Cool vectors: creating an ice cream graphic with Jhonatan Silva

Brazilian games artist and UI designer, Jhonatan S. Silva shows us how to manipulate shapes and text to create a mouth-watering ice cream graphic in Affinity Designer for iPad.

Follow along with Jhonatan’s step-by-step tutorial to create an eye-catching vector graphic that looks good enough to eat! Once you’ve mastered the main techniques, you can use them to create a wide variety of different designs—don’t forget that you can pause and rewind the video whenever you need to!

Difficulty: Easy to intermediate

Made in: Affinity Designer for iPad

What you will learn:

  • How to use and edit shapes to create an endless possibility of graphic illustrations.
  • How to use adjustments to save time whilst dealing with themes and colours.
  • How to use the Fill Tool, Transparency Tool and Layer FX Studio to create shading and highlights.

Key tools and techniques used:

  • Shapes—most of the elements of this creation are shapes! From the Star of the very first element to the ice cream cone and ice lollies.

  • Corner Tool—for rounding the corners of shapes, for example the ice cream cone and ice lollies.

  • Fill Tool—for adding colour gradients.

  • Vector Brush Tool—for adding the highlights to the ice cream and lollies.

  • FX Panel—for bevels, glows and other effects.

The individual objects you will make in this tutorial.

THE PROCESS

Making the background shape

  • Using the Shape Tool, insert a Star shape into your document, adjust using the shape properties and rotate.
  • Adjust the shape as required, add extra points and increase the inner radius to around 75% using the slider found in the Context Toolbar.
  • Change the colour to your requirements and soften the edges using the Corner Tool with corner type Rounded selected.
  • Insert a Cog shape using the Shape Tool and opt to insert inside the original shape. Adjust the properties to make a sunburst.
  • Recolour the shape using the Colour Studio.
  • Drop the newly created shape inside the first star shape you created and clip.
  • Select and drag the centre point of the sunburst to the bottom of the newly created element and Convert to Curves to finish.

Adding Artistic Text

  • Insert text using the Artistic Text Tool.
  • Change the font to your pleasing—the font used in this tutorial is Grobold.
  • Use the Fill Tool to add a gradient to the text.
  • Add a stroke to the text in the Stroke Studio, then send the stroke behind the text.
  • Insert a Fill Colour to create a gradient on the stroke.
  • Select Insert Inside to add an Ellipse into the text and then use the Fill Tool to create another gradient.
Adding an ellipse to artistic text.
  • In the Text Studio select Text Positioning to edit the Tracking of the letters.
  • Duplicate the layer and change the text to create your second word. Change colour using Luminance in the Colour Studio and change the Fill on the outline stroke.
  • Reposition and Group the text layers in Layers Studio.
  • Add Layer FXOutline to add a white outline to the two words you have created.
  • Go to Pixel Persona and select the Paint Brush Tool.
  • Select Finest Spray Rade from the Sprays and Spatters category.
  • Select Insert Inside from the top toolbar and then apply the paint brush to the text to create texture.

Creating the ice lollies

  • Select the Rectangle Tool, draw a rectangle shape and then round the corners using the Corner Tool. Adjust to create the lolly shape.
  • Click Layer FX—Inner Glow with Blend Mode> Multiply applied to create shading, then Duplicate the layer.
  • Add a stroke then change the Opacity removing the Fill colour from the shape.
  • Fade out the line using the Transparency Tool.
  • Add Layer FX—Inner Shadow.
  • Change Saturation and Luminance in Colour Studio using HSL Sliders.

The lolly stick

  • Make the lolly stick using the Rectangle Tool once again. Remove the stroke this time and change the colour. Round the corners with the Corner Tool then Convert to Curves.
  • Select the Node Tool to edit the nodes to customise the shape.
Using the node tool to adjust shape of a lolly stick.
  • Add Inner Shadow Layer FX to create shading.
  • Select the Pencil Tool—tick Use Fill from the Context Tool bar, and select the colour you wish to use. Set Window Stabiliser to 19.

Adding and defining the chocolate topping

  • Freehand draw the drippy chocolate topping on the ice lolly—use Sculpt Mode to re-draw curves.
  • Click Layer FX>3D and change the Depth.
  • Select the Vector Brush Tool—and choose Variable Square Pastel. Draw freehand highlights on the chocolate topping.
  • Change the top stroke to Solid Vector Brush stroke and edit the taper in Stroke Studio.
  • Go back to Variable Square Pastel and make the brush size smaller to draw more details.
  • Select the Ellipse Tool and Insert inside to create an ellipse inside the chocolate shape.
  • Use the Transparency Tool to create a fade out effect.
  • Convert to Curves to edit the ellipse.
  • Switch to Pixel Persona.
Using the Paint Brush Tool on the chocolate topping to add texture.
  • Select the Paint Brush Tool and Finest Spray Dense then change the brush to white to create a frosted effect and use to blend the shading.
  • Use a HSL Adjustment to change the colour to pink—clip the HSL Adjustment layer to the chocolate frosting layer to only effect the colour of that object.
  • Duplicate the whole ice lolly then select the orange layer on the first lolly and change the colour using the Fill Tool.

Making the ice cream and cone

  • Select the chocolate frosting and duplicate.
  • Move below the pink frosting.
  • Flip Horizontal and make slightly larger.
  • Edit the nodes using the Node Tool.
Using the Node Tool to adjust the shape of the ice cream.
  • Duplicate the pink layer and enlarge it again.
  • Use HSL Adjustment to change the colour.
  • Select the Diamond Shape Tool, draw the shape and move the mid-point to the top to create a cone shape.
  • Use the Corner Tool to curve the corners.
  • Fill using a yellow colour—select Inner Glow to add shading and select Blend Mode>Multiply.
  • Select the Pencil Tool and draw a ice cream cone pattern. Group the pencil strokes and clip to the cone shape.
Using the Pencil Tool to create the waffle cone pattern.
  • Add Inner Shadow Layer FX to add shading.
  • Group all of the ice creams and add an Outline Layer FX to the group and colour it white.
  • Unhide the text and arrange the ice creams accordingly.
  • And now you’re finished!

Now experiment with these techniques!

Now you know how to create these effects, you can apply the techniques learned to create graphics with different themes.

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial, please feel free to share your work on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using #madeinaffinity!


Jhonatan S. Silva is a games artist, UI designer and in his free time shares easy techniques and best practice for using Affinity Designer for iPad to create great content.

If you’d like to see more from Jhonatan you can view his previous tutorial on how to create a vector rocket here.

Alternatively, you can see more of his work on his website and Instagram and don’t forget to check out his Affinity brush and asset packs on his store.