I live on the Sunshine Coast of Australia, and enjoy walking on the beach. I decided to create a drawing of sea (with waves) and sky (with clouds and sun) inspired by vintage or retro drawings such as these.

Sea & Sky - image 1 - student project

I had a fairly clear vision of what I wanted, so I started with a drawing in Affinity Designer using only shades of grey to avoid the complication of colours. Values in this drawing are not intended to be definitive. I might want objects to be lighter of darker when coloured.

I intended to include a grungy border in the finished illustration, so I included it at this stage in case it affected the placement of objects such as the waves.

Sea & Sky - image 2 - student project

Next I coloured the drawing.

Sea & Sky - image 3 - student project

To created texture, I superimposed a couple of grunge files, with a Recolour Adjustment for one of them and Layer Blend Modes for both.

For additional texture I used Noise, mainly with gradients. I kept it fairly subtle, but the noise almost disappeared when I exported the image as a JPG file.

Sea & Sky - image 4 - student project

For a different approach to drawing without the pen took, see my project in Katerina Deem's class:

Anna Day

Calligrapher & Designer