EotA Soth (Vector Version) 2018 Update
This is a very old character design created for a gothic horror story that began as a sketchbook drawing. This version is the result of a Affinity Designer project created specifically for this blog and The Store. The original color render of EotA is a raster image but the benefit of super clean vectors cannot be understated which is why the vector version will be the main version going forward. Of course the version posted here is a .PNG file as uploading a .SVG/.EPS file for display simply isn't possible. But the vector version can also work in a variety of design projects due to the flexibility in scaling and placement without the worry of degrading image quality. Vector art 101.
It's entirely possible to sketch directly in Affinity Designer then clean up the image until it's complete. But I've found this to be a bit problematic for me with every application that features vector tools. No matter which vector application I've attempted to sketch directly in, none have been able to provide 1-to-1 accuracy with most of my lines. Even with stabilization turned on and adjusted, applied lines vary from being close to what I was sketching to being all over the place. For my personal needs, the better solution is to perform all sketch work and prep in a sketchbook or in a raster application (Sketchbook Pro, Clip Studio Ex, ArtRage etc.) then import the sketches into Affinity Designer and use them as a basis for tracing and clean up. Sketching freehand for small areas and small simple strokes can work but the hatching and facets technique used for my pencil drawings for example, would absolutely not work in Affinity Designer (or any other vector application used) because the lines would almost never be 1-to-1 accurate. Notice how a lot of vector art will feature really simple shapes and extremely stylized elements? Because actually drawing complex images freehand in a vector application can be a total pain in the ass. Tracing is definitely your friend when creating detailed art in a vector application.
It also doesn't help that the canvas can't be rotated in Affinity Designer or Affinity Photo for that matter. Affinity Designer I could give a pass on that because of the sketch issues mentioned above but just barely. But not having touch canvas rotation in Affinity Photo is just flat out stupid for a image processing application that's trying very hard to be a digital painting application. Serif is not alone in this unfortunately. Krita, Flame Painter Pro 3 and PaintStorm Studio don't support touch screen canvas rotation either and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few developers on that score. It's sad, like they're all stuck in 2008 and believe a capacitive touch screen and rotation is some new fad. It makes one wonder at times if the developers have actual artists working in the office or at the very least are they paying attention to the competition that has Affinity Photo beat for digital painting. Anyways, Affinity Designer/Affinity Photo are still great tools to have in the toolkit but the lack of full touch navigation in 2018 annoys me to no end sometimes.