If you’re using brushes or stamps in your layouts, adding colors or picking them from your image can be a key part of the process. Creating a color swatch is a great way to use consistent coloring in your layouts.

I’ve written before about how to use brushes in Procreate, but today I will show how to use the color picker, create a swatch, and install a brush set in Affinity Photo for iPad.

One way to access Photo’s Color Picker tool is in the tool bar on the left. Tap the Color Picker tool, then tap and drag on the canvas to select your color. If you leave Auto-apply on (highlighted in blue), it will automatically add the picked color as your foreground color.

Using the Color Picker tool

Quick Tip: Having an empty pixel layer selected in the Layers panel avoids accidentally recoloring a layer.

Other options with the picker tool include adjusting the sampling size of your picker (Radius) and selecting a Source, either Current Layer or Global (all layers). For me, the defaults are usually fine.

Next, open the Color Studio, and at the bottom of the menu, tap Swatches.

Open Swatches panel

From the Panel Preferences Menu at the top, choose Add Document Palette or Add Application Palette. A Document palette will make the palette available only within the current document. If you are creating a series of images with the same kit, choose Add Application Palette.

Re-open the Panel Preferences, and rename your palette.

Creating a palette
Swatches in Photo

Now, we’ll import a brush set. Photo handles not only Affinity’s own brush format, .afbrushes, but also Photoshop .abr brushes.

Open the Brushes Studio.

Brushes Studio

From the Panel Preferences menu, choose Import Brushes.

Import Brush to Photo

For this layout, I used .abr brushes from Jen Maddocks’ Bricolage Monthly September 2020 Bundle

Jen Maddocks Bricolage Monthly September 2020 Bundle

From the layers Panel, add a new Pixel layer to paint onto.

Adding pixel layer to paint on

Tap the Brushes tool, select a brush from the newly-imported brush set. You can adjust size, opacity, and other options in the in the bottom menu. Note that this is another access point to the Color Picker.

Using brushes

This page was made with a background, one element, and the rest brushes.

Layout by Ann Morton using Jen Maddocks Bricolage Monthly September 2020 bundle

Are you using color swatches and brushes in your mobile layouts? I find the more I use them, the more I want to use them! I may be addicted…