Pixel Persona

The Pixel persona in Affinity Designer contains all of your raster-based image tools. This is going to have tools that produce similar effects and art to what you would find if you have ever used Procreate or Linea sketch to draw on a tablet or computer. These tools are geared towards digital artists or people who want to achieve specific effects and incorporate them in your vector design, however, be aware that when working with raster tools you will not have the resizing capabilities as all your art will be sized dependent upon the document. As anyone who has ever worked with a raster can tell you it is never easy to resize images when working with pixels so be prepared before using this persona for that limitation.


Marquee Selection tool

black perforated square
grey lasso loop with blue knot

The marquee or Freehand selection tool will allow you to select part of the image using predetermined shapes or with a hand-drawn outline. The Default on mac or pc is the marquee selection tool but on iPad, it is the Freehand selection tool and this is probably to take full advantage of the  pencil. Also, be aware that the keyboard shortcut does not work with this tool.

Selection Brush Tool

red paint brush with brown bristles. under paint brush is white perforated line
black and white illustration of a paint brush, shaded. under the paint brush is a blue perforated line

The selection brush tool allows you to select a portion of your image by painting on your canvas. You can select, add, or subtract allowing you to add to or remove from your selections, and you can change the brush size to grow or shrink your selection. On the iPad, you default to the smart selection brush tool instead of just the selection brush tool which lends itself well to the  pencil. (don’t bother with the keyboard shortcut on iPad)

Pixel Tool

Grid of nine squares, outer 8 are slate grey and inner square is blue
Grid of nine squares, outer 8 are slate grey and inner square is white, there is also some blue borders on inner line of the grid around the white square.

This tool is a pretty strait forward pixel brush tool. Anything drawn using this tool will be raster and not vector. Also, from what I can tell is the exact same in terms of use on either iPad or desktop. (keyboard shortcut won’t work)

Paint Brush Tool

red paint brush with brown bristles
grey paint brush with grey bristles and blue shading

This tool will create a raster layer to make use of ”painting” colored pixels onto elements of your image. Thanks to its antialiasing effects you can achieve softer brush strokes with this tool. (as with most of the other tools the keyboard shortcut doesn’t work).

Erase Brush Tool

yellow shaded pencil with red eraser on end
black and grey shaded pencil with blue eraser on end

This tool also works the same no matter where you’re using it. It is an eraser and it works like an eraser. With this tool, if you have a keyboard attached to your iPad the keyboard shortcut will work. Keyboard shortcut: E

Flood Fill Tool

grey paint bucket with black handle and blue paint spilling out
grey paint bucket with white handle and blue paint spilling out

This tool will fill in an area of your document, selection, or object with one click. If the area is already filled in with a color then the currently selected color will replace the color that is already there. (this tools keyboard shortcut doesn’t work)

Dodge Brush Tool

This tool is a tool that does not exist on the iPad version of Affinity Designer, as far as I can tell. It is meant to work like a dark room dodge tool or the dodge tool that you would find in the Affinity photo and is meant to lighten areas of the image.

Burn Brush Tool

This tool is a tool that does not exist on the iPad version of Affinity Designer, as far as I can tell. It is meant to work like a dark room burn tool darkening areas of the image you’re using it on. If you need this tool though you need to get Affinity Photo for iPad (the tools are available there).

Smudge Brush Tool

flesh tone shaded hand with index finger smudging black paint
grey shaded hand with index finger smudging blue paint

This tool will work just like a blending tool and will blend areas of your image as if you’re blending color, chalk, charcoal, graphite, paint, or any other medium you can think to use. This tool is useful in creating interesting brush effects, however be careful what layer you use it on because it will rasterize any vector layer you use it on.

Blur Brush Tool

This tool is a tool that does not exist on the iPad version of Affinity Designer, as far as I can tell. It is probably not available because you can achieve a similar effect with the smudge tool. It is meant to blur hard edges in your images.

Sharpen Brush Tool

This tool is a tool that does not exist on the iPad version of Affinity Designer, as far as I can tell. The tool is designed to increase the contrast of neighboring pixels.


The Pixel persona is pretty straightforward. It is designed so that you can add and use more artistic touches to your artwork. Though it is limited to the iPad version compared to the desktop version, I feel that you can still achieve the desired effect you’re looking to reach in your work.

As I have said before thank you so much for reading to the end. The next post will be about the Export persona, tools, icons, and the basics of what they do.

I appreciate all of you wonderful people who take the time to read my musings and self-teachings.

Thank you all and Happy Designing; till next time 💚

screenshot of the keyboard shortcuts on affinity designer for ipad

UPDATE: March 19, 2020, as of the launch of Affinity Designer 1.8 you can now have and edit your keyboard shortcuts. When you open the settings in Affinity Designer for iPad you’ll now see a tab that says shortcuts. When that is open there is a list of available tools 🧰 that can be given shortcuts. Just select the action you want and then use your keyboard to set the shortcut to anything you want. (and don’t worry 😉 about messing anything up there is a reset button if you ever want to go back to the default settings).

COPYRIGHT ©️ Carolyn Sehgal

All Photography, Design works, Art works, and Illustrations are property of Carolyn Sehgal, Carolyn Sehgal Art, carolynsehgal.com and/or a client (hereinafter “the owner(s)”). Redistributing, copying, or using any material posted on this website without the permission of the owner(s) and/or without crediting the owner(s) is strictly prohibited. (All client work created by the site’s Author/Artist is posted for portfolio purposes, with permission of the respective owner).

%d bloggers like this: