I want to draw a portrait on Affinity Photo. For this, I would like to have a picture (or more) on the side of my canvas inside Affinity Photo. Then, I would like to open my sketch and it's duplicated on Affinity Designer to make a vector drawing.

For both cases, I would like to have pictures side by side inside the applications.

How can this be achieved?

2 Answers 2


It's elementary. Have in A.Designer the photo as an object - pasted or imported, both are ok. Lock the photo in the layers panel to avoid accidental scaling, edits or moving.

Build your drawing aside. No tricks are needed. You can as well draw the vector on the photo in A.D if that helps. The photo stays untouched as long as you do not want to edit it.

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You can group the vector parts to keep them together. Layers panel gives access to every item.

About sketching in Affinity Photo: That step is not needed, you can draw in Affinity Designer. In pixel paint mode you can paint into a pixel layer if that's wanted.

Consider to check Inkscape version 1. It has quite advanced automatic bitmap image tracing. Vectors can be copied and pasted directly from Inkscape to A.Designer.

  • this would require a higher canvas right? I would like to keep the size that I am aiming for the end result.
    – Joehat
    Jun 11, 2020 at 21:55
  • You can draw a guide rectangle for the wanted size, lock it during you draw and crop the extras off when you are ready or copy and paste the shapes to a new canvas. Learn the artboard thing if you want to make this complex and nerve stressing.
    – user82991
    Jun 11, 2020 at 22:00

I found the way after all this time!

The way of achieving this is going to the main menu View > View Mode > Clip to Canvas. Alternatively, the shortcut is \

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